Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Science & Engineering

Pre-Health Science Professions

| Pre-Medicine | Pre-Dentistry | Pre-Veterinary | Pre-Optometry | Pre-Pharmacy | Pre-Allied Health Sciences |

Though SUU does not offer Pre-Health Science degrees (Pre-Med, Pre-Dent, Pre-Pharm, etc.), we do provide the support and guidance to ensure that students interested in Pre-Health Science career preparation are well positioned for acceptance into their chosen post baccalaureate healthcare programs. Many of our students have gained admission to top schools by completing the required pre requisites while pursuing their chosen undergraduate degrees at SUU. Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Science and Engineering academic and faculty advisors work closely with students to chart the ideal academic program for their success.

PRE-MEDICINE

Nutrition: Cynthia Wright- GC 203F, (435) 586-7798
Biology: Helen Boswell – SC 112, (435) 865-8163
Biology: Paul Pillitteri - SCA 212, (435) 586-1909
Physical Science: J. Ty Redd - SC 309B, (435) 586-7904

Admission to medical school is based on the following criteria:

  1. excellent grades in undergraduate coursework, especially in science,
  2. high scores on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT),
  3. (3) interviews with medical school faculty. Medical schools do not require specific undergraduate majors for admission; however, most applicants major in biology or chemistry. Generally, medical schools require the following courses, which may be integrated into many majors:
Biology – one year BIOL 1610, 1615, 1620, 1625
General chemistry – one-year CHEM 1210, 1215, 1220, 1225
Organic chemistry – one year CHEM 2310, 2315, 2320, 2325
Physics – one year PHYS 2010, 2015, 2020, 2025
English – one year  
Seminar – one semester BIOL 4990 or CHEM 4990

Hypothesis-based undergraduate research involvement is highly recommended before applying to post-graduate programs. In addition, mathematics through calculus is strongly recommended. Students who earn advanced placement or CLEP credit for the above courses must fill the requirements by taking alternative courses.

The MCAT is required for application to almost all medical schools. The test is offered in the fall and spring each year and scores are submitted with the application in early fall of the year prior to planning entrance to medical school. Most students should plan to take the MCAT in the spring of their junior year in college. Most medical schools require applications compiled through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). For AMCAS material, see advisor.

Students planning to attend medical school are strongly urged to contact their advisor immediately upon enrolling. Similar general considerations apply to students who plan to attend chiropractic, optometric or podiatric schools.

PRE-DENTISTRY

Biology: Jonathan Karpel – SCA 201, (435) 586-1928
Physical Science: J. Ty Redd - SC 309B, (435) 586-7904

Typical entrance requirements to dental school include:

Biology – one year BIOL 1610, 1615, 1620, 1625
General chemistry – one year CHEM 1210, 1215, 1220, 1225
Organic chemistry – one year CHEM 2310, 2315, 2320, 2325
Physics – one year PHYS 2010, 2015, 2020, 2025

Hypothesis-based undergraduate research involvement is highly recommended before applying to post-graduate programs. In addition to these courses, many dental schools require biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, one year of English composition and recommend coursework in social sciences, business, foreign language, and art, especially sculpture. No majors are specified. A four year baccalaureate degree is not required and students may apply for admission as soon as they have completed the required courses.

The Dental Admission Test (DAT) is required of all applicants to dental school. The test is offered in the spring, summer, and fall of each year and scores are submitted with applications in the summer or fall of the year prior to planned entrance to dental school. Most dental schools require applications compiled through the American Association of Dental Schools Admissions Service (AADSAS). For AADSAS material inquire of the advisor.

The state of Utah does not have a dental school, but participates with Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, in a cooperative dental school program with tuition support. Students must be admitted to Creighton University in the usual manner, then apply for support under the cooperative program. Information about this program is available through the advisor.

All students interested in careers in dentistry are strongly urged to consult the advisor before selecting courses every semester.

