1 Drexel Drive
New Orleans, LA 70125
- Quo Vadis Maria Webster, MA, LPC
- Premedical Adviser
(504) - 520-7437
- Part-Time Staff
- JW Carmichael, Jr.
- Director of Premed Program
- Professor of Chemistry
Basic Requirements for Entry into Medical, Dental, and Similar Health Professions
Almost all medical, dental, and related health professional schools have four basic requirements for entry (some have other requirements; see below). The basic four are:
- Good grades (mostly A's and B's) in 40 semester hours of basic college-level mathematics and science including the following:
One year of college biology with laboratory
One year of general (inorganic) chemistry with laboratory
One year of organic chemistry with laboratory
One year of college physics with laboratory
One year of college mathematics*
- Good scores on the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test), the DAT (Dental Admissions Test), or a similar standardized exam.
- Demonstrated interest in medicine, dentistry, etc. as indicated by letters of evaluation from at least three college teachers (at least two from the sciences) and participation in enrichment or research opportunities in the health professions.
- Performance during your personal medical, dental, etc. interview (by invitation only if your grades and test scores look good).
*A statistics course is required by most medical, dental, and other health professions schools; if statistics is not a required course for your major, you should make plans to take it as an elective.
- In addition, some medical or dental schools have additional requirements such as:
- Advanced science courses (embryology, biochemistry, or physiology)
- A course in psychology
- A course in statistics
- A course in ceramics (dental school)
- Writing-intensive courses such as English composition
- A college degree
- Finally, some health professions require additional specialized courses. For instance, most veterinary schools require at least one course in zoology and most optometry schools require a course in optics.
What a High School Student Should Do To Prepare
There are a number of things which high school students can do to increase their chances of gaining acceptance into medical or dental school. They are listed below:
- Take four years of mathematics and sciences (including biology, chemistry, and physics) in high school so you are prepared for the required science courses in college.
- Work on your writing skills while in high school.
- Work to improve your scores on standardized exams--in particular, you should work to systematically improve your vocabulary by looking up words you don't know, reading on a regular basis, etc.
- Attend any summer programs which provide extra assistance to high school students.
- Take every opportunity to become familiar with the health professions.