Santa Clara University

Pre-Health program

Course Requirements

In order to be a competitive candidate for medical school, one needs to complete a year of relevant biology (Biology 21, 24 & 25), general chemistry (Chemistry 11, 12 & 13), organic chemistry (Chemistry 31, 32 & 33), a year of physics (Physics 11, 12 & 13), two quarters of calculus (Mathematics 11 & 12), a statistics course (Mathematics 8 or Psychology 40 or Biology 160), biochemistry (Chemistry 141) and at least two upper division biology courses.  These provide the necessary science background to successfully read and interpret Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) passages and be prepared for the curricular rigor of the first two years of medical school.  In addition, it is recommended to consider one or more psychology courses, e.g., abnormal psychology (Psychology 115), neuropsychology (psychology 166), or psychopharmacology (Psychology 167).  Any other requirements, such as writing courses, are a part of the University's Core Curriculum.

For other health professions graduate programs, variations on this coursework are required.  For example, dental school and pharmacy school applicants want to be sure to take microbiology (Biology 113), while physical therapy school applicants will need both human anatomy and physiology (Biology 104 & 124).  Occasionally, a course needed for a given graduate program may not be offered at SCU.  The major example is the preparation for physical therapy DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy) programs.  Most require a course in kinesiology and exercise physiology, neither of which are a part of SCU's course offerings.  Our students are able to secure these courses from other nearby institutions which offer these more vocationally oriented courses.

Most other programs require less natural science preparation than medical school or dental school, although since most SCU applicants to such programs choose to be natural science majors, they often end up with more than the needed courses and are especially well prepared in graduate programs for nurse practitioner, physician assistant, public health, etc. for that reason.

For examples of how such course work blends into various majors at SCU and how the University's Core Curriculum is also fulfilled, please see the sample 4-year curricula PDF files linked below.

Biology

Biochemistry

Combined Sciences

Public Health Science