Why Vanderbilt's medical school is dropping science requirements

Nashville, Tenn.-based Vanderbilt University School of Medicine will not require a set number of core premedical courses, effective for the class of 2016, according to the Vanderbilt Hustler.

The school is dropping "requirements" in favor of "recommendations" to account for applicants' diverse undergraduate experiences, according to the report.

Instead of a set number of requirements, the medical school will encourage students to demonstrate competency in biology, chemistry/biochemistry, mathematics/statistics and physics, in addition to social sciences and communication.

Competency in the four science-related categories — biology, chemistry/biochemistry, mathematics/statistics and physics — will be determined by "triangulating a student's academic achievement, MCAT performance, and letters of evaluation," VUSM Director of Admissions Jennifer Kimble told the Vanderbilt Hustler. The school will also begin to accept AP and CLEP credit to demonstrate competency, without requiring further college-level coursework, though it is recommended.

Vanderbilt is not the first school to implement more comprehensive admissions policies. New York City-based Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai recently announced it will soon accept humanities students from liberal arts schools to help diversify its classes and its graduates.


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