Premedicine Planning

Undergraduates interested in a career in health care should notify their GS advisors as soon as possible, because coursework required for medical, dental, or veterinary school may need to be started soon after matriculation. Students considering a premedical or prehealth track should consult with their undergraduate advisors and attend information meetings sponsored by the Premedical Committee.

Advising

All undergraduate premed and prehealth students are assigned a premedical advisor after they have notified their undergraduate advisors of their desire to follow this academic and career track. The premedical advisor provides guidance and support relevant to the premedical curriculum as well as application process. Premedical advising is also provided to GS alumni by the advisors in the Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program Office.

Newsletter

GS sends a twice-weekly newsletter to undergraduate premedical students. Students will begin receiving this newsletter upon their declaration of a premedical track.

Students are expected to fulfill the specified courses for the premedical concentration. Any substitution or equivalent coursework to be used toward the concentration, whether taken at Columbia or elsewhere, must be officially approved in writing by your GS premed advisor.

Students must complete at least 20 points of the premedical sciences curriculum while enrolled at Columbia in order to be eligible for the concentration. Students who have completed some of these basic courses prior to matriculation at GS may be advised by the Premedical Committee to take advanced level science courses in order to fulfill eligibility requirements for a concentration or a committee letter as well as to be more competitive applicants for medical school. These decisions will be made on a case by case basis.

The basic premedical curriculum will prepare most students who are interested in going onto other kinds of healthcare professional programs. Students interested in other health professions, such as veterinary medicine, should consult with their premed advisor about additional, particular, or substitutional prerequisites for admission to other professional programs.

Students should inform their GS advisor of their intention to pursue a premedical concentration. They will then need to complete a concentration declaration form during an advising appointment. Students should complete this form as soon as they know they are on a premedical track.

Premeds do not have to declare a premed concentration. Some students who have done some of their science courses elsewhere or who are majoring in one of the science fields may not be eligible for the concentration, but may still be considered "premeds." Eligibility requirements for a Premedical Committee letter are separate from those for a concentration (although there is substantial overlap). Students who are premed, but who do not declare a premed concentration, should make sure to register with the Dean of Students Office (through their advisor) as premed so that they can receive premed advising and be placed on the GS premed listserv (to receive announcements about premed meetings, application deadlines, visits from medical school deans, and other relevant events).

Only the following summer session courses may count toward fulfillment of the premed concentration: the 12-week Physics II course (Physics S1202); the 12-week General Chemistry II course; general chemistry laboratory (either the 12-week or 6-week format); organic chemistry laboratory; biology laboratory; and courses taken in fulfillment of the math-related requirement.

GS has an excellent premed advising staff as part of our Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program, the oldest and largest of its kind in the U.S. All premed students at GS, whether or not they have elected the premed concentration, are assigned a premed advisor from the Postbac Premedical Program. Premed advisors work with students on the specific order and combination of courses to be taken to fulfill the premed requirements, and a student's first premed advising appointment will take place with both their undergrad advisor and one of the premedical advisors. After that initial appointment, students may meet one-on-one with their premed advisor. However, the premed advisor does not substitute for a student's GS advisor, and appointments with a premed advisor should only pertain to premed studies and application plans.

Please contact your advisor with any questions.