Pre-Professional Programs

The Fisher College of Science and Mathematics offers pre-professional preparation in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine. The programs are described below.

Premedical/Predental Program—Undergraduate

Undergraduate PreMedical/PreDental Committee Chair: George H. Harrison

Office

514 Psychology Bldg., 410-704-2275
E-mail: pre-professional@towson.edu

Students who are interested in careers in medicine or dentistry must keep the following facts in mind during their studies:

  1. Students must have an outstanding academic record in all the courses they take—science and otherwise—to be competitive for ­admission to medical or dental school.
  2. The B.S. or B.A. degree may be in any discipline, but most students get their degrees in one of the sciences. However, all students must take the science courses that are required by the professional schools and listed under Required Courses below.
  3. Students interested in medical or dental school usually take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) or the Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) one to one and one-half years in advance of entering professional school. Both tests are computerized and are given throughout the year. Students are strongly urged to prepare for the MCAT or DAT, either on their own or by taking a commercial preparation course.
  4. Letters of recommendation are required, and at Towson University these letters are prepared by the PreMedical/PreDental Committee.
  5. Careful planning and organization on the part of the student are absolute necessities.

Information should be obtained from the ­PreMedical and PreDental Committee before or upon entering Towson University. Email pre-professional@towson.edu.

Requirements for Admission to Medical or Dental School

A student must have an outstanding undergraduate record to be competitive for admission to medical or dental school. Criteria used by professional schools to evaluate applicants include:

  1. academic achievement with emphasis on performance in biology, chemistry, ­mathematics and physics
  2. scores on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) or Dental Admission Test (DAT)
  3. motivation to pursue a career in medicine or dentistry
  4. clinical and research experience
  5. participation in extracurricular activities and community service
  6. interview with members of the medical or dental school admissions committee
  7. letter of recommendation prepared by the applicant’s undergraduate Premedical/Predental Committee

Letters of recommendation written by the Towson University PreMedical/PreDental Committee are based upon evaluation of Items 1–6 above as well as letters of evaluation obtained by students from science faculty of their choosing and an interview with members of the committee.

Although educational philosophies and specific undergraduate course requirements differ among the nation’s medical and dental schools, these institutions recognize the value of a broad-based undergraduate education including a strong foundation in the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics), well-developed communication skills, and a solid background in the humanities and social sciences.

Required and Recommended Science Courses

Premedical and Predental students, regardless of major, must take the required courses as part of their curriculum. Students are also advised to take as many of the highly recommended courses as possible as these courses should help improve their performance on the MCAT or DAT exams.

Required Courses (34 units)1

These courses are almost always required by medical and dental schools.

BIOL 200
200L
INTRODUCTION TO CELLULAR BIOLOGY AND GENETICS [LECTURE]
and INTRODUCTION TO CELLULAR BIOLOGY AND GENETICS [LAB]
4
BIOL XXXElective4
CHEM 131
131L
GENERAL CHEMISTRY I LECTURE
and GENERAL CHEMISTRY I LABORATORY
4
CHEM 132
132L
GENERAL CHEMISTRY II LECTURE
and GENERAL CHEMISTRY II LABORATORY
4
CHEM 331ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I5
CHEM 332ORGANIC CHEMISTRY II5
PHYS 211GENERAL PHYSICS I; NON CALCULUS-BASED 24
PHYS 212GENERAL PHYSICS II; NON CALCULUS-BASED 24
Total Units34
1

All of the required courses should be completed before taking the MCAT or DAT exams. Some medical schools also require calculus and/or other specific courses. Many dental schools now require a biochemistry course. Students should determine the admission requirements of the schools they are especially interested in attending.

2

PHYS 241 and PHYS 242, both of which require calculus, may be taken in place of PHYS 211, PHYS 212. PHYS 241, PHYS 242 must be taken by Physics majors.

Highly Recommended Courses

These courses are sometimes required by medical and dental schools and may be useful in preparing for the MCAT or DAT exams.

MATH 115COLLEGE ALGEBRA 13
BIOL 221
221L
HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY I [LECTURE]
and HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY I [LAB]
4
BIOL 222
222L
HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY II [LECTURE]
and HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY II [LAB]
4
BIOL 309GENETICS4
BIOL 408CELL BIOLOGY4
BIOL 409MOLECULAR BIOLOGY4
CHEM 351BIOCHEMISTRY I3
1

Students are encouraged to take other mathematics courses, such as calculus, to meet the requirements of specific medical schools.

