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Requirements & Prerequisites

What type of courses satisfy the prerequisite science courses at the Boucher Institute?

Biology Prerequisite

Acceptable post-secondary courses are typically titled 'Biology I', 'Biology II', 'Principles of Biology', 'General Biology' or 'Introduction to Biology'. It should investigate interrelationships within the natural world, provide an overview of different ecosystems or look at different ways in which organisms are classified and/or evolved.

Biochemistry Prerequisite

Acceptable post-secondary courses should be 200- or 300- level and are typically titled 'Introduction to Biochemistry' or 'Biochemistry'. The course should have at least 3.0 credits (one year) of general chemistry as a prerequisite. A course that satisfies the biochemistry prerequisite should explore the structure, function and metabolism of the major biomolecules (carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids, proteins), as well as provide an overview of basic cellular biology and processes essential to life.

General Chemistry Prerequisite

Acceptable post-secondary courses are typically titled 'General Chemistry', 'Fundamentals/Principles of Chemistry' or sometimes 'Introduction to Chemistry'. A course that satisfies the general chemistry prerequisite should explore the basics of structural chemistry, chemical equilibrium and thermodynamics.

Organic Chemistry Prerequisite

Acceptable post-secondary courses should be at least 200-level and are typically titled 'Organic Chemistry' or 'Introduction to Organic Chemistry'. The course must have at least 6.0 credits (one year) of general chemistry as a prerequisite.

A course that satisfies the organic chemistry pre-requisite should explore the nomenclature, atoms, chemical bonds and chemical reactions associated with organic compounds such as carbonyl compounds, alcohols, ethers, alkenes etc. The general mechanisms behind basic reactions such as nucleophilic substitution, elimination, addition etc. should be covered, as should the concepts of formal charges, resonance structures, valence shell electron pair repulsion theory (VESPER), valence bond theory, hybridization and molecular orbital theory.

Where can I fulfil the science requirements?

We do not offer academic preparatory courses. Prerequisites may be fulfilled at a number of post-secondary institutions, either in class or online and it is up to you to explore which would be the best fit. The institution must be a recognized post-secondary institution or the equivalent for entry into the program. Credentials earned outside of Canada and the US require a "comprehensive evaluation" from an accepted service.

Many applicants who have completed undergraduate degrees opt to fulfil outstanding prerequisites through self-paced, online studies. Some options which applicants commonly choose from are Athabasca University and Thompson Rivers University. These are self-paced online programs (which typically do not require separate lab courses but instead have a mail-in lab component to be completed at home). UCAL-Berkeley also offers distance education for biochemistry.

Important: It is the student’s responsibility to ensure the pre-requisite courses taken satisfy Boucher Institute requirements. Please be advised that the details below may no longer be up to date at the time of registration for the course. In addition, it is important to check with the university directly to understand grading policies, particularly the time it takes to submit final grades and process transcripts, to ensure that Boucher Institute deadlines and requirements are satisfied. Some institutions may take as long as six weeks to submit final grades and additional time to process transcripts.

Courses offered at Athabasca which are acceptable - additional courses may be acceptable

BIOL 204 and 205 – Principles of Biology I and II
CHEM 217 and 218 – Chemical Principles I and II
CHEM 350 – Organic Chemistry
CHEM 301 - Introduction to Biochemistry

Courses offered at SFU which are acceptable - additional courses may be acceptable

BISC 100 - Introduction to Biology
BISC 101 - General Biology I (strongly recommended to take BISC 101/102 to satisfy our requirement)
BISC 102 - General Biology II
CHEM 110 - Introductory Chemistry I
CHEM 111 - Introductory Chemistry II
CHEM 121 - General Chemistry I (strongly recommended over CHEM 110)
CHEM 122 - General Chemistry II (strongly recommended over CHEM 111)
CHEM 281 - Organic Chemistry I
MBB 201-3 - Biochemistry of the Cell

Courses offered at UBC which are acceptable - additional courses may be acceptable

BIO 112 - Unicellular Life
BIO 121 - Genetics, Evolution and Ecology
BIO 200 - Cell Biology I
BIO 201- Introduction to Biochemistry
CHEM 111 - Principles of Chemistry I
CHEM 112 - Principles of Chemistry II
CHEM 121 - Structural Chemistry
CHEM 123 - Physical and Organic Chemistry (may not be used to satisfy Organic Chemistry requirement)
CHEM 201 - Introduction to Physical Chemistry
CHEM 233 - Organic Chemistry Bio

Courses offered at UVIC which are acceptable - additional courses may be acceptable

BIOL 190A - General Biology I
BIOL 190B - General Biology II
CHEM 101- Fundamentals of Chemistry I
CHEM 102 - Fundamentals of Chemistry II
CHEM 231 - Introductory Organic Chemistry
BIOC 299 - Biochemistry for Non-Majors
BIOC 300A - General Biochemistry I (recommended over BIOC 299)

The following courses all have continual registration. Register online or phone Enrolment Services for assistance at 1-880-663-9711.

Courses offered at TRU which are acceptable - additional courses may be acceptable

CHEM 1503 and 1523 – Chemical Bonding and Organic Chemistry/Principles of Chemistry I and II
CHEM 2123 – Organic Chemistry 1
BIOL 1113 and 1213 – Principles of Biology and Exploring Biology I and II
BIOL 3131 – Introduction to Biochemistry

Courses offered at U-Cal-Berkeley which are acceptable - additional courses may be acceptable

Biology X105 - Introductory Biochemistry

Why is biochemistry an admissions requirement?

