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MCLA's Biology Department Announces Pre-Med and Pre-Veterinary Concentrations


Starting this fall, biology students will be able to specialize in two new concentrations – pre-medical professions and pre-veterinary.

The pre-medical professions concentration will serve students who are interested in medical, dental and pharmaceutical careers. Among other courses, students in this concentration will take microbiology, human anatomy and physiology I and II, and cell and molecular biology – all of which will be taught as upper-level courses.

According to Dr. Anne Goodwin, chair of the Biology Department, MCLA offers classes that many other schools don’t, which provide the foundational knowledge necessary to score well on the MCAT and GRE exams, and to succeed in a variety of professional programs.

“A lot of four-year institutions don’t teach human anatomy and physiology as a two-semester sequence and, if they do teach it, they teach it as a lower-level course,” Goodwin said. “We teach these courses as upper-level courses, going into a lot of depth. Our students do a great deal of work specific to body functions and diseases, and will receive hands-on skill training.

“These strong courses, which provide an intensive background in subjects such as anatomy and physiology, are going to be great assets to the students in preparation for their medical, dental or pharmacy programs,” she added.

In addition, students will have opportunities to shadow physicians and dentists at local hospitals and medical/dental offices, work as medical scribes at local emergency rooms, and work as pharmacy technicians at local pharmacies.

MCLA’s pre-veterinary concentration will be the only one in the Massachusetts State University System.

 “The pre-veterinary concentration highlights our strengths in terms of the internships we can offer and the animal-focused courses that are available at MCLA,” said Goodwin.

Coursework includes classes in animal behavior and animal physiology. In addition, students can complete animal care internships at MCLA, the Berkshire Museum and local animal hospitals.

MCLA will continue to offer the general biology major and the biology major with a biotechnology concentration, which is relatively new to the College.

In addition to the two new biology concentrations, MCLA this fall will offer two new majors; in Health Sciences and Community Health Education. Three new faculty, who will join MCLA’s Department of Biology this fall, have been hired to teach in the department.