Academic Advising

Science/Pre-Health Majors

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Science/Pre-Health Majors

First Semester Orientation Advice from the Health Professions Office

Common Requirements

Most of the science majors and health professions tracks require the following common courses:

Most professional programs also require at least two semesters of English Composition and one semester of Mathematics. Many require or strongly recommend additional courses in subjects such as Microbiology, Anatomy/Physiology, Genetics, Biochemistry, Economics, Spanish, Public Speaking, and Psychology. Start researching schools early to ensure you finish the required courses in time to apply for Professional School. The Health Professions Advising website is a great place to start.

The pre-professional courses may or may not be courses that also count towards your degree. As a pre-health professions student, you do not have to major in a Natural Science (Biology, Chemistry, etc.). You can major in anything you'd like, so we recommend that you major in something you enjoy! No matter what you major in, remember that the courses listed are the minimum requirements for the health professions; you'll need to meet all University and College requirements in order to obtain a degree.

Your First Semester at USF

Most science and pre-health professions freshmen have the following schedule for their first semester:

Generally, students take 13 to 15 hours their first semester, and then gradually increase to a heavier load. Twelve hours is the minimum required to be full time, and you can always increase your load the following semester. Since these courses will provide the foundation for your academic success, don't make the mistake of trying to take more than 15 hours your first semester - give yourself time to adjust to USF. Keep in mind that if you have Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or dual enrollment credits, your schedule will vary somewhat from the above. Students admitted into the University Honors College will also have different schedules.

If you have dual enrollment, Advanced Placement (AP), or International Baccalaureate (IB) credits, contact your College's Orientation/Registration Coordinator to ensure you are not registered for courses that you have already completed. If you are a Honors College student you should contact the program advisor directly.

How Your First Semester Courses Are Chosen

Placement in most of your classes is based on departmental SAT/ACT guidelines, with some consideration given to your high school experience. The State of Florida also has laws governing remedial classes.

The state cutoff scores are:

Test      
SAT Verbal - 440   Quantitative - 440
ACT English - 17 Reading - 18 Mathematics - 19
CPT English - 83 Reading - 83 Mathematics - 72
General Education Courses

All students, regardless of major, are required to take the same number of general education courses (12). Usually you'll complete these courses by the end of your sophomore year. For your first semester, your College's Orientation/Registration Coordinator has chosen one 1000- or 2000-level course from the following categories:

Review the on-line Schedule of Classes for a complete listing of the courses that satisfy each of these requirements to select courses from the approved General Education list that interest you. We have chosen courses in these area but, we encourage you to choose classes from the categories that are interesting to you. Students who are not taking Chemistry should plan to take two of these courses during their first semester.

Please note if you took both the ACT and the SAT, you should use the highest score from each section to determine your placement. For example, if you earned a 15 on the math portion of the ACT, but a 490 on the math portion of the SAT, you should choose MAC 1105 for your math course. Please see the tables above, or see an advisor if you have questions.

English and Reading Placement - All students are required to complete two semesters of English Composition (ENC 1101 and ENC 1102). Students with lower test scores may also be required to take a Reading course. ENC 1101 and 1102 are 3 hours each; Prep Writing and Lab (ENC 0020) and Prep Reading and Lab (REA 0002) are both 5 hours.

Test Scores Appropriate Course(s) Note
SAT Below 440 ENC 0020 AND REA 0002 (5 hours each) offered through Hillsborough Community College at USF Required Remediation
ACT Reading - Below 17 REA 0002 (5 hours) offered through Hillsborough Community College at USF Required Remediation
ACT English - Below 16 ENC 0020 (5 hours) offered through Hillsborough Community College at USF Required Remediation
ACT English - 17 or Higher ENC 1101  
SAT 440 or Higher ENC 1101  

Chemistry Placement - At USF, Chemistry I is a prerequisite or corequisite for Biology I, so most freshmen science or pre-med majors take a Chemistry course their first semester. General Chemistry I (CHM 2045) has historically not had a very high pass rate, so we suggest a preparatory Chemistry course, Chemistry for Today, for most students. Chemistry for Today (CHM 2023) helps most students increase their knowledge of basic concepts and prepares them to succeed in General Chemistry I next semester.

Test Math Scores Appropriate Course(s)

SAT

ACT

Below 490

Below 21

No Chemistry first semester; register for two general education classes instead

SAT

ACT

490 - 530

21 - 23

CHM 2023 (4 hours)

SAT

ACT

540 or higher

24 or higher

and High School Chemistry

CHM 2045, CHM 2045L (4 hours)

Students majoring in Environmental Science and Policy, Geology, Math, or Physics should contact their College's Orientation/Registration Coordinator about science course placement.

Math Placement - All science majors require at least one semester of Calculus, but most freshmen must take at least two math course before entering the Calculus appropriate for their major. For detailed descriptions of the following courses, please visit http://math.usf.edu/ug/courses/

Test Scores Appropriate Course(s) Note

SAT

ACT

Below 440

Below 19

MAT 0024 offered through Hillsborough Community College (5 hours)at USF Required Remediation

SAT

ACT

440 - 480

19 - 20

MAT 1033 offered through Hillsborough Community College (3 hours) at USF  

SAT

ACT

490 - 540

21 - 23

MAC 1105 (3 hours)  

SAT

ACT

550 - 640

24 - 28

MAC 1114 (2 hours) For majors in Biology, Biomedical Science, Environmental Science and Policy, Microbiology, Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences, and Premedical Sciences

SAT

ACT

550 - 640

24 - 28

MAC 1147 (4 hours) For majors in Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics, and Physics

SAT

ACT

650 or Higher

29 or Higher

Calculus course determined by major advisor  

University Experience - Many students find that they are interested in taking a course that introduces them to the many benefits and services USF offers. At USF, this course is University Experience (SLS 1101). More information about the course is online at http://www.ugs.usf.edu/ue/ue.htm.

Questions?
Contact your Orientation/Registration Coordinator:

Departmental Advising

Sample Schedules

Student with SAT scores of 500 Verbal and 510 Math, no dual enrollment or AP:

Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
ENC 1101 Composition I 3 Hours
MAC 1105 College Algebra 3 Hours
CHM 2023 Chemistry for Today 4 Hours
PSY 2012 Psychology I 3 Hours
IDS 2931 Survey of Health Professions 2 Hours
  Total 15 Hours

Student with ACT scores of 15 English, 22 Reading, 20 Math, no dual enrollment or AP:

Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
ENC 0020 Prep Writing 5 Hours
MAT 1033 Intermediate Algebra 3 Hours
AMH 2010 American History I 3 Hours
IDS 2931 Survey of Health Professions 2 Hours
  Total 13 Hours

Student with SAT scores of 600 Verbal, 650 Math, AP credit for Composition I:

Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
CHM 2045 General Chemistry I 3 Hours
CHM 2045L General Chemistry I Lab 1 Hour
MAC 2241 Life Sciences Calculus 4 Hours
ENC 1102 Composition II 3 Hours
IDS 2931 Survey of Health Professions 2 Hours
  Total 13 Hours