Preparing for Healthcare Professions
The College of Science provides academic programs and other resources to students preparing for a professional career in healthcare. Our site includes information and resources to help students explore pre-medicine (pre-med or premed), pre-pharmacy (pre-pharm), and other healthcare-related undergraduate programs. Upper-level students will also find helpful information for applying to a professional program.
Snapshot of a Professional Healthcare Student
Rules dictating who will be admitted to professional schools vary according to the field, school, and competitiveness. While there is not a certain combination of classes and scores that will guarantee admission, there are a number of traits that improve a student’s chances of getting into a healthcare program.
While in high school, a prospective professional healthcare student should…
- Achieve ACT Composite and Mathematics scores of 21 or higher (SAT 500 or higher)
- Complete a strong high school course of study in the sciences
- Possesses a strong sense of commitment and work ethic – high school honors is just the start
As an undergraduate student, a professional healthcare student should…
- Complete a science-based college curriculum with a 3.4 or above GPA, preferably 3.8 or above
- Prepare for and take the relevant professional exam – GRE, MCAT, PCAT, DAT, OAT, etc.
- Develop practical in-field experience through shadowing, volunteering or research opportunities
Looking for more information about getting into a professional program? Our FAQ includes additional details as well as answers to common questions about going into healthcare.
Pre-Professional Healthcare Studies Minor
The minor in Pre-Professional Healthcare Studies is designed to help students prepare to apply to professional health programs (medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, optometry, veterinary, chiropractic, dentistry, physician’s assistant, podiatry, etc.) by providing a curriculum which builds competencies essential for a competitive application. This minor does not include a comprehensive list of courses required by every professional school, but instead provides a structured pathway to help a student complete graduate or professional school prerequisite courses, regardless of major. The minor includes the most common courses needed to pursue an advanced degree in the health sciences and/or complete prerequisites for post-baccalaureate healthcare programs. Students who plan to pursue attendance at a medical school, physician assistant program, physical therapy doctoral program, or other related graduate programs will find this minor helpful in addressing the required prerequisite courses.
Any degree-seeking undergraduate student, regardless of major, can declare this minor.
Students must complete at least 18 hours from a core list of required courses as well as complete a set of required courses from a sub-discipline to complete this minor. Each student – in consultation with their advisor – will design their specific Pre-Professional Healthcare Studies Minor with regards to their post baccalaureate plans for graduate school or professional school as well as decide how many and which disciplines they need as preparation for their plan.
Because each professional school may determine its own requirements, and because those requirements can vary among institutions and are subject to change, students should regard the courses listed as examples only. This not a comprehensive statement of what actually is required by every professional school.Explore the Curriculum
Healthcare Fields and Entry Exams
Admission to professional schools – including medical, pharmacy, physician assistants, optometry, veterinary, and dental schools – is very competitive. Our four-year planner is meant to be a reference to help you coordinate your efforts to be prepared to apply to a professional school in your junior year. The College of Science attempts to help students with a range of abilities become accepted to a professional school. Students are advised about multiple career pathways, and if the grades are not high enough for medical school, there are other healthcare areas that will accept students with GPA of approximately 2.70 – 3.00.
You must achieve and maintain a high level of dedication and determination to gain entry. It is your responsibility to work hard and persevere.View the Pre-Professional Four-Year Planner
Frequently Asked Questions
Our Pre-Professional Advisors answer many questions from students seeking a profession in healthcare; some of those questions come up frequently. While you’re always welcome to contact our advisors, you may find the answer to some of your questions here.View the Pre-Professional FAQ
Ready To Get Started?
Seeking admission to a professional program can be a difficult process with lots of variables. The Pre-Professional advisors at the College of Science can assist you with your preparation and choices. You may speak to the advisors at any time if you need help or have specific questions.
The College of Science Office of Student Services will assist you with class selection based on your ACT/SAT scores, Advance Placement classes, and goals.