Q: Do I need to have a specific major to be on a pre-health track?
A: No! There is no required major(s) for pre-health students–our office works with anyone, current undergraduates and alumni, who indicates that they are interested in pursuing a career in the health professions, and health professional schools will accept applicants regardless of major.
Students are encouraged to explore their major options, and are welcome to dialogue with our office about a major choice or change at any time. All students just need to ensure that they are meeting the correct course requirements for their desired career program.
Q: What classes do I need to take as a pre-health student?
A: As a pre-health student, course requirements will vary based on what kind of career you are pursuing. To view the prerequisites for medical and dental school specifically, visit our Course Requirements page. To view information for other potential pathways, visit our Health Careers pages.
Q: Are AP credits accepted for prerequisite coursework?
A: AP credits are accepted on a variable basis from school to school. We strongly encourage applicants to review all of the information included on our AP Credit Policies page.
Note specifically that the University of Connecticut School of Medicine does not accept AP credit for any prerequisite coursework. To read more about UConn SOM’s policies, review this document compiled by our office.
Q: Are ECE credits accepted for prerequisite coursework?
A: Yes. ECE courses are collegiate-level coursework and will count to fulfill prerequisite requirements.
Q: Can I take my course requirements at a community college and/or over the summer?
A: For any prerequisite coursework, our office always recommends taking classes during the course of the regular semester and at a four-year institution if possible. We understand that for many, summer courses and/or community college courses make more sense, both financially and time-wise, and that’s fine (especially for those that may have chosen to pursue a pre-health path later in their undergraduate career). However, to show full mastery of the preparatory coursework, it is best to take the course at full length and rigor. To see which MD schools accept AP, community college, and online coursework, click here.
If you are worried about finishing your required classes before your anticipated graduation date, remember that there are other options you can explore as well. You can always take courses as a non-degree student, either at UConn or at another four-year institution, or you can enroll in a Post-Baccalaureate program. To learn more about Post-Bacc programs, we encourage you to explore information about the UConn Pre-Medical and Health Professions Post-Baccalaureate Program.
Q: When should I take my prerequisite courses?
A: There is technically no “right time” to take prerequisite courses, and timelines will depend on when you want to apply to health professional school. Generally, applicants will want to have finished their required courses before sitting for their standardized test.
If you wish to matriculate directly after four years of undergraduate education, you should plan to have all of your required courses completed by the end of your junior year. If you are planning to take at least one growth year after graduation, you should aim to finish your required courses by the end of your final year.
We encourage you to view the Sample Course Timeline on our website, as well as our Deciding When to Apply page so you can become more familiar with timelines. Make sure as well to discuss your course plans not just with our office, but also with your major advisor to ensure that you are meeting all major-specific requirements, as well as general education requirements.
Q: What happens if I want to retake some courses—when should I do that and how is my GPA affected?
A: Our office recommends that any grade that is a B- or lower can be considered as something a student might want to retake; anything above a B- won’t worry an admissions committee. If you are consistently struggling with your science prerequisite courses, we would encourage you to make an appointment with one of our advisors to discuss strategies for success.
All courses posted to your UConn transcript will be factored into your GPA calculations for professional schools. Although UConn replaces your prior grade with your retake grade, both will be counted when the application services calculate your cumulative undergraduate GPA, as well as your science GPA. This means that you can raise your average, but potentially not as much as anticipated. Regardless, an improved grade in a class does still show strong capacity for improvement and holds value for admissions committees.
For any prerequisite coursework, our office always recommends taking classes during the course of the regular semester and at a four-year institution if possible. For course retakes, this becomes less important, though to show complete mastery in any subject area, we would still recommend taking it at UConn during the fall or spring semester if that option is available. We understand that for many, summer courses and/or community college courses make more sense, both financially and time-wise, and that’s fine!
Q: How does my timeline change if I am thinking of taking a growth year?
A: Applicants will want to have finished their required courses before sitting for their standardized test; if you are planning to take at least one growth year after graduation, this gives you added leeway, if you want it, in when to finish your courses and take your required standardized exam. Generally, you should aim to finish your required courses by the end of your final year and sit for your exam while information is still fresh in your mind.
If you plan to take multiple growth years, keep in mind that certain programs will not accept test scores that were taken prior to a certain date–this will vary from school to school, so ensure that you’re aware of these cutoff dates.
Q: Can I study abroad if I am a pre-health student?
A: Yes! If you are able to work out a course plan in conjunction with our office and your major advisor that will allow you to fulfill all of your necessary coursework requirements and study abroad, we encourage you to do so. This can be an invaluable way to build cultural competence and awareness, and even gain an understanding of the healthcare system in a foreign country. We highly encourage you reach out to the Experiential Global Learning office to learn about possible pathways for your study abroad experience. Some options that align with pre-health coursework are Allied Health Sciences programs, Psychological Sciences programs and the Pre-Med/Allied Health Spanish Program in Granada. SPiM and Post-Bacc students can also look into the Winter Internship Program.
For those with an interest in studying abroad in Latin America that demonstrate financial need, we recommend looking through the resources offered by El Instituto on campus.
Q: What do I do if I’m a transfer student?
A: If you are a transfer student, you will need to talk with the Undergraduate Admissions Office to determine how your credits have transferred over. Keep in mind that for any school you are applying to, they will request transcripts from all institutions at which you have taken collegiate-level coursework.
Q: How do I register for PNB 3278 “Patient and Healer”?
A: In order to register for PNB 3278, taught by our advisor Dr. Keat Sanford, you will need to receive a permission number from our office. Due to high demand each semester, our office opens a permission number request form each semester one week before course registration begins. More information can be found no our website here.