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Prospective Pre-Professional Students

Greetings from Johns Hopkins!

I am delighted to hear that you are interested in the health or law professions and the preparation that Johns Hopkins affords. My name is David Verrier and direct the Office of Pre-Professional Programs and Advising. We serve current students and alumni who are pursuing career interests in the healthcare or law professions. Our role is to help you make informed decisions in such areas as pre-health course planning, securing relevant experience, overcoming obstacles, and navigating the application process. Through their in- and out-of-class education, our students receive a superior education in preparation for entry to the health and law professions.

David Verrier, Ph.D., Director,
Office of Pre-Professional Programs and Advising

Prerequisites For Health Professions Schools

While there is no required major for entrance in to a health professions school, there are many skills, abilities, and values you can develop during your undergraduate years to help you succeed. Among them are:

  • Mastery of basic scientific principles
  • Demonstration of a broad exposure to the humanities and social sciences
  • Mastery of life-long learning skills
  • An understanding of the physician-patient relationship
  • Demonstration of desired personal traits such as maturity, integrity, compassion, empathy, and leadership
  • Establishment of relationships with faculty members
  • Demonstration of caring for fellow human beings
  • Demonstration of an understanding of the health care profession of choice
  • Demonstration of a commitment to public service

Pre-Medical Coursework

In addition to the courses you must pursue to complete degree and university requirements, premedical students at Johns Hopkins are advised to take the courses necessary in preparation for the 2015 MCAT as well as work to fulfill the admission requirements of the majority of medical/dental schools in the U.S. It is, however, simply not possible for you to cover every pre-medical requirement for U.S. medical schools. We recommend that Johns Hopkins students pursue the following coursework (or the equivalent of):

  • 2 courses in general (inorganic) chemistry with associated labs
  • 2 courses in organic chemistry with associated lab (a separate course at JHU, a 3 credit Organic Chemistry lab)
  • 2 courses in biology with associated labs
  • 1 course in biochemistry (no associated lab necessary if not required for major)
  • 2 courses in general physics with associated labs (Calculus I and II are co-requisites for General Physics I & II at JHU)
  • 2 courses in mathematics (one of the courses should be an introductory-level course in statistics)
  • 2 courses that emphasize English and/or writing

Note: A course in psychology, sociology and any one of the areas of ethics, philosophy, cross-cultural studies, and population health are recommended, regardless of the discipline.  Not only will the pursuit of such academic areas impact performance on the MCAT, but will also provide a broad and relevant foundation for medical school.

To explore in more detail, go to Guide One: Pre-Med and Pre-Health Planning at Johns Hopkins.

Prerequisites For Law School

The American Bar Association (ABA) has developed a statement on pre-law preparation which addresses the course of study as well as the skills necessary to gain admission to law school and to be a successful lawyer.�The statement emphasizes that there is no single path that will prepare you for a legal education.

Students enter law school from widely different educational and experiential backgrounds. As undergraduates, some have majored in subjects considered to be traditional paths to law school:

  • History
  • English
  • Political science
  • Philosophy
  • Economics
  • International Relations

Others have focused their undergraduate studies on such diverse areas as a) Art, b) Engineering, c) Computer science, and d) Music.

Although the ABA does not recommend any particular group of undergraduate majors or courses that should be taken to prepare for legal education, there are significant skills, values, and bodies of knowledge that are strongly emphasized:

  • Analytic and problem-solving skills
  • Critical reading abilities
  • Writing skills
  • Oral communication and listening abilities
  • General research skills
  • Organization and management skills
  • Foreign language skills
  • The value of serving the interests of others while promoting justice

Types of knowledge that can be useful in resolving disputes include the following:

  • Broad understanding of history
  • Fundamental understanding of political thought
  • Basic understanding of ethical theory and theories of justice
  • Grounding in economics
  • Basic mathematic and financial skills
  • Basic understanding of human behavior
  • Understanding of diverse cultures within the United States and of international issues
  • Having excellent interpersonal skills and an overall interest in helping others

To learn more about how to prepare for and apply to law school, go to "The Law School Option".

In Closing

Our office is here to provide guidance throughout your undergraduate experience, whether seeking information about academic planning, volunteer opportunities, internships, relevant work experiences, the medical, health, or law school application process and selecting specific schools.

Contact Information:

Office of Pre-Professional Advising
Suite 300 Garland Hall

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