by Rachel Hall
Interested in pursuing a pre-health track in college? There are many undergraduate pre-health tracks to choose from depending on your career goals – some you have likely heard of (pre-medicine, pre-dental, pre-nursing) and some that may be new to you (pre-pharmacy, pre-optometry, pre-veterinary medicine). Pursuing a pre-health track in college comes with excitement, dedication, and a lot of hard work. While each pre-health track has its own set of requirements, there are common factors and experiences all pre-health students should consider during their undergraduate career.
Major Selection – Science-related majors are common for pre-health students, but not required. Select a major that you are interested in – students do best in courses and majors they genuinely enjoy. In addition to your major-related courses, you must successfully complete required prerequisite courses for your chosen pre-health track.
Volunteer Work/Community Service – Showing a commitment to your community and to helping others is important. Volunteer work and/or community service are great ways to show this and can help enhance your graduate/professional school application.
Healthcare-Related Experience – Understand the field you plan to pursue. Gain healthcare-related experience through earning a certificate (CNA, EMT, Phlebotomy), volunteering in a healthcare setting, shadowing a healthcare professional, working as a scribe, or becoming a tech (PT, Pharm) – this experience will help solidify your interest in a career path and give you valuable experience leading up to your application year.
School/Extracurricular Involvement – Get involved! Involvement in your school community, your ability to successfully balance multiple responsibilities, and your engagement in leadership opportunities are all important experiences and skill sets that graduate healthcare schools value in their applicants.
GPA – GPA is important. Graduate/professional healthcare schools consider your cumulative GPA (all coursework) and your prerequisite/science GPA (select courses). Admission into graduate healthcare programs is extremely competitive and schools want to ensure you are academically prepared to handle the rigor of graduate/professional school. During your undergraduate career, learn effective study skills, use resources, and ask for help when needed.
Pursuing a pre-health track in college is a big commitment and can feel overwhelming. Whether you are working to determine the right pre-health track for you, or you are ready to apply to graduate/professional school, Galin Education’s Graduate/Pre-Health Admissions Team is available to help you navigate the process. We hope you will reach out to learn more about the pre-health services and support we offer.