Undergraduate students may obtain the B.S. or B.A. degree in any major but must as a minimum take the Required Courses before applying to professional school. Most Premedical and Predental students major in Biology or Chemistry.

An undergraduate degree from Towson University requires a minimum of 120 units. This includes the completion of the Core Curriculum requirements and the courses required for a major (approximately 36 units).

Prepharmacy Preparation

Program Director: Richard Preisler

Office

Smith Hall 543, 410-704-3058
E-mail: rpreisler@towson.edu

Students planning a career in pharmacy may apply to a college of pharmacy after taking or expecting to complete a total of 68 units of university credit, including the required courses. Student averages are evaluated in the following four areas:

  1. overall college work
  2.  required courses
  3. chemistry courses
  4. mathematics and physics courses

In addition, applicants are required to satisfactorily pass the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT), followed by a personal interview by the admission committee of the pharmacy school.

Required courses include 3 units of English, 6 units of mathematics (through Calculus I), 16 units of biology, 8 units of physics, and 18 units of chemistry. The remaining units (18–20) include elective courses, such as sociology, economic principles and problems, public speaking, modern languages, art, music, psychology, botany, biology and computer programming. Colleges of pharmacy now give preference in admission to students who not only complete the specific course requirements, but also are on schedule to graduate with a B.S. before beginning pharmacy school.

Students interested in pharmacy as a professional career should consult with the prepharmacy adviser in the Department of Chemistry upon admission to Towson University. Students need to plan a course program, declare an academic major, and become cognizant of the specific admissions requirements of the pharmacy college that they plan to attend. The recommended course sequence is based upon the requirements of the University of Maryland and is typical of most pharmacy schools.

Prepharmacy Course Requirements

BIOL 200
200L
INTRODUCTION TO CELLULAR BIOLOGY AND GENETICS [LECTURE]
and INTRODUCTION TO CELLULAR BIOLOGY AND GENETICS [LAB]
4
BIOL 221
221L
HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY I [LECTURE]
and HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY I [LAB]
4
BIOL 222
222L
HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY II [LECTURE]
and HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY II [LAB]
4
BIOL 315MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGY4
or BIOL 318 MICROBIOLOGY
CHEM 131
131L
GENERAL CHEMISTRY I LECTURE
and GENERAL CHEMISTRY I LABORATORY
4
CHEM 132
132L
GENERAL CHEMISTRY II LECTURE
and GENERAL CHEMISTRY II LABORATORY
4
CHEM 331ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I5
CHEM 332ORGANIC CHEMISTRY II5
COMM 131FUNDAMENTALS OF SPEECH COMMUNICATION3
ECON 201MICROECONOMIC PRINCIPLES3
ENGL 102WRITING FOR A LIBERAL EDUCATION3
MATH 231BASIC STATISTICS3
or MATH 237 ELEMENTARY BIOSTATISTICS
MATH 273CALCULUS I4
PHYS 211GENERAL PHYSICS I; NON CALCULUS-BASED 14
PHYS 212GENERAL PHYSICS II; NON CALCULUS-BASED 14
1

PHYS 241 and PHYS 242 can be substituted for the above, but these two courses require calculus as a prerequisite.

Preveterinary Preparation

Program Director: Jack D. Shepard

Office

Smith Hall 259, 410-704-2394
jshepard@towson.edu

Students planning a career in veterinary medicine should be aware of the following considerations as they prepare for admission to veterinary school:

  1. To be admitted to these very selective schools, students must have an outstanding record, usually with a minimum of 90 undergraduate units.
  2. Most entering veterinary students have a B.S. or B.A. degree with a major in Biology or Chemistry, although other specific disciplines may be acceptable if basic courses in biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics are included.
  3. Although there are no specific tests required for admission to some veterinary schools, most request indications of aptitude as reflected in the GRE or other standardized examinations.
  4. Veterinary schools expect applicants to have experience in aiding or assisting a veterinarian or working in adjunct fields as a volunteer or paid assistant. Varied experience, including research, is considered valuable.
  5. Advising for preveterinary students is available through the Department of Biological Sciences. It is strongly suggested that students seek these advisory services upon entering Towson University to maximize their career planning strategies.

Careful planning and early contact with veterinary schools is crucial. For further information, contact Professor Jack Shepard, Department of Biological Sciences, at jshepard@towson.edu.

CHEM 131
131L
GENERAL CHEMISTRY I LECTURE
and GENERAL CHEMISTRY I LABORATORY
4
CHEM 132
132L
GENERAL CHEMISTRY II LECTURE
and GENERAL CHEMISTRY II LABORATORY
4