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Advising and Resources Center

Pre-Health Professions

Explore Careers in the Health Professions

The links provided below offer a broad range of information with which to explore careers in the health professions. 

Pre-Medical

This page provides links to a wide variety of online resources for students considering or planning a career as a physician.  The California State University, Fresno Premed website offers a comprehensive overview of medical school preparation. Be sure to also review the pre-medical prerequisites page and take note of the Essential Student Pre-Med Forms link to the right of this paragraph.

Also available is information regarding diversity in the medical professions, admission requirements to medical school, the MCAT – (Medical College Admission Test), and the Medical School Application Service (MSAR) as well as links to summer academic enrichment programs, on-the-job training, and a one-unit elective research course. (A copy of the MCAT and the MSAR is available to read in the Science and Health Careers Information Center.)

Pre-Medical Resource Links

  • Overview of a Career in Medicine - Includes career description, employment characteristics, salary, employment outlook, educational programs, and licensure and certification, and inquiries contact information.
  • Becoming a physician: frequently asked questions - American Medical Association's FAQ's, including attritubes of a successful physician.
  • Considering a Medical Career? Find out what doctors do and how to prepare for a career in medicine.
  • AspiringDocs.org - Timeline for applications and admission, MCAT deadline and score schedule, and information and support for diversity in the field of medicine. Includes "Ask the Experts" and "Inspiring Stories".
  • Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) - This book is an invaluable and essential source of information on medical school admission requirements, class profiles, and much more.  When you apply to medical school you will want a copy.
  • Essential information on the MCAT exam - Important part of how medical schools access your application.
  • AMCAS (Medical School Application Service) – Most medical schools use this service for initial applications. College transcripts, grades, letters of recommendation, personal essay, etc., are entered here and submitted by AMCAS to the medical schools of your choice.
  • Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) -
    The AAMC Fee Assistance Program (FAP) for MCAT® examinees and AMCAS® applicants, with eligibility guidelines and online application.
  • Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) - AAMC publications, job center, medical schools, and medical education and research.
  • Summer Medical and Dental Education Program and the Association of American Medical Colleges - Summer medical and dental education programs are free and include full tuition, housing, and meals; six-week summer academic enrichment programs that offer freshman and sophomore college students intensive and personalized medical and dental school preparation. Open to students from historically underrepresented groups.
  • St. Agnes (Fresno) Scribe Program - For pre-medical students. Excellent training and experience that includes assisting emergency room physicians on their rounds. An application is required.

Medical School Course Prerequisites

Students should confirm prerequisites with the medical schools to which they are interested in applying.  Some schools may require additional courses not included below.  Check requirements in the MSAR (Medical School Admission Requirements) available in many book stores.

Check osteopathic medical school requirements if you are applying to D.O. schools. It is essential that you see a pre-medical advisor prior to planning your pre-med program!
Medical schools will consider students with any major as long as the medical school’s prerequisite requirements are met. 

Required by most schools
Requirement Course
1 year of Biology with Lab BIOL 1A and BIOL 1B/BL
2 years of Chemistry with Lab CHEM 1A/AL, CHEM 1B/BL, CHEM 128A, CHEM 128B,
CHEM 129A and often CHEM 129B
1 year of English Two English classes can be incorporated into the general education requirements.

  ENGL 10 and ENGL 20 or ENGL 160W
Math (variable with school) MATH - requirements differ from school to school. Some schools stipulate no requirements, while many require one year of college-level math. A one-year college-level math requirement can be met with one semester of calculus (e.g., MATH 70 or 75) and a statistics course (PSYCH 42 or MATH 101). Some will accept a computer science course. Check requirements of schools in which you are interested.

 

Courses required by some medical schools
Requirement Course
Biochemistry CHEM 150 or CHEM 155A & 155B—Biochemistry is highly recommended by many medical schools and should be taken before entering medical school.
Statistics (variable with school) MATH 101 or PSYCH 42 (see math requirements above)
1 semester of Behavioral Sciences  PSYCH 10 or SOC 1

 

Courses which may help with the MCAT and are highly recommended
Highly Recommended Course
Physiology BIOL 67A/B or BIOL 172
Genetics BIOL 102
Cell Biology BIOL 103
Molecular Biology BIOL 150

Pre-Dental

This page provides links to valuable online resources for students considering or planning a career in dentistry. To the left is pre-dental preparation information, and pre-dental prerequisites. To the right are links to the CSM Chemistry Department’s Pre-Dental page outlining academic preparation and application procedures to dental school. 

Below are links to an overview of a career in dentistry, a four-year graduation roadmap, summer education programs, information on the Dental Admission Test (DAT), and a comprehensive list of U.S. dental schools.

