Pre-Health ProgramsPreparing for Academic and Exam Success
Welcome to UAB and to the sciences programs designed to promote your success! You will take courses in chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics in addition to classes in humanities and social sciences as a chemistry major. You will also take a comprehensive entrance exam in your junior year for the health profession in which you are most interested.Faculty members in the sciences, having given much thought to your success, offer these suggestions:
- Students who express an interest in the health professions (MD, DO, DDS, OD) are strongly encouraged to attend the February Freshman Seminar, if not during the freshman year, then as a sophomore. The information you will obtain during this day will be invaluable to you as you take each science course, beginning with General Chemistry.
- Students are strongly encouraged to take Mathematics 106 (Pre-Calculus- Trigonometry) or Calculus as soon as possible so you can begin your science track. Additionally, you will have the most meaningful grasp of upper-level Biology courses if you have finished Organic Chemistry, or are taking it concurrently.
- Most pre-health students are encouraged to take Chemistry 100(Chemical Problem Solving) before Chemistry 115 (General Chemistry I), especially if your high school chemistry was in the high school sophomore or junior year. An “A” in Chemistry 100 and a strong start in Chemistry 115 is a strong start for the entire science course sequence. On the other hand, the highest scoring students in Chemistry 115 are incoming freshmen. So, the advice to take Chemistry 100 is not a blanket statement; the total record is important. A poster, available from your advisor, is available to help students recognize which path is best for them.
- Expect an intense two-year preparation for the MCAT/DAT/OAT. Study for the admissions exam begins with the first prerequisite course. In the most ideal case a student will finish all the prerequisites during the first two years of college and take the entrance exam in the spring before applying to professional school. Students should plan to take the entrance exam only one time, if possible.
- For the greatest probability for success on the MCAT exam in particular, either for pre-2015 and beyond, students may find it helpful to take the course in biochemistry. The course, CH 460, is taught every semester, including summer. When a student takes a chemistry course in summer, we strongly recommend that it be the student's only course that term. (Make an app't to see the prehealth advisor each semester by calling 205-934-6135, and be sure to discuss ideal preparation for this exam, including any special courses needed.) Since genetics is emphasized on the biological sciences section of the MCAT exam, students may also find it helpful to have a course in genetics (taught each semester at UAB as BY 210, including summer).
Once again, we STRONGLY emphasize the importance of making an advising appointment each semester with the pre-health advisor. Whoever answers that telephone (205-934-6135) can set up the appointment for you. This is in addition to any group meetings you may have with her, and also in addition to seeing your academic advisor for your major each semester.