Course Requirements

Dentistry

Common Course Requirements

Specific requirements for dental school can vary from school to school; however, virtually all require at least two semesters of each of the following:

  • Biology (Biology 13 and 14, offered each fall and spring respectively)

  • A very small number of schools require biochemistry (Tufts Dental School is one of them), but many suggest some additional biology coursework beyond the two introductory courses

  • General chemistry (Chemistry 1 and 2, offered each fall and spring, as well as the summer OR Chemistry 11 and 12; Chemistry 16 is another alternative for the first semester of chemistry, offered each spring)

  • Organic chemistry (Chemistry 51/53 and 52/54, offered each fall and spring respectively as well as the summer)

  • Physics (Physics 1 and 2, offered each fall and spring respectively as well as in the summer OR 11 and 12, offered each fall and each spring)

  • English (two courses)

  • Many schools strongly recommend students to take social science courses such as sociology, psychology, or anthropology

Standardized Test

While pre-dental requirements are virtually the same as premedical, the DAT does not test physics but rather has a section on perceptual ability. Students can take the DAT anytime of year, since it is offered frequently. Typically students with a 3.1/3.2 GPA and a 19 academic average on the DAT are viable dental school applicants.

Resources

For more information, contact the American Dental Education Association

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Medicine

Many medical schools are reconsidering specific course requirements and focus on competencies instead. This is a moving target as individual schools gradually moving in this direction. The most common change is the addition of biochemistry, most often as a substitute for a second semester of organic chemistry.

Common Course Requirements

The requirements that follow apply to both allopathic and osteopathic medical schools.

Requirements can vary from school to school; however, virtually all require the following courses or topics. Additional classes can be taken to address specific MCAT requirements.

  • Biology (BIO 13 and BIO 14, offered each fall and spring respectively)
  • A small number of schools require an additional biology course
  • General chemistry (CHEM 1 and CHEM 2, offered each fall and spring, as well as the summer or CHEM 11 and CHEM 12; CHEM 16 is another alternative for the first semester of chemistry, offered each spring)
  • Organic chemistry (CHEM 51/53, offered each fall as well as the first summer session) - if taken away from Tufts, students should take two semesters of organic
  • Biochemistry - either BIO 152 or CHEM 171, no lab.
  • Physics (PHY 1 and PHY 2, offered each fall and spring respectively as well as summer or PHY 11 and PHY 12, offered each fall and each spring)
  • English (two courses)

All these courses must be taken for letter grades. Almost all schools require laboratory participation for all of these science courses except biochemistry. It is assumed, and usually required, that you take the lab concurrently with the lecture.

English

Most schools require two courses in English, but most are flexible and accept the various ways Tufts students fulfill our writing requirement. Other schools allow students to enroll in almost any two reading/writing-intensive courses at Tufts. This includes English 3 and 4 taken by international students. But a few are not flexible and require two semesters of English.

Math

Most health-professions schools no longer require a full year of calculus, though a few still do require a semester of calculus. You should plan on taking MATH 30 or MATH 32 if you do not already have a prematriculation credit for calculus. If you are seriously contemplating a major in chemistry, geology, physics or other field that requires a full year of calculus, take MATH 32 and MATH 34.

Increasingly, health-professions schools emphasize the importance of a knowledge of statistics. Therefore, if you have a credit in calculus, you should seriously consider taking a statistics course for your second Tufts math distribution requirement. The MCAT assumes basic knowledge of statistics. Statistics is taught in a number of departments at Tufts including Biology (BIO 132), Child Development (CD 140), Community Health (CH 31) Economics (EC 15), Math (MATH 21), Political Science (PS 130), Psychology (PSY 31) and Sociology (SOC 101). If you have an AP credit in statistics, you would be well served by an additional course.

Organic Chemistry

More and more individual medical schools want students to have taken a semester of biochemistry and will accept that in lieu of a second semester of organic chemistry. Some schools are moving quicker than others to formalize this change, and their websites are not always up to date with these changes.

