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Advising for healthcare careers

What classes do I need? What else should I do to prepare?

There is no specific major required for entry into the medical science professions (medicine, dentistry, physician assistant, optometry, veterinary medicine). Instead, these professions typically require a set of core courses, exposure to clinical settings, and standardized tests for admission.

Pathways to success

Our students typically take one of three pathways, each with unique characteristics and advantages. You are strongly encouraged to choose the path that best fits your strengths and interests.

This path -- especially majors in Health Science and Exercise Science -- is best suited for students with a strong interest in a range of health-related careers including athletic performance, health promotion and wellness, therapy and rehabilitation, or medicine and nursing. HSHP majors include prerequisite coursework for graduate and professional schools in healthcare and also hands-on internship, fieldwork, or clinical placements as part of the core curricula. In addition, students in these majors can opt to train for non-clinical areas such as health care management, health policy, and public health, enabling preparation for a wide variety of health careers.

This path -- especially majors in Biology, Biochemistry, and Chemistry -- is best suited for students with a strong interest and success in science-based coursework, and who have an interest in medical careers, clinical research, or veterinary medicine. Advanced science courses and laboratory research opportunities are part of the core curricula of these majors. These experiences enable extra preparation for science-based admissions exams and enhance readiness for the intense science curriculum of graduate and professional schools in health care.

This path is best suited for students who prefer to focus on certain interests or talents while an undergraduate. As long as prerequisite graduate/professional school course requirements are met, typically by using free elective credits, students can take advantage of the rich and diverse breadth of undergraduate majors at Ithaca College, including those offered within the School of Humanities and Sciences, School of Music, School of Business, and Roy H. Park School of Communications.

Each of these paths can satisfy the requirements for entry into health-related graduate and professional schools, either through courses in their major or via free elective credits. Thus students interested in healthcare learn side-by-side with students who have a wide variety of majors and career goals in patient care. This diversity of exposure is a significant benefit for students, as it adds breadth of experience and robustness to their preparation for healthcare careers. It is therefore important that each student selects a path that is best aligned with their interests and strengths, so that they can excel in their undergraduate experience and obtain the strongest possible preparation for graduate or professional school in health care.

Prerequisite courses and extracurricular preparation

Required Coursework
What classes do I need to take?
Course Lists
Extracurricular Preparation
How should I prepare outside of class?
Get hands-on experience

Get Advice!

A key mission of the Health Professions Advisory Committee is to help students of all majors select courses that will fulfill prerequisites for graduate and professional schools in health care. To facilitate this advising, students interested in health care careers should register with the HPAC during their first year on campus.