Medical and dental schools look for highly motivated individuals with a diversity of educational backgrounds and a wide variety of talents and interests. While the specific pre-requisite courses required and the non-cognitive qualifications for enrollment may vary, all professional schools recognize the desirability of a broad education. You will need a good foundation in the natural sciences, highly developed communication skills, and courses in the humanities and the social sciences.
Therefore, medical and dental schools limit absolute course requirements to allow students to develop broad educational goals and individualized programs of study. However, almost all schools of medicine and dentistry require courses in Introductory English, Mathematic, Chemistry and Organic Chemistry, Biology and Physics. You will need to balance these science requirements with courses in vocabulary building, the humanities and social sciences. In addition, you will need to complete required courses and be prepared to take the appropriate admission test a year prior to your anticipated entry to professional school.
Other health-profession schools may have various additional requirements. If you find yourself interested in Optometry, Pharmacy, the Rehabilitation Sciences (Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physicians Assistant, etc.), or another health science career you should consult with the Chief Health Professions Advisor (Dr. Denny Smith /email@example.com) or the Advisor for Pre-Pharmacy & the Pre-Rehabilitation Sciences (Dr. Ric Garcia / firstname.lastname@example.org).
At Clemson we encourage students to build interesting, challenging courses of study, which also fulfill the basic requirements of the professional health schools. Medical and dental schools have neither preferences nor prejudices concerning any curriculum or major. Instead, the emphasis is placed on you, the student. Success in your chosen major will exemplify the excellence needed to compete successfully for acceptance within the limited number of places available in professional health schools.
1. Required Courses:
|Course||Hours||Clemson Course Number|
|English||6 hours||ENGL 103 & a 2nd English Course|
|Mathematics||6 hours||Varies by Major|
|Biology*||8 hours||BIOL 110 & 111 or 103/105 & 104/10|
|Chemistry*||8 hours||CH 101 & 102|
|Organic Chemistry*||8 hours||CH 223/227 & 224/228|
|Physics*||8 hours||PHYS 207/209 & 208/210 or PHYS 122/124 & 221/223
*All science courses must include the laboratory.
The General Education Requirements at Clemson and most other accredited colleges require all students to master the appropriate English and Mathematics. Thus a pre-medical or pre-dental student must only remember to enroll in the appropriate science courses.
2. Appropriate Entrance Test:
Medical School: The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
The MCAT is usually taken in April or at least by early August of the calendar year prior to the desired matriculation year in medical school. The MCAT is now computer based, and there are additional opportunities to take the test each year. You will need to take the test by the second week of September.
Dental School: The Dental Admissions Test (DAT)
The DAT is computerized and given at any time of the year but must be taken by November for a student to be considered for admission the following year.
3. Other Requirements:
Four years of college or the equivalent thereof via Advanced Placement credit and/or summer school coursework. Many schools of dentistry (including MUSC) require two additional science courses.
Work and/or volunteer experience in the health sciences is expected. You must prove to yourself and the medical or dental school admissions committee that you “fit” with a career in medicine or dentistry. Fieldwork also exhibits your true desire to become a medical or dental professional.