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Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology
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Pre-Med Program

Rensselaer students who are interested in medicine can major in almost any subject, but chemistry provides an excellent foundation.

Applicants to medical school who have a chemistry major do very well relative to other disciplines. Statistics from 2003 medical school admissions nationwide indicate that 53% of applicants from the physical sciences (which includes Chemistry) were successful, as were 52% from Humanities and Social Sciences and 47% from the biological sciences. Medical school requirements usually include:

  • two semesters of general chemistry that includes lab
  • two semesters of organic chemistry that includes lab
  • two semesters of biology that includes lab
  • two semesters of physics that includes lab
  • two semesters of English

The science requirements are met by the courses already required by the Chemistry major, and the English requirement can be met as part of the Institute H&SS requirement through courses listed as LITR-, COMM-, or WRIT-. The MCAT exams include material based on courses in general psychology, statistics, and microbiology, so these are desirable additional courses that can be taken as electives.

All Rensselaer pre-medical students, no matter what their major, have personalized counseling about courses and activities that will enhance their prospects for admission to medical school.

Dr. Michael Hanna of the Biology Department is chair of the Pre-Health Professions Committee. This committee meets with each student for an interview and assists in preparing a letter of recommendation for medical or dental school. In addition to faculty support, the Rensselaer Premedical Society and Alpha Epsilon Delta post information about seminars, courses, exams, and other events and services of interest to the premedical student.

Dr. Scott Bello is a former Chemistry major from Rensselaer who is now a practicing MD and participates in our undergraduate teaching program as an adjunct professor. He would be happy to answer questions about medicine from prospective Chemistry majors. His email address is


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