Below you will find the list of courses considered to be required for students interested in attending medical, dental, veterinary, and optometry schools. We in HPAdvising urge you to bookmark a focused group of 3 schools to serve as your ‘bellwether’ institutions in your area of interest (e.g., medical, dental veterinary, etc.). In this way you can gauge changes and updates in their policies and requirements.

While HPAdvising offers this guide to coursework, we also recognize the array of competencies sought by health professional schools that are enhanced with coursework across academic divisions at Lafayette. So we encourage students to consider courses such as bioethics, anthropology, bioinformatics, intermediate language proficiency, economics, women and gender studies, studio art and art history courses, engineering and policy studies…this array of courses and more can demonstrate evidence of your intellectual curiosity and willingness to push the envelope of your learning and mastery.

REMINDER: It is critical that you discuss course selection options with your Academic Advisor and major/minor department faculty to make the most sound choices. In addition, HPAdvising recommends that you check with your bellwether schools each semester to stay abreast of changing requirements and recommendations. Doing so will ensure that you are on track for applying to their particular programs, as well as many others, in the future.

Medical School Preparation Coursework (allopathic, osteopathic, and podiatric)

Required by nearly all schools:

One year (two courses) of college-level:

  • Biology with labs (e.g., BIOL 111/112 or higher)
  • Introductory physics with labs (e.g., PHYS 111/112 or 131/133 or 151/152)
  • Chemistry (typically Introductory Inorganic) with labs (e.g., CHEM 121/122)*
  • Organic Chemistry with labs (e.g., CHEM 221/222); some schools may accept one organic chemistry and one biochemistry in place of the full year of organic, but it varies substantially
  • English composition/writing-intensive courses
  • Mathematics/Calculus/Statistics; most schools require a minimum of one calculus course and one statistics course, while a few require a full year of the calculus, a few will accept any mathematics, and some only recommend statistics; we strongly urge you to complete formal course work in both calculus and statistics

*To enable subsequent course completion, students are advised to complete the first year of chemistry upon arrival as a First-Year Student at Lafayette.

Additional coursework typically required for students applying to medical school and for strong  performance on the MCAT:

  • Biochemistry
  • Psychology*
  • Sociology

*PSYCH 110- preference is given to 1st and 2nd-year students

Dental School Preparation Coursework

Required by nearly all schools:

  • Biology with labs (e.g., BIOL 111/112 or higher)
  • Chemistry with labs (e.g., Chem 121/122)
  • Organic chemistry with labs (e.g., Chem 221/222)
  • Introductory physics with labs (e.g., Phys 111/112 or Phys 131/133 or Phys 151/152)
  • English composition/writing-intensive courses
  • Mathematics/Calculus/Statistics; most schools require a minimum of one calculus course and one statistics course, while a few require a full year of the calculus, a few will accept any mathematics, and some only recommend statistics; we strongly urge you to complete formal course work in both calculus and statistics

Strongly Recommended:

  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology (required by 17 of 67 schools)
  • Anatomy (required by 13 of 67 schools)
  • Genetics

Veterinary School Preparation Coursework

Required by nearly all schools:

  • Biology with labs (e.g., BIOL 111/112 or higher)
  • Chemistry with labs (e.g., Chem 121/122)
  • Organic chemistry with labs (e.g., Chem 221/222)
  • Introductory physics with labs (e.g., Phys 111/112 or Phys 131/133 or Phys 151/152)
  • Mathematics/Calculus/Statistics; most schools require a minimum of one calculus course and one statistics course, while a few require a full year of the calculus, a few will accept any mathematics, and some only recommend statistics; we strongly urge you to complete formal course work in both calculus and statistics

Also Required/Strongly Recommended

  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology (e.g., Biol 225)

Optometry School Preparation Coursework

Required by nearly all schools:

  • Biology with labs (e.g., BIOL 111/112 or higher)
  • Chemistry with labs (e.g., Chem 121/122)
  • Organic chemistry with labs (e.g., Chem 221/222)
  • Introductory physics with labs (e.g., Phys 111/112 or Phys 131/133 or Phys 151/152)
  • Mathematics/Calculus/Statistics; most schools require a minimum of one calculus course and one statistics course, while a few require a full year of the calculus, a few will accept any mathematics, and some only recommend statistics; we strongly urge you to complete formal course work in both calculus and statistics

Important Information Regarding AP Credit, Pass/Fail and Summer School

AP Credit:

We applaud your achievement in taking and seeking AP credit.  And while AP credit may sometimes be used to satisfy mathematics and English/writing requirements, AP credit may not be accepted by an array of health professions schools, particularly for satisfying core science requirements. This is because health professional schools want you to demonstrate your capacity to be successful in college-level science laboratory coursework in load at your home institution.

Therefore, if you employ AP credit for a core science requirement, HPAdvising strongly recommends you complete upper-level science courses with labs in the same science to satisfy the health school requirements.

If you have AP credit for English 110, it is advisable to take a 200-level English course..

Pass/Fail:

HPAdvising cautions against taking any science course on a pass/fail or credit/no credit basis. You want to provide to health professions schools evidence of your success in a variety of disciplines and courses. HPAdvising strongly discourages use of either pass/fail or credit/no credit options. And while the COVID19 pandemic resulted in some relaxation of some requirements, schools look skeptically on electing P/F if a numeric grade is an option.  The reasons to use P/F or C/NC may be complex, so plan to explore those well in advance with Professor Nancy Waters, the Health Professions Faculty Advisor, or Ms Simona Glaus, the Health Professions Program Coordinator.

Summer School:

For some students, the option to complete summer courses offers flexibility, whether to enable study abroad or complete a double major, etc.   However, HPAdvising cautions your choice to complete core courses and laboratory science classes over the summer.  Your goal is not just to check a box, but successfully complete the building blocks of a competitive applicant.  Demonstrating your ability to manage rigorous lab courses among a full course load, at your home institution provide evidence of your determination and grit. Therefore, before enrolling in any required science class during the summer, HPAdvising asks that you discuss the idea with us.