COURSES AND MAJORS @ WHITMAN
The health professions seek individuals from a variety of educational backgrounds. Whitman College does not offer ‘pre-med’, ‘pre-vet’, or any ‘pre-health’ major. We do offer a broad liberal arts and science education in conjunction with a rigorous major area of study in the natural sciences, arts, humanities, or social sciences. Clinicians must have the ability to communicate by speaking and writing effectively, to gather and analyze data, to continually update knowledge and skills, to work with a team of professionals, and to apply new information to the solution of scientific, clinical, and public health problems – all skills that can be acquired from a liberal arts education.
The majority of students choose one of our life science majors, biology or BBMB (Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology). However, over one third of our successful matriculants in medical or other health profession schools enter with majors beyond the life sciences, including Art, Chemistry, English, Foreign Languages (Spanish, French, German, Japanese), Geology, Music, Philosophy, Psychology, Religion, and Theater.
Although we will have students applying to a variety of professions, the largest group of students apply to allopathic, dental, osteopathic, and veterinary medicine programs. These schools require as a minimum:
• 2 semesters of introductory biology with laboratory
• 4 semesters of general and organic chemistry with laboratory
• 2 semesters of physics with laboratory
• 2 semesters of mathematics
• 1 semester of biochemistry
• 2 semesters of English writing or literature (in addition to Core).
We also recommend 2 semesters of social science (anthropology, economics, psychology, or sociology), ethics, and statistics.
Most nursing programs (BSN and MSN ) require:
• biology (microbiology, anatomy and physiology, nutrition)
• developmental psychology across the lifespan
For a detailed list of courses, when to take them, and prerequisites, download the
2010-11 Academic Advising information sheet
COURSES AND PROGRAMS FOR ALUMNI
If you have already graduated from Whitman and need to take prerequisite courses since you are changing career paths OR are looking to improve your academic record in the sciences, there are many post-baccalaureate programs available to assist students who already have earned a B.A. or B.S. degree.
See the Postbaccalaureate Premedical Programs site at
For more information on required and recommended coursework at Whitman or postbac programs, contact
Health Professions Advisor
(email@example.com; (509) 527-5228; Science 336)