Medical teacher explains cell structure on projector

Pre-Health Sciences

Preparing students for graduate school in the health sciences is an important part of the Regis College pre-health sciences program. Regis College students pursuing graduate level health sciences degrees such as medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, public health and more will consult with advisors and choose an undergraduate area of study that will match their interests and goals. In addition, specific tracks are available for pre-nursing and pre-pharmacy students. 

Health sciences graduate programs offered by medical, dental and physical therapy schools select students based on their intellectual abilities, motivation, understanding of the nature of a career in health care and past academic and personal achievements. While there is no pre-health major, programs are designed with curriculum that meets requirements for entry into professional schools upon graduation. Regis College pre-health sciences students are encouraged to engage in coursework that fulfills their goal graduate program’s prerequisites and has a strong foundation in the sciences.

Pre-health sciences offers small classes that allow students to get to know their professors and acquire skills that prepare them for health science careers and admission to graduate health programs. Many of our pre-health and pre-med students become involved in research with faculty, assist in the preparation of science laboratories as teaching assistants or complete internships in health-science settings.

Pre-Health Advisors
Regis has several NAAHP (National Association of Advisors of the Health Professions) member advisors and a broader committee of interested advisory faculty that are distributed through various departments in the college. These advisors help with many aspects of your pre-health career planning including coursework scheduling, exam timeline planning, finding good volunteer and internship opportunities, help with entry essays and letters of recommendation.

 

Majors and Programs

There are no official pre-health majors such as pre-med, pre-dental or pre-physical therapy; rather any major can be suitable provided students satisfy the requirements for post-graduate work or schooling.

Many applicants major in Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Health and Exercise Science or Neuroscience.

At Regis, pre-health advisors will guide students in choosing the undergraduate major that will best prepare them for entrance into a professional school.

closeup of nurse and stethoscope

Pre-Nursing Track

For freshman who enter knowing they want to pursue a degree in Nursing, the traditional BSN is a four-year degree consisting of two years of pre-nursing course work, and two years of upper division nursing-specific course work. Freshman that meet the guaranteed admission requirements are automatically accepted to the professional phase of the program without further application. 

closeup of pharmacy student in white coat

Pre-Pharmacy 2+4 Program

The Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program at Regis University is a 2+4 format meaning that applicants must complete a minimum of 2 years (68 credit hours) of prerequisite coursework prior to applying to the four year professional program. Applicants do not have to earn a Bachelors degree prior to applying to the entry level PharmD program at Regis University. Freshman entering Regis knowing that nursing is their chosen profession can take advantage of our guaranteed admission option.

faculty discusses physical therapy research with student assistant

Pre-Physical Therapy

Regis University’s School of Physical Therapy does not offer guaranteed admission to any students; however, all Regis College undergraduates who apply to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) graduate program are given special consideration as Jesuit University alum. Additional consideration is given to students completing the BS in Health and Exercise Science and/or the Exercise Science Minor. Other majors that may be of interest to pre-PT students include biology, neuroscience, or psychology, but any majors are considered. It’s important to do well in your major, so pick one that matches your interests and allows you to excel as a student in all coursework, including DPT prerequisite requirements.

Other Pre-Health Areas of Study

For students interested in entering the fields of dentistry, medicine, optometry, public health or physicians assistant, advisors can assist students in understanding each major and career goal, and help to combine the two into an undergradaute area of study that matches their goals.

At Regis College, it is possible for students to prepare for a wide variety of health care careers. Suggestions for success vary from discipline to discipline, and school to school; however, pre-health advisors are prepared to help students design an undergraduate experience that sets them up for personal and professional success.

 

Pre-Dentistry

A strong background in the natural sciences is needed to continue on to become a dentist. Students will also need to prepare for and take the DAT exam. Our pre-health sciences advisory team will be happy to work with pre-dental students to plan their coursework, experiential learning opportunities, exam preparation timeline and other aspects of the dental school application process.

Pre-Optometry

Since optometrists are members of the primary health care team, optometric education includes a thorough study of human anatomy, general pharmacology, general pathology, sensory and perceptual psychology, biochemistry, statistics and epidemiology. Unique to the educational requirements for optometrists is the advanced study of optics, the science of light and vision, and extensive training in lens design, construction, application and fitting.

Pre-Public Health

Public Health programs vary significantly. The most common degree is a Master's of Public Health (MPH). However, some schools offer MS, MA, and Ph.D. programs in public health. Due to the great diversity that exists, it is best to explore the programs at various schools to determine how programs are structured. Requirements for entering a public health program can vary significantly based upon the degree sought and the nature of the program. Pay close attention to any recommendations from schools to which you think you might apply. 

