facebook icon twitter youtube

Purpose and Scope:

Juniors and seniors interested in careers in medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, and pharmacology are encouraged to take advantage of the Pre-health Advising Committee here at CCU. The Pre-health Advising Committee is composed of faculty from the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Psychology and Health Promotion and we are here to provide support, guidance, and advice to students interested in pursuing careers in the medical and health professions. Students who take advantage of the services offered by the committee will meet individually with committee members several times during their academic tenure and receive guidance and feedback on preparing their applications for medical or health-related professional schools. If requested by the student, we can also conduct mock interviews to help prepare for on-site interviews with admissions committees. The committee will also write letters of support to include with application materials if requested by the student.

If you are interested in being advised by the Pre-Health Advising Committee, please complete the  Pre-Health Advising Application (click on the link to access the Microsoft Word document). The information on this application will be used by the committee to evaluate your potential to be an attractive candidate for health-related professional schools and provide feedback in your pursuit of a career in healthcare. After submitting your application, you will be contacted by a member of the committee. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Daniel Williams (dwilliams@coastal.edu), chair of the Pre-health Advising Committee, or any other Pre-health Committee advisor listed below.

It is important to note that most universities including CCU do not offer a "pre-medical" major. "Pre-med" is a career classification that allows academic advisors to help students select the proper coursework and experiential training to prepare them for admission to a specific pre-health program. While many pre-med students choose biology, chemistry or physics as their undergraduate major, a degree in one of these natural sciences is not required or necessarily even preferred by medical schools. Pre-med students are therefore encouraged to select a major that is of interest to them. Pre-med students have majored in humanities (e.g. history, philosophy, English), social sciences (e.g. psychology, health promotion and sociology), business, as well as the natural sciences. Regardless of the specific major, the required science courses to satisfy admission requirements for medical school are integrated into the student's undergraduate program of studies.

The courses most frequently required by medical schools include (but are not limited to) the following. Please note, requirements for other health-related schools (e.g. veterinary, dental, pharmacy) may vary from this sequence:

  • One year of general Biology with lab (Biol 121, 122)
  • At least one advanced level Biology course (Level 300+) with a lab
  • One year of general/Inorganic Chemistry with lab (Chemistry 111, 112)
  • One year of Organic Chemistry with lab (Chemistry 331, 332)
  • Biochemistry (Chem 351) (Note: Chem 332/332L are prereqs for this class.)
  • One year of Physics with lab (Physics 211, 212)
  • 6 credits of English (Minimum of 3 credits should be in a composition class.)
  • Mathematics requirements may vary among programs. It is strongly recommend that students take at least one semester each of calculus (Math 160 ) and Statistics (e.g. Stat 201).
  • Elective courses that may not necessarily be required but highly recommended include: genetics (Biol 350/L), cell biology (BIOL 340/L), comparative vertebrate anatomy (Biol 315/L), comparative physiology (Biol 343/L), microbiology (Biol 330/L), and immunology (Biol 405/L).

Each medical/health school may have specific required/recommended courses, it is therefore very important for students to thoroughly familarize themselves with the requirements of the particular programs that they intend to apply to.

What is required to get into medical, veterinary, dental, pharmacy school?

The most important criteria for admission to the major health related programs are as follows, roughly arranged in order of importance: undergraduate GPA (for medical school, 3.5 or higher), standardized test scores (e.g. MCAT, DAT, VCAT, PCAT, or GRE), hands-on-experience shadowing/working in the desired profession, and service to the community (both university and broader community). Participation in academic honor societies and attainment of leadership positions in clubs, honor society chapters, etc is also helpful. Most medical/pre-health programs are extremely competitive, therefore successful applicants typically have to show outstanding to very good performance in all areas to gain admittance.

Pre-Medical Advisory Committee members names and contact information:

Dr. Daniel Williams (Biology), Committee Chair, email: dwilliams@coastal.edu; Ph: (843) 349-6566; Office: KESH 233

James Wright, M.D.(Biology), email: jwright@coastal.edu; Ph: (843) 349-2247; Office: KESH 109

Dr. Paul Richardson (Chemistry), email: prichar@coastal.edu; Ph: (843) 349-2598; Office: KESH 211

Dr. Miranda Brenneman (Psychology), email: brenneman@coastal.edu; Ph:(843) 349-4035; Office: BRTH 213

Important Links with Helpful Information for Students Interested in Health Careers Including Veterinary Medicine

Detailed overview of health fields (explorehealthcareers.org)

The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) and the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) are two premiere student organizations with great information for pre-med students.

Medicine: American Medical Association (AMA)

American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC)

Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) information: (MCAT)

Veterinary medicine: Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC)

Dentistry: American Dental Association (ADA)

Pharmacy: American Pharmacists Association (APA)

Histology: National Society for Histotechnology (NSH)

Optometry: The American Optometric Association (AOA)

Physicians Assistant (PA): The American Academy of Physicians Assitants (AAPA)

Pathology: American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP)

Physical Therapy: American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)