Courses of Study

Your First Semester at Stonehill

If you enter Stonehill with the goal of attending professional health school, it is best to begin fulfilling your science prerequisites in your first year. However, if you are one of the many students who are unsure if health care is your chosen career path, you have the option of sampling science courses while exploring other academic avenues.

Exploring Majors

A student who declares a Biology, Chemistry, or Biochemistry major right away typically takes their cornerstone course requirements along with General Chemistry, Biological Principles I, and Calculus I in their first semester. However, if you are hesitant to declare a science major and would like to consider other avenues, you could postpone one of these courses and replace it with a course from another major. For example, if you postpone taking Calculus I, but still take Biological Principles I and General Chemistry, you would still get a good sense of whether a science major suits you, and you would have begun acquiring the knowledge you will need to prepare for your professional admissions exam as soon as possible.

The Flexibility of the Stonehill Curriculum

Like most other undergraduate institutions, Stonehill does not offer a pre-med major. However, Stonehill students who take the recommended course load for a Biology or Biochemistry major typically satisfy all prerequisite courses required for entrance into professional school by the end of their sophomore year. Beyond the core requirements of Biology and Biochemistry majors, you have the flexibility to choose upper-level science courses according to what you want to pursue after graduation. This flexibility also enables you to take additional courses in your junior and senior years that are recommended for sufficient preparation for the required entrance exam and for the course work in the first year of professional health school (e.g. Vertebrate Anatomy, Vertebrate Physiology, Embryology, Microbiology, Immunology).

Suggested Course List

Prerequisites vary from one professional health school to another.  The following is a list of recommended courses at Stonehill to fulfill the minimum prerequisites for most professional health programs:

  • General Biology with lab (8 credits – BIO 101 & 102)
  • General Chemistry with lab (8 credits – CHM 113 & 232)
  • Organic Chemistry with lab* (8 credits – CHM 221 & 222)
  • Physics with lab (8 credits – PHY 121 & 122, or PHY 201 & 202)
  • Microbiology** (4 credits – BIO 309)
  • Calculus*** (6 credits – MTH 125 & 126)
  • English – Literature/Writing (6 credits – GL 100 & a writing-intensive course)
  • Art/Humanities/Social Sciences (e.g., history, sociology, language, music, art, psychology, ethnic studies, anthropology; consult individual schools for specific requirements)

Biochemistry majors may take Organic Chemistry I  & Inorganic Chemistry (8 credits – CHM 221 & 244)
**  Microbiology is required for Optometry programs and suggested for others
*** Calculus is not always required for dental, podiatry, or chiropractic schools

The following courses may not be required by health professions schools but will provide additional content that is on the MCAT and the OAT:

  • Cell Biology (4 credits – BIO 211)
  • Genetics (4 credits – BIO 212)
  • Biochemistry with lab (3 credits – BCH 343 & 4 credits – BCH 345)
  • Anatomy & Physiology with lab (8 credits – BIO 103 & 104, or BIO 311 & 312)
  • General Psychology (3 credits – PSY 101)
  • Introduction to Sociology (3 credits – SOC 101)

The following courses are recommended to prepare you for the science courses taken in the first-year of most health professions schools:

  • Molecular Biology (4 credits – BIO 304)
  • Microbiology (4 credits – BIO 309)
  • Developmental Biology (4 credits – BI 310) 

It is also strongly recommended that students interested in entering a health professions field take several courses offered by the Health Care Administration Department.  The healthcare field is now your industry, not just your career. Understand the basics of finance, insurance, how physicians are paid, healthcare legislation, etc.