  • Overview of a Career in Dentistry
    Career description, employment characteristics, salary, employment outlook, need for minority dentists, educational programs, licensure, certification, and registration, and inquiries contact information.
  • American Dental Association (ADA)
    A website for students interested in a career in dentistry – provides an overview of the entire preparation and application process, and more.
  • Four-year Timeline
    What do you need to do to prepare yourself for dental school? It's more than just taking and doing well in your courses. If you are not on a four-year graduation plan, adapt this timeline from the ADA website to your own roadmap for graduation.
  • American Dental Educational Association (ADEA)
    Educational resources including application services, policy and advocacy, professional development, and publications, and video.
  • ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools ($35)
    The ADEA  Guide to Dental Schools answers virtually every question about dentistry and the dental school admissions process. You will want to refer to this when you are getting ready to apply.
  • Summer Medical and Dental Education Program and the Association of American Medical Colleges - Summer medical and dental education programs are free and include full tuition, housing, and meals; six-week summer academic enrichment programs that offer freshman and sophomore college students intensive and personalized medical and dental school preparation. Open to students from historically underrepresented groups.
  • Information on the DAT Exam
    Required dental admission exam. Includes sections of chemistry, biology, verbal, and perceptual ability.
  • American Student Dental Association
    List of dental schools, member resources, and online purchase of ASDA Predental Handbook.

Pre-Dental Pre-Requisites

Students should contact individual dental schools for specific prerequisite information.

It is essential that you see a pre-dental advisor prior to planning your pre-dental program!

Majoring in science is not a must, but completion of pre-dental science requirements is necessary.

 

Required by Most Schools
Requirement Course
Biology with Lab BIOL 1A and BIOL 1B/BL
Physics with Lab PHYS 2A and 2B
English Composition ENGL 5A and 5B or ENGL 10 plus ENGL 20. Other combinations are possible.
General Chemistry with Lab CHEM 1A/AL and CHEM 1B/BL
Organic Chemistry with Lab CHEM 128A, CHEM 128B and CHEM 129A

 

Required Coursework at CSU Fresno
Requirement Course
Biology with Lab BIOL 1A and BIOL 1B/BL
General Chemistry with Lab CHEM 1A/AL and CHEM 1B/BL
Physics with Lab PHYS 2A and 2B
Organic Chemistry with Lab CHEM 128A, CHEM 128B and CHEM 129A
Biochemistry CHEM 150 or CHEM 155A
English Composition ENGL 5A and 5B or ENGL 10 plus ENGL 20. Other combinations are possible.
Psychology PSYCH 10

 

Recommended Coursework at CSU Fresno
Recommended Course
Microbiology BIOL 120
Comparative Vertebrate Morphology BIOL 143
Comparative Animal Physiology BIOL 162 and BIOL 162L
Advanced Human Physiology BIOL 163
Human Anatomy and Physiology I BIOL 67A
Human Anatomy and Physiology II BIOL 67B

Pre-Dental Preparation at Fresno State

Pre-Dental FAQ

Click on the question to view the answer; click again to close the panel.

  1. A minimum of 90 semester units (three years) of university preparation.  However over 90% of the admitted students have completed at least a bachelors degree.  You should consider applying after 90 units only if your science and overall GPAs are well over 3.5.
  2. You must be either a citizen or a permanent resident of the US.
  3. Take the Dental Aptitude Test (DAT).

    Most pre-dental students major in either biology or chemistry.  However, you may take any major that you want as long as you take the minimum required coursework in biology and chemistry.  This will take careful planning on your part.  Consult with an advisor.

The following are the minimum requirements for most US dental schools.  Check the web sites of the dental schools you want to attend for more details of requirements.  There is some variation between schools.

  1. One-year course series in biology chemistry and physics.  At CSU Fresno, the required courses are Bio 1A and 1B, Chem, 1A and 1B, and Physics 2A and 2B.
  2. Organic chemistry.  At CSU Fresno, the required courses are Chem 128A, 128B, and 129A.
  3. Biochemistry.  At CSU Fresno, the course is either Chem 150 or 155.
  4. English composition.  At CSU Fresno, the courses can be either Eng 5A and 5B or 10 plus 20.  Other combinations are possible.
  5. Many schools want a course in Psychology.  At CSU Fresno, most students take Psych 10.

Some schools list recommended courses.  You should check out the web sites of your target schools to see what they recommend.  Some of the commonly recommended courses taught at CSU Fresno are Bio 120, Microbiology; Bio 143, Comparative Vertebrate Morphology; Bio 162 plus Bio 162L, Comparative Animal Physiology; and Bio 163, Advanced Human Physiology.  Some students take the pre-nursing/pre physical therapy courses, Bio 64, Functional Human Anatomy and Bio 65, Human Physiology.

