If you are looking for guidance in preparing for a career in the health professions, this is a good place to start. The following links will direct you to sites either in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics or to other UH programs and colleges that offer preparatory programs.
The Health Professions Advising Center at UH connects students with the resources they need to successfully explore, prepare for and enter a career in health professions. Within their webpages, you will find information pertaining to careers in medicine, dentistry, optometry, physician assistant, nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, occupational therapy and other health careers.
In the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, students will find routes to superb preparation for a career in medicine. While students who hope to attend medical school may choose to major in any department, most find that a major in biology and biochemistry best meets their needs. Students should participate in UH’s Health Professions Advising Program. Qualified students may be eligible for the Joint Admission Medical Program.
Many pre-dental students select a STEM major, such as biology, because many of the required courses for admission into dental school are already included as a part of the degree-program. However, dental school admissions committees do not care which major you choose, as any major can lead to a career in dentistry. So when choosing a major, you should be looking for a field that you are interested in and one that will challenge you academically, rather than the major you believe will help you "stand out." UH’s Health Professions Advising Program’s section on dentistry provides information on pursuing that career.
Pre-nursing courses are offered at UH and prepare students to transfer to the nursing program of their choice. Pre-nursing students typically major in social sciences, health, biology, or remain University Studies students because of the nature of this field and their intent to remain at UH only two years. UH’s Health Professions Advising Program’s section on nursing careers provides information on pursuing a career in nursing. Students who want to complete a bachelor’s degree before entering nursing school should consider UH’s College of Nursing.
Consider the pre-requisite courses required for admission by PA programs as well as the types of classes or majors that you would be most interested in pursuing. As long as you show proficiency in the sciences and a general pattern of challenging yourself, your major is largely unimportant to admission committees. UH’s Health Professions Advising Program’s section on physician assistant careers provides information on pursuing this career. UH does not offer a physician assistant degree program.
Many pre-Pharmacy students pick a STEM major such as biology, biochemistry, or chemistry because many of the prerequisites for pharmacy school are already required courses for the completion of the major. Learn more about this career through the UH Health Professions Advising Program’s section on pharmacy and through the UH College of Pharmacy.
Many pre-Optometry students pick a STEM major such as biology or biochemistry because many of the prerequisites for optometry school are already required courses for the completion of the major. As long as you show proficiency in the sciences and a general pattern of challenging yourself, your major is largely unimportant to admission committees. Learn more about this career on the UH Health Professions Advising Program’s section on optometry and through the UH College of Optometry.
Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy
There is no single “best” major for pre-PT/OT students. Instead, you should consider the pre-requisite courses required for admission by PT/OT programs as well as the types of classes or majors that you would be most interested in pursuing. Prerequisite coursework to prepare students for these programs are taken throughout UH with an emphasis on sciences. UH’s Health Professions Advising Program provides background information on physical therapy and occupational therapy careers. UH does not currently offer a degree program in Occupational Therapy or at a graduate (D.P.T.) Physical Therapy program.
Other Careers in Healthcare
The UH Health Professions Advising Program provides background on many additional careers in healthcare ranging from chiropractic medicine to genetic counseling to veterinary medicine.