I’m a freshman, and I’m interested in applying to the SPH. I heard from an upperclassman that most students in SPH take their pre-med requirements during their sophomore and freshman years, and I know that it’s also recommended to take Biochem as close to the MCAT date as possible. Is it possible to take the MCAT spring my Junior year while also being in SPH? Could I take biochem the fall of my Junior year?
Thanks for your question! I’m currently a junior in SPH, and from my experience and those of my peers who are also pre-med in SPH, the best option is to do a majority of your pre-med requirements during your freshman/sophomore years. The BA and BS majors within SPH are relatively demanding, as you have to take 45 Public Health credits during your junior and senior years. Because of this, it’s easiest if you can take as many pre-med classes as you can during your freshman/sophomore years to focus more on the public health courses during your last two years. This being said, there are also pre-med students in SPH who are still finishing their pre-med requirements, such as CHEM 230, Biochem, Physiology, and/or labs. The SPH undergraduate majors do allow flexibility in your electives, so no worries if you aren’t able to finish all the pre-med classes during your first two years — you still have time to take them in your last two years.
It is possible to take the MCAT during the spring of your Junior year while in SPH and take Biochem during your junior fall year! I personally plan to take my MCAT next spring (during my junior year), and I have heard other students do similar things as well. Specifically for your junior year, there are two required core classes for your fall semester (PUBHLTH 381 and either 370 for BS or 360 for BA), and two required core classes in the winter semester (PUBHLTH 382 and 383). Because there are only two required core classes in your Junior fall semester, this allows you the space and flexibility to take Biochem during this semester if you would like. Many students use their remaining course load space to take elective Public Health credits, but you can take electives during any time (even while as a freshman/sophomore if you meet the course pre-requisites). The link here details more about the core/elective classes.
Feel free to stop by our advising hours or reach out if you have any other questions!
Lakshmi, PMH Advisor