At Muhlenberg College, the Health Professions Advising (HPA) office is an additional resource for prehealth students. Much like the Career Center offers services for all undergraduates contemplating life after college, HPA deals specifically with pre-health students who hope to pursue graduate professional school in the health sciences after college.
Upon entering the college, you’ll make it a point to be included in the HPA database which will allow you to receive emails, information, invitations and attend programming structured specifically for prehealth students.
Students interested in allopathic or osteopathic medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, podiatry, public health, physical or occupational therapy, nursing, pharmacy, physician assistant—all work with our office to glean career advice pertinent to their particular area of interest.
For most medical, dental, veterinary, optometry and podiatry schools, students need a year of biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, mathematics, English and physics. Additional courses in other disciplines, including psychology, sociology and anthropology, are highly recommended.
The simplest answer is that you should apply when your academic record, standardized test scores, experience in the field, research (often optional) and personal commitment are at their strongest. Your timeline for application need not look like anyone else’s. If you were auditioning for a Broadway show or trying out for a professional sports team, you wouldn’t arrive with lines half-memorized or without knowing all the intricacies of the game. The same can be applied to your professional school application.
You need not choose a major until second semester sophomore year. You’re encouraged to explore, seek challenge and taste the liberal arts before deciding. Certainly many students pursuing a career in the health professions begin their studies as a science major. But please know that you may major in anything you like (and are encouraged to do so!) Diversity makes the world go round and the History, Spanish, Music, Religion, (and all the others omitted here!) majors are sought as much as the science majors at professional schools.
You may major in any discipline without adversely affecting admission to professional school.
Should you elect to be a non-science major, what you do need to remember is that you must perform particularly well in your requisite science classes because you’ll have fewer of them than your science major friends. Think “A” and “B+” and you’ll be on the right course. Scientific ability must also be evident in the standardized test results which accompany the given profession.
Professional schools look for well-rounded students. Some students choose to double major or minor outside the science fields. This allows one to broaden overall knowledge base while concentrating in a particular area of personal interest. Careful course planning is of greatest importance in undertaking a double major or major/minor.
College credit may be offered for some Advancement Placement (AP) courses taken in high school depending upon the department under which the course falls. A foreign language or English credit may allow you to take a higher-level course within that concentration. Typically, AP credits in the sciences will not satisfy prehealth requirements for admission to professional school (calculus is often the exception).
Muhlenberg College has several academic partnerships with excellent health and medical schools, including the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, the SUNY College of Optometry, the Temple School of Medicine and Boston University School of Medicine.