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Selecting an Undergraduate Major

Select a major that reflects your interests and passions. The average age of acceptance to many postgraduate pre-health professions programs is approximately 24-26 years, so it's a good idea to choose a field you would like to practice in before medical/health professional school begins.

While many students choose a major in the sciences leading to a bachelor's of science degree (biology, biotechnology, chemistry, clinical laboratory science, or physics), any other major offered at UMass Dartmouth is also acceptable.

Generally, minimum preparation includes one year of

  • inorganic chemistry (CHM 151,161,152, 162)
  • organic chemistry with laboratory (CHM 251,261,252,262)
  • physics with laboratory (PHY 101,102,103, 104)
  • biology (BIO 121,122,131,132)
  • medical laboratory science courses (MLS majors only) with laboratory
  • and college level mathematics, usually calculus (MTH 111)

Some professional programs may also require at least a semester of biochemistry with laboratory, and several semesters of anatomy and physiology with laboratory. Collectively, these courses are often completed within your four years and in addition to those needed to satisfy your major requirements.

The specific prerequisites are dictated by the actual professional school, and these are your best source of guidance. You should meet with a pre-medical advisor to plan your program well before your application date.

Acceptance to medical school and other health professional programs

Acceptance to these professional programs is based, in part, on a student's overall academic performance, regardless of major, and the completion of the particular program's prerequisite course requirements.

Most programs are very competitive, so students need to maintain a strong GPA. Core prerequisite courses should be taken during a full semester at a four-year institution, rather than during the summer. Summer classes are strongly discouraged for prerequisite courses. Other classes, such as those required as electives, general education, or college distribution, should be taken instead.

Note: For a complete listing of courses, please refer to:

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