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What High School Classes Should I Take to Get Into Pre-med?

by Dr. Jillian L. Wendt , Demand Media

    Preparing for a pre-medical career early can mean the difference between a struggle and a success. Many high school courses can help you prepare by providing a strong foundation for the medical field. With careful planning, you can choose courses that will provide that vital foundation and help ensure your success.

    Science

    A strong background in science is perhaps one of the most important preparations that you can make in high school for a pre-medical career. According to Yale School of Medicine, you should successfully complete, at minimum, general biology or zoology, general chemistry and general physics for admission to a pre-medical program. You would also benefit by taking organic chemistry and anatomy if they are offered at your high school. These science courses are important as they provide the foundation for the scientific concepts and principles found in pre-medical programs.

    Math

    An in-depth understanding of mathematical concepts is also important in preparing during high school for a pre-medical career, according to the University of California, Berkeley. At a minimum, you should successfully complete pre-calculus or calculus during high school. If your high school offers statistics or computer science, these courses are also beneficial according to the University of California - Berkeley. As many colleges require physics and chemistry as part of the pre-medical requirements, an understanding of advanced mathematical concepts will provide knowledge needed for successful completion of these courses.

    Social Sciences and Humanities

    Prerequisites for pre-medical programs also include completion of social sciences and humanities courses according to the University of Washington. High school courses that can satisfy this requirement include cultural studies, English literature, foreign language, history, philosophy and sociology. While specific pre-requisites for pre-medical programs vary, the University of Washington suggests that religion and music appreciation courses may suffice as well. These courses will help provide you with an understanding of society and the human condition -- essential for a career in the medical field.

    Considerations

    According to the University of California - Berkeley, GPA is the most important factor in admission to a pre-medical program. It is important that, no matter the high school courses you choose, you do your best to maintain the highest GPA possible as this indicates your willingness to work hard and persevere even through difficult courses. Admission to a pre-medical program that requires a high GPA is also an indicator of the quality of the program, which in turn may indicate the respect afforded to the final degree that you earn.

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    About the Author

    Based in Northern Virginia, Jillian Wendt has been in science and teacher education for eight years. She has been writing education-related articles for practitioner and research journals for several years. She holds a Doctor of Education in curriculum and instruction from Liberty University. Dr. Wendt is passionate about education and is a fervent reader, writer and researcher.

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