Pre-Health Program


Associate Dean for Pre-Professional Advising

E-mail Melinda


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. The goal is for students to feel connected, integrated, and supported by our pre-health community of students, faculty, and staff.

At Sarah Lawrence, conference work provides students with additional opportunities to organize original research projects, pursue independent learning, and critically examine professional literature—skills fundamental to future success in medical and health professional schools. Students in the program have significant contact with the Pre-Health dean and faculty members through conferences, coursework, and independent research. The Pre-Health dean, Office of Career Services, and faculty members also serve as resources for information regarding course selection and sequencing, research and clinical opportunities within the community, application preparation, and mock interviews.

Prerequisites and Recommended Classes

To meet the course requisites for the majority of health professional schools in the United States, students supplement 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 coursework 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, etc.), please consult with the Pre-Health dean and the individual programs’ admissions websites as prerequisites may vary.
More information about academic preparation for health professional programs, specifically medical school, can be found on the Pre-Health MySLC site.

Orientations, Workshops, Guest Speakers, and Other Programs

Each year, the Pre-Health Program offers an array of workshops and programs to guide and support Pre-Health students and alumni. During orientation week, the Pre-Health dean, along with faculty and current students, hosts a session for all incoming students. Throughout the year, there are several workshops and programs geared towards supporting students and alumni preparing for their application to medical school.

Committee Letter of Evaluation

All Sarah Lawrence students and alumni applying to medical and dental schools are eligible to receive a Committee Letter of Evaluation. This institutional letter, written by a pre-health committee that includes faculty with a thorough and personal knowledge of the applicant, serves to holistically assesses an applicant’s level of preparedness and fit for entry into his/her desired health professional program. Our Committee Letter of Evaluation is highly valued by health professional schools' admissions committees.

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 medical or dental programs (for example, applicants wishing to apply to medical school in the summer of 2019 to matriculate in 2020, must inform the Pre-Health dean of their intent to apply in fall 2018). For more information, please contact the Pre-Health dean, Melinda Perlo Cohen, at

What To Do Next

All Pre-Health students and alumni interested in pursuing a career in the health professions are welcome and encouraged to to schedule an appointment with Melinda Perlo Cohen, Pre-Health dean. Get in touch with Melinda at or 914.395.2249.