Pre-Health Advising

Simmons offers Pre-Health coursework that provides strong preparation for admission to medical, dental, optometry, podiatry, veterinary, and physician assistant programs.

First-year students will be assigned an PLAN Advisor who will assist with academic planning. Students will be assigned a faculty advisor in their department of interest during their second year. Any student on a Pre-Health track may meet with the Pre-Health Advisor in addition to their PLAN or major advisor.

At Simmons, Pre-Health tracks are made up of a solid foundation in the natural sciences and mathematics along with a background in the social sciences and humanities. These courses help students fulfill the prerequisites required for many postgraduate programs and prepare for standardized admission tests (i.e. MCAT, DAT). Pre-Health tracks are NOT majors, so students must also select a major in their area of interest. Pre-Health track requirements can be fulfilled within the context of any science or liberal arts major offered at Simmons.

Current Simmons students interested in a Pre-Health track should click the button below to fill out our Pre-Health Interest Form. This form is the primary way for the Pre-Health Advisors to track Pre-Health students and will put students on email communication lists. If a student's plans change, they may return to the form at any time to edit their response and update the Pre-Health Advisors.

Interested in Pre-Health? Let Us Know

Check out the Simmons Pre-Health Liaison Facebook Group for updates and events.

Resources
Pre-Medical

"Pre-Med" includes students considering continued education and careers in the following areas:

  • M.D: Doctor of Medicine, Allopathic Medicine
  • D.O.: Doctor of Osteopathy
  • M.D./PH.D.
  • D.P.M.: Doctor of Podiatric Medicine
  • O.D.: Doctor of Optometry

The Pre-Med Academic Plan is a tool providing an overview of admissions requirements, coursework, timelines and tips for applicants. Please review this guide, consider individual circumstances and discuss questions with your advisor(s).

Sample Pre-Med Timeline

The below grid is an example of how you may wish to take courses. This is a plan generally appropriate for a science major. Timing of these courses may change due to your major/minor requirements, placement exam results, academic performance or availability. See the Pre-Med Academic Plan for more info.

Fall Spring Summer
Year 1 Boston Course (BOS 101)

Simmons Explore (SIM 101, 1 cr.)

Chemistry I
(CHEM 111/113/115)

Biology I (BIOL 113/115)
Leadership Course (LDR 101)
Chemistry II
(CHEM 216)

Biology course
(BIOL 218 or 221)

Calculus I (MATH 120)
Exposure to Medicine

Community Service
Year 2

PLAN Requirements:
Learning Community
  • 2 courses, 3 cr. each
  • 1 integrated seminar, 2 cr.
Simmons: Experience, fall or spring, 1 cr.
Organic Chemistry I (CHEM224)

Animal Physiology
(BIOL 222)

Learning Community:Physics I (PHYS 112) AND
Calculus II (MATH 121)
Organic Chemistry II (CHEM 225)

Cell Biology
(BIOL 225)

Physics II
(PHYS 113)
Continue Service

Research
Year 3

PLAN Requirements for years 3 & 4:
3D- Design Across Diverse Disciplines

Capstone

Simmons: Excel, 1 cr.
Biochemistry
(CHEM 345)

MCAT Preparation
MCAT Preparation

MCAT Exam at least 2 months before application
Apply by June/July

Secondary Applications
Year 4
Med School Interviews Med School Interviews Take a break before Med School begins
Additional Required or Suggested Coursework: These courses depend on your major, completion of prerequisites and requirements for prospective medical schools MATH 118: Introductory Statistics (QL)
PSYC 101: Introduction to Psychological Science
SOCI 241: Health, Illness and Society (SH)
ENGL or COMM: choose a writing intensive course (often ALA)

Language, 2 sequential courses in the same language

Remaining Global Cultural (GC) Key Content Area
  • The QL, ALA, SH and SCI requirements will likely be fulfilled with the above Pre-Health courses.
  • Please discuss any questions or uncertainties with your advisors.
Pre-De‚Äčntal

"Pre-Dental" includes students considering continued education and careers in the following areas:

  • D.D.M. Doctor of Dental Medicine
  • D.D.S. Doctor of Dental Surgery
The Pre-Dental Academic Plan is a tool providing an overview of admissions requirements, coursework, timelines and tips for applicants. Please review this guide, consider individual circumstances and discuss questions with your advisor(s).

Sample Pre-Dental Timeline

The below grid is an example of how you may wish to take courses. This is a plan generally appropriate for a science major who does not plan to take a gap year before beginning dental school. Timing of these courses may change due to your major/minor requirements, placement exam results, academic performance or availability. See the Pre-Dental Academic Plan for more details.


