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 Advising Program

Director: Dr. Laura Martin
Smith Hall 269-B

Administrative Assistant: Ms. Brandi Mayo
Smith Hall 341

Phone: 410-704-3044
Email: premed.predent@towson.edu

Students who are interested in careers in medicine or dentistry should consider the following:

  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. Aim for an overall and science GPA of 3.50-4.00. The usual prerequisite courses are listed below.
  2. The B.S. or B.A. degree may be in any discipline, but many students major in one of the sciences because of the overlap between courses required for the major and required for medical or dental school. Regardless of the major, all students must take the science courses that are required by the professional schools and listed under Required Courses below, and their science GPA must be strong.
  3. Students interested in medical or dental school usually take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) or the Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) respectively, once they’ve completed all their required courses. Both tests are computerized and are given throughout the year. Students prepare for the MCAT or DAT, either on their own or by taking a commercial preparation course, and are strongly urged to wait to take the exam until they are scoring their target score on timed, full-length practice tests. Having a competitive MCAT or DAT is critical for admissions to medical or dental school.
  4. Research experience is valued, especially by larger, more academic medical and dental schools.
  5. Students should be engaging in relevant extracurricular activities, including leadership opportunities.
  6. Students must have relevant clinical exposure, preferably occurring throughout undergraduate years. This may include medical or dental volunteering, physician or dentist shadowing, or employment.
  7. Students should have significant clinical or non-clinical community service, demonstrating their desire to help others.
  8. Students need to engage with faculty in order to procure strong letters of recommendation for medical or dental schools.
  9. TU students are encouraged to attend guest speaker presentations, information sessions, group advising, and other events sponsored by our program to broaden their knowledge of their chosen profession, learn how to become competitive for admission to the professional school, and to network with professionals and peers. They should also consult the Blackboard community site for resources and other opportunities.
  10. The TU Pre-medical/Pre-dental Committee will prepare a committee letter of recommendation for qualified students, based on the student’s academics (GPA and MCAT/DAT), letters of recommendation from faculty, extracurricular activities, clinical exposure, community service and an interview.

Prospective students with questions about any program at TU should contact the Admissions Office.

Required and Recommended Science Courses

Although educational philosophies and specific undergraduate course requirements differ among 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. Consult the individual schools of interest for specific requirements, but the list below satisfies the requirements of most medical and dental schools. Students are advised to take the required course listed below, and as many of the highly recommended courses as possible, as these courses should help improve their performance on the MCAT/DAT exams.

Required Courses (44 units)1

These courses are most frequently 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 202INTRODUCTION TO ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION4
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
CHEM 351BIOCHEMISTRY I3
MATH 115COLLEGE ALGEBRA3
or MATH 211 CALCULUS FOR APPLICATIONS
or MATH 273 CALCULUS I
MATH 237ELEMENTARY BIOSTATISTICS4
PHYS 211GENERAL PHYSICS I; NON CALCULUS-BASED 24
PHYS 212GENERAL PHYSICS II; NON CALCULUS-BASED 24
Total Units44

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.

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

Prepharmacy Preparation

Program Director: Dr. Ana-Maria Soto
Smith Hall 569
Phone: 410-704-2605
Email: asoto@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 TU. 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 131PUBLIC SPEAKING3
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

Preveterinary Preparation

Program Director: Christa Partain, M.S.
Smith Hall 234
Phone: 410-704-4167
Email: cpartain@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. Increasingly, veterinary schools are looking for students who have strong soft skills, showing that a student can act as both a leader and a team member. Extracurricular activities, on and off campus, can provide opportunities to develop these skills.
  6. Advising for preveterinary students is available through the Department of Biological Sciences. It is strongly suggested that students seek these advisory services upon entering TU to maximize their career planning strategies.

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

Recommended Science Courses

BIOL 200
200L
INTRODUCTION TO CELLULAR BIOLOGY AND GENETICS [LECTURE]
and INTRODUCTION TO CELLULAR BIOLOGY AND GENETICS [LAB]
4
BIOL 202INTRODUCTION TO ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION4
BIOL 207GENERAL ZOOLOGY4
BIOL 309GENETICS4
BIOL 318MICROBIOLOGY4
BIOL 325ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY4
BIOL 408CELL BIOLOGY4
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
CHEM 351BIOCHEMISTRY I3
MATH 237ELEMENTARY BIOSTATISTICS4
or PSYC 212 BEHAVIORAL STATISTICS
MATH 211CALCULUS FOR APPLICATIONS3
or MATH 273 CALCULUS I
PHYS 211GENERAL PHYSICS I; NON CALCULUS-BASED4
PHYS 212GENERAL PHYSICS II; NON CALCULUS-BASED4