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Pre-Professional Health Science Education

Pre-Professional Health Science Education

Students planning to attend a dental, medical, veterinary or optometry school are not required to complete a prescribed undergraduate major. Many students have the misconception that “predental,” “pre-med,” etc., are academic majors. They are not. A student's undergraduate degree might be achieved in anything, as long as appropriate courses required for dental/medical/veterinary/optometry school admission are completed. Professional schools are looking for well-rounded students who have taken courses in the humanities and social sciences and who have participated in school activities and community work. Generally, 

admission criteria include: completion of required courses; cumulative GPA; science courses GPA only; extracurricular activities, including work experience related to the health science specialization; test scores; application, which includes a personal statement; letters of recommendation; and an interview. 

In addition to a good GPA, a student must be self-motivated, have social concern, communication skills and maturity. An applicant, however, does not need a 4.0 GPA for admission, as a GPA is an impersonal reflection of a student's ability to handle university work. 

Students planning to enroll in a professional health science school may complete at Cosumnes River College: 

  1. transfer general education courses, 
  2. transfer courses for the student's chosen major, 
  3. a basic core of courses which is required for all health science students, and 
  4. other courses required for the chosen specialty, i.e., dental, medical, optometry, and/or veterinary. 

The basic core courses are: 

BIOL 400, 420
CHEM 400, 401 
ENGWR 300, 301, 302 
PHYS 350, 360 or 370, 380 
MATH 335, 350 (or high school equivalent) 

Pre-dental
Although a student may be admitted to a dental school upon completion of 90 units, a baccalaureate degree is recommended. A student should have at least a 3.0 GPA. The Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) is a requirement. 

In addition to the basic core courses, the required PSYC 300 and 320 and a minimum of 12 units of social sciences, humanities, and foreign languages may be completed at Cosumnes River College. 

Pre-medical
Although a student may be admitted to a medical school upon completion of 90 units, a baccalaureate degree is recommended. The usual stated minimum GPA is 2.5. In reality, a student with a GPA below 3.0 is almost never accepted, and it is rare to be admitted with a GPA below 3.4. The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a requirement. 

In addition to the basic core courses, the required MATH 350 and 351 and a full year of organic chemistry (CHEM 420 and 421) may be completed at Cosumnes River College. 

Pre-optometry
Although a student may be admitted to an optometry school upon completion of 90 units, a baccalaureate degree is recommended. The usual stated minimum GPA is 2.0; however, a more realistic minimum is a 3.0 GPA. The Optometry College Admission Test (OCAT) is a requirement. 

In addition to the basic core courses, other courses such as BIOL 440, 430, 431; MATH 350, 351; PSYC 300; STAT 300; humanities courses and social science classes may be required. Please check with your counselor. These courses can be completed at Cosumnes River College. 

Pre-veterinary
It is extremely difficult to gain admission to a veterinary school without being a resident of the state in which the school is located. A California resident, therefore, is virtually restricted to attending the University of California School of Veterinary Medicine at Davis.

Although a student may be admitted to the School of Veterinary Medicine upon completion of 90 units, a baccalaureate degree is recommended. A student with a 2.5 GPA may be considered for admission; however, rarely is a student admitted with a GPA below 3.0. Experience with animals is given heavy consideration. The Graduate Record Examination General Aptitude Section and Advanced Test in Biology are requirements. 

In addition to the basic core courses, the required STAT 300 may be completed at Cosumnes River College. 

Pre-physical therapy 
Students may take general education and a basic core of prerequisite courses at Cosumnes River College and transfer to Pre-physical Therapy programs in the California State University system. Admission into a physical therapy program is very competitive with great weight given to relevant work experience and grade point average earned in the prerequisite courses. Because admission requirements vary among the programs, students are advised to work closely with a counselor to plan for the completion of work experience, general education and a core of basic program courses. Physical Therapy programs will be offered at the graduate level only. Check with the counseling department. 

The core courses may include: 
BIOL 400, 420, 430, 431 
CHEM 305, 306 or 400, 401 
PHYS 350, 360 or 370, 380 
​PSYC 300 

Pre-Nursing Option, see Biology Program