Pre-health is a course of study that helps students define their career goals, complete the necessary requirements and become competitive applicants to professional schools, like medical, dental, veterinary, physical therapy or other health profession programs. Students from any major or school of the College may pursue the concentration, if they meet the academic requirements.
Why Choose Pre-Health?
Working in healthcare is highly rewarding. You will make a difference in people’s lives and have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings. And according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for health professionals will grow much faster than the average for all occupations during the next 10 years.
The pre-health concentration at Manhattan College is designed to provide students with the necessary foundation for a career in the health professions. Because the prerequisites for graduate and professional programs can vary substantially depending on your chosen career path, there are pre-health advisors in addition to a faculty advisor, who can help you design a program of study that is right for you and your goals.
Your faculty advisor will get to know you — personally and professionally. He or she will help you choose the right combination of core courses and electives to best prepare you for graduate study.
Co-curricular experiences are equally important. Your advisor will encourage you to find clinical shadowing, volunteer work, and leadership experience. In addition, many students will participate in co-curricular research, such as our Research Scholars program. Encountering scholarship in the real world will enhance your academic experience and ignite your professional journey.
You will be encouraged to work with pre-health advisors — part of the Center for Graduate School and Fellowship Advisement. These pre-health advisors specialize in planning for after graduation. In other words, he or she will help you with the process from beginning to end:
Discover your interests and career goals
Get research and work experience
Prepare and send your applications
Prepare for interviews
Manhattan College provides extra guidance for pre-health students. The Center for graduate School and Fellowship Advisement works closely with the Health Professions Advisory Committee, a body of faculty members who give guidance to students interested in careers in medicine, dentistry and allied health fields.
"The reason I am going into medicine is so I can do medical work abroad in conflict areas.
"I grew up in a small community in Texas. There were certain conversations that you couldn’t have and if you did ask certain questions, you would just get terminal answers: ‘this is how it is’ whether it was politics, the earth, religion, etc. And I just wanted to have those conversations. I didn’t have to move across the country to have those, but New York kind of epitomized the free exchange of ideas for me. So I came to Manhattan and honestly, the College gave me the best scholarship, the location was perfect with easy access to the train as well as Van Cortlandt Park.
"I began my freshman year as a bio major, and one day was learning about phytohormones in my biology class and I realized that plant biology isn’t what I wanted to study. I knew that I wanted to go into medicine, but I wanted to study stuff that I’m actually interested in, and undergrad is sometimes your only opportunity to do that.
"I thought, ‘Wow. I should be studying conflict resolution and religious dimensions of peace instead of biology and animal development.’ So, I looked into the peace studies program and found that with a pre-health concentration I could take all the life sciences that I needed for medical school — organic chemistry, biology, biochemistry and all of that – while still being able to focus on migration, globalization and culture and all of those great classes.
"My academic advisor, Thomas Ferguson, had me reach out to the School of Science academic advisor, professor Bruce Liby, to figure out the courses and the preparation I needed to apply to medical school. I didn’t just want to fill the requirement — I wanted to make sure that my peace studies major would actually make me a more competitive applicant to medical school. That was sort of the process of writing my personal statement and interviewing and whatnot, which professor Liby and Dr. Rani Roy of the Center for Graduate School and Fellowship Advisement helped me with.
"My favorite class was Migration, Globalization and Culture with professor Cory Blad. There are a lot of heavy topics in that course– the struggles of people trying to make it from Central America to North America, and the horrific smugglings. You can just get into a pit on that stuff. It’s human nature when faced with horrible truths – to just sort of check out, but professor Blad just asks the questions and prods you whenever you try to distance yourself emotionally. He’s able to dive into that in a positive way with students.
"After taking a year to work in New York City, I was accepted into the medical school at University of Texas Southwestern. While I’m there, I want to study the neurological effects of solitary confinement. They say after about two weeks, the neurological effects are akin to water boarding, soI want to see what I can find out about that and hopefully fine enough compelling evidence to change practices here and around the world."
What Will You Learn?
If your goal is to become a doctor or dentist, you can be any major or minor as long as you fulfill all the prerequisite courses for entrance to medical or dental school. These usually include:
You will be prepared to pursue an advanced degree from medicine, dentistry or veterinary schools. Through small class sizes, one-on-one advising and direct access to research and volunteer opportunities, we will help you become a competitive applicant to professional schools in health, which includes:
Academic excellence and exceptional academic performance
Co-curricular activities and student leadership
Clinical experience and commitment to serving community
Other experiential activities such as volunteer and research experience
Strong standardized test scores (MCAT, DAT, OAT, GRE, PCAT)