Pre-Healthcare FAQ

Is There a Pre-Med, Pre-Dental, Pre-Vet, or Other Pre-Healthcare Major?

It needs to be emphasized that designations such as pre-healthcare, pre-med, pre-dent, etc. are not majors. Rather, they are indications of intent to attend a particular type of healthcare professional school after college. Professional schools do not give preference for admission based on any specific major. Placement of students in professional schools is based on performance in required science courses as well as overall academic performance. Both breadth of education and the pursuit of some discipline in depth is expected. A successful applicant should be able to effectively acquire, synthesize, apply, and communicate information. These are skills that can be developed through the study of a wide variety of disciplines.

While you must be a very strong student in the sciences, you do not have to major in one of the sciences to be a competitive applicant for a health professional school. You are urged to pursue a major that interests you and where you can excel. The choice of pursuing a BA or BS is yours, and you should consult with an advisor from your major department about this decision.

Do Healthcare Professional Schools Recognize AP Credit?

While Miami will accept AP credit, you should use caution when using AP credit for science classes required for admission to healthcare professional schools. This caution does not apply to AP credit for math, social science, or humanities courses.

Do I Need Healthcare Experience as an Undergraduate?

Experience in your chosen field of healthcare is essential before you apply. Healthcare professional schools want to know that you have explored the profession, are committed to the profession, and know what you are getting into before you apply. Healthcare experiences in college are essential.

What Undergraduate Courses Do I Need to Take?

Suggested coursework for the first 2 years of college for most healthcare professions are similar and include courses in biology and chemistry. Ordinarily, students can complete all of the course requirements for any of the healthcare professional schools with any major at Miami.

The schedules outlined below will provide you with flexibility in your first year at Miami and allow you to pursue a number of different majors in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities while keeping you on track to fulfill the requirements for professional school before you apply.

Typical course schedules for the first 2 years of undergraduate study are:

Freshman Year

Typical Freshman Course Schedules
Fall Semester Spring Semester
CHM 141 (3) * CHM 142 (3) *
CHM 144 (2) * CHM 145 (2) *
BIO/MBI 115 (4) ** BIO/MBI 116 (4) **
ENG 111 (3)
Courses for Miami Plan or CAS (3-5) Courses for Miami Plan or CAS (6-8)
15-17 total credit hours 15-17 total credit hours

* If you are considering Chemistry or Biochemistry as a potential major you should talk with a Chemistry or Biochemistry advisor as you will need to take courses specific for that major in your first year.

** For students who intend to major in Biology, Botany, Microbiology, or Zoology or take additional courses in the biological sciences it is important that you take BIO/MBI 115 and 116 in your first year as the courses are prerequisites for advanced courses in the biological sciences.

Sophomore Year

Typical Sophomore Course Schedules
Fall Semester Spring Semester
CHM 241 (3) * CHM 242 (3) *
CHM 244 (2) * CHM 245 (2) *
Courses for major, CAS, or Miami Plan Courses for major, CAS, or Miami Plan
15-17 total credit hours 15-17 total credit hours

* Organic chemistry is required for most but not all healthcare professions. To keep your options open, you are advised to take organic chemistry during your sophomore year. However, if you know absolutely what healthcare profession you want to enter and don't care about keeping your options open, you can check the requirements for that healthcare professional school to see whether you need to take organic chemistry.


We do not recommend taking a math course as the elective during your first semester unless your prospective major suggests or requires it or math is a particular area of strength or interest for you. For most pre-healthcare students, chemistry, biology, and microbiology require a lot of study time to do well and adding a math course may be too much for the first semester.

The math requirement varies among healthcare professional schools. We recommend one year of college math that includes one semester of statistics (e.g. STA 261). Most Miami students take calculus for the other semester, but you should consult with your pre-healthcare advisor once you have determined what healthcare profession you wish to enter.

Additional Biology Courses

Most healthcare professional schools require only one year of biology. However, most successful applicants have more background in biology. It is recommended that you consider taking one or more courses in cell biology, genetics and animal or human physiology to prepare for admissions tests and for courses in professional school. It is also recommended that you consider taking a course in biochemistry.

Additional Course Requirements

Although most healthcare professional schools have many requirements in common, some schools require specific additional courses (e.g. anatomy, biochemistry, psychology), and many schools make specific recommendations to help you prepare for their curriculum. You are urged to talk with a specific healthcare profession advisor and check the websites of specific schools to determine whether you need to take any courses to meet additional requirements.