Guidance, support and goal-setting
You chose a pre-health track because you have a very specific career path in mind. Maybe your sights are set on medical or veterinary school. Or perhaps you’ve always dreamed of a career in dentistry or optometry. At SFA, you’ll work with a faculty advisor who will help you design a program of study that aligns with your goals and dreams.
Not sure if you should focus on biology or chemistry? Need info on how to prepare for the MCAT? Looking for information about scholarships, internships or professional organizations? Your advisor will help choose courses and electives, and they will help you track your progress toward your degree. In addition, your advisor will be available to answer questions and offer advice to ensure you leave SFA armed with the skills and knowledge to tackle your next academic challenge.
Keeping you on track
Your advisor does more than simply help you register for classes. As a pre-health student, you can count on your advisor to help you:
- Change your major or minor
- Identify medical career paths that align with your interests
- Get ready to apply for graduate or medical school
- Prepare for the MCAT and other entrance exams
- Build the study skills you need to succeed
- Learn more about scholarships and internship opportunities
Dr. J. Kevin Langford is the advisor for all pre-health students.
Visit: Miller Science Building, Suite 127
How to make an appointment
You can make an appointment with your advisor by calling or visiting the pre-health office. You can also schedule an appointment through mySFA.
What is a degree plan? And when do I need to file one?
A degree plan is a list of the coursework required to earn a degree from SFA in an academic discipline. It also lists professional prerequisite courses that you’ll need to complete to fulfill the academic minor as well as professional admissions requirements. You’ll need to file a degree plan with your academic college after you earn 45 credits.
What major should I choose as a pre-health student?
This question is best addressed by answering another common question: "What are professional schools looking for in an application?”
This really does get to the meat of the "major" question. Professional programs seek intelligent, highly motivated, well-rounded and articulate students who can demonstrate academic success in the prerequisite science courses. Rather than looking for a specific major, admission committees want to see academic excellence (i.e., a high GPA).
Some pre-health students feel that they must major in chemistry or biology – even if they find those majors boring or difficult. A 2.5 GPA in chemistry doesn’t look nearly as great as a 4.0 in sociology.
Remember, your time at SFA provides you with an opportunity to learn more about the world and the people around you. Once medical school begins, it's all about clinical medicine and clinical sciences. Take advantage of this opportunity to broaden your horizons and your intellect. This may also help expand your uniqueness and diversity to admissions committees.
Why isn’t there a “pre-med” major?
Today’s medical schools (and dental, veterinary and other medical professional schools) are looking for students with diverse interests and a wide range of academic interests and life experiences. While some students choose to pursue a major in biology or chemistry, others may choose a non-science major like political science, psychology or history.
What’s the difference between pre-health and pre-nursing?
Students seeking careers in nursing are required to take two years of coursework defined as pre-nursing courses that must be completed before being accepted into the final two clinical years of nursing school. Students seeking careers in other health professions are advised in the pre-health professions office.
Do I have to major in science if I want to go to medical school?
Absolutely not! You’ll take plenty of science courses, which are prerequisites for admission into a professional school. However, those will not accrue sufficient hours to form a major. The best way to select a major is to decide which major will become your “career insurance” should medical school not be possible in the future.
In other words, ask yourself, “What would I want to do if I didn’t get into medical school?”
What are my chances of getting into medical school?
With the competitive nature of professional school admissions, your chances for success are higher if you have the following:
- A high GPA
- High admissions test scores
- Authentic service and leadership experiences
- Experience and exposure to the medical profession (such as a job-shadowing program)