Pre-Professional Health Advising
Science Building Room 1234
EKU has a number of programs that will help prepare students for professional schools following graduation. These schools generally do not require a specific major, provided that their prerequisite courses are taken. All professional schools are highly competitive in their admissions process. Thus, students should aim for strong GPA and professional school admission test scores. Students are encouraged to seek a major that they feel comfortable with, that they have a strong aptitude for, that is interesting and challenging, and that provides additional career concentrations. All students, regardless of GPA or admission test scores, will be provided with resources and assistance needed to apply for professional school that wish to do so. Additional information may be found at www.preprofessional.eku.edu
Students with an interest in careers in biomedical/health-related research should consider a B.S. in Chemistry (Biochemistry concentration) or a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences (Research concentration). With these B.S. degrees, students may work in academic and industry research laboratories. Some students may choose to earn an advanced degree at either the M.S. or Ph.D. level. Both the Chemistry major and the Biomedical Sciences major will prepare students for these advanced degrees. There are also programs that offer an MD to PhD pathway, allowing you to earn both a PhD and an MD.
It is recommended for students interested in pharmacy to complete a four-year degree with a B.S. (Pre-Pharmacy Concentration) in chemistry. The chemistry pages in this Catalog list the appropriate courses for this concentration. The Pre-professional advisor, who is familiar with the pharmacy admissions process, will be assigned as a supplemental advisor. Students interested in pharmacy may major in any subject provided certain pre-requisite courses are taken. While it is possible for students to be admitted to a pharmacy school after just two years of undergraduate training, the competitive nature of these programs suggests students should complete their major in preparation for pharmacy school.
Pharmacy schools differ in their individual requirements, so students should check the web pages of the pharmacy school of their choice, and then determine which courses to take after consulting the pre professional health advisor. The application process typically begins in the fall of the senior year. Pharmacy schools require the PCAT and they look for students with leadership potential, a strong sense of empathy, a community and university service record, and extensive experience shadowing pharmacists or working as a pharmacy technician. Admission to pharmacy schools depends on a good balance among each of these areas in addition to strong PCAT scores and a high GPA.
(Formerly Physician Assistant) Physician associate professional schools are primarily in university schools of medicine and allied health. Although programs vary in length, most physician associate programs require 24-28 months to complete. Most programs require applicants to have completed a minimum of three years of college prior to admission and to have had previous health care experience. Most successful applicants to PA programs have earned a bachelor’s degree, and have accumulated a significant number of hours shadowing a Physician Associate and working with patients in a clinical setting.
Prerequisite course requirements vary from school to school. Students are encouraged to consult with the pre-professional health advisor to determine which physician associate programs are of interest, and pattern their course work to fulfill these specific program requirements. It is recommended that students complete a 4 year degree majoring in BS Biomedical Sciences with a concentration in Pre-PA.
Students with career interests in allopathic medicine or osteopathic medicine may achieve admission to professional schools by graduating in any major, provided certain prerequisites are met. Typically, 75% of students that enter medical school majored in the physical, natural, or social sciences, with the remaining 25% from other disciplines.
The College of STEM offers both the Biomedical Sciences (Pre-Medical Concentration) and Chemistry (Pre-Health Concentration) Bachelor of Science degrees. Students pursuing degrees in either department will complement their studies with appropriate courses in humanities, social sciences, and communications. Courses in mathematics and physics will also be required. All students interested in these areas are urged to visit the Department pages in this Catalog, or go on-line to find details of these major programs. More information may be found at the EKU pre-professional web page at preprofessional.eku.edu.
Students interested in medical school should consult the medical school admission requirements for their schools of interest or those published in the MSAR (Medical School Admissions Requirements) book.
Students in Biomedical Sciences or Chemistry pre-med concentrations are assigned to a supplemental Pre-Professional Health advisor. These advisors work closely with each student to help plan programs of study and prepare for the process of gaining admission to the chosen professional school. EKU also has a University Pre-Med Committee. This committee assists students in their application process and prepares committee letters of evaluation for them. It is important for students to contact the chair of the University Pre-Med Committee and the pre-professional health advisor at the beginning of the academic year in which they plan to apply to medical school.