Biochemistry remains a stumbling block for many students, even after they have already been "taught" it as a prerequisite. Without some comfort and enough familiarity, it often remains an unapproachable foreign language.  It is necessary to know biochemistry to develop insight into how our metabolic processes interact with pharmaceuticals, botanicals and nutrients.  When it comes to understanding metabolism, you are speaking a language using symbols that represent invisible functions within the cell.  These symbols have to carry some representative value to the student in order to be usable as a visual tool for the mind to “see” cellular processes.  This is where the aspect of, not only familiarity, but also a reasonable facility with the concepts and knowledge related to chemistry and biochemistry is what the study of medicine requires.  Some people pick it up more quickly than others, so for some, the amount of general chemistry we require may be easily adequate, but for others it is still only marginal to ensure their ability to complete our program successfully.

How many prerequisites do I have to complete before I can apply?

A candidate may apply as long as they have either completed their undergraduate degree or are entering their final year of their degree. However, a candidate's application will not be evaluated for an interview until official transcripts, showing a minimum of 60 per cent or 'C', for at least 3.0 credits (half-year course) in one of the required chemistry courses and 3.0 credits (half-year course) in one of the required biology courses have been received by the Admissions Committee.

I have the required prerequisites, but I took the courses more than seven years ago. What are my options?

You have three options.

First, the Admissions Committee strongly recommends retaking the courses to ensure your knowledge and abilities are current. It may only be necessary to update the more advanced sciences.

Second, if you have taken all of the prerequisite courses in the past and have an undergraduate degree, based on the discretion of the Admissions Committee you may be able to satisfy the requirements if you are teaching or working in a profession related to the sciences, are a practicing nurse, chiropractor etc.

Finally, if you are able to find a recognized university which allows students to challenge exams and are able to pass the exam with a score above 60 per cent or 'C', then your requirements may be satisfied.

What English/humanities prerequisites are acceptable?

This requirement may be fulfilled by courses such as, academic writing; anthropology; history; literature; philosophy; sociology; women's studies; communications or similar. Coursework must include an essay-writing component.

Please note: other courses may be accepted at the discretion of the Admissions Committee. Second language courses (Spanish, French etc.) and courses taught in a language other than English may not be used to satisfy this requirement.

Is greater weight given to the last 60 credits when calculating the GPA?

The GPA is calculated based on all of the undergraduate courses taken (including transfer credits), and no particular year of studies is given greater or lesser weight in the calculation.

May I apply to transfer credits from another CNME-approved school?

We accept transfer students only into year three of studies for the four-year program.

  • For more details view the Student Transfers section located on the How to Apply page

I have an honours degree in genetics, would this allow any exemptions from your courses?

Only courses at a graduate or post-graduate university level that show equivalent course content to our courses are eligible to be considered for prior credit recognition. No undergraduate courses can exempt a student from study.

What types of courses would satisfy the Psychology/Counseling prerequisite?

Counseling is the skilled use of communication and relationship to facilitate self-knowledge, emotional acceptance, greater emotional breadth, and the optimal growth of personal health. By focusing on the patient’s goals, the overall aim is to help the patient work towards living more satisfying and empowered lives.

Counseling deals with:

•    Addressing and resolving specific problems.
•    Making major and minor personal decisions.
•    Coping with crisis.
•    Developing personal insights, knowledge and coping abilities.
•    Understanding inner conflict cognitively, emotionally, behaviorally and physiologically.
•    Improving intra- and interpersonal relationships.
•    Situational, developmental or pathological issues.
•    Wellness and expanding the range of personal interests and meanings.
•    Making adjustments and finding meaning and belonging in settings like school, work, family, and spiritual communities.

Counselling is the appropriate use of compassion, empathy, communication, relationship, and empowerment skills.  The counselling relationship is more disciplined and confidential than friendship because the doctor establishes him or herself as an accepting, reliable and encouraging person for the patient. Counselling’s predominant trait is facilitation rather than advice giving or coercion. Facilitation is a doctor-guided process that makes it easier for patients to choose their own options and carry out independent change. It is done in a way that respects the patient’s values, personal abilities, and capacity for self-determination. While the majority of counselling is facilitative and developmental in nature, in critical situations counselling may be intervening.

Counselling skills can be applied in a wide range of clinical environments including crisis intervention, practical problem solving, insight based change, or medical settings. These skills are modified by experience, intuition and the uniqueness of each doctor-patient relationship. The culmination of these principles and skills lead to independent patient change.

Examples of course content to satisfy prerequisite

Compassion, empathy and communication skills are enhanced with prior knowledge about society, human behaviour, or the human condition. Courses in the social sciences or the humanities can give students empathic insight into a range of patient issues. More specifically, knowledge that contributes to a better understanding of the following is helpful preparation for counselling:

•    Relationships: family, social, workplace
•    Emotional processes
•    Human change processes and personal decision making
•    Human cognition, affective or behavioural processes
•    Personal or social crisis
•    Wellness
•    Spirituality
•    Empathy
•    Communication
•    Empowerment
•    Facilitation
•    Self-determination
•    The breadth of personal values and beliefs

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