Pre-Concentration Advisor Handbook

Pre-Medical Advising

There are many successful routes to medical school. Although all students must complete the minimum coursework, each student can choose the path that seems best suited for him/her. Other health professions (veterinary medicine, physician assistant, and nursing) have similar, but not identical, requirements.

Students should make an appointment for a personal advising meeting with Leslie North, Coordinator of Health Professions Advising, (Career Center, Bristol Campus Center, third floor) to discuss their career goals.

Minimum curricular requirements for medical school:

  • Two semesters of College English or Comparative Literature: English 150 or Writing 110 plus English 150, any two Comparative Literature classes, or any combination of the two disciplines. Can be taken any time during the four years.
  • Two semesters of College Biology with Lab: Biology 101 and 102, or BIO 115 and one other course at the 200 level, with 248 or 222 recommended. Bio 115 is intended for students with a 4 or 5 in AP Biology, and who have received the permission of the instructors.
  • Two semesters of College Physics with Lab: Physics 100-105 (algebra-based) or 200-05 (calculus-based) or, for potential Physics majors, Physics 190-195. 
  • Four semesters of College Chemistry, including Organic Chemistry I and II: Chemistry (120 or 125), 190, 255, and either 265/270. Motivated students with strong backgrounds in chemistry should consider Chem 125 in lieu of Chem 120. AP Chem is not required. 
  • Students can major in any discipline and apply to medical school. In recent years, Hamilton students have entered medical school with majors in Art, Economics, Government, and English as well as Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Neuroscience.
  • Many medical schools ask that students demonstrate proficiency in mathematics. If a student wishes to minimize the math requirement, one semester of Calculus and one semester of Statistics (Math 253) is usually a good combination.
  • The MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) is being redesigned, and as of January 2015 there will be a section testing students' knowledge of behavioral sciences. We now recommend that students headed toward medical school choose Intro Psychology or Intro Sociology before they take the MCAT.

Additional information

  • Make certain new students understand that they cannot begin the Chemistry or Physics sequences in January. The sequences must be started in the fall.
  • The current national trend is to establish a strong academic and extracurricular resume during the undergraduate years, and spend a year of study, research, or work between college and medical school. This schedule allows for exploration of possible majors during the first year, and is compatible with foreign study.
  • A student who plans to enter medical school immediately after Hamilton must take all the basic science courses in the first three years to be prepared for the MCAT in the spring of the junior year.
  • In addition to the required coursework, students should be encouraged to pursue extracurricular activities that familiarize them with both the clinical and research environments and demonstrate their interest in serving others.  Leslie North can offer assistance in formulating a tentative four-year plan and will offer suggestions of extracurricular, clinical and summer opportunities.