Pre-Health Professional Studies


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Required courses for professional school

Professional schools are not in total agreement concerning required courses. This is true between different fields (i.e. medicine vs. veterinary) and even within fields (Medical College of Wisconsin vs. University of Wisconsin Madison Medical School).Therefore, listed below is only a partial list of the minimal requirements for most schools. Be sure to check with the schools that you are interested in for their specific requirements.

Introductory science (SC119 and SC120)
Inorganic chemistry (CH260)
Organic chemistry (CH221 and 322)
Microbiology (BI251)
Additional biology courses (genetics, BI351, cellular biology, BI325, anatomy and physiology, BI231, biochemistry CH/BI328)
Literature (EN210, EN310)
Pre-calculus (MT146)

Early in your academic career consult the web page of the school that you are interested in attending for a list of their required courses, then make an appointment with the pre-professional advisor to see which Alverno courses fit those requirements. This should be done EARLY in your academic career! (You would hate to wait until your senior year to find out that you do not have all the requirements for a particular school.) It is also highly recommended that at the beginning of your junior year you meet with an admissions counselor at one of the professional schools you are most interested in attending to review your academic classes against their academic admissions requirements.

Many schools also have courses that are highly recommended, but not necessarily required.

MCAT (Medical School Admissions Test)

U.S. medical schools require applicants to submit MCAT scores before applying for admission.

The MCAT assesses problem solving, critical thinking, and writing skills in addition to knowledge of science concepts and principles prerequisite to the study of medicine. MCAT scores are reported in verbal reasoning, physical sciences, writing sample, and biological sciences.

The MCAT is offered two times per year, in spring and at the end of summer. Alverno College is sent MCAT registration materials in January or you can register on the web.
The following website provides information on test format, test dates, registration deadlines and other frequently asked questions:

Links to web pages of schools in the area:

Medical College of Wisconsin Medical School

University of Wisconsin Medical School

Professional Organizations:

American Association of Medical Colleges


"Alverno prepared me well for medical school. My internship experiences exposed me to the field of medicine, so I was sure this career was the right fit for me. Medical schools are moving toward a way of learning that they call 'problem-based learning'. This involves working in small groups to identify and solve problems related to the medical field. Although this was a new concept for many of my med-school classmates, it was what I had been doing for four years at Alverno. I am able to get the maximum benefit from this style of learning."

Anne Tofte '98
Clinical Psychology Major
Biology and Chemistry Minors
Medical School Student, University of Minnesota - Duluth