Premedical and Health Studies

NYU Abu Dhabi, like most American colleges and universities, does not offer a pre-medical, pre-dental, or pre-health major. Nevertheless, NYU Abu Dhabi successfully prepares students to apply to a variety of health professional schools. The health professions provide many challenging and rewarding opportunities: these include clinical careers in medicine, dentistry, and physical therapy, as well as non-clinical careers in health education and research.

It is important for students to understand that pre-professional training does not require students to major in science or math. Students may elect to major in any discipline, as long as they complete the pre-medical coursework at the same time. Students are advised to choose a disciplinary major that they will enjoy and in which they will excel. Students with interests or talents outside of the sciences will best be able to demonstrate their versatility and increase their chances of doing well by pursuing a major of interest alongside the pre-health curriculum.

In order to apply to health-related professional schools, students do typically need to have completed courses in introductory biology, chemistry, and physics. At NYU Abu Dhabi, these are satisfied in the Foundations of Science sequence, which is a rigorous three-semester, an integrated course that covers the fundamentals of basic science. In addition to introductory science courses, health professional schools, including medical schools, often require two semesters of math, one of which must be calculus; two semesters of upper-level chemistry classes, typically organic chemistry I and biochemistry; and two semesters of English, including writing. NYU Abu Dhabi offers courses that fulfill all of these requirements. In recent years, medical schools have placed an increasing emphasis on the importance of the social sciences, so students are highly encouraged to also take a course in psychology, sociology, or other social sciences.

Complementing their coursework, students gain practical experience by volunteering, shadowing, or interning in a clinical setting. This builds a commitment to service and humanistic endeavors. The ability to conduct thoughtful and critical research is highly valued by medical schools. NYUAD students develop their research skills with an NYUAD faculty member. Beyond this, applicants are also expected to be leaders through their involvement in on-campus activities and programs. Above all, the best professional schools want students with a broad education who can think clearly, read critically, and write well. To get more details on Core competencies required for students interested in the health professions, please contact the pre-professional advisor in the Career Development Center.

Students’ faculty mentors and pre-professional advisors will help them to explore their options, advise them about programs and appropriate course selection, and help them to present the best possible application to professional schools.

Suggested Courses for Application to Medical Studies

The following are the basic set requirements most medical schools in the United States request; however, specific medical schools might have additional requirements or modifications to those listed here. Students should consult with the pre-medical advisor for more information.

Essential Courses

  • Foundations of Science 1-6
    (Note: This covers the pre-med requirements of one year of general biology, one year of general chemistry, one year of general physics, and one year of lab work in each of those areas.)
  • Organic Chemistry 1 and 2
  • Calculus or Calculus with Applications

Recommended Courses

  • Organismal Biology
  • Biochemistry 1 and 2
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Statistics for the Social and Behavioral Sciences (or an alternative statistics class)
  • Global Burden of Non-communicable Diseases

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