Create Your Pathway

Students from across the curriculum at South Dakota Mines are preparing for admission into graduate and professional programs in the health sciences. Some of our majors, such as biology, have been especially designed for this purpose and feature build-in prerequisites for most health professions. In other cases, students can meet admissions requirements by integrating the basic pre-health prerequisites into their coursework. Small classes taught at the appropriate level of rigor combined with our campus-wide focus on critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills prepares students for successful careers in health professions.  

Basic Pre-Health Coursework  

Professional programs (e.g. medical school, dental school, etc.) typically welcome applications from students in all majors, but successful students will have completed a sequence of required and recommended prerequisite courses.   

In general, these prerequisite courses are required:

  • College-level mathematics, usually calculus or statistics
  • One year of general biology and labs
  • One year of general chemistry and labs
  • One year of physics and labs

Medical, dental, pharmacy, and some physician assistant programs will also require these courses:

  • One year of organic chemistry and labs
  • One or two semesters of biochemistry and labs  

We highly recommended (and some professional programs require) the following additional courses:

  • Anatomy and Physiology (as either a combined two-semester sequence or as separate, more advanced courses) 
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular cell biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Economics
  • Ethics and humanities
  • Composition or technical writing.

These prerequisite courses help ensure that students will have the academic background needed to study for and perform well on entrance exams, such as the MCAT, DAT, OAT, PCAT, and GRE, and also to meet the accreditation requirements of the professional programs.  Work with the pre-health advisors in your department at Mines to determine which required and recommended courses will make you a strong candidate for acceptance into the post-graduate program you are pursuing.   

Prerequisite Equivalencies at South Dakota Mines  

What courses should you take at South Dakota Mines to meet the prerequisite requirements? Click here to see a list of prerequisite equivalencies.

Planning Your Pre-Health Pathway

Pre-Health students at South Dakota Mines have academic advisors to help them create a plan for four years of coursework. Students also have a Pre-Health Pathways Advisor to help them plan their pathway by identifying shadowing opportunities, offering support for preparing for entrance exams, and providing both group activities and one-on-one coaching for developing the core competencies needed for success in professional programs. You can get started by using this New Pre-Health Student Checklist and reviewing this general Pre-Health Student Timeline. By meeting with your Pre-Health Pathways Advisor, you can customize your own timeline, track your progress along your pathway, and get access to pre-health resources.

Applying to Health Professions Schools

Learn more about the requirements and processes for applying to health professions schools by reviewing this presentation.