Medical Sciences at a glance


The Medical Sciences program is aimed at students who wish to initiate studies in medical science as undergraduates. The program will introduce students to subjects such as human anatomy and physiology, neuroscience, epidemiology and health ethics. Students will graduate with a broad biomedical science background that will prepare them for a variety of professional programs, graduate school, or employment in the biotechnology industry or government.

Course subjects

In the first two years of the program, students will take core courses in Biology, Chemistry, Math, Physiology, Microbiology, Sociology of Health, Neuroscience, and Psychology. These courses will not only provide a solid background in basic sciences, but will prepare students for admission tests for various medical sciences disciplines (such as the MCAT or DAT), meet (or exceed) the early prerequisites for acceptance into medically related professional faculties (such as Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmacy) locally and across the country, and meet (or exceed) the early prerequisites required for acceptance into biomedical sciences graduate programs at Dalhousie and across the country. Medical Sciences students also have the option of doing their first year through the Dalhousie Integrated Science Program (DISP), which provides a foundation in not only core science courses such as Biology, Chemistry, Math, Physics, Psychology and Statistics, but also allows students to participate in research. If Medical Sciences students choose DISP for their first year, they join the remainder of their Medical Sciences cohort for second year and subsequent years.

In their third and fourth years, Medical Sciences students take core and elective courses in various subjects within the medical sciences.  

Program options

The core required courses not only provide a broad background in biomedical science but they are also designed to meet prerequisites of more advanced selectives and to provide a guided learning experience through the program content.

The program also includes "Selective" courses in a number of relevant biomedical fields (Selectives are courses on a predetermined list provided by the program). Students can choose their selective courses carefully such that they result in more specialized education in a particular area of emphasis (in Immunology or Biochemistry, for example). This will allow them to take advanced courses in the chosen area in their fourth year, to pursue Honours research if they wish, and to be excellent candidates for graduate programs in a specialized field at Dalhousie or elsewhere in Canada. Students may also use selectives as a means to explore their interests or as a tool to prepare them for professional programs after graduation.

The program includes three and a half full credits in open "Electives", which allows students to take any course offered at Dalhousie (at the appropriate level). Students will be encouraged to fulfil the Writing requirement using one or both of the Electives in the first year. Students may also refer to the Medical Sciences Humanities Elective Platform [PDF-28kB] for suggestions. This list was created to encourage students to explore courses in languages, humanities, and social sciences as a complement to the Medical Sciences core curriculum.

Students can fill the elective slots with selectives if they wish; the reverse is not be permitted.

Medical Sciences offers the following degrees:

Class size

Students will be members of a cohort class of 120. Students learn from faculty representing departments in the Faculties of Science, Medicine, and Arts & Social Sciences.