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Health Sciences Office

Health Sciences Office

Department Overview

The Health Sciences Office serves Swarthmore students and alums who are interested in the health professions.

Swarthmore graduates are represented at 57 medical schools in 23 states in the U.S., including such top schools as Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Penn, Stanford, Washington University, and many fine state universities. The College's acceptance rate is substantially higher than the national acceptance rate.

In addition, Swarthmore graduates are currently attending  Penn's school of veterinary medicine and NYU and Temple'e dental schools.

Swarthmore students are not "premeds" or "prevets" in the conventional sense. The College does not offer a "premed major," or a prescribed premedical, predental, or preveterinary curriculum. It offers instead an exceptionally strong science program with first-hand laboratory experience and close faculty/student interaction — which, in fact, has trained four Nobel laureates and many National Science Foundation award recipients.

Academic Preparation

While many students planning a medical career decide to major in biology or chemistry, others elect to concentrate in one of the humanities or social sciences, while structuring their overall program to fulfill medical school requirements. The following courses are part of a typical program:

  • Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • Organismal and Population Biology
  • General Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry I and II
  • Biological Chemistry
  • English
  • Calculus I and Statistics
  • General Physics I and II
  • Introductory Psychology
  • Indroductory Sociology 

As veterinary and dental schools have more variable requirements, in addition to those listed above, prevet and predental students should meet with Gigi Simeone, the Health Sciences Advisor, to plan their programs.

The staff of the Health Sciences Office is available to any student or alum considering a career in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or other health professions. The Health Sciences Advisor counsels students throughout their undergraduate years and beyond, and assists them in the process of application for graduate training. The Office also prepares recommendations for students applying to professional schools.

The Health Sciences Office publishes the Guide to Premedical Studies at Swarthmore College and Frequently Asked Questions for Premedical Students to help new students plan their academic program and understand what schools look for in applicants. For students considering veterinary school, we also distribute Frequently Asked Questions for Preveterinary Students at the orientation meeting for students interested in the health professions.

The Health Sciences Advisor welcomes questions from prospective students. Call Gigi Simeone at 610-328-8589 or e-mail at