Requirements of Professional Schools

Students applying to professional schools are encouraged to pursue a challenging curriculum and maintain an excellent academic record. They may choose to major in any discipline of their choice but must meet certain common required courses. Requirements for admission to each individual professional program are unique to that school and students are strongly advised to review the website for each school to which they anticipate applying. The professional school associations each maintain a list of the programs and links to their individual sites. Many universities are supported publicly and residents of that state are given a high priority for acceptance; a significant number do not admit non-residents and most do not admit foreign/international applicants. The AAMC/AACOM (medicine) and ADEA (dentistry), publish books useful to students when trying to compare the various colleges of medicine and dentistry.

All professional programs expect students to excel in a curriculum that includes a broad range of courses encompassing many disciplines including but not limited to:

  • English Composition and Literature
  • Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Biological Science
  • General Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Physics

Many professional schools have specific expectations about where and what courses a student should take in preparation for their programs. FIU accepts transfer credit from all Community Colleges and Universities of the Florida State System and courses numbered under the Statewide Course Numbering System. Students deciding which courses to take prior to transferring from a community college to FIU may wish read more extensively on this topic.

At FIU, students preparing for the health professions are dominantly composed of students who major in Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Physics and Biomedical Engineering. Other majors, such as Psychology, Sociology, and majors in the humanities, business, nursing and other disciplines, are also chosen and successfully pursued by students seeking entrance to medical, dental, pharmacy, or other health professions. The sciences provide the greatest overlap between the curriculum of the student's major and the course requirements of their professional programs.

Most professional schools do not allow students to repeat a course without penalty. U.S. Medical and Dental schools average all coursework into the applicant's GPA. However, Osteopathic schools average only the last attempt of a course when computing GPA. For Medical school applicants the GPA is calculated for all Science Courses (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics) separately from All Other courses; again Osteopathic programs identify science courses differently from MD schools. Medical school applicants are well advised to maintain a high GPA in both science and non-science coursework that is near or above 3.5 in order to be competitive for application. Other professional programs have their own expectations and students are advised to review these. In general, it is rare that a student would be accepted to a professional school with a GPA that is not well above 3.0 in both the Sciences and all other course areas. You may use the GPA Calculator to determine your own Science and All Other GPA.

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