Go to this website for DAT information and instructions.

Many students take the Kaplan course to prepare for the DAT.

There are links listed on this website.

Yes.  Check with your advisor to get on the club email list.  The club brings in local dentists to describe the educational process, getting started in a practice, and to answer your questions.  The club also organizes trips to California dental schools so that you can check out potential schools in person.

Your best guide is the ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools, published annually by the ADEA.  Request your copy at this link.

A copy is also available in the Henry Madden Library, at the first-floor reference desk.  It lists all US and Canadian dental schools.  The Guide has an extensive discussion about finances and a detailed look at the most recent entering class (DAT scores, GPA, applicant pool), application process, and each school’s costs.

One year before you expect to enter dental school.  You should take the DAT and start the AADSAS process the spring semester or early summer one year before you graduate.  Check the ADSAS deadlines and instructions so that you do not miss important dates.

Many students apply again the next year and are successful.  There are also alternative career paths which include podiatry, optometry, and clinical laboratory science, among others.  You should keep these alternatives in mind early in your career and learn about the admission requirements for the above alternative programs.  You may be able to take coursework that will prepare you for admission to more than one program.  Dental and medical schools accept only about 25% of their applicants so you need to be realistic, especially if your GPA drops below 3.0.

Note that most of them are at the ADA and ADEA.  You can just type “American Dental Association” and “American Dental Education Association” into Google to get the main web pages.  Search from there.

Pre-Pharmacy

This page provides links to helpful online resources for students considering or planning a career in pharmacy.

The links include an overview of various careers in pharmacy, pharmacy school admission, information on the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT), a comprehensive list of pharmacy schools, and access to the PSAR (Pharmacy School Admission Requirements) - reference guide to pharmacy school admission requirements. (A copy of the PSAR is available to read in the Advising and Resources Center)

  • Overview of a Career in Pharmacy - Career description, employment characteristics, salary, employment outlook, educational programs, licensure, certification, and registration, and inquiries contact information.
  • Pharmacy Career Information - Pharmacists work in a variety of occupational settings – not only in community pharmacies. Get information on the full range of possible pharmacy careers.
  • American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy - Frequently asked questions about pharmacy and admission to pharmacy schools.
  • List of pharmacy schools and links to school admission statistics - Includes contact information, admission statistics, course prerequisites, etc.
  • PharmCAS: Pharmacy School Application service -
    One-stop-shop for applying to pharmacy schools.  
  • Pharmacy School Admission Requirements 
    Provides an overview of individual pharmacy schools. Mission statements, information on curriculum, statistics, admission requirements, gpa data, etc.
  • Course prerequisites (all pharmacy schools nationwide) - Pre-requisite courses summarized in table form.
  • PCAT Test - The PCAT test is not required if you apply in-state, but is for many or most out of state schools.
  • PSAR - This reference guide provides prospective pharmacy students and school counselors with specifics about admission requirements for all the professional pharmacy degree programs.

Pre-Pharmacy Prerequisites

The information contained in the link below is a general roadmap and does not take the place of regularly meeting with a Pre-Pharmacy advisor.

California Pharmacy School Requirements - Requirements for UCSF, UCSD, UOP, USC, Loma Linda, Western, Touro, California North State College of Pharmacy, and California Health Sciences University. Also includes tuition and fee costs per year, and web addresses (not links) to the above schools.

Pre-Optometry

This page provides links to helpful online resources for students considering or planning a career as an optometrist. 

Join the Fresno State Pre-Optometry Club!
Email: fresnostatepreoptometry@gmail.com

"We are committed to bring together students who are interested in pursuing a career in optometry. We wish to promote the field of optometry and prepare students through informational meetings, professional visitations, test preparation, community service, and general advising."

 
  • Overview of a Career in Optometry - Career description, employment characteristics, salary, employment outlook, educational programs, licensure, certification, and registration, and inquiries contact information.
  • Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry
    Information of the application process, career information, admission requirements, OAT (Optometry Admission Test), etc.
  • OptomCAS Optometry School Application Service
    OptomCAS is the Optometry Centralized Application Service. Through this service applicants may file one application and send it to multiple optometry programs. The schools and colleges of optometry will be able to process applications more efficiently.

Pre-Optometry Pre-requisites

Each optometry school has slightly different admission requirements and requirements can change. For courses in English and Psychology, there may be other courses that can substitute for the ones listed. Please check with the schools (see websites below) to get up-to-date information.

Also, if you are considering or planning a career in optometry, it is important to see a pre-optometry advisor as early as possible in your college career.