Tufts has accelerated its premed chemistry sequence. We are confident that our premed students will be well-prepared with the three semester sequence: CHEM 1, CHEM 2 and CHEM 51 followed by either BIO 152 or CHEM 171. If taking organic chemistry elsewhere it is safest to take both semesters with lab. The end goal is a course in biochemistry, for which organic is a prerequisite. This knowledge is tested on the MCAT.

Behavioral Science

You should have exposure to behavioral determinants of health through coursework in psychology, community health, sociology or anthropology, among other departments. These variables play a critical role in health and healthcare delivery. Behavioral Science is now a section on the MCAT as well.

Standardized Test

The MCAT is the standardized test required by medical schools. You should plan to take it no later than the spring of your application year.

Nursing

Most Tufts students look at entry-level Master’s in Nursing (MSN) programs for non-nursing graduates when they consider the nursing profession. These programs vary considerably in their requirements. The courses listed below are normally required, but you can expect wide variation among programs. Typically programs allow you to apply without having completed all of the requirements as long as you will complete them by matriculation.

Common Course Requirements
  • Biology with lab: BIO 13 and BIO 14
  • Chemistry with lab: CHEM 1 and CHEM 2
  • Anatomy with lab: BIO 4 (cross-listed OT102)
  • Physiology with lab: BIO 9 (cross-listed OT101)
  • Nutrition: NUTR 101
  • Microbiology with lab: BIO 106
  • Statistics: Math 21, PSY 31, CH 31, BIO 132 or other statistics courses in other departments
Frequent Additional Requirements
  • Intro to Psychology: PSY 1
  • Abnormal Psychology: PSY 12
  • Growth and Development: PSY 11
  • Organic chemistry: CHEM 51 and 52
Standardized Test

Nursing programs will typically require the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) as the standardized test for admission.

Occupational Therapy

Most Tufts students look at entry-level master's programs for non-occupational therapy graduates when they consider the Occupational Therapy (OT) profession. These programs vary considerably in their requirements. The following list should serve as a general guideline only.

The Boston School of Occupational Therapy at Tufts requires the following:

Common Course Requirements
  • Two semesters general biology with lab
  • Human anatomy with lab: BIO 4 (cross-listed OT102)
  • Human physiology with lab: BIO 9 (cross-listed OT101)
  • General psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Developmental psychology
  • Statistics
Frequent Additional Requirements
  • Exercise physiology/kinesiology
  • Physics and/or chemistry
  • Algebra
  • English
  • Research methods
Standardized Test

The standardized test for OT programs is the GRE

Optometry

Common Course Requirements
  • Biology with lab: BIO 13 and BIO 14
  • Chemistry with lab: CHEM 1 and CHEM 2
  • Physics with lab: PHY 1 and PHY 2
  • English (1 year)
  • College math (1 year)
Frequent Additional Requirements
  • Calculus (1 semester)
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Organic chemistry with lab (1 semester)
  • Biochemistry (1 semester)
  • Microbiology (1 semester)
  • Statistics (1 semester)
  • Psychology (1 semester)
Standardized Test

Standardized test for optometry school is the OAT.

Pharmacy

The entry-level degree for pharmacists is the PharmD degree. Tufts graduates can prepare to apply by taking the appropriate courses.

Common Course Requirements
  • Biology with lab (1 year): BIO 13 and BIO 14
  • Chemistry with lab (1 year): CHEM 1 and CHEM 2
  • Organic chemistry with lab (1 year): CHEM 51 and CHEM 52
  • Physics with lab (1 year): PHY 1 and PHY 2
  • English (1 year)
  • Anatomy: BIO 4
  • Physiology: BIO 9
  • Microbiology: BIO 106
  • Calculus/statistics
  • Economics
  • Public speaking/speech: DR 27
Frequent Additional Requirements
  • Cell biology
  • Genetics
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry
Standardized Test

The standardized test for Pharmacy school is the PCAT (Pharmacy College Admission Test).

Resources

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy lists more admission requirements 

Physician Assistant

Most Tufts students look at entry level master's programs when they consider the Physician Assistant (PA) profession. These programs vary considerably in their requirements. The following list should serve as a general guideline only.

Common Course Requirements
  • Anatomy and physiology with lab: BIO 4 and BIO 9
  • Chemistry I with lab - CHEM 1
  • Chemistry II with lab - CHEM 2
  • Biology I and II with lab – BIO 13 and BIO 14
  • Microbiology with lab – BIO 106
  • Introduction to psychology
  • Mathematics (usually statistics) – MATH 21, or PSY 31, or BIO 132 or stats in other departments
  • English composition

AP credits from high school may not fulfill courses prerequisites. If you have college credits for AP courses in chemistry or biology, upper-level chemistry and biology courses taken in college may be substituted.

Physical Therapy

Common Course Requirements
  • Two semesters general biology with lab: BIO 13 and BIO 14
  • Two semesters general chemistry with lab: CHEM 1 and CHEM 2
  • One to two semesters physics with lab: PHY 1 and PHY 2
  • Human anatomy with lab: BIO 4
  • Human physiology with lab: BIO 9
  • Social sciences (usually 1 year of psychology)
  • Statistics: MATH 21, PSY 31, CH 31, BIO 132 or other statistics courses in other departments
  • Humanities/English

Frequent Additional Course Requirements
Some schools may require a course in Communications, Ethics and/or Nutrition

Standardized Test

Physical Therapy programs require the GRE exam.

Podiatry

Common Course Requirements
  • Two semesters general biology with lab: BIO 13 and BIO 14
  • Two semesters general chemistry with lab: CHEM 1 and CHEM 2
  • One to two semesters physics with lab: PHY 1 and PHY 2
  • Two semesters organic chemistry with lab: CHEM 51 and CHEM 52
  • English (1 year)
Standardized Test

Podiatry schools require the MCAT exam.

Public Health

Unlike the clinical health professions, public health graduate programs do not have a strict list of course requirements.

The most helpful courses to take in preparation for a public health graduate program depend on the field of public health that interests you. Tufts has an excellent Community Health major. You can pursue this or simply take some basic courses. Introduction to Community Health (CH 1) and Health Care in America (CH 2) are excellent choices.

Core Public Health Disciplines
  • Biostatistics - The use of statistical methodology for analyzing health-related data (Recommended background in mathematics or basic science)
  • Epidemiology - The study of the distribution and determinants of disease and disability in populations (Recommended background in mathematics or basic science)
  • Health Policy and Management - The study of health care systems, health care reform, health care law, financial management, clinic management, and policy analysis
  • Health Education/Behavioral Sciences - The process of selecting, applying and monitoring appropriate behavioral, social and political change strategies to enhance the health of populations (Recommended background in sociology, psychology, child development or anthropology)
  • Environmental Health - The study of issues associated with the adverse chemical, physical and biologic agents in the environment on human health (Recommended background in biology or chemistry)
Common Course Requirements

Public health programs typically recommend courses in behavioral and social sciences, courses that indicate quantitative reasoning (such as statistics), and biology -- especially courses such as biostatistics and epidemiology.

Veterinary Medicine

Common Course Requirements

Specific requirements can vary from school to school but almost all veterinary programs require at least two semesters each of:

  • Biology - BIO 13 and BIO 14, offered each fall and spring respectively
  • General Chemistry - CHEM 1 and CHEM 2, offered each fall and spring, as well as the summer OR CHEM 11 and CHEM 12; CHEM 16 is another alternative for the first semester of chemistry, offered each spring
  • Organic Chemistry - CHEM 51/53 and CHEM 52/54, offered each fall and spring respectively as well as the summer
  • Physics PHY 1 and PHY 2, offered each fall and spring respectively as well as summer OR PHY 11 and PHY 12, offered each fall and each spring
  • Biochemistry (one semester): BIO 152 or CHEM 171
  • Genetics (one semester): BIO 41
  • Microbiology with lab: BIO 106
  • English (one or two courses)

Frequent Additional Course Requirements
Electives, speech/public speaking, science electives, cell biology, physiology (systemic), nutrition, animal science – some schools will accept these as online courses.

Standardized Test

 Veterinary schools require the GRE exam.