Medical, dental, and other health professional schools prefer that undergraduates complete a four-year program of study toward the bachelor's degree. All health professional schools require prerequisite course work, but they do not prefer one type of major or scholarly concentration. Students with all types of engineering backgrounds are highly valued.
It is important to note, however, that each medical school in the United States and Canada individually determines its own entrance requirements, including prerequisite coursework and/or competencies. Each medical school also sets its own rules regarding acceptable courses or course equivalents. It is therefore essential that students plan early and confirm the premedical requirements for those schools to which they intend to apply. The Engineering curriculum covers many of the prerequisite courses required by medical schools, however, in addition to completing the mathematics, chemistry, and physics courses required by the First Year– Sophomore Program, most schools ask for a full year of organic chemistry, a full year of biology, a full year of English, a semester of statistics, and a semester of biochemistry. Advanced Placement credit is accepted in fulfillment of these requirements by some schools but not all. Students are responsible for monitoring the requirements of each school to which they intend to apply. Generally, students with Advanced Placement credit are strongly advised to take further courses in the field in which they have received such credit.
In addition to medical school requirements, all medical schools currently require applicants to sit for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). A new format of this exam was introduced in the spring of 2015, for which recommended minimum preparation is:
- One year of general chemistry and general chemistry lab
- One year of organic chemistry and organic chemistry lab
- One year of introductory biology and biology lab
- One year of general physics and physics lab
- One semester of introductory psychology
As you prepare for this path, you should consult regularly with both your assigned adviser and one of the premedical advisers in the James H. Christine Turk Berick Center for Student Advising. These individuals will help to guide you in your course selection and planning, and introduce you to extracurricular and research opportunities related to your interests in health and medicine. Preprofessional Advising maintains an online list of many different clinical volunteer and research opportunities across New York City and beyond. Exploration of the career and sustained interactions with patients is viewed by many medical schools as essential preparation and therefore students are strongly encouraged to spend time volunteering/working in clinical and research environments before applying to medical school.
Students must apply for admission to health professional schools more than one year in advance of the entry date. Students who are interested in going directly on to health professional schools following graduation should complete all prerequisite courses required for the MCAT by the end of the junior year. It is entirely acceptable (and most common) for students to take time between undergraduate and health professional school and thus delay application to these schools for one or more years. Students planning to apply to medical or dental school should be evaluated by the Premedical Advisory Committee prior to application. A Premedical Advisory Committee application is made available each year in December. For more information regarding this process and other premedical-related questions, please consult with a premedical adviser in the Berick Center for Student Advising or peruse their website