PRE-VETERINARY MEDICINE

Agriculture Science: Chad Gasser - GC 203A (435) 586-7923

Preparation for veterinary school application ordinarily includes:

General chemistry – one year CHEM 1210, 1215, 1220, 1225
Organic chemistry – one year CHEM 2310, 2315, 2320, 2325
Biochemistry –one semester CHEM 4110
Biology – one year BIOL 1610, 1615, 1620, 1625
Genetics – one semester BIOL 3060, 3065
Physics – at least one semester of science-based physics PHYS 2010, 2015
Math – statistics – one semester Math 1040
Math – College algebra or higher Math 1050

Required minimum course work in the sciences, English, behavioral and social sciences, and humanities varies widely among schools of veterinary medicine. While applications can be made after approximately two years of concentrated pre-veterinary course work, veterinary schools report about four years of undergraduate study is typical of entering veterinary students.

Veterinary schools do not require a specific undergraduate major; however, the departments of agriculture and nutrition science and biology cooperate closely in offering students the appropriate combination of courses and experiences to meet admission requirements. An SUU Bachelor’s Degree in biology with complementary elective courses or a minor in agriculture/animal science can be earned in approximately four years and is excellent preparation for veterinary school or graduate studies in animal sciences or biology. A second option is the BIS degree in Agricultural Science and Industries with an appropriate concentration of biological and physical science courses incorporated into a general agriculture emphasis.

Above-average grades and satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) are required for admission to a school of veterinary medicine. Most applicants take the examination in the spring of their third year at SUU and apply to veterinary school in the fall of their senior year.

Utah does not have a school of veterinary medicine but participates with other states in cooperative programs with tuition support. Since requirements and application procedures vary among veterinary schools, students should consult with the advisor before selecting courses.

PRE-OPTOMETRY

Biology: Paul Pillitteri, SCA 212, (435) 586-1909
Physical Science: J. Ty Redd - SC 309B, (435) 586-7904

Minimum requirements for application to optometry school include:

Biology – one year BIOL 1610, 1615, 1620, 1625
General chemistry – one year CHEM 1210, 1215, 1220, 1225
Organic chemistry – one year CHEM 2310, 2315, 2320, 2325
Physics – one year PHYS 2010, 2015, 2020, 2025
English – one year  
Mathematics MATH 1050, 1060, 1210
Behavioral Science 3-6 cr hrs  

Additional coursework in statistics is recommended. Applicants may be admitted after two years of undergraduate work but preference is given to students who have completed three or four years.

The Optometry College Admission Test (OCAT) is required of all applicants. The test is offered in the fall and spring of each year and scores are typically sent with applications in the fall of the year prior to planned admission to optometry school.

PRE-PHARMACY

Physical Science: J. Ty Redd - SC 309B, (435) 586-7904

Pharmacy is an undergraduate major not available at SUU. Students intending a career in pharmacy should plan to complete two years of preparatory work at SUU and then transfer to a pharmacy program.

The pharmacy degree requires general education courses which can be completed at SUU. Preparatory coursework typically includes:

BIOL 1610, 1615, 1620, 1625;
CHEM 1210, 1215, 1220, 1225 2310, 2315, 2320, 2325;
MATH 1050, 1060, 1210;
and PHYS 2010, 2015, 2020, and 2025.

Hypothesis-based undergraduate research involvement is highly recommended before applying to post-graduate programs. The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) is required. Applications must be completed before mid-June of the year of admission to pharmacy school.

PRE-ALLIED HEALTH SCIENCES

Biology: Paul Pillitteri, SCA 212, (435) 586-1909

A variety of professions are included in this category, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, physicians assistant, podiatry, medical technology, radiological technology, dental hygiene, and respiratory therapy. All of these professions require advanced training not available at SUU. Some are undergraduate majors at other institutions; but most are post-graduate training programs of varying durations. Since entrance requirements and application procedures for these programs are so variable, students must consult the advisor each semester to outline courses of study appropriate for their personal goals.