Mathematics for the Biological Sciences or Pre-Med Student
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A biologist or medical professional must be able to think mathematically (analyze graphs, interpret quantitative information, use clear logical patterns). An early decision to get a strong mathematical background, particularly in the core areas of calculus, probability and statistics, linear algebra (vectors, matrices, systems of equations), and computer programming, will multiply a student’s career options.
Formal Requirements for the Biological Sciences Major
Biological sciences majors are required to take one semester of calculus plus a second math or statistics course. Sample programs include:
two semesters of calculus, such as MATH 1110-1120;
one semester of calculus plus a course in finite mathematics, such as MATH 1105-1106;
College work in mathematics, such as one semester of calculus and one semester of statistics, is required by some medical schools and recommended by almost all. See the book Medical School Admissions Requirements or individual medical schools’ web pages to verify premedical requirements.
Calculus and Further Study
Students who may take more than one year of mathematics should definitely start with two semesters of calculus. (See First-Year Calculus.) The following options provide a good introduction to the core mathematical areas most useful in the biological sciences. Courses under Option 2 are a bit more challenging than those under Option 1.
Core Mathematical Areas Most Useful in the Biological Sciences
Probability and statistics
CS 1110, 1112, 1114, 1115, or 2110
Of course, much more is possible and in some cases necessary. Further study in mathematics could lead to a math minor, which is available to students in all colleges. MATH 4710-4720 combined with two other upper-level math courses, one in algebra and one in analysis, would result in a math minor, for example.