Pre-Optometry Course Requirements (California Schools)
Required Courses Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO) U.C. Berkley Western University of Health Sciences
Gen Chem
(with lab)
CHEM 1A/AL + CHEM 1B/BL CHEM 1A/AL + CHEM 1B/BL CHEM 1A/AL +  CHEM 1B/BL
Organic Chemistry CHEM 8 or CHEM 128A CHEM 128 A+B
CHEM 129 A+B
CHEM 128A + CHEM 129A or CHEM 8 +
CHEM 129A
Biology (with lab) BIOL 1A + 1B/BL BIOL 1A + 1B/BL General Biol or Zoology with Lab (Not introductory) 8 credits
Physics PHYS 2A + 2B PHYS 2A + 2B PHYS 2A + 2B
Microbiology
(with lab)
BIOL 120 BIOL 120 (preferred) or
BIOL 20
BIOL 120
Biochemistry CHEM 150 or 155 CHEM 150 or 155 CHEM 150 or 155
Statistics MATH 11 or equivalent MATH 11 or equivalent MATH 11 or equivalent
Calculus MATH 75 MATH 75 + 76 MATH 75
Psychology PSYCH 10 PSYCH 10 PSYCH 10
English ENGL 10+20 ENGL 10+20 ENGL 10+20
Anatomy and Physiology BIOL 67A + 67B BIOL 67A + 67B BIOL 67A + 67B (not required but highly recommended)

Pre-Clinical Lab Sciences

Clinical Laboratory Scientists (CLS) work in hospitals, clinics, private laboratories, public health settings, and with pharmaceutical companies. Using laboratory equipment such as microscopes, and cell counters, clinical lab scientists perform testing on cells and fluids. They identify bacteria, viruses, toxic agents, and cancerous tumors in order to diagnosis and treat disease. The prerequisites link to the left includes course requirements, training programs, job listings, and a brief overview of the field.

The links below provide a comprehensive overview of clinical lab schools and careers.

 

Pre-Clinical Lab Sciences Prerequisites

Biology Department's Pre-Clinical Laboratory Advising Sheet

California Code of Regulations for Clinical Laboratory Personnel

Requirements for a CLS Trainee License

Pre-Podiatry

A podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM); a podiatrist is trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and related structures of the leg. Podiatrists have medical education and training comparable to physicians, including and typically two or three years of residency training. Podiatrists can practice surgery, sports medicine, geriatrics, pediatrics, orthopedics or primary care.

The links below offer an overview of a career in podiatric medicine, the APMA, podiatric schools and admission requirements, and an electronic admission application service at e-AACPMAS.

Pre-Veterinary

Veterinarians are doctors to small, large, and exotic animals including farm and wild animals.  However most veterinarians, about 80%, work with pets; a smaller percentage work as researchers, livestock inspectors, or in food security. In addition to working in private or group practices, veterinarians are also employed by universities, medical schools, private industry, and government agencies (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11).

The links below provide an overview of veterinarian careers, the AVMA, and veterinary medicine colleges.

Physician Assistant

Physician Assistants (PA's) work under the supervision of a medical doctor or a doctor of osteopathy. PA's are required to complete both academic coursework and clinical training. A PA's primary role is to deliver diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventative medical services and may also include that of researcher, educator, or administrator. Graduates of a PA program must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) to receive state licensure.

The links below provide helpful information on locating Physician Assistant schools, educational clinical requirements, certification, employment and salary, an application service, and state licensure requirements.

Physician Assistant Resource Links


 

Program Advisors

Pre-Medical/OsteopathicPre-Physician Assistant, and Pre-Clinical Lab Science

Dr. Larry Rile

Dr. Larry Riley
Schedule an Appointment
Email: lriley@csufresno.edu
559.278.2273
Science 1, Room 212


Pre-Pharmacy

Kalyani Maitra

Dr. Kalyani Maitra
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Email: kmaitra@csufresno.edu
559.278.5191
Science I, Room 360

Pre-Dental

Laurent Dejean

Dr. Laurent Dejean
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Email: ldejean@csufresno.edu
559.278.2008
Science I, Room 356


Pre-Optometry

Daquing Zhang


Dr. Daqing Zhang
Department of Physics
Email: dzhang@csufresno.edu
559.278.7096
McLane Hall, Room 260

Pre-Pharmacy

Cory Brooks

Dr. Cory Brooks
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Email: cbrooks@csufresno.edu
278-2389
Science I, Room 364


Pre-Veterinary

Joel Slade

Dr. Joel Slade
Department of Biology
Email: joelslade@csufresno.edu
559.278.5242
Science I, Room 206A