Pre-Medical, Pre-Dental, Pre-Veterinary (Pre-professional)

Rebecca Zordan, Ph.D., Chairperson of the Pre-Health Professions Advisory Committee; Pre-Health Professions Advisor 


Women's College

The College of Arts, Sciences, and Business offers Programs of Study for Women's College students who wish to enter allopathic and osteopathic medical, dental and veterinary schools, as well as schools of optometry, podiatric medicine and chiropractic. Students preparing for admission to such professional schools may choose any academic major as long as the minimum admissions requirements of the professional schools are met. While many students choose Biology, Chemistry or Behavioral Neuroscience as Majors, any program that gives a broad training in the liberal arts and allows completion of the proper requirements in the physical, biological, and behavioral sciences and mathematics is acceptable to professional schools. Students will be assigned an advisor for their chosen Major, as well as the Pre-Health Professions Advisor.  By working with two advisors, students will have ample academic advice to enable completion of graduation requirements and preparation for their intended professional school.  The student should maintain regular contact with both Advisors to ensure the student is satisfactorily progressing toward these goals.

Graduates have been accepted to a diverse group of medical schools, including University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, University of Wisconsin, George Washington University, University of Connecticut, Boston University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Drexel University Schools of Medicine, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, New York Medical College, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Virginia-Maryland Regional, University of Florida, Cornell University, and Michigan State University Colleges of Veterinary Medicine, and the Pennsylvania (Salus University) College of Optometry.

Students are cautioned that entrance requirements to different medical professional schools vary and are advised to consult the Catalogs or websites of the schools to which they wish to apply to acquaint themselves with specific requirements and to keep abreast of any changes in admission requirements. However, almost all medical professional schools insist that applicants have certain courses that they feel will prepare the students for their curricula. (See Standard Course Requirements for the Medical Professions listed below.) Other courses that are frequently required or recommended include: anatomy, animal physiology, developmental biology, immunology, and computer science. When choosing courses, consideration should be given to specific professional school prerequisites as well as subject material covered in the admissions tests, e.g. MCAT, DAT.

Medical schools prepare students to become "total physicians," capable of understanding human needs as well as diagnosing disease and able to communicate and respond effectively and compassionately. In this regard, it is important that a student's electives should also include a wide range of humanities, behavioral and social science courses, and that extracurricular activities reflect a history of service to others.

Notre Dame has a Pre-Professional Advisory Committee whose members assist students with the application process for medical professional schools. The Committee will also prepare a Committee Letter of Recommendation (in place of three individual letters of recommendation) for qualified applicants. There are specific prerequisites for obtaining a Committee Letter, and students are advised to consult with the pre-professional advisors to obtain this information. Current students or alumna who are not in a position to secure a Committee Letter have the option of obtaining three individual letters of recommendation from faculty members and professional supervisors. Students who are considering careers in professional medicine should contact the coordinators very early in their studies so that they may be properly advised and kept aware of current information about admissions policies and trends.

Standard Course Requirements for the Medical Professions

Biology (with lab) 2 semesters
General (Inorganic) Chemistry (with lab) 2 semesters
Organic Chemistry (with lab) 2 semesters
Biochemistry 1-2 semesters
General Physics (with lab) 2 semesters
English (includes one writing intensive course) 2 semesters
Additional courses, often required:
Microbiology (with lab) 1 semester
Mathematics (through Calculus) 2 semesters
Basic Statistics
Social Sciences 2-4 semesters
Humanities 2-4 semesters