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Q & A about Potential Math Requirements

Q: I am premed; do I need to take math or more specifically statistics?

A: Over 50 medical schools require one or two semesters of mathematics (college math, calculus, and/or statistics). At many of these schools, any two math courses (including many statistics courses) would meet this requirement. Some medical schools will accept AP credit in math if it is listed on your transcript. If you have AP credit listed on your transcript it is recommended that you follow these courses with at least one college level course. There are also some medical schools that recommend you take a mathematics course. For more information on a specific school's policy please check the Medical School Admissions Requirements book (MSAR) or visit the school’s website; to find a list of schools and their websites visit the AAMC’s Medical School Directory.

Q: Which math course should I take if the schools I am interested in applying to require calculus?

A: You should consult with the chair of the Math department to determine the best course for you take based on your background in math.

One of the skills assessed on the MCAT is "Data-based and Statistical Reasoning”; therefore, if these concepts are not covered in other courses that you may take at the college, it is recommended that you take a statistics course to prepare you for the content on the MCAT.

Q: Which stats course should I take in preparation for the MCAT?

A: Any of the following courses should provide you with adequate knowledge to prepare for the MCAT:

Visit Stats at Vassar for more information.

Math 141 / Biology 141: Introduction to Statistical Reasoning

Math 240: Introduction to Statistics

Psyc 200: Statistics & Experimental Design

Econ 209: Probability & Statistics

Q: Which course should I take to satisfy a “statistics” requirement at a particular medical school?

A: Any one of the stats courses listed above would likely satisfy a “statistics” requirement at most medical schools. Please keep in mind that Vassar College does not determine which courses should meet premedical course requirements. Each medical school sets its own rules regarding courses they will accept. If you have any doubt about whether a course will fulfill a requirement at a particular school, you should check with the admission offices of the medical schools in question; a good place to start is with your state schools.

For more information about preparing for medical school at Vassar College visit our website dedicated the Health Professions.