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Pre-Health Tracks

Pre-Health Tracks

Very few schools, Wheaton College included, offer pre-med/pre-health majors. Students are encouraged to pursue a major in an area of study that is of personal interest to them. Along with the major courses, students will also take pre-requisite courses to apply to the professional area (Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, etc.) of their choosing. In many cases, there is a common core of pre-requisite courses. Additional courses may be required in addition to those listed. Students are responsible to ensure they take all the necessary courses to apply and demonstrate readiness for the program and entrance exams (MCAT, DAT, GRE etc.). Specific information about various programs, core requirements and resources are provided below.

Core Requirements for most dental schools:

  • Introductory Biology (BIOL 241, 242)
  • General Chemistry (CHEM 231, 232)
  • Organic Chemistry (CHEM 341,342)
  • General Physics (PHYS 221–222)

Additional courses often recommended or required for admission include:

  • English Composition
  • Upper-level Biology courses such as Anatomy & Physiology, Microbiology and Biochemistry
  • Social and Behavioral Science courses and the Arts

Helpful Resources

Core Requirements for most medical schools:

  • Introductory Biology (BIOL 241, 242)
  • General Chemistry (CHEM 231, 232)
  • Organic Chemistry (CHEM 341,342)
  • General Physics (PHYS 221–222)

Additional Courses recommended to assist students with the MCAT

  • Biochemistry (CHEM 461) – highly recommended
  • Introductory Psychology (PSYC 101)
  • Introductory Sociology (SOC 115)*
  • Statistics (MATH 263, PSYC 268, AHS 281)*

*Students may also choose to self-study the concepts and material tested on the exam.

Beyond the courses listed as preparation for MCAT 2015, school–specific admissions may require other courses such as:

  • English courses (written composition, advanced or intensive writing courses)
  • MATH 231 – Calculus I, MATH 232 – Calculus II
  • Social & Behavioral Sciences (Psychology, Sociology, etc.)
  • Statistics
  • Upper Division Biology Courses: BIOL 362 – Cell and Developmental Biology; BIOL 356 – Genetics; BIOL 364 – Microbiology & Immunology; BIOL/CHEM 461 – Biochemistry

Helpful Resources:

Core Requirements for many optometry programs:

  • Introductory Biology (BIOL 241, 242)
  • General Chemistry (CHEM 231, 232)
  • Organic Chemistry (CHEM 341,342)
  • General Physics (PHYS 221–222)
  • Microbiology (BIOL 364)
  • Statistics
  • Calculus (MATH 231)

 Helpful Resources:

Core Requirements for Podiatry Programs

  • Introductory Biology (BIOL 241, 242)
  • General Chemistry (CHEM 231, 232)
  • Organic Chemistry (CHEM 341,342)
  • General Physics (PHYS 221–222)
  • English courses (6-8 semester hours)

Helpful Resources:

  • American Podiatric Medical Association – What is a Podiatrist?
  • American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine (AACPM) represents the nine colleges of podiatric medicine and over 200 hospitals and organizations conducting graduate training in the field
  • Podiatric College Information Book – contains information on all nine US programs and other helpful information
  • Find a Mentor Resource through the AACPM
  • The MCAT is the required entrance exam for podiatry programs. For more information on the various test sections and their content, see the AAMC web site. Additional courses beyond those required for admission may be necessary to adequately prepare for the exam.

Veterinary Medical College Application Services - Summary of Course Pre-Requisites

There are many ways in which one can pursue a career in nursing. One path is the Liberal Arts Nursing major. If not pursuing the major, many Wheaton College students pursue a non-nursing undergraduate major and then enter nursing education after graduation. Applying to an accelerated BSN (second Bachelor’s degree) program or a Graduate Entry Master’s program are the two most popular options for students preparing to enter the nursing field. Some programs are intended for individuals seeking to become nurse practitioners.

Core Requirements for many nursing programs:

  • Introductory Biology (BIOL 241)*
  • Chemistry (CHEM 231, 232)
  • Microbiology (BIOL 364)
  • Anatomy & Physiology (AHS 351 & 361)
  • General Psychology (PSYC 101)
  • Developmental Psychology (PSYC 317)
  • Statistics course

*Required to take Anatomy & Physiology

Beyond the courses listed above, school–specific requirements may include courses such as:

  • English courses (written composition, advanced or intensive writing courses)
  • Social & Behavioral Sciences (additional Psychology, Sociology, etc.)
  • Nutrition (AHS 368)
  • Oral Communication
  • CPR and/or medical terminology*

*Medical terminology is not offered at Wheaton College, many programs allow online courses

Students are encouraged to consult the nursing program web sites for a list of the pre-requisite requirements.

Helpful Resources:

Core Requirements for most physician assistant schools:

  • General Biology (BIOL 241)
  • Microbiology (BIOL 364)
  • Anatomy & Physiology (AHS 351 & 361 or BIOL 331 & 332)
  • Chemistry course (significant variability in chemistry requirements)
  • Statistics

PA programs tend to have the greatest variability from program to program of the health profession tracks. Students are wise to investigate required classes early.

Helpful Resources:

There are ten common areas of study/work within the discipline of Public Health: Biostatistics/Informatics, Community Health, Epidemiology, Environmental Health, Global Health, Health Policy, Health Promotion and Communication, Maternal and Child Health, Minority Health and Health Disparities, and Social/Behavioral Health.

American Public Health Association

The type of graduate program being pursued determines if any pre-requisite courses would be required. The GRE is frequently required for MPH or MSPH programs. Over 19,000 individuals applied for public health programs in 2016-2017 and over 13,000 were accepted.

Helpful Resources:

A child life specialist is an expert in child development. The individual works to ensure that life remains as normal as possible for children in various health care settings and other challenging environments. Child Life Specialists promote effective coping through play environments, self-expression activities, and age-appropriate medical preparation and education. Individuals work with the families and in partnership with doctors, nurses, social workers and others professionals to meet the unique developmental, social, emotional and cultural needs of the child and family.

Helpful Resources:

Core Requirements for most occupational therapy schools:

  • Anatomy & Physiology (AHS 351 & 361 or BIOL 331 & 332)
  • General Psychology (PSYC 101)
  • Abnormal and/or Developmental Psychology (PSYC 348 and 317)

Helpful Resources:

Core Requirements for most physical therapy schools:

  • General Biology (BIOL 241 & 242)
  • Anatomy & Physiology (AHS 351 & 361 or BIOL 331 & 332)
  • Physics (PHYS
  • Calculus (MATH 231)

Helpful Resources:

Wheaton College students interested in becoming a speech-language pathologist can pursue graduate studies in the field after graduation. In many cases, pre-requisite courses would be needed to apply. Some pre-requisite courses include: Introduction to Communication Sciences & Disorders, Introduction to Audiology, Phonetics, Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism.

Helpful Resources: