Information for High School Students
A career in the health professions is a rewarding and challenging opportunity. If you are considering a career as a physician, dentist, or other health care professional, you should be aware of the competitive nature of admissions and the demanding curriculum both at the undergraduate and professional level. Medical and dental students must be committed to rigorous academic preparation. Intellectual curiosity and motivation for learning are necessary attributes for students entering the health care field. Medical and dental schools are also looking for students with a commitment to service and demonstrated integrity and leadership abilities. Volunteering at a clinic, hospital, or any health care setting during high school and college is an excellent opportunity for students to help determine if a career in medicine/dentistry is for them.
High School Preparation
It is recommended that high school students take as many math and science courses as possible. The study and practice of medicine and dentistry is based on concepts of biology, chemistry and physics. Mastery of these basic scientific principles is viewed as necessary to succeed in medical and dental school. Students should take all courses offered in these areas at their high school as a preparation for college level science courses. Mathematics is also recognized as a necessary foundation for understanding the basic sciences. Students should seek to develop a strong mathematics background by taking advanced math courses in high school. English and writing courses are also considered crucial to the overall performance both at the undergraduate and professional school level. Reading is perhaps the best activity for preparing for college study, but also for standardized admissions tests to medical and dental school. Developing leadership and communication skills through participation in extracurricular activities while in high school and college is also recommended.
Pre-medical/Pre-dental Studies at LSU
Students at LSU are provided with many opportunities to prepare for medical and dental school admissions. In addition to challenging courses that provide a strong foundation for the health professions, students are given an opportunity to develop clinical skills through hands-on experiences as undergraduate laboratory and research assistants for world-renowned experts in the sciences. Counselors in the College of Science are members of the National Association of Advisors for the Heath Professions and receive up to date training on the latest information regarding medical and dental school statistics and application procedures. These counselors also present informational meetings each semester aimed at giving freshmen and sophomores guidance on developing a four-year plan for gaining admission to medical and dental schools. The LSU Premedical/Pre-dental Review Committee, sponsored by the College of Science, assists students applying to medical and dental school with collecting and submitting letters of evaluations. In addition, several student organizations focusing on the health professions provide an opportunity to meet admissions deans, visit medical/dental schools and gain valuable information and experiences. The acceptance rate for LSU students to medical and dental schools is nationally competitive. More than 40% of the accepted classes each year at the LSU medical schools in New Orleans and Shreveport are our graduates. In addition, recent graduates have been selected for admission by prominent medical and dental schools such as Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Baylor, Vanderbilt, Columbia, and Stanford.
Selecting A Major
At LSU, premed or pre-dent are not majors, but more of a specialization or focus. Students must select a major department and complete degree requirements for that major. There is no specific major for all premed/pre-dent students. However, the majority of students interested in the health professions will choose a science major (biological sciences, biochemistry, chemistry) because of their strong interest in science and because they feel that it provides the best preparation for the medical/dental school curriculum and prepares them for the important admissions tests. Some students will choose fields that give them an opportunity to explore other interests or to prepare for vocations in the event that they do not gain acceptance to professional schools. You are encouraged to select a major that most closely reflects your interests. While prerequisite course work for medical and dental school are incorporated into the science majors at LSU, non-science majors must schedule the required courses during their undergraduate program.
What are the Required Courses for Medical/Dental School?
The following is a list of required course work at medical and dental schools along with the LSU equivalent courses for that requirement (Honors equivalency courses are also accepted). Some medical/dental schools may have requirements in addition to this list and students are encouraged to check with the admissions office of schools in which they are interested in attending.
>> 8 hours of biological sciences with labs (BIOL 1201/1208, 1202/1209)
(The LSU Dental School requires 12 hours of Biology)
>> 8 hours of general chemistry with labs (CHEM 1201, 1202 and 1212 lab)
>> 8 hours of organic chemistry with labs (CHEM 2261, 2262, and 2364 lab)
>> 8 hours of physics with labs (PHYS 2001/2108, 2002/2109)
>> 6-9 hours of English (1001, 1002, 2000 level or above English course)
These courses should be viewed as minimum preparation and students are strongly encouraged to take advanced courses in the sciences to enhance their competitiveness.
Some strongly recommended courses are Genetics (BIOL 2153), Microbiology (BIOL 2051), Biochemistry (BIOL 4087), and Calculus (Math 1550). Courses in ethics, interpersonal communications, psychology, sociology and business are also good options.
For Additional Information
Counselors in the College of Science are available to answer any specific questions you may have or to provide information and advice on making yourself a viable candidate for medical or dental school. They may be reached at the following location:
College of Science
336 Hatcher Hall, LSU
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Telephone: (225) 578-4200 Fax: (225) 578-8826