Career & Professional Development > Health Professions Advising > Academic and other preparation

Resources for preparation for students who plan to apply for admission to health profession graduate and professional programs.

Academic preparation:

Although the majority of health professions students may choose to major in a science field, it is not required. 

  • Coursework guidelines for undergraduate students preparing for admission to health profession graduate programs vary depending on the health profession and the school or program. Health Professions Advising strongly encourages students to research course guidelines based on your future profession and individual schools. Basic pre-requisite course may include:
    • First year biology (with labs)
    • First year chemistry (with labs)
    • Physics (with labs)
    • Organic chemistry (with labs), one or two semesters depending on profession and school
    • First year math
    • English
  • However, please note that many schools either require or recommend additional courses depending on the health profession and the school. Some of these courses may be in such areas as biochemistry, microbiology, genetics, cell and molecular biology, anatomy and physiology, immunology, psychology, sociology, and human development.
  • Please be aware that merely meeting the minimum pre-requisites is generally not sufficient to be a competitive applicant.
  • Coursework for majors: see your academic department.
  • Undecided / major-undeclared students receive academic advising through University Studies

Academic assistance at Virginia Tech:

Preparing to be competitive:

Undergraduate and summer research & study opportunities:

  • These kinds of opportunities are strongly encouraged both to give you exposure to topics of interest and to strengthen your application.

Extra-curricular preparation:

  • Do volunteering & service.
  • Shadow health professionals.
  • Get to know a health professional in your field.
  • Work/volunteer in a clinical setting (clinics, ED/ER, hospital)
  • Explore a variety of volunteer and community service activities to determine where you would like to devote concentrated energy and time.
  • If you choose to seek employment, consider an opportunity that involves working with the general public in some capacity.
  • Plan to obtain experiences where you can take on increasing levels of responsibility and/or leadership.
  • Gain leadership experiences through employment, clubs, research projects, course projects, community service, or other relevant opportunities.