Frequently asked questions

Don’t I need to take Calculus?   A few medical schools (Harvard, John Hopkins and a few others) require two semesters of calculus but the vast majority of medical schools do not.

Why does INTD 105 count as an English course?     In the recommendation letter the premed committee sends to medical schools we include a description of INTD 105 and, given its emphasis on developing critical reading and writing skills, it has been accepted as an English course by all of the schools where our students have applied.

What English course should I take?   Medical schools are neither precise nor consistent as to what they want for an English course so we recommend that you consider the various offerings and take what you think you would enjoy.  We have had many students take ENGL 142 (Literary Forms) and ENGL 254 (Shakespeare) but there are lots of other possibilities.

Can Humanities count as an English course?   We have had a few students argue successfully that Humanities satisfies an English requirement and if you are really loathe to take an English course you could try to do this as well; but for most students the best option is to just take an English course, otherwise it is up to you to convince the medical schools that Humanities should count.

I received credit for Biology (or Chemistry or Physics) in high school; do I have to take them over?   This is a tough question.  Most medical schools definitely prefer applicants to have had their requirements at college, not from AP credit or from some program where high schools students receive college credit.  If you major in the sciences, and go on to take more biology and chemistry, then medical schools are likely to accept credits awarded for work before college.    

Appreciate that the curricular requirements of medical schools are in place for multiple reasons: (1) to make sure that students coming into medical school have some basic knowledge, (2) to compare applicant performance in comparable courses and (3) to make sure that students taking the MCAT have some basic knowledge to be utilized for that exam.   Credit for work done prior to college serves none of these factors very well. 

May I take these required classes at other schools?    Yes, but it is not preferred, especially if it looks as though you are just trying to take them somewhere easier than Geneseo.  If you have a particular reason to take them elsewhere (you switched majors, you are a double major, illness, etc.) schools will be accepting; but otherwise it may be held against you.

Which physics sequence should I take?    The medical schools will accept either calculus based physics (PHYS 121-124) or non-calculus based physics (PHYS 113--116).  Since calculus is not required  by the medical schools you should not feel obligated to take the calculus based sequence.  However, it is considered more rigorous and if you have had (or are taking) the calculus and are comfortable with it then PHYS 121-124 is the better choice.