Recommended Coursework

As you prepare to continue on to a health professional program, our recommend coursework checklists will guide you to choose the right courses during your time at Iona!

In addition to the recommended coursework listed below, it is important to gain experience in the medical field. Shadowing, volunteering, and work experiences are crucial in demonstrating your dedication to a career in medicine or dentistry. For medical and dental school, scientific research is also recommended.

The minimum pre-requisite coursework for medical, dental, and podiatric programs are very similar and include the following:

Recommended Coursework
Course Area Course Number
English, 1 year ENG 120, 212, 213 or 214
General Biology, 1 year with lab BIO 101-102
General Chemistry, 1 year with lab CHM 109-110
 
General Physics, 1 year with lab PHY 101-102
Math, 1 year MTH 231, MTH 232 or 270
Organic Chemistry, 1 year with lab* CHM 209-210, CHM 220-221*

*For many medical and dental programs, Biochemistry (CHM 321 or BIO 419) may substitute for one semester of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry Laboratory (Bio/Chm 420) may substitute for the second Organic Chemistry Laboratory.

Please note that these are only the minimum requirements so it is important that you take upper-level science courses, not only to show that you are capable of performing the coursework, but to gain knowledge and skills to handle a professional program once you have been accepted.

Courses specifically recommended by various medical schools:

  • Biochemistry (CHM 321, BIO 419, CHM 422, BIO/CHM 420); this class is highly recommended by most schools
  • Cell Biology (BIO 399)
  • Genetics (BIO 211)
  • Molecular Biology (Bio 480/481)
  • Psychology
  • Statistics (MTH 270)

Courses specifically recommended by various dental schools:

  • Anatomy and Physiology (BIO 238 & 239)
  • Biochemistry (CHM 321, BIO 419, CHM 422); note that some schools require Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology (BIO 399)
  • Genetics (Bio 211)
  • Histology (BIO 402)
  • Immunology (Offered as BIO 490)
  • Microbiology (BIO 316)
  • Molecular Biology (BIO 480/481)

Courses specifically recommended by various podiatric schools:

  • Anatomy and Physiology (BIO 238 & 239)
  • Biochemistry (CHM 321, BIO 419, CHM 422)
  • Cell Biology (BIO 399)
  • Histology (BIO 402)
  • Immunology (offered as BIO 490)
  • Microbiology (BIO 316)
  • Psychology

Unlike medical, dental and podiatry schools, pre-Physician Assistant (PA), pre-Physical Therapy (PT), and nursing programs have more biology requirements and less chemistry requirements, and have more requirements in the social sciences. Since each program has different requirements, the Pre-Health Adviser helps students determine the appropriate courses to take. Additionally, PA and PT programs usually require direct patient care contact hours (approximately 200 hours per semester).

Coursework usually required by various PA and PT programs
Course Area Course Number
General Biology, 1 year with lab BIO 101-102
General Chemistry, 1 year with lab CHM 109-110
Organic Chemistry and/or Biochemistry, 1 semester CHM 209, CHM 321/BIO419
General Physics, 1 year with lab* PHY 101-102
Statistics, 1 semester MTH 270
Psychology (Developmental or Abnormal) and/ or Sociology, at least 2 semesters PSY 441 or 461 SOC 101
Microbiology, 1 semester BIO 316
Anatomy and Physiology I & II, 2 semesters BIO 238 & 239
Medical Terminology**, 1 semester Not offered at Iona

*Usually not required for PA programs, but recommended.
**Usually not required for PT programs.

Other upper-level courses recommended by various PA and PT programs:

  • Cell Biology (BIO 399)
  • Genetics (BIO 211)
  • Histology (BIO 402)
  • Molecular Biology (BIO 480/481)
  • Pharmacology (BIO 410)

Beyond academics, it is important for students seeking admission to veterinary school to gain considerable experience working with animals either in veterinary medicine, research, or clinics. Many veterinary schools require the GRE as the standardized test, though some have been accepting the MCATs. Overall, acceptance to veterinary school is competitive due to the small number of schools that exist.

More than half of all veterinary schools require the following coursework
Course Area Course Number
General Biology, 1 year with lab BIO 101-102
Genetics, 1 semester BIO 211
General Chemistry, 1 year with lab CHM 109-110
Organic Chemistry, 1 year with lab CHM 209-210, CHM 220-221
Biochemistry, 1 semester CHM 321, BIO 419, CHM 422
General Physics, 1 year with lab PHY 101-102
Math, 1 year MTH 231 and MTH 270
English, 1 year ENG 120, 212, 213 or 214
Social Sciences, 1 year (Psychology and/or Sociology) Various

In addition, veterinary schools require or recommend:

  • Microbiology (BIO 316)
  • Cell Biology (BIO 399)
  • Speech and Public Speaking (SCS 101)
  • Additional upper-level biology electives

In addition to coursework, students are required to take the PCAT standardized test. Field-specific and/or general healthcare experience is encouraged.

Coursework required by most schools
Course Area Course Number
General Biology, 1 year with lab BIO 101-102
General Chemistry, 1 year with lab CHM 109-110
Organic Chemistry I & II CHM 209-210, 220-221
General Physics, 1 year with lab PHY 101-102
Math: Calculus and Statistics, 1 year MTH 231 and 270
Economics ECO 201 or 202
Psychology (or another Social Science) Various
Microbiology, 1 semester BIO 316
Anatomy and Physiology I & II, 2 semesters BIO 238 & 239
English ENG 120
Public Speaking SCS 101

Other courses that may be required by PharmD programs:

  • Biochemistry (CHM 321 or BIO 419)

In addition to academic coursework, it is very important for students to have exposure to the field of optometry. Students should shadow and/or become acquainted with at least one optometrist. Students must take the OAT standardized test for admission.

Coursework required for most schools
Course Area Course Number
English, 1 year ENG 120, 212, 213 or 214
General Biology, 1 year with lab BIO 101-102
General Chemistry, 1 year with lab CHM 109-110
General Physics, 1 year with lab PHY 101-102
Math, Calculus I and Statistics MTH 231 and 270
Microbiology, 1 semester BIO 316
Organic Chemistry with lab, 1 semester CHM 209 and CHM 220

Additional Recommended courses:

  • Anatomy and Physiology (BIO 238 & BIO239)
  • Organic Chemistry II (CHM 210)
  • Biochemistry (CHM 321 or BIO 419)
  • Psychology (various)