Pre-Professional Health Programs
Anderson University offers pre-health professional programs for students desiring careers in medicine, physical and occupational therapy, dentistry, pharmacy, chiropractic, optometry, podiatry, veterinary medicine, or as a physician assistant. Individualized programs are developed for students wishing to enter other health professions not listed above.
Although most pre-health profession students major in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, or exercise science in most cases any major may be chosen as long as particular health program and course requirements are met. The length and specific coursework for each program is variable depending on the field and the individual professional school selected. Each pre-professional program is designed to give the student broad, Christian, liberal arts preparation for service in the health field of choice. Students interested in a particular pre-health professional program should contact the director of pre-health professional programs for more information and/or referral to the appropriate advisor in that profession.
Explore how students are designing their pre-health programs.
The success of AU’s pre-health profession programs can be measured in a variety of ways. The university has an excellent placement record during the past 15 years, with approximately 85-90% of the students who applied to professional programs having been accepted. Of those students who have received strong committee recommendations, essentially 100% have been accepted. Many of our students during the past 15 years have been in the upper 10% of their professional school classes upon graduation from their respective schools.
- Pre-Med (Allopathic & Osteopathic)
- Pre-Medical Technology
- Pre-Occupational Therapy
- Pre-Physical Therapy
- Pre-Physician Assistant
Facilities & Experiential Learning
Hartung Hall, which houses the science departments, received a $5 million, 30,000 square-foot expansion and renovation to become a state-of-the-art science facility. New classrooms and quality instrumentation make Anderson University one of the best study opportunities available for students who want a quality education in an intimate setting. AU science students are given many opportunities for hands-on operation of the kinds of instrumentation that are typically found in the large research centers of the world.
Many students participate in summer internship programs sponsored by various universities, industries, and government agencies. These provide excellent opportunities for students to be exposed to the environment that they hope to enter in a few years. Some students participate in mission programs of varying length that allow for the exploration of service projects related to their field of interest. Faculty and other university staff work with students on an individual basis in order to facilitate intern experiences.
Almost all students who are applying to professional schools to pursue careers in health science, and who are maintaining a GPA of 3.5 or better, are accepted. The overall acceptance rate of AU students is approximately 85%.
Tri-S Global (Study, Serve, Share) is a university-sponsored program that sends students around the world for service and learning experiences. School sponsorship reduces the price of each trip to a fraction of the usual cost. Given the diversity of the program, a student could be on a different continent each year. Recent trips have included traveling to Hong Kong to work at a hospital for the mentally ill, delivering health care in Africa and South America, working at a church camp in Jamaica, teaching Bible school in England, touring Australia, and serving the dying and destitute in Kolkata, India.
Pre-Professional Health Society
Statistics from applicants accepted for entry in 2021.
53,030 applicants, 22,239 matriculants = 42% matriculation
- Chemical & Physical Foundations of Biological Systems: 127.7
- Critical Analysis & Reasoning Skills: 127.1
- Biological & Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems: 128.0
- Psychological, Social & Biological Foundations of Behavior: 128.3
- Total: 511.5
- 3.66 (Science/Math Classes)
- 3.73 (All Classes)
Pre-Professional Health Society 2021-22
- President: Mallory Housman
- Vice President: Alexis Crawford
- Treasurer: Mac Beattie
- Secretary: Derrik Scharland
- Senator: Caleb Williams
Pre-Medical Evaluation Forms
- Faculty Form (shows how you are evaluated)
- Student Form
Medical School Timeline
First Two College Years
- Select a curriculum that will challenge your abilities and interest in the liberal arts and the basic sciences and fulfill more than minimum premedical requirements. Be sure that other courses taken are in areas of interest that will usually be reflected in a good performance and will enhance your liberal arts background. There is no required or recommended major. Select your major in the field that interests you the most, and make it a genuine choice.
- Get to know the PPH director and the advisory committee faculty. Speak with students who are juniors and seniors and learn of their experiences.
- Involve yourself with extracurricular commitments that are of interest to you, reflect your interest in medicine, and demonstrate service to the community.
- Develop friendships with members of the faculty who share common interests with you. This will enable them to better function in a support capacity during your application process.
- Learn as much as you can about medicine from physicians, medical students, local hospitals, etc.
