College of Natural and Health Sciences
Students interested in preparing for careers in the Health Sciences (including allopathic, osteopathic, and podiatric medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, pharmacy, medical technology, and chiropractic, for example) and those interested in various allied health sciences* (e.g., dental hygiene, physician’s assistant, optometry assistant, veterinary assistant, and physical therapy) should contact the UNC Pre-Health advisor early in their studies. Many UNC graduates, from a variety of majors, have been successful in being admitted to competitive medical and health professional programs.
To prepare for admittance to medical school and other health professional degree programs, students may select from a large variety of UNC majors and complete the required pre-requisite courses. Advisors with knowledge about careers in the health sciences, requirements for admission to health professional schools, and UNC courses and degree programs assist students planning to apply for admission to health professional schools. Competition for admission to these health professional schools is keen and completion of an undergraduate program does not guarantee admission to the health professional school. Academic interviews, grade point average, performance on specialized admissions exams, faculty recommendations, personal characteristics and hands-on experiences are all taken into consideration to determine admittance into health professional schools. UNC’s Pre-Health advisor and Pre-Health Committee of faculty are dedicated to providing timely and informed advising to students interested in health-related careers.
Careful program planning is essential and students are encouraged to meet regularly with both the pre-health advisor and their UNC major advisor. Students are encouraged to select courses that will meet the requirements of a degree that provides maximum flexibility in career choices. Health professional schools have requirements that range from a minimum of two years of undergraduate studies to four years including a bachelor’s degree. Although common requirements exist within areas, sufficient differences exist such that wise students will work closely with their major advisor to be certain that all program and degree requirements are being met.
At a minimum, health professional schools and allied health science programs will require a year of general biology, a year of general chemistry and a year of English composition. Organic chemistry, additional biology, physics, statistics, and college mathematics, as well as courses in social sciences and humanities, are generally required.
Health professional schools do not require specific undergraduate degrees for admittance and UNC students may choose from a variety of academic majors. Sports and Exercise Science is the most common major for students considering physical therapy schools, while Biology or Chemistry are the most common majors for students considering the other health professional schools. Students majoring in non-science programs usually require an additional year of course work to meet pre-requisites for health professional schools. For information on the requirements for specific programs contact Dr. Patrick Burns at (970) 351-2695.
NOTE: *Nursing is available at UNC. For more information about the nursing program consult the index of this Catalog.