Pre-Health  
 

Degrees / Courses

 
1.) Complete all necessary undergraduate course work.

Below are outlines of Aquinas courses that meet the prerequisites for health-related pre-professional programs at most Michigan universities.  Universities in other states generally have similar requirements.  Specific program requirements do vary from school to school and all are subject to change. Our pre-health advisors monitor changes in requirements for programs popular with our graduates, but we also recommend that students periodically visit the websites of programs in which they are interested. Aquinas students who follow one of the outlines below will also meet the requirements to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology.

 
Pre-Medical
Required Science & Math Courses Other Required Courses (most med schools)
Course # Course Title Course # Course Title
BY160 Introduction to Biology EHXXX A Writing Course
BY161 Botany PG100 Introduction to Psychology
BY162 Zoology SY103 Cultural Anthropology (or another culture course)
BYXXX Upper-level Electives*  
CY111/112 General Chemistry I & II Recommended Science & Math Courses
CY211/212 Organic Chemistry I & II BY231 Microbiology
CY325 Biochemistry BY326 Cell Biology
PC201/202 or PC213/214 General Physics I & II BY328 Genetics
MS114 College Algebra/Trig BY372 Physiology
    MS121/122 Calculus I & II
*Recommendations vary; some programs specify particular elective biology courses other programs require only a general biology sequence.
 
Pre-Dental
Required Science & Math Courses Other Required Courses (most dental schools)
Course # Course Title Course # Course Title
BY160 Principles of Biology EHxxx A Writing Course
BY161 Botany PG100 Introduction to Psychology
BY162 Zoology SY101 Introduction to Sociology
BY231 Microbiology  
CY111/112 General Chemistry I & II Recommended Science & Math Courses
CY212/212 Organic Chemistry I & II BY221 Comparative Anatomy
CY325 Biochemistry BY324 Neuroscience
PC201/202 or PC213/214 General Physics I & II BY326 Cell Biology
MS114 College Algebra & Trig BY372 Physiology
    MS252 Statistics
 
Pre-Veterinary
Required Science & Math Courses Other Required Courses (most veterinary schools)
Course # Course Title Course # Course Title
BY160 Principles of Biology EHxxx A Writing Course
BY161 Botany PG100 Introduction to Psychology
BY162 Zoology SY101 Introduction to Sociology
BY326 Cell Biology  
BY328 Genetics Recommended Science & Math Courses
CY111/112 General Chemistry I & II BY221 Comparative Anatomy
CY212/212 Organic Chemistry I & II BY231 Microbiology
CY325 Biochemistry BY31

Parasitology

MS114 College Algebra/Trig BY372 Physiology
PC201/202 or PC213/214

General Physics I & II

MS121 Calculus I
 
 

Pre-PA (Physician’s Assistant)

Required Science & Math Courses Other Required Courses (most PA programs)
Course # Course Title Course # Course Title
BY155/156 Human Anat./Phys. I & II EHxxx A Writing Course
BY160 Principles of Biology PG100 Introduction to Psychology
BY162 Zoology PG208/209 Lifespan Psychology course(s)*
BY231 Microbiology SY103 Cultural Anthropology (or another culture course)
BY328 Genetics  
BY372 Physiology Recommended Science Courses
CY111/112 General Chemistry I & II BY324 Neuroscience
CY211/212 Organic Chemistry BY326 Cell Biology
CY325 Biochemistry

 

MS114 College Algebra/Trig  
PC201/202 or PC213/214

General Physics I & II

 
MS252 Statistics *3-6 credit hours
 

Pre-PT (Physical Therapy)

Required Science & Math Courses Other Required Courses (most PT programs)
Course # Course Title Course # Course Title
BY155/156 Human Anat./Phys. I & II EHxxx A Writing Course
BY160 Principles of Biology PG100 Introduction to Psychology
BY162 Zoology PG208 Child & Adolescent Psychology
CY111/112 General Chemistry I & II PG209 Early & Mid-Adult Development
PC201/202 or PC213/214 General Physics I & II PG210 Late Adult Development & Aging
MS252 Statistics SY103 Cultural Anthropology (or another culture course)
 

If, after completing your bachelor's degree, you wish to apply to an Allied Health Program (Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, etc.), you should visit the websites of universities that offer such programs for specific pre-requisites. However, the science requirements generally follow those specified above for Pre-Med students.