Each medical school requires an admission exam, called the MCAT. These professional schools also look for students with leadership potential, a strong sense of empathy, a community and university service record, and extensive experience shadowing professionals in these fields. Admission to professional schools is highly competitive and depends on a good balance among each of these areas, in addition to a strong MCAT score and a high GPA.
Students interested in dentistry can major in either Chemistry (B.S., Pre-Dental Concentration) or Biomedical Sciences (B.S., Pre-Dental Concentration), although dental schools will accept students from any academic background, provided certain prerequisites are met. Students are encouraged to check individual dental schools for details of their requirements.
Students majoring in either Biomedical Sciences or Chemistry will be assigned an advisor in their department who is familiar with dental-school admissions procedures, as well as the pre-professional health advisor as a supplemental advisor.
Most Dental schools require the DAT admission exam, and they look for students with leadership potential, a strong sense of empathy, a community and university service record, and extensive experience shadowing dentists. Admission to dental schools is highly competitive and depends on a good balance among each of these areas, in addition to strong DAT scores and a high GPA.
Students interested in admission to optometry school may complete any degree program, but typically they major in either Chemistry (B.S.) or Biomedical Sciences (Pre-Optometry concentration). See the Department pages in this Catalog for details of these programs. Refer to specific optometry school admission requirements for listings of appropriate prerequisite courses. Students in Biomedical Sciences or Chemistry will be assigned an advisor knowledgeable about optometry admissions procedures who will assist them in their application process, as well as the pre-professional health advisor as a supplemental advisor.. This process typically begins in the fall of the junior year. Optometry schools require the OAT exam, and look for students with leadership potential, a strong sense of empathy, a community and university service record, and extensive experience shadowing optometrists.
Admission to optometry schools is highly competitive and depends on a good balance among each of these areas in addition to strong OAT scores and a high GPA.
Students who have a career interest in veterinary medicine may fulfill admission requirements of specific veterinary schools by pursuing either the Biomedical Sciences major (Pre-Veterinary Medicine concentration) or the Agriculture major (B.S.). See the Department pages in this Catalog for details of these programs. Refer to specific veterinary schools for listings of appropriate prerequisite courses. Students should complement their studies with appropriate courses in humanities, social sciences, communications, and agriculture. Courses in mathematics and physics will also be required.
Students in Biomedical Sciences will be assigned an advisor knowledgeable about veterinary school admissions procedures who will assist them in their application process. Applications generally must be submitted by October 1st of the senior year. Veterinary schools typically require the GRE, and they look for students with leadership potential, a strong sense of empathy, a community and university service record, and extensive experience shadowing veterinarians. Admission to these schools is highly competitive, more so than admission to medical schools, and depends on a good balance among each of these areas in addition to strong GRE scores and a high GPA. For more information, please refer to preprofessional.eku.edu.
No Kentucky institution has a program in veterinary medicine; however, the Commonwealth has contracts to allocate a limited number of places in Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine to Kentucky residents. Students accepted under this program are exempt from the out-of-state tuition charge at these schools. For residents of Kentucky to be accepted under the Kentucky quota, application must be made directly to one or both of the contract schools.
There is a pre-engineering curriculum offered by the College of STEM, described below. Students interested in a particular engineering program should see the pre-engineering advisor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Many students also choose to complete their B.S. in Physics/engineering physics major at EKU.
In the pre-engineering curriculum, referred to as the Dual Degree Option, students spend two or three years at EKU taking basic science, mathematics, and general-education courses. Students then transfer their credits to the University of Kentucky, Auburn University, the University of Louisville or another university with an accredited engineering program earning both a baccalaureate degree from EKU in Physics and an engineering degree from the engineering school.
All students pursuing a Dual-Degree Engineering Program in the Department of Physics and Astronomy should pursue the Engineering Physics Concentration of the Physics B.S. program. Because preferred general education and supporting courses may vary depending upon the partner engineering school, it is essential that students pursuing the Dual-Degree Program in Engineering work closely with their departmental advisors.
After the first year of study, students transfer the work back in order to secure a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Kentucky University. This plan may shorten, by one year, the time needed to obtain both a baccalaureate and an engineering degree.