Pre-Health Professions

This area of study is not a major, but an emphasis in course and experiential work in preparation to enter any of the professions in the health area, which include: anesthesiologist assistant, chiropractor, dentist, medical researcher, occupational therapist, optometrist, osteopathic medicine, pharmacist, physical therapist, physician, physician assistant, podiatrist, public health professional, and veterinarian.

Course schedules vary to meet requirements of the student's profession of interest. All students engage in internship(s) to acquire practical experience in the profession.

Want more information in particular area? Contact a professor!

Dana Morris, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology

Pre-Medicine, Physician Assistant and Anesthesiologist Assistant:
Lea M. Daniel, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology

Pharmacy and Chiropractic:
John A. Bellefeuille, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry

Kendal Clark Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Physics

Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy:
Ashley Lough Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology


Frequently Asked Questions

What skills and abilities do I need to excel in this program?

Students should have, or develop good study skills, analytical thinking, reading comprehension and ability to communicate well, both verbally and in writing.


What skills can I expect to develop through this program?

Students in this area develop a sound knowledge base, and conceptual understanding of the sciences, including biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics. Specific courses required vary depending on the professional program which the student wishes to enter. In addition, they learn to apply scientific concepts in laboratory applications, both in laboratories as part of courses and in student research projects.


What opportunities are there for internships or other hands-on learning experiences?

An important component of the student experience is practical observation and guided participation in clinical procedures and patient interaction. This is acquired in clinical settings during internships with professionals in the field of interest.

The Medical Professions Advisory Council (MPAC) is a very dedicated group of healthcare professionals, all of whom are alumni of CMU. Through MPAC and an associated group of alumni, each CMU pre-med student receives an alumni mentor who has practiced in the students field of interest. This mentor is a resource person, who can help the student find internship experiences, research opportunities, as well as help with professional school entry.

Each year the MPAC, along with the Pre-Med Advisory Committee, organizes lectures, seminars, career days as well as special topic panel discussions.

Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED), National Honorary Pre-Med Society, a student pre-professional group, organizes visits to professional schools, brings in speakers and arranges opportunities for service in healthcare and the community.

In addition, members of AED attend the AED National Convention, where they may interact with a variety of nationally recognized leaders in the health professions, listen to lectures, panel discussions and participate in hands-on exercises with professional equipment.


What are some possible entry-level careers with concentration in this field?

A pre-med student with a BS or BA in biology or chemistry can work in a clinical hospital lab, a research lab at a pharmaceutical company, chemical supply company or in a university research lab.
Alternatively, the student could work in a hospital or clinic as an assistant, ward clerk, phlebotomist or other similar capacity.


What are some CMU graduates with this degree doing?

Dr. Keith Young '86 is chair of the Medical Professions Advisory Council and practices psychiatry in California

Dr. Deborah Sellmeyer '87 is on the faculty at the University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine

Dr. Richard Wyatt '64 is Executive Director of the NIH Office of Intramural Research and Rear Admiral of the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.