 
Another option for students seeking admission to Pre-Physical/Occupational Therapy programs would be to major in Athletic Training or Exercise Science. Download an example of a four year plan in Pre- Physical/Occupational Therapy (pdf) or contact the Chair of the Kinesiology Department at (616) 632-2897.
 
2.) Get some practical experience.
Most health care programs require (or at least highly recommend) that applicants obtain some sort of real-world exposure in their field of interest prior to application. Physical therapy, physician assistant and veterinary medicine programs are very particular on this point, often specifying a minimum number of hours of experience that applicants must have completed. This can be accomplished by securing a paying job in the applicable health care field, by volunteering your services in a clinic or nursing home, or by shadowing a doctor, veterinarian or dentist.
 
3.) Prepare for the appropriate admission test.
Each of the health sciences uses an entrance exam to help them evaluate prospective students. Medical schools use the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), Dental Schools use the Dental Admission Test (DAT) and veterinary schools use either the MCAT or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Other programs often use the GRE as well. Each of these exams is a standardized, multiple choice test with subject areas relating to the specific field of study. For example, the MCAT rates students in verbal skills, life science knowledge and physical science knowledge.
The GRE is given on computer by appointment, but the MCAT and DAT are given on specific test dates at regional test centers. You should investigate the times and locations and take the appropriate test during the spring of the year before you hope to be admitted. In other words, if you hope to graduate in May of 2010 and start medical school in August of 2010, you should take the MCAT in the spring of 2009, toward the end of your junior year.
You should prepare extensively for the exam you must take, because most schools weigh the exam results at least as heavily as your grade point average. In addition to reviewing the material to be covered on the test, you should also practice in a way that acquaints you with the time constraints of the testing situation. There are review books with sample tests that approximate the real exams in content and length. Time yourself as you take them and keep taking new ones until you're comfortable with the results.
 
4.) Complete your applications carefully and in a timely manner.
Most medical schools accept applications only through application services such as AACOMAS (for osteopathic programs) and AMCAS (for allopathic programs). Dental Schools often accept applications only through AADSAS. For most other pre-professional programs, students apply directly to the school of interest. Most application services and individual programs now supply application forms online.
Be sure that you have completed the application form with no grammatical or typographical errors. Have someone proof-read any personal statements you are asked to write (Pre-health Advisory Committee members are a good resource for this service). Be sure the application is in the mail as soon as the application service or program begins to accept them. Most programs also follow a rolling admissions policy, filling positions as soon as suitable applicants can be identified. Under such systems, your chances are best if your applications are submitted early in the cycle.
 
5.) Schedule an interview with the Pre-health Advisory Committee.

The Pre-health Advisory Committee likes to interview candidates for pre-professional and pre-health programs in order to better identify specific strengths and weaknesses and to permit the composition of a more effective letter of recommendation. If you are applying to schools that prefer (or require) individual letters rather than committee letters, please advise the committee of that in advance so that individual letters can be substituted. Letters of recommendation do not accompany your primary application, but are mailed out when you are asked to submit secondary applications. These will be requested by programs still interested in you after reviewing your primary application.

 
6.) Complete and return your secondary applications as quickly as possible.
Medical schools and some dental schools send secondary applications to students whose primary applications interest them. For the reasons outlined above, these should be returned quickly, as further consideration will only be given to those with completed files. Again, if essays are required on these forms, have someone proof-read them for content and for grammatical or typographical errors.
 
7.) Prepare for interviews.
Once the secondaries have been filed, you wait to be invited for interviews. Your prior interview with the Pre-health Advisory Committee will have provided you with tips on how to prepare for this important final stage of the application process.