Your academic performance can inform admissions representatives about your intellectual curiosity, problem-solving skills, and your ability to manage a rigorous course load with multiple demands on your time. While it is important to demonstrate your proficiency in the sciences, you should also be aware of keeping a balanced schedule to ensure your best academic performance.
Choosing a Major
You do not need to major in the sciences – but you do need to demonstrate that you can handle upper level science coursework. Choose a major that you are interested in and find time to take upper level science courses.
Review the complete list of Kalamazoo College Programs by Division.
Is there a pre-health major? No, there is not a pre-health major. We encourage you to major in whatever you are most interested in, and the college will work with you to balance your schedule with pre-requisite courses for health and medicine professional schools. The pre-requisite courses prepare you for admissions tests and they serve as a foundation for the graduate level coursework to come.
Is it ok to major in a non-science? Absolutely! You can major in ANYTHING as an undergraduate and apply to a health or medical school. You have to be strategic and work in the pre-requisites for the professional program you are interested in, but it is very manageable.
Is there a benefit for students applying to medical school to pursue a humanities major? Many health and medical professional schools are looking for well-rounded students who excel in science and non-science areas. Humanities and Social Science courses help to develop critical thinking, reading, writing and communication skills – all valuable to careers in healthcare.
Can I double major as a pre-health student? Will this make me a stronger applicant? Every student must complete a major and some students elect to declare a minor, concentration, or second major, although those are optional. While double majoring can be beneficial to students (if there is a reason behind the double major), double majoring alone does not make students a stronger applicant.
Do I have to decide to be pre-health immediately? No, but if you considering a health or medicine related career, it may be a good idea to start working on pre-requisites. The Careers in Health and Medicine office works with students at any stage of their pre-health journey until they are ready to apply to their professional program.
What is a Concentration? A concentration is not required for graduation, but may be used to strengthen a knowledge base different from or complementary to the required major program. Below is information about two common concentrations offered at Kalamazoo College that health and medicine students often take advantage of.
Community and Global Health Concentration
The Community and Global Health (CGHL) interdisciplinary concentration enables students to broadly explore the determinants and consequences of individual and community health, critically examine relevant global, national, and local policies and programs, learn theories and methodologies important to the study of public health, and gain and apply practical skills through community-based courses and projects, internships, study abroad, and/or research. Coursework and experiences in the concentration emphasize the importance of structures and systems that shape wellness, longevity, disease, and disability, and their disproportionate distribution across gender, race, class, sexual and gender identity, nationality, statelessness, incarceration or documentation status, and place of residence. With an emphasis on our collective and individual responsibility to advance health equity, the concentration prepares students, as engaged members of their communities, to recognize the spectrum of contemporary global health issues and to exercise intellectual and practical skills in response. It also prepares students interested in careers in public health or human, dental, or veterinary medicine and the allied health professions for graduate and professional school.
For more information regarding the CGHL concentration, contact Alison Geist at Alison.Geist@kzoo.edu.
Core Competency Connections: Coming Soon
Neuroscience, an academic discipline concerned with investigation of nervous system structure and function, has been a cornerstone of biology since the turn of the 20th century. Modern biological examination of the brain and behavior of organisms has incorporated other fields of inquiry, namely biochemistry, psychology, physics, mathematics, computational modeling, and philosophy, making neuroscience a truly interdisciplinary effort. A concentration in neuroscience is offered for advanced students who want to study at the confluence of these traditional disciplines.
Core Competency Connections: Coming Soon
The Careers in Health and Medicine Office advocates for studying abroad and works collaboratively with the Center for International Programs to help you find a suitable experience. As a pre-health student, you should not miss the opportunity to study abroad. Besides enhancing your academic qualifications, studying abroad is considered by many professional schools to be a valuable experience that:
- promotes an increased understanding of the world and your place in it,
- adds to your maturity,
- may develop your knowledge of a foreign language, and
- provides you with valuable skills that help you be a competitive applicant.
Choosing the right program is the first step and then planning is the key. Kalamazoo College offers unique opportunities to study abroad while making progress towards your degree. Please consult with the Careers in Health and Medicine office regarding taking any health and medicine admissions requirements abroad.
Core Competency Connections
- Social Skills
- Cultural Competence
- Ethical Responsibility to Self and Others
- Resilience and Adaptability
Taking Courses Outside of K
If the program you are preparing for has prerequisites that K College doesn’t offer, most commonly human anatomy and physiology, you may take them at Western Michigan University under our inter-institutional enrollment arrangement with them. The Registrar’s office can help you with the proper procedure and forms. You must be registered for an on-campus quarter and this would be considered as part of your normal course load. This is done on a space-available basis so plan ahead and make your arrangements early. The cost is included in your K tuition and the grades will appear on your K transcript and be calculated into your K GPA.
Michigan Guest Student Enrollment
If you wish to take a class during a period in which you are not enrolled at K College, i.e. during the summer, you may arrange to take classes at another Michigan college or university. These credits are treated as a transfer and you must obtain pre-approval from the program or department if the class is used to fulfill a major, minor or concentration requirement. The student assumes responsibility for the associated tuition and fees. The forms may be obtained from the Registrar’s office.
The grades from your undergraduate transcripts (from all undergraduate institutions) will be evaluated in 2 ways: the cumulative GPA and the BCPM GPA. The BCPM GPA includes all Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Math courses taken as an undergraduate. Courses that are cross-listed with a BCPM designation MAY be counted towards your BCPM.