Pre-Health Academic Preparation
What courses should I take?
Prerequisite courses needed for application to health professions graduate programs vary. However, most require the following:
|One year of Biology with lab||
|One year of General Chemistry with lab||
|One year of Organic Chemistry with lab||
|One - two semesters of Physics with lab||
Some programs, (i.e. Pharmacy, Physical Therapy), require additional Biology credits. Several require Math, typically Calculus (MATH 120) or Statistics (MATH 260, PSYC 201, or ECON 221). Others may require Psychology, Economics, or Public Speaking.
See the Biology and Chemistry departments for recommended electives for students interested in pre-health professions.
What should my major be?
While some health profession graduate schools admit students before they complete an undergraduate degree, students are encouraged to declare a major as early as possible. The benefits are twofold:
- An academic advisor can provide a wealth of information about the courses, extracurricular activities, research opportunities, and St. John Fisher
- If you change your mind or find that you are not a strong candidate for the graduate program you planned for, having a major ensures that you will complete a four-year undergraduate degree in a timely fashion.
Health professions schools accept students from any major program, as long as the students have completed the prerequisite courses. Majors with similar requirements to most pre-health programs include Biology, Chemistry, and Biochemistry.
What about AP credits or transfer courses?
In general, AP credits cannot be applied toward prerequisites in the sciences. That is, even if you received Fisher credit for General Chemistry based on your AP score, you will still need to take two years of college-level Chemistry to fulfill the typical professional school requirements.
Courses at any accredited college can be applied toward prerequisites. However, medical schools prefer prerequisites fulfilled at four year institutions rather than community colleges.
Fisher students may take courses at one of several Rochester area colleges free of charge. This can be a convenient way to fulfill a prerequisite in a semester when the course is not offered at Fisher. The program is called the Inter-Institutional Program - refer to the College Bulletin [pdf] under "cooperative programs" for more details.
To determine if a transfer course can be applied toward your undergraduate degree, complete a Transfer Credit Request form through the Registrar’s Office.
Students Interested in Health Professions
Contact the Health Professions Advisor during, or prior to, your first semester at Fisher to receive guidance as you pursue subsequent studies. Numerous activities occur each semester to assist you in:
- Understanding the preparation process
- Selecting schools
- Preparing for the interview
- Making decisions regarding acceptances and alternatives
The advisor will also guide you through the intense professional school application process and provide the required composite evaluation letter.