Most students at Hamilton take four courses per semester and there are currently 15 courses that are either required by medical schools or recommended for MCAT preparation. So pre-med courses will comprise nearly one half of your undergraduate education. But Hamilton’s liberal arts focus, coupled with its open curriculum, offers you an incredible opportunity to explore a vast array of subjects. So take advantage of your four years as an undergraduate to explore your interests and educate yourself broadly.
Pursuing the courses you are interested in will make you a well-educated, well-rounded person, something that you should value and that medical schools value as well. That being said, it will take careful planning from your very first semester to fulfill requirements (pre-medical and for your major) and meet other educational goals, including potential study abroad.
Creating A Master Schedule
By creating a long-term "master schedule" for the courses you plan to take during your four years at Hamilton, you will easily be able to visualize what your pre-med workload will be and determine how to best arrange your coursework so that you strike the critical balance between the courses you need to take and the courses you want to take. While making your master schedule, keep in mind that it should always be tentative. It is okay to change it and juggle courses around. In fact, it is very likely that you will have to modify your schedule to take into account a course being offered only in the fall or spring; not getting into a class due to a bad registration time; or changing your mind about what major you wish to pursue.
Note that there are now two versions of the "Blank Master Schedule" which take into account the change in the biology department curriculum beginning fall 2018; make sure to use the proper one for your circumstances.