Choosing a Major at LMU
There is no "right" major to pursue as an undergraduate. Students should select a major that they are passionate about and will excel in. Professional schools in the health sciences expect all students, whether philosophy, biology or business majors, to do well in their chosen undergraduate programs and to demonstrate increasingly challenging curriculum loads in their field of study. All candidates, regardless of major, must demonstrate strong and consistent performance in coursework, especially in the core science prerequisites.
At LMU, the overwhelming majority of pre-health students select a major in the sciences. This may be because they have a natural curiosity about these disciplines and because much of the coursework required for these majors also fulfill the prerequisites for admission to health professional school. However, LMU routinely has pre-health students majoring in non-science disciplines such as psychology, philosophy, English, Spanish, business and education.
Students are encouraged to meet with their faculty advisor early on to help with course scheduling and learn information about resources that are available on campus. Pre-health students should also meet with the Director of Health Professions to go over the standard pre-requisites and extra curricular activities needed for health professional school. In addition, it is important for students to research prerequisites for specific health professional schools as requirements for admission may vary by institution.
LMU understands that the future healthcare professional needs to have a strong scientific foundation, demonstrated passion for their career choice and personal competencies to become excellent healthcare practitioners. Many schools now have competency-based areas versus specific pre-health course requirements. Health professional schools are changing their admissions requirements. Please consult the website and/or admissions office of the particular health professional school you are interested in applying to for updated information.
AP / IB / CLEP / Online Course Work
A select number of health professional schools do not accept AP credit for prerequisite course work. Some will accept AP credits if additional high-level coursework is taken. Please consult the website and/or admissions office of the particular school you are interested in attending for a list of acceptable coursework.
Typical prerequisite coursework for medical school:
- General Chemistry (lecture and lab) 1 year
- Organic Chemistry (lecture and lab) 1 year
- General Biology (lecture and lab) 1 year
- General Physics (lecture and lab) 1 year
- Biochemistry (lecture) 1 semester
- English (1 year)
- Calculus (1 semester)
- Statistics (1 semester)
- Upper division biology/chemistry courses recommended by some schools
- Intro to Psychology recommended (1 semester)
- Principles of Sociology recommended (1 semester)
- General Biology 101 & 111 lab
- General Biology 102 & 112 lab
- General Chemistry 110 & 111 lab
- General Chemistry 112 & 113 lab
- Physics 253
- Physics 254
- Calculus Math 122* will depend on your math placement
- Statistics-Math 204* recommended
- Organic Chemistry 220 and lab 221
- Organic Chemistry 222 and lab 223
- Biochemistry 370
- Psychology 1000
- Sociology 1000
English-Freshmen year seminar and Rhetorical Arts are usually accepted by health professional schools. Please consult the specific schools you would like to apply to for confirmation.
*Note some courses are sequential and only offered once a year. Please meet with your LMU faculty advisor early on to plan your class schedule.
*Note other courses may substitute for this requirement depending on your major.
There is no one path to medical school. Course work will vary for each student. Some students may choose to complete some premedical course work during summer sessions; others complete their premedical course work after graduating from LMU in programs such as career changer post baccalaureate programs where students can take their premedical coursework. Read more about the LMU Premedical Post Baccalaureate Program.
The MCAT emphasizes students have a strong foundation in the following:
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
- Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
We recommend students planning to take the MCAT enroll in General Psychology, Statistics and Sociology.