Fall
Spring
Summer
Year 1 Boston Course (BOS 101)

Simmons: Explore (SIM 101)
(2 credits)

Chemistry I (CHEM 111/113/115)

Biology I (BIOL 113/115)

Leadership Course (LDR 101)

Quantitative Analysis, Chemistry II (CHEM 216)

Microbiology (BIOL 221)

Calculus I (MATH 120)

Exposure to Dentistry



Community Service

Year 2

Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 224)

Animal Physiology (BIOL 222)

Learning Community:
Physics I (PHYS 112) + Calculus II (MATH 121)
Organic Chemistry II (CHEM 225)

Cell Biology (BIOL 225)

Physics II (PHYS 113)

Simmons: Experience
Continue Service

Research
Year 3

3D- Design Across Diverse Disciplines

Simmons: Excel
Biochemistry (CHEM 345)

DAT Preparation

DAT Preparation

DAT
Exam at least 2 months before application
DAT Exam by May/June

Apply
by June/July

Secondary Applications

Year 4

Capstone

Additional Course Requirements

Dental School Interviews

Additional Course Requirements

Dental School Interviews

Take a break before Dental School begins
Additional Coursework:
These courses depend on your major, completion of prerequisites and requirements for prospective dental schools.
MATH 118: Introductory Statistics (QL)
PSYC 101: Introduction to Psychological Science
SOCI 241: Health, Illness and Society (SH)
Studio Art course
ENGL or COMM: choose a writing intensive course (often ALA)

Language: TWO sequential courses in the same language

Global Cultural (GC) Key Content Area
  • The QL, ALA, SH and SCI requirements will likely be fulfilled with the above Pre-Health courses.
  • Please discuss any questions or uncertainties with your advisors.
Pre-Veterinary

"Pre-Vet" includes students considering continued education and careers in the following areas:

  • D.V.M. Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

The Pre-Vet Academic Plan is a tool providing an overview of admissions requirements, coursework, timelines and tips for applicants. Please review this guide, consider individual circumstances and discuss questions with your advisor(s).

Veterinary school admission is very competitive because there are very few programs.  The average applicant takes three application cycles to be admitted. Exposure to veterinary medicine and hands-on animal care experience is vital to build a competitive veterinary school application.

Sample Pre-Veterinary Timeline

The below grid is an example of how you may wish to take courses. This is a plan generally appropriate for a science major who does not plan to take a gap year before beginning veterinary school. Timing of these courses may change due to your major/minor requirements, placement exam results, academic performance or availability. See the Pre-Vet Academic Plan for more details.


Fall
Spring
Summer
Year 1 Boston Course (BOS 101)

Simmons: Explore (SIM 101)
 (2 credits)

Chemistry I (CHEM 111/113/115)

Biology I (BIOL 113/115)


Leadership Course (LDR 101)

Chemistry II (CHEM 216)

Zoology (BIOL 218)


Exposure to Veterinary Medicine



Community Service

Year 2 

PLAN Requirements (either semester)
Learning Community
and
Simmons: Experience
Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 224)

Animal Physiology (BIOL 222)

Calculus I (MATH 120)
Organic Chemistry II (CHEM 225)

Cell Biology (BIOL 225)

Calculus II (MATH 121)

Simmons: Experience
Continue Service

Hands-on animal/veterinary experience

Research
Year 3

3D- Design Across Diverse Disciplines

Simmons: Excel
Physics I (PHYS 112)

Genetics (BIOL 336)

GRE Preparation

Physics II (PHYS 113)

Microbiology (BIOL 221)

GRE Exam
Hands-on animal/veterinary experience

Apply 
by June/July 
Year 4

Capstone

Biochemistry (CHEM 345)

Veterinary School Interviews



Veterinary School Interviews

Take a break before Vet School begins
Additional Coursework:
These courses depend on your major, completion of prerequisites and requirements for prospective veterinary schools.
NUTR 112
COMM 181
Social Science courses
ENGL or COMM: choose a writing intensive course (often ALA)

Language: TWO sequential courses in the same language

Global Cultural (GC) Key Content Area
Social Historical (SH) Key Content Area

  • The QL, ALA, and SCI requirements will likely be fulfilled with the above Pre-Health courses.
  • Please discuss any questions or uncertainties with your advisors.
Pre-Physician's Assistant

"Pre-PA" includes students considering master's level Physician Assistant programs.

The Pre-PA Academic Plan is a tool providing an overview of admissions requirements, coursework, timelines and tips for applicants. Please review this guide, consider individual circumstances and discuss questions with your advisor(s).

Please note that prerequisites for PA programs vary greatly by school.  You are encouraged to research the prerequisites for your desired schools on their admission websites.  Many schools require patient care hours (can range from 200-2000 hours).

