Pre-professional health advising
VCU offers pre-professional health advising to students seeking competitive admission into medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, veterinary, optometry or physician assistant programs.
Students may select an advising track in a health profession field when they are admitted to VCU or at any time during their enrollment. Our pre-professional health advisors help prepare students for professional school application through guidance with pre-professional health curriculum, admissions test preparation, co-curricular activity involvement and application competitiveness.
VCU’s pre-professional health program is not an academic major or minor, but rather it is a combination of career development advising and a set of predetermined courses that are widely accepted across the nation for admission requirements.
Students should declare a major in an academic discipline, in addition to an advising track in one of these pre-professional health areas:
- Pre-occupational therapy
- Pre-physician assistant
- Pre-physical therapy
- Pre-veterinary medicine
- Post-baccalaureate health sciences certificate
Students can only be on one track at a time. If you are interested in an unlisted health professional program, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students who have filled out and submitted the application to declare a track form from our blog will receive an “approved” email from our office once their status is confirmed.
Students will then be able to schedule an appointment with a pre-professional health advisor, and will also be added to a pre-professional health advising track Blackboard course.
Declaring a pre-professional health track
Students interested in a pre-professional health program must complete the following requirements prior to declaring a track and being assigned to a pre-professional health advisor:
Step 1: Curricular requirements
All students declaring a pre-professional health track must earn a cumulative VCU GPA of at least a 2.7. Transfer students applying during their first semester at VCU may use their cumulative GPA from previous institutions.
Students must also complete the following courses with a grade of C or better:
Pre-dentistry, pre-medicine, pre-optometry, pre-pharmacy, pre-physician assistant or pre-veterinary medicine students
- BIOL 151 and BIOZ 151
- CHEM 101 and CHEZ 101
- CHEM 102 and CHEZ 102
- MATH 151 (or MATH 200)
Pre-occupational therapy students
- BIOL 101 and BIOZ 101
- PSYC 101
Pre-physical therapy students
- BIOL 151 and BIOZ 151
- CHEZ 101
- CHEM 102
- MATH 151
Step 2: Professional development requirements
Students are required to attend a Pre-Professional Health Interest Workshop for the advising track they wish to declare.
Students must also visit the Office of Pre-Professional Health advising blog and sign up for the weekly newsletter.
Step 3: Declare your track
Once the curricular and professional development requirements listed above are successfully completed, students are eligible to "declare their pre-professional health advising track. apply to declare their track.
Each semester, by the last day of classes, students must complete each of the following requirements to maintain their pre-professional advising track status. Failure to do so will result in removal from the advising track, which limits access to pre-professional health advisors and restricted courses.
- Meet with a pre-professional health advisor at least once each semester
- Maintain a VCU cumulative GPA of at least a 2.7
- Attend a minimum of one healthcare related workshop/event or presentation per semester
- Attend a minimum of one non-healthcare related workshop, presentation or a one-on-one meeting with a Career Services advisor per semester
- Obtain at least 10 hours of healthcare experience (e.g. shadow, volunteer or work in a healthcare setting) per semester
- Obtain at least 10 hours of non-healthcare experience (e.g. volunteer or work in a non-healthcare setting, leadership, research) per semester.
For information on how to submit your requirements to the Office of Pre-Professional Health Advising, visit our blog.
Fulfilling the curricular and professional development requirements to declare and maintain a pre-professional health track does not guarantee admission to a professional health program. These requirements are the minimum acceptable standards to apply to a professional health program. It is imperative that students meet with their pre-professional health advisors to develop plans to become a competent and competitive candidate.
Remove a pre-professional health track
Students who are no longer interested in pursuing their designated pre-professional health advising track must remove their advising track by following the "remove a track" instructions from our blog. Contact email@example.com for more information.