Academic Preparation for Pre-Health Professions
Interested in the health professions? Contact the health professions advisor during your first year at Fisher for guidance in selecting a course of study.
The advisor will also guide you through the intense professional school application process and provide the required composite evaluation letter.
"Pre-health" is not a major at St. John Fisher College. The majority of pre-medical and other pre-health students are biology or chemistry majors, but students intending to enter the health professions may choose any academic major. Academic prerequisites vary among professional schools, but most programs require a minimum of:
- Two semesters of biology with labs
- Four to five semesters of chemistry (general, organic, and biochemistry) with labs
- Two semesters of physics with labs
- Two semesters of college English
Courses in psychology and sociology are strongly recommended, as are statistics, anatomy, and physiology. The range of excellent humanities and social science courses available at St. John Fisher College provides pre-health students with a well-rounded perspective on society and health.
Choosing a Major
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 College.
- 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.
AP and Transfer Credits
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 – contact the Registrar’s Office for more information.
To determine if a transfer course can be applied toward your undergraduate degree, complete a Transfer Credit Request form through the Registrar's Office.
Pre-Health Curriculum Guides
- Pre-Pharmacy Curriculum Guide [pdf]
- Pre-Medicine Curriculum Guide [pdf]
- Pre-Dentistry Curriculum Guide [pdf]
- Pre-Optometry Therapy Curriculum Guide [pdf']
- Pre-Chiropractic Curriculum Guide [pdf]
- Pre-Physical Therapy Curriculum Guide [pdf]
- Pre-Physician Assistant Curriculum Guide [pdf]
- Pre-Podiatric Medicine Curriculum Guide [pdf]
- Pre-Veterinary Medicine Curriculum Guide [pdf]
- Pre-Occupational Therapy Curriculum Guide [pdf]