Pre-Med

Pre-Medicine


Students at Berry College who hope to attend medical school will find excellent academic preparation, a supportive faculty and a variety of assistance to help prepare for their future careers. Students interested in pursuing a Physician’s Assistant (P.A.) or Doctor of Dentistry (D.D.S.) degree are supported with the same enthusiasm as those seeking an M.D. Berry has a Premedical Advisor who will work with you to develop an appropriate course of study and provide counseling throughout the process of applying to medical school.

Although Pre-med students often pursue degrees in Biology, Biochemistry or Chemistry, you have the option of choosing any major in Berry’s four academic schools. Regardless of your area of concentration, you will be encouraged to take courses that will prepare you for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). These include cellular biology, immunology, genetics and biochemistry. You may also have the opportunity to participate in research projects alongside faculty members. This firsthand experience, a hallmark of the Berry education, will provide you with an important advantage when you are being evaluated by medical school admission committees. Berry’s Premedical advisor will work with you to develop an appropriate course of study, provide counseling support throughout the process and offer letters of recommendation to qualified students applying to medical school. You will also have access to professional development opportunities such as seminars by area medical professionals, job shadowing programs based on availability and the opportunity to take a unique freshman-level course entitled “Introduction to Health Professions” that explores the many career opportunities in the broad area of health care.

Course Requirements for Medical Schools
There is no such thing as a Premedical major at Berry or other colleges. Students can major in any subject area provided they meet the core requirements of medical schools: 

  • 1 year of biology with laboratory 
  • 1 year of general (inorganic) chemistry with laboratory 
  • 1 year of organic chemistry with laboratory 
  • 1 year of physics with laboratory 
  • 1 year of English. 
  • Calculus is required by some medical schools. 

Additional science courses (as well as psychology and sociology) are highly recommended for students who intend to pursue a career in medicine and can be selected in consultation with the Pre-medical advisor. At the same time, medical schools also like students who demonstrate an interest in the humanities; Berry’s diverse curriculum offers students many opportunities to explore these other areas as well.

Students should be aware that requirements of individual medical schools may differ. All students who plan to apply to medical school should obtain a copy of the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) to determine the specific requirements for schools of interest to be sure they meet course requirements. The e-version of this book, which is published annually by the Association of American Medical Colleges, typically includes median MCAT scores and grade point averages of students who were recently accepted for admission to different medical schools. For details, see the MSAR website at www.aamc.org/msar.

Your Berry Premedical Experience

Freshman Year
Beginning your freshman year, you will work with your academic advisor to choose courses that are required for entry into most medical college programs or are highly recommended as preparation for the MCAT exam. You will be encouraged to focus on establishing a firm foundation early in your coursework and to consider involvement in the Allied Health Sciences Club. The Pre-medical advisor will hold an informational seminar on what to expect during your journey through college along a Pre-med pathway.

Sophomore Year
During your sophomore year, you will be expected to seek out opportunities for volunteer work and physician shadowing. We recommend that students become teaching assistants in a science course to reinforce learning and become even better acquainted with faculty. We also encourage students to consider assisting faculty in research projects.

Junior Year
By the end of the junior year, most Pre-medical students will take the MCAT examination and begin the process of putting together their medical school applications. As part of this process, you will have the opportunity to work actively with Berry’s Pre-medical advisor and the Pre-medical committee to ensure that all steps are taken for completion of the applications prior to the fall of your senior year.

Senior Year
By the senior year, most Pre-medical students have completed the application process and are awaiting interview offers. Occasionally a student doesn’t contemplate applying to medical school until senior year or even after graduation. Berry College continues to advise and support these students and alumni with mentoring and letters of recommendation.

The Premed Folder and Letters of Recommendation
After the student has submitted the initial (primary) application to a medical school, he or she may receive a request for “secondary” information. This means the medical school is interested and wants you to submit additional materials, including letters of recommendation. Berry College has a Premedical Committee, chaired by the Premedical Advisor, which will provide letters of recommendation for well qualified applicants after a careful review of the student’s dossier and a personal interview. 

The Premedical Committee requires that the student assemble a Premedical Folder with the following information for its review.  

  • Current unofficial transcript
  • MCAT Scores
  • Personal statement telling why you want to become a physician (no more than two pages)
  • A current resumé, including shadowing and volunteer experience
  • The student’s AMCAS ID and letter ID numbers

Our Commitment to You
The personalized learning environment at Berry College offers all students the opportunity to explore the liberal arts and to participate in rigorous and challenging academic courses. We are committed to helping you achieve your potential and to prepare for the future – whether it is medical school, other postgraduate studies or any of a variety of careers.

Whom may I contact for more information about premedical studies?    
Dr. Christopher Mingone, Clinical Assistant Professor of Health Professions and Pre-Health Advisor
706-378-2931
cmingone@berry.edu