- Try to achieve an outstanding undergraduate record and grade point average. Should you do poorly in an area, repeat the course or take a similar upper-level course to demonstrate your ability.
- Arrange with the PPH director and/or clinicians in the area that interests you to observe medicine or dentistry first hand. These observations will probably be volunteer hours. A significant number of these hours are expected by admissions committees to demonstrate that you clearly understand the expectations of the profession.
- Continue to improve or maintain a high academic performance.
- Obtain a copy of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Medical School Admission Requirements or the ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools. Study its contents and make note of any changes or new schools of medicine that may have new entering classes (also see www.aamc.org or www.adea.org).
- Prepare for the MCAT or DAT (you may choose to enroll in special courses for improving test-taking).
- Discuss your relative chances of entrance to medical/dental school with the PPH director and other members of the faculty who you hold in high regard. Be realistic! If your chances appear to be excellent, visit and talk to schools of your interest. Speak to their students to learn about the curriculum design and general attitudes. DO NOT take the MCAT or DAT just to see what it is about or “for practice.” The record of your test-taking attempts follows for ALL subsequent applications.
- Carefully assess your chances for entrance into medical or dental school. Research particular schools that interest you where you think you might have a better chance of admission.
- If you are prepared to take the MCAT, apply in early winter to take the test given in the spring (www.aamc.org/students/mcat). If your MCAT scores are poor or only average consider retaking the test in the late spring or summer. Take the DAT in the summer following your junior year. Register here.
- In the spring of your junior year, make arrangements with the PPH director to have an interview with your PPH advisory committee. Upon request, the committee will provide an appropriate letter of recommendation for you to the schools to which you apply.
- At the end of your junior year, write your personal statement and begin the central application process. The medical school primary application is called AMCAS (www.aamc.org/students/amcas/start.htm) for domestic MD-granting institutions, AACOMAS (aacomas.aacom.org) for domestic DO-granting institutions, and AADSAS (www.adea.org/AADSAS) for the dental school primary application.
- Use the late spring/early summer to complete all application forms online. Submit your application EARLY (June 1 is the earliest for AMCAS). Admission to most of these schools is on a rolling basis. Failure to adhere to the application deadline shows minimal interest, and most often results in rejection.
- Be sure that all necessary materials have been forwarded to AMCAS, AACOMAS, or AADSAS, or directly to the medical or dental schools of your interest as requested by these organizations. (i.e., transcripts, recommendations, and MCAT or DAT scores).
- Complete all scholarship and loan applications as soon as possible. To be eligible for financial aid, you must complete the FAFSA form. Consider other means of financing if necessary.
- In early Fall Semester, continue to evaluate your admission potential. You may decide to apply to additional medical schools. If so, be aware of their application deadline dates so that your application is eligible for consideration.
- Notify your faculty members of selection for interview and dates that you need to travel and be away from your classes.
- If you are admitted to the school of your choice, notify all other schools in which you are no longer interested as a courtesy to them.
- As the school year progresses, send any additional items (such as any update or new grades) to the schools considering your application.
- If you are placed on the waiting list, continue to add to your record all additional credits, honors, experiences, etc., to strengthen your application.
- If you are admitted to medical school or dental school, forward your deposit and begin planning for housing and loans, etc.
- If you are not admitted, consider and discuss alternatives with the PPH director.
- Get to know the PPH advisors of pre-medicine and pre-dentistry as soon as possible in your first year.
- Arrange premedical or pre-dental volunteer experiences throughout your first two years.
- Consider arranging a pre-professional health science committee interview and notify the committee of the need of an evaluation letter before you submit your AMCAS, AACOMAS, or AADSAS application.
- Take the MCAT in either Spring of your junior year or that following summer. Take the DAT in the summer after your junior year.
- Submit your application to medical or dental school during the summer between your junior and senior years.
Select your pre-professional path
The pre-chiropractic program is developed to gain admittance to a school of chiropractic medicine. Course preparation includes general and organic chemistry, two courses in biology, as well as physics and psychology.
Graduate work: The colleges of chiropractic medicine generally confer simultaneously their own bachelor’s degree upon completion of 120 semester hours (counting those earned at Anderson University) and the Doctor of Chiropractic after completion of the four-year curriculum.