Sample Pre-PA Timeline

The below grid is an example of how you may wish to take courses. This is a plan generally appropriate for a science major who does not plan to take a gap year before beginning PA school. Timing of these courses may change due to your major/minor requirements, placement exam results, academic performance or availability. See the Pre-PA Academic Plan for more details.


Fall
Spring
Summer
Year 1 Boston Course (BOS 101)

Simmons: Explore (SIM 101)
 (2 credits)

Inorganic Chemistry (CHEM 111/113/115)

Biology I (BIOL 113/115)

Leadership Course (LDR 101)

Organic Chemistry (CHEM 112)
or CHEM 224 and CHEM 225 in Sophomore year

Zoology (BIOL 218)

Exposure to Medicine



Community Service

Year 2 

PLAN Requirements (either semester)
Learning Community
and
Simmons: Experience
Anatomy & Physiology I (BIOL 231) Anatomy & Physiology II (BIOL 232) Continue Service

Begin patient care hours (volunteer or paid position)

Research
Year 3

3D- Design Across Diverse Disciplines

Simmons: Excel

GRE Preparation

Microbiology (BIOL 221)

GRE Exam
Submit CASPA Application

Continue patient care hours (volunteer or paid position)

Year 4

Capstone


PA School Interviews


PA School Interviews

Take a break before PA School begins
Additional Coursework:
These courses depend on your major, completion of prerequisites and requirements for prospective PA schools.
PSYC 101: Psychology
MATH 118: Statistics (QL)
CHEM 223 or CHEM 345: Biochemistry
SOCI 241: Health, Illness, and Society (SH)

Language: TWO sequential courses in the same language

Key Content Areas
  • The  SCI requirements will likely be fulfilled with the above Pre-Health courses.
  • Please discuss any questions or uncertainties with your advisors.
Pre-Med Scholar Program

The Pre-Med Scholar Program is a partnership between Simmons University Pre-Health Advising and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's Emergency Medicine Department. This program pairs Simmons Pre-Med students with Physicians from BIDMC-EM's Women in Emergency Medicine organization to form a mentoring relationship for one academic year.

Rising Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors on the Pre-Med track are eligible to apply for the program.  The application to participate in the program for the 2018-2019 Academic Year is now closed.  Applications for the 2019-2020 Academic Year will be posted in Spring 2019. Pre-Med alumnae interested in applying may email advising@simmons.edu, for more information.

Requesting a Committee Letter

Students applying to Medical and Dental Schools often request a "Committee" or "Composite" Letter from their undergraduate institution. This letter summarizes the student’s letters of recommendation from faculty, employers, mentors, etc. and includes the Pre-Health Committee’s recommendation for that student to their professional school of choice. Please follow the following timeline to receive a Committee Letter from Simmons University.

Notes:

  • These are hard deadlines. If students miss deadlines, the Pre-Health Committee reserves the right to refuse a committee letter.
  • This timeline begins in January for students planning to submit applications medical/dental school in June.
  • The idea behind the self-assessment is both to provide the Pre-Health committee with background about the student and to encourage the student to think about their competitiveness as an applicant for the upcoming cycle.

Committee Letter Timeline

January 31st

Self-Assessment due. This Self-Assessment is meant to be a tool to help you prepare for the application process and assess your own readiness to apply. The Pre-Health Advisors encourage you to be thoughtful and self-reflective in your responses to best prepare for a strong personal statement, interview, and overall application. Students are encouraged to start using this document during their first or sophomore year as they prepare for medical or dental school.

Committee Letter Agreement due.

Send both documents to advising@simmons.edu.

March 15th

Personal statement draft due to Pre-Health committee. Send to advising@simmons.edu. It does not have to be a final draft, but the draft should be complete and well thought out.

Professor Selection for Committee Letter Interviews due. The Pre-Health Committee for your interview will be made up of Dr. Canfield, Sara Purisky, and up to 3 professors of your choice (at least one science, one non-science). Please email the professor names to advising@simmons.edu by this date (earlier is preferred).

Late March/Early April

Committee Letter Interviews.

April 15th

All letters of recommendation due to Pre-Health Committee. All letters must be sent directly from the recommender to advising@simmons.edu to be considered official. Hard copies may be sent to the Office of Undergraduate Advising in a sealed envelope from the recommender. Electronic letters are strongly preferred.

June 31st

Pre-Health Committee deadline to submit Committee Letters to AMCAS, AACOMAS, AADSAS, etc. Provided that the above deadlines are met, the Pre-Health Committee will commit to submitting letters between June 1st and June 31st. Please let us know early in the process when you plan to submit your AMCAS application so we can plan ahead.

PLEASE NOTE: We cannot submit a letter on your behalf until we receive your Application ID # and/or a request for a committee letter from the application service. Please be sure to send these requests as soon as you are able to access the application system (usually early May).