Pre-Health Courses

Medical schools have been revising their required courses to reflect the changing nature of medicine, and many are placing an increased emphasis on a broad-based liberal arts education instead of merely a checklist of science courses. For example, preparing for medical school now includes courses in sociology, psychology, and intercultural communication. In addition to course offerings from Science and Mathematics, the Social and Behavioral Sciences concentration, and a full semester of study abroad, our Life Sciences courses will also help prepare students for their applications to medical school and health-affiliated programs.

Chemistry Foundations. The introduction to science at Soka that includes quantitative skills and a rich project-based laboratory research experience in drug design.

Integrated Biology and Chemistry. An innovative interdisciplinary course focused on the molecular biology of cancer and the underlying chemistry of cell biology. The integration will develop increased understanding and direct application of essential concepts in both biology and chemistry. Laboratory research will focus on cancer biology using model systems.

Single Semesters Each of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry. Rather than a traditional one-year organic chemistry course designed for students pursuing chemistry careers, integrating relevant topics from both organic chemistry and biochemistry allows for better focus on students pursuing careers in the health sciences.

Single Semesters Each of Physics for Life Sciences and Biophysics. Rather than offering physics courses to prepare engineers, these courses will feature applications of physics in a biological context.

Sample Schedules

First Year

  • Fall semester
    • GE and electives: Language I, Writing 101, Pacific Basin
    • Pre-Health: Foundations of Chemistry
  • Spring semester
    • GE and Electives: Language II, American Experience
    • Pre-Health: IBC, Sociology/Psychology

Second Year

  • Fall semester
    • GE and electives: Language III, Modes of Inquiry
    • Pre-Health: Calculus
    • Pre-Health and Life Sciences: Organic Chemistry
  • Spring semester
    • GE and electives: Language IV, Core II, Wellness
    • Pre-Health: Physics for Life Science
    • Pre-Health and Life Sciences: Biochemistry

Third Year

  • Fall semester
    • Study abroad
  • Spring semester
    • GE and electives: Writing 301/305, Concentration elective
    • Pre-health and Life Sciences: Biophysics
    • Life Sciences: PBL

Fourth Year

  • Fall semester
    • GE and electives: Creative Arts, Elective
    • Pre-Health and Life Sciences: Bio elective
    • Pre-Health: Statistics
  • Spring semester
    • GE and electives: Creativity Forum, Elective, Elective
    • Life Sciences: Capstone 450

First Year

  • Fall semester
    • GE and Electives: Language I, Writing 101, Pacific Basin
    • Pre-Health: Chem Found
  • Spring semester
    • GE and Electives: Language II, American Experience
    • Pre-Health: IBC, Sociology/Psychology

Second Year

  • Fall semester
    • GE and electives: Language III, Modes of Inquiry
    • Pre-Health: Calculus, Organic Chemistry
  • Spring semester
    • GE and electives: Language IV, Core II, Wellness
    • Concentration: Elective
    • Pre-Health: Biochemistry

Third Year

  • Fall semester
    • Study abroad
  • Spring semester
    • GE and electives: Writing 301/305
    • Concentration: Elective
    • Pre-health: Biophysics, Physics for Life Science

Fourth Year

  • Fall semester
    • GE and electives: Creative Arts
    • Concentration: Elective
    • Pre-health: Bio elective, Statistics
  • Spring semester
    • GE and electives: Creativity Forum
    • Concentration: Capstone 450, Elective, Elective

Advisory Board Members and Specialists

Associate provost of National University of Singapore and former professor at UCSF and Duke-NUS Medical School, Kamei, a licensed pediatrician, is one of the founders of the educational program at Duke-NUS and developed new forms of team-based learning and assessment that is being emulated worldwide. 

Linton serves as associate dean of admissions at Duke University Medical school, and is licensed in pediatric emergency medicine. His work includes all phases of medical education and practice, as well as admissions and curriculum design for medical schools. 

Richard Lewis is chair of the psychology department at Pomona College, and has directed its pre-medical advising program for over 15 years. He was part of a national advisory committee that recently redesigned the MCAT examination.