Keys to a successful first year

Find your Niche, Get involved, But Don’t Overload!
Pursue your interests in the classroom and beyond, but be careful not to over-commit. In high school you might have found time for a long list of activities. Remember that college is different, so be careful with your time commitments. Try one or two activities in your first year, and if you find that you have time for more, go for it.

Do Well Academically!
As a pre-health student, you have to prove that you'll be able to survive the rigors of medical school!  It's essential for all pre-health students to develop good study habits and a college lifestyle that is conducive to academic achievement. This includes (but is not limited to) setting aside enough time in your schedule to study and getting a good night’s sleep. If you have trouble in your first semester try to pinpoint your difficulties early and remedy them. Many resources are available to you on campus if you need help including your professors and teaching assistants, your academic advisor, Roosevelt Fellows, and the Writing Center.

Get to Know your Professors
Members of the faculty at Brandeis are your greatest resource. They will not only help you academically, but also will provide you with letters of recommendation when you apply to health professions school. Stop in to meet some of your professors during their office hours, even if you are in a large-introductory level course. You don’t have to have a major question to ask as a pretense to visiting with a professor; any specific question about a course, curiosity about your course work, or questions about a professor’s research interests are all legitimate reasons for visiting with a professor during his/her office hours.

Get to Know your Peers
Studies have shown that students who have a "support group" on campus do better in their courses.  You can't get through the pre-health courses alone - study groups, friends who will help you maintain a balanced lifestyle, older students who can provide advice - all of these are critical in doing well at Brandeis.  

Tips for Incoming First-Year Students


Eliot Chiu ('07) in a dental school class.

Welcome to Brandeis!  Please explore the website to learn more about being pre-health at Brandeis. 

Some basic information about registering for classes:

  • The majority of pre-health students take General Chemistry OR Biology in their first year, and decide on what courses to take in future years based on their continuing interest and their performance in science classes. Information about placement testing for all subjects is available on the Registrar's website.
  • It's better to do well in your courses than to try to rush to get them all done -- there is no need to take two science courses in the first year.  Four or four and a half courses per semester is ideal in the first year.
  • Outside of Chemistry or Biology and your required UWS course, many pre-health students choose to continue foreign language study, explore a new area of study they haven't tried before, and try out a potential major.
  • You will have the first two weeks of the semester to add and drop courses, so it's okay if you're not 100% sure about your courses right now.  There's time to adjust them once you're on campus!

 Here are a few highlighted webpages that may address specific questions about registering for classes:

And, don't forget to attend the Pre-Health Info Session during New Student Orientation to meet some of your fellow pre-health students, and get some more advice on how to succeed as a pre-health student.  Check your orientation guide for details.