Pre-Med/Pre-Health Professions

Program Description

Saint Mary’s College is a great place to complete “Pre-Health Professions” courses in order to prepare for admission into any number of Graduate Health Professions programs. The strength of the Saint Mary’s liberal arts curriculum and the rigor of the science courses taught by Saint Mary’s faculty are ideal for preparing students to study in a graduate health professions discipline following college. Whether a student desires to pursue study in Human Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Dentistry, Physical Therapy, Optometry, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Physician Assistant Studies, Public Health, or a less popular field, Saint Mary’s can help guide the student in curricular planning in order to complete prerequisite courses for application to these health-related programs. Every student will have an assigned advisor for course selection throughout her College career, and students can also consult with Dr. Versagli, Pre-Health Professions Advisor.

Students can enter a Health Professions Graduate program from a completed major in any discipline at Saint Mary’s College. The most popular major is biology followed by chemistry/biochemistry, but students have also gone on to these programs from majors in music and psychology. Regardless of major, students should strive for a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better with science grades of 3.6 or better to be competitive.

Common prerequisite courses required for health professional programs will be tracked in degree works alongside the student's desired major (s).  Students may only follow one health professional program track.    The options are:

·      Pre-Med (MD and DO) and Podiatry
·      Pre-Dental
·      Pre-Optometry
·      Pre-Physical Therapy
·      Pre-Physician Assistant
·      Pre-Occupational Therapy
·      Pre-Athletic Training
·      Pre-Vet and General Pre-Health Studies
·      Pre-Pharmacy 

If the student is undecided between multiple health professional programs, the student should be added to “Pre-Vet and General Pre-Health Studies” until they have decided.  Advisors should email cc’ing with the student’s name and health professional attributes to be added to DegreeWorks.  If the student is undecided, the student should make an appointment with Dr. Versagli, the pre-health advisor, to discuss.  If a student decides to change, students may need to take courses outside of Saint Mary’s to fulfill the necessary coursework to complete attributes by graduation.  
Starting with first-year students, ALL students of every level must fill out the form emailed by Dr. Versagli to maintain their attributes or change their attributes if necessary.   If no form is completed by the deadline, all pre-health professional attributes will be removed from degree works.  

Upon completion, a special note will be added to the student's transcript to highlight the Health Professional Track completed.

These basic core courses are required for health professions programs, all of which can be taken at Saint Mary’s College. Following are the ones most commonly found among the list of prerequisite of courses for most schools/programs. It is very important that students be responsible for their own research of classes required for admission to the graduate health professions program they desire.

All graduate health professions programs require an admission test in the spring of the junior year or fall of the senior year if a student desires to enter the program immediately following graduation from college. These include but are not limited to the MCAT for medical school, DAT for dental school, or GRE for vet school, OAT for optometry, and GRE for most of the others.

The MCAT (required for medical school) requires at least one course in psychology and one in sociology (dealing with human behavior) as well as biochemistry. Other programs require anatomy and physiology. Some programs also want a course or demonstrated proficiency in communications. Students can get all these courses/requirements at Saint Mary’s College, but some classes may have prerequisites, so students should plan ahead! The student’s advisor and/or Dr. Versagli can help with these details.

Health Professions programs are interested in students who have demonstrated leadership, good time management skills, and an interest in people. Because all undergraduate students at Saint Mary’s are women, all leadership positions are filled by women! The Senior Comprehensive requirement, which is found in all departments at Saint Mary’s College, is highly esteemed among Health Professions Graduate programs. Study abroad and opportunities for shadowing or volunteering are also highly valued and are recommended as part of the undergraduate experience at Saint Mary’s.

Study Abroad

Saint Mary’s has a long history of providing quality international programs as an essential part of our educational mission—forming women leaders who will make a difference in the world. As this world becomes increasingly interdependent, the College offers an expanding range of semester, year, semester break, and summer study and service programs in a wide variety of countries, and encourages students to take advantage of them. Learn more about the various Study Abroad opportunities.

Department Chair

Calli A. Versagli, Program Director/Advisor
274 Science Hall