Pre-professional health advising

VCU offers pre-professional health advising to students seeking competitive admission into medicine, 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:

Students can only be on one track at a time. If you are interested in an unlisted health professional program, email preprofadv@vcu.edu.

Advising process

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
  • BIOL 152 and BIOZ 152
  • 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
  • CHEM 101 and CHEZ 101
  • CHEM 102 and CHEZ 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 may apply to declare their track.

Satisfactory progress

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 should fill out a removal form. Contact preprofadv@vcu.edu for more information.

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