Pre-Medicine

Students interested in pre-medicine will find an excellent preparatory and advising program ready to help them at Regis. Pre-medicine advising includes course scheduling, exam timeline preparation, help with essays, interview preparation and individualized meetings and direction throughout your undergraduate career and beyond, if necessary.

Pre-Physican Assistant

PA programs look for students who have a desire to study, work hard, and to be of service to their community. Most physician assistant programs require applicants to have previous health care experience and some college education. The typical applicant already has a bachelor's degree and over four years of health care experience. Commonly nurses, EMTs, and paramedics apply to PA programs.

 

honors students smiling at a ceremony

Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Health Honor Society

We highly encourage students to join Alpha Epsilon Delta early in their academic careers. AED meetings provide a place for pre-health sciences students to share resources, learn about different aspects of healthcare careers and get assistance with the continuing application process. AED service projects also provide opportunities for health care-related volunteer work. The pre-pharmacy club on campus is also a great resource for students in the pre-pharmacy 2+4 program.

Frequently Asked Questions

At Regis, we are proud of the fact that we do have graduates who achieve acceptance to excellent universities, including some of the most competitive medical schools in the nation; however, Regis plays a supportive role for their student’s individual talents and, while we feel that a Regis undergraduate degree is excellent preparation, students need to “get in” on their own merits. Also, we encourage students to evaluate and apply to schools as a match for their own professional goals, rather than just based on general reputation, competitiveness or cost.

This is indeed a very frequently asked question. Please be aware however, that institutions will add these numbers up in different ways, so direct comparisons are difficult. Also, med school admissions are so competitive that every year many well qualified students are declined, so there are no guarantees. The bottom line is that students who do very well at Regis will generally also do well in the med school applicant pool.

The Regis pre-health advisors do not recommend that students apply to medical school (MD) unless they have earned at least a 3.5 undergraduate science and cumulative GPA AND an MCAT score of 26 or above. National medical school averages for matriculating applicants are 3.7 GPA and an MCAT of 32.

Acceptance rates for Regis students who applied to medical school, 2004-2013:
GPA 3.6+ and MCAT 28+: 75%
GPA 3.8+ and MCAT 30+: 100%

For students who need an extra year of preparation before continuing on to medical school, we encourage them to look into Regis College graduate programs such as the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences program.

 

Choose a major that you will enjoy, in which you will do well and that will allow you to complete your prerequisite courses. Historically, the most popular pre-health sciences majors at Regis College have been biology, chemistry, biochemistry and neuroscience; however, any pre-health sciences major will work as long as you keep your goals in mind.

If an eventual career in medicine or dentistry is your goal, we encourage students to earn a more general degree with an emphasis in the sciences, rather than a specific degree in something like nursing or exercise science (which are geared toward entering nursing and PT careers respectively). We have pre-health advisory faculty in many departments to help students stay on track. Please see our pre-health advisory contacts list for more information.

No, like many other smaller, liberal arts institutions, Regis does not have a committee letter process. We feel that you will get to know your professors well enough in our small classes that our faculty will be able to write very effective and personalized individual letters of recommendation. As you go through your coursework at Regis, be sure to develop good relationships with your professors as they will be important voices in support of your application.

Develop your interests and experiences in the natural sciences. Read articles, books, blogs and other resources that will encourage your scientific curiosity and awareness (e.g. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, by Anne Fadiman).

Explore the variety of careers that are open to you by shadowing, volunteering and asking questions. First-hand experiences in clinical or research settings are an excellent way to determine your interests and talents. Don’t be shy to ask about potential opportunities.

Suggestions for preparation to most graduate programs are below:

  • Study for and do well on any required standardized examn (e.g. MCAT, DAT, GRE, PCAT)
  • Get good grades in your courses, specifically math and science courses
  • Consider taking additional relevant courses in science, social science or math
  • Write a strong, error-free personal statement or essay for the application
  • Show that you are mature, dependable and truly interested in a health care profession
  • Show that you understand the research basis of health science
  • Show a dedication to service
  • Consider joining an honor society
  • Demonatrate an understanding of what a health care profession entails
  • Take prerequisite courses early in your academic career

If you are unsure about which career to pursue, the following courses are required for most health science careers and are good courses to focus on while deciding on a career.

1 year Introductory Biology (BL 262/263 & BL 260/261)
1-2 years Chemistry (CH 210/211, CH 230/231, CH 250/251, & CH 420/421)
1 year Introductory Physics (PH 202A/205A & PH 202B/205B OR PH 304A/305A & PH 304B/305B)
1 year Mathematics - usually Statistics for Sciences (MT 272) & Calculus (MT 360A or 360B)
1 year English Literature (EN 210 & EN literature elective requirement)