Pre-Health Professions

Pre-health Professions Advisor

Dr. Mark A. Grobner

Students planning to attend medical, dental, pharmacy, veterinary, optometry, chiropractic, physical therapy, physician assistant, clinical laboratory science, or podiatry schools are usually not required to complete a prescribed undergraduate major, although most do. In general, students major in biological sciences or chemistry if they are interested in a health profession. There are courses that are required to be completed before applying to professional schools.

Pre-Health Society

The department encourages students that are interested in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary, podiatry, physical therapy, or any other professional healthcare field to join the Pre-Health Society.  The society provides the members with help in advising, community service, internship, research, and job opportunities, all that on top of connecting students with similar goals and aspirations together.  The students meet bi-weekly and usually have speakers and recruiters come and talk at meetings.

If interested please contact any of the following:
Dr. Mark A. Grobner or contact

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The minimum requirement for admission to most health professional schools is the completion of at least 90-semester units; however, a bachelor degree is recommended. In addition, requirements for a specific professional school may differ from one school to another. Therefore, it is highly recommended that students, while preparing for admissions, examine the requirements of their prospective professional schools and, with the assistance of their major advisor, design a program of study.

It is very important for students to have special health-related experience in addition to their course work. The experience should have direct patient contact or other interpersonal involvement. The professional schools want to know if the applicants have first-hand knowledge of the realities of a career in a health profession. An undergraduate internship in an appropriate health profession setting is a recommended way to achieve this "real world" experience. In some situations, experience plays a significant role in the admission selection process. Academic credit may be received for such experiences. Research experience may be useful to some students, but it is not a major requirement in the admissions process to some of the health professions. Consult your major advisor and a member of the Pre-health Professions Committee.

Recommended General Education, Core Curriculum, and Additional Electives

Commonly required courses include:

English - One year of English composition and literature. (Note: ESL classes do not fulfill the English requirement.)

Speech - Most programs require a speech course as opposed to group discussion

Psychology - Two terms including General Psychology

Social Sciences, Humanities, or Foreign Language (Minimum of 11-semester units)

All students who plan to attend a medically related professional school, regardless of major, should take the following core courses:

Biol 1050 or Zool 1050 General Biology I or Zoology with laboratory
Biol 1150 or Boty 1050 General Biology II or Botany with laboratory
Chem 1100 Principles of Chemistry I with laboratory
Chem 1110 Principles of Chemistry II with laboratory
Chem 3010, 3012 Organic Chemistry I with laboratory
Phys 2100 or 2250, 2252 Basic Physics I or General Physics I with laboratory
Phys 2110 or 2260, 2262 Basic Physics II or General Physics II with laboratory
Math 1600, and/or 1410 or 1910 Statistics and/or Calculus

Brings total number of units to at least 90-semester units

Most professional schools recommend the following courses. Some of these courses may have prerequisites. These courses will also help prepare for professional admissions tests.

Biol 3350 Introductory Genetics
Biol 4100 Immunology
Bio 124 Hematology (offered with concurrent enrollment from CSU Sacramento)
Chem 3020, 3022 Organic Chemistry II with laboratory
Chem 4400 Biochemistry I
Mbio 3010, 3032 Bacteriology with laboratory
Mbio 4300 Medical Microbiology
Zool 3130 Vertebrate Embryology
Zool 3150 Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates
Zool 4280 Physiology of Human Systems with laboratory

It is to the student's advantage to complete the core curriculum and additional electives before taking the professional admissions test, such as MCAT (Medical College Admission Test), DAT (Dental Admission Test), OAT (Optometry Admission Test), or GRE (Graduate Record Exam for Veterinary School Admission). Application forms, packets, and information are available through the Pre-health Professions Committee. In most professional schools, it is required that all the prerequisite courses be completed by June of the year of intended enrollment.

California State University Stanislaus has a Pre-health Professions Committee, which provides academic advising and assistance to students who are preparing and applying to health professional schools. Questions regarding pre-health profession preparation and application may be directed to the committee via the Department of Biological Sciences at (209) 667-3476.

Below are the recommended courses of study for several of the health professions.

Updated: February 22, 2024