Premedical & Health Professions
Programs and Scholarships
The DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) and DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) are equivalent degrees that are awarded to dental students upon completion of 4 years of dental school. There are currently fifty-six US and ten Canadian dental schools. While many dental schools give preference to students who have earned a bachelor’s degree prior to starting dental school, some schools will accept students who have three years of pre-dental education.
The majority of dentists in the US are in private clinical practice while others choose to specialize in areas such as public health, endodontics, oral pathology and radiology, oral surgery, orthodontics, periodontics or pediatric dentistry. This specialization may require an additional year or two of study. Other dentists may combine careers in private practice, teaching and research. Course requirements for dental school are similar to those of the other medical professions and most schools require the DAT exam.
Students can register for the Pre-Dental Advisory Program in the Premedical Studies Office. For more information about dental medicine, visit the Association of American Dental Education Association (ADEA) website.
The DVM degree is awarded after successful completion of 4 years of study at an accredited college of veterinary medicine. There are currently 28 schools of Veterinary Medicine in the US as well as several schools in Canada, Scotland and New Zealand. The DVM degree can lead to diverse career opportunities and different lifestyles from a solo mixed-animal practice in a rural area to a teaching or research position at an urban university, medical center or industrial laboratory.
The majority of veterinarians in the US are in private practice and may choose to become specialists in a clinical area or work with one specific species. These specializations usually involve a 1-year internship program available at veterinary colleges or with private veterinary hospitals.
Course requirements for veterinary school are the same as those for medical school although some schools may have additional course requirements such as microbiology, psychology and biochemistry. Selection criteria include academic achievement and aptitude, Graduate Record Exam, extracurricular experience and experience working with animals and with the veterinary profession.
Students can register for the Pre-Veterinary Advisory Program in the Premedical Studies Office. For more information about veterinary medicine, visit the Association of American Veterinary Medical College (AAVMC) website.
Pharmacists provide pharmaceutical care in a variety of settings. Most visible is the community pharmacist who practices in the local, independently-owned pharmacy, chain pharmacy or pharmacy department in a food or discount store. Pharmacists are also employed by firms that discover, develop and produce chemicals, prescription and nonprescription drugs and other health products. Pharmacists in the pharmaceutical industry conduct research, develop and market products, maintain quality control, and administer programs.
A sound high school and college education in math and science is essential in preparing for the study of pharmacy. Also, good communication skills are important as well as a broad general education in the social sciences and humanities. The structure of the pharmacy programs vary from college to college. Some require two or three years of pre-pharmacy education which can be taken at any junior college or university and include the core courses required by most premedical programs. The majority of students enter pharmacy school after three-four years of undergraduate study. Most schools require a standardized entrance exam (PCAT).
The Pharm. D. degree requires at least four academic years of professional study following the pre-pharmacy preparation. There are currently 57 Colleges and Schools of Pharmacy in the US. Residency training is also available after graduation from pharmacy school in the pharmacy practice or a specialty area.
Students can register for the Pre-Pharmacy Advisory Program in the Premedical Studies Office. For more information about pharmacy programs, visit the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) website.
Optometrists are independent primary health care providers who examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases and disorders of the eye and associated structures.. Optometry is the nation’s third largest independent healthcare profession. Optometrists are really primary care providers for patients seeking ocular or visual care and should not be confused with opthomologists who have an MD degree with specialization in eye diseases and surgery.
There are currently seventeen schools of optometry in the US and Puerto Rico. While many optometry schools give preference to students who have earned a bachelor’s degree prior to starting optometry school, some schools will accept students who have three years of pre-optometry education. Some schools may have additional course requirements such as biochemistry, cell biology and genetics and the OAT exam is mandatory for all applicants.
Students can register for the Pre-Optometry Advisory Program in the Premedical Studies Office. For more information about optometry programs, visit the Association of Colleges of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) website.