Pre-Health Program

The pre-health program in the Dean of Studies office strives to guide and support students each step of the way as they explore and pursue a career in the health professions. Through individual advising, group advising sessions, workshops, and programming, as well as collaboration with various offices around campus, the pre-health program provides students with a rich array of academic and advising resources and support throughout the year. The goal is for students to feel connected, integrated, and supported by our pre-health community of students, faculty, and staff.

Academic Preparation

Admissions committees for health-professional schools will look for academically successful applicants who have the demonstrated the ability to manage the rigor of a science-based curriculum. Committees will view your cumulative grade point average (GPA), as well as the science/BCPM (biology, chemistry, physics, math) GPA, as a primary way of assessing your ability to succeed academically. Other considerations include trends in your academic performance; the rigor, diversity and selection of your courses; and research or scholarly work.

To meet the course requisites for the majority of health-professional schools in the United States, students supplement the required courses in biology, chemistry, and physics with additional courses offered by the division, as well as courses in social sciences and the humanities. This course work will also prepare students to successfully complete the standardized entrance exams (e.g., MCAT, DAT) required by medical and dental schools. In addition, conference work provides students with opportunities to develop original research projects, pursue independent learning, and critically examine professional literature—skills fundamental to future success in health-professional programs.

The majority of medical and dental programs in the United States require applicants to successfully complete the following courses:

  • 2 semesters of general chemistry with labs
  • 2 semesters of organic chemistry with labs
  • 1 semester of biochemistry
  • 2 semesters of general biology with labs
  • 1 semester of upper-level biology (optional)
  • 2 semesters of physics with labs
  • 2 semesters of writing and/or English (at least one course in addition to your first-year seminar)
  • 1-2 semesters of calculus and/or statistics
  • 1-2 courses in social or behavioral sciences

For students interested in pursuing veterinary medicine, physician assistant, nursing, or other allied health programs (e.g., physical therapy, occupational therapy), please consult with the pre-health dean and the individual program’s admissions website, as prerequisites may vary.

More information about academic preparation for health-professional programs, specifically medical school, can be found in the MySLC pre-health advising folder within the Dean of Studies page.

Committee Letter of Evaluation

All Sarah Lawrence students and alumni applying to medical or dental schools are eligible to receive a committee letter of evaluation. This institutional letter, written by faculty members with a thorough and personal knowledge of the applicant, serves to holistically assess an applicant’s level of preparedness and fitness for entry into his/her desired health-professional program. Our committee letter of evaluation is highly valued by health-professional school admissions committees. The committee letter incorporates individual letters of recommendation requested by the applicant.

Applicants wishing to receive a committee letter of evaluation must declare their intent to apply in the fall semester prior to the summer in which they plan to apply to a medical or dental program. For example, applicants wishing to apply to medical school in the summer of 2019 in order to matriculate in 2020 must inform the pre-health dean in the fall of 2018 regarding their intent to apply. Please see the pre-health MySLC folder for additional information about the committee letter of evaluation and application deadlines.

Academic and Advising Resources

Students in the pre-health program have significant contact with the pre-health dean, as well as with faculty members in the science division, through individual and group advising sessions, conferences, course work, independent research, and pre-professional programming. These individuals also serve as resources for information regarding research and volunteer opportunities on campus and within the community, as well as regarding the application process for health-professional programs. You are strongly encouraged to meet with your don and/or the pre-health dean to discuss how to best schedule the pre-health course prerequisites throughout your time at Sarah Lawrence College. See separate entries for specific course descriptions in biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, psychology, sociology, literature, and writing.


Additional information about the pre-health program may be found in the MySLC pre-health advising folder (within the Dean of Studies page) or by contacting the pre-health dean, Melinda Perlo Cohen, at or 914-395-2249.

Pre-Health Program 2023-2024 Courses