Pre-dentistry is a four-year program resulting in a bachelor’s degree. Course preparation must include a year of general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, general physics, and a manual dexterity skills course.
Graduate work: Dental schools provide a four-year curriculum and confer a Doctorate of Dentistry degree upon graduation.
Allopathic & Osteopathic
The pre-med program is a four-year program resulting in a bachelor’s degree. Course preparation must include a year of general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and general physics. Students are advised to take more than the minimum amount of biology and chemistry courses to be competitive on the qualifying MCAT and to make the first year of medical school more manageable. Courses in mathematics, communication skills, and various arts and humanities will be required by certain medical schools.
Graduate work: Allopathic and osteopathic medical schools provide a four-year curriculum conferring the degree Doctor of Medicine, MD and DO, respectively. The graduate can then expand to spend two to eight years in residency depending on the area of specialization.
The pre-occupational therapy program culminates with a bachelor’s degree and is designed to prepare students for a master’s degree or PhD program in occupational therapy. Joint bachelor’s/master’s programs are available. The minimum load requires a volunteer clinical experience as an occupational therapy aide, as well as general biology, anatomy and physiology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, statistics, calculus, and psychology.
Graduate work: Students must obtain a catalog from the specific schools of occupational therapy they plan to attend, as course requirements may vary.
Pre-optometry is a four-year program leading to application to one of 14 schools and colleges of optometry in the United States and Puerto Rico. Optometrists examine, diagnose, and treat eye diseases, as well as prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses. Undergraduate coursework includes general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, calculus, microbiology, and biochemistry. Additional courses in the basic sciences are highly recommended. Because many optometrists are in private practice, a strong background in business is encouraged. Students take the OAT exam following their junior year and apply for admission during their senior year.
Graduate work: Optometry schools offer a four-year curriculum leading to the degree Doctor of Optometry. Most new ODs begin practicing immediately after graduation, although there are one-year residency programs for specialization.
The pre-pharmacy program is developed to gain admittance to a pharmacy school. Course preparation includes general and organic chemistry, general biology, physics and other math, biology, and humanities courses, depending on the pharmacy school.
Graduate work: The colleges of pharmacy often confer a bachelor’s degree to students transferring into their program upon completion of the college’s undergraduate course work. A doctorate of pharmacy, Pharm. D., is awarded after completion of the professional program’s four-year curriculum.
The pre-physical therapy program culminates with a bachelor’s degree and is designed to prepare students for a DPT program in physical therapy. The minimum load requires general biology, anatomy and physiology, chemistry, physics, behavioral sciences, and statistics.
Graduate work: Doctorate and master’s degree programs are available for physical therapy assistants. Students must obtain a catalog from the specific school of physical therapy they plan to attend, as course requirements may vary.
Students complete two to four years of undergraduate work before attending a physician assistant program. The minimum course load requires a volunteer clinical experience, as well as cell biology, immunology, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics.
Graduate work: Physician assistant programs typically last for two years. Students must obtain a catalog from the specific school offering physician assistant programs they plan to attend, as course requirements may vary.
Pre-podiatry is a four-year program leading to application to one of eight colleges of podiatric medicine in the United States. Podiatrists examine, diagnose, and treat medical conditions of the foot and ankle. Coursework should include general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, calculus, microbiology, and biochemistry. Additional basic science courses are strongly recommended for successful preparation to podiatry school. Students take the MCAT, DAT, or GRE exam following their junior year and apply for admission during their senior year.
Graduate work: Podiatry colleges offer a four-year curriculum leading to the degree Doctor of Podiatric Medicine. New DPMs spend one to three years in a residency program gaining additional training and experience.
Pre-veterinary is a four-year program, though course requirements may vary depending on the graduate school a student attends later. Courses include English composition, public speaking, biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, quantitative analysis, physics, mathematics, statistics, genetics, macroeconomics, animal nutrition, humanities, and electives. Animal experience is of high importance. This experience could consist of volunteer work at an animal shelter or paid positions in a veterinary clinic. A major in biology is strongly recommended.
Graduate work: Colleges of veterinary medicine execute a four-year curriculum that confers the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Generally, graduates serve a residency in a specialty area before beginning independent practice.
Receive a curated list of programs to explore for your college career.