Pre-Health

Pre-Health

Central College offers many pre-health programs that prepare you for a successful career in healthcare or admittance to top graduate programs. Central specializes in pre-health professions advising that allows you to tailor your academic experience to ensure you reach your healthcare goals. Many Central pre-health graduates go on to prestigious programs in medicine, dental, physical therapy and other areas.

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Pre-Health programs
  • A DEDICATED PRE-HEALTH ADVISER IS AVAILABLE TO ALL PROGRAM STUDENTS
  • 90% of grads admitted to 1st- or 2nd-choice graduate school

Beyond Central

 

Successful Careers

Pre-health at Central has led to the following careers for alumni:
  • Nicole Landt Ness, PA-C family oractice UnityPoint, Des Moines
  • Dr. Erin Tower Swenka, DO family medicine practitioner, Johnston, Iowa
  • Dr. Jordan Vos, DPT/ATC Total Rehab Orthopedic and Sports Specialists, Grinnell and Williamsburg, Iowa
  • Dr. Sarah Stockton Massey, DO obstetrician and gynecologist, West Des Moines
  • Dr. Micah Vermeer, DDS general dentist at Pella Family Dentistry and adjunct professor at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry
  • Dr. Scott Westphal, MD internal medicine specializing in nephrology, Coralville
  • Dr. Nyla Heerema, Ph.D. professor and division director of cytogenetics in the clinical pathology branch of the College of Medicine at The Ohio State University

Organizations

Central College has several clubs and organizations for students interested in pre-health:
  • Health Professions Club
  • SCATE (Students Concerned About The Environment)
Central College student

Pre-Health Programs and Majors

  • Central’s pre-health adviser will work with you individually to tailor your academic coursework and experiences toward achievement of entry into the graduate programs of your choice.
  • By design Central College does not offer a major in the various areas of pre-health.
  • Graduate programs regularly accept students from several majors. Admissions directors and faculty for these graduate programs indicate that developing and sharpening key skills and demonstrating strong foundations in the natural and/or behavioral sciences are the best preparation for graduate study.
  • All programs strongly agree on the value of a well-rounded liberal arts education and service to the community.

Graduate School Placement

  • AT Still University (Mo. and Ariz.)
  • Concordia (Wis.)
  • Creighton University
  • Des Moines University
  • Duke University
  • Indianapolis University
  • Iowa State University
  • Lake Erie College Of Medicine Bradenton
  • Midwestern University (Chicago)
  • Northwestern Health Sciences University (Minn.)
  • Nova Southeastern University
  • Palmer College of Chiropractic Medicine
  • Rocky Vista University
  • St. Ambrose University
  • St. Catherine University
  • University of Alabama Birmingham
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Illinois College of Optometry
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Missouri – Kansas City
  • University of Missouri – St. Louis
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • University of St. Francis (Ind.)
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wyoming
  • Washington University (Mo.)

Internships/Research Opportunities

  • Baylor College of Medicine
  • Emery University
  • Mayo Clinic
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Wisconsin
  • University of Cincinnati
  • Duke University
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Pella Regional Health Clinic

Pre-Health

Faculty & Courses

Pre-Health Advising

Your pre-health and major advisers are the two primary supports for pre-health advising at Central. Their focus is to mentor pre-professional students on how to become competitive applicants to professional programs.

Pre-health advising provides you with individualized attention as you plan your academic schedules and take advantage of opportunities to prepare for a career.

Your pre-health adviser also work closely with faculty and staff at Central to share important information regarding graduate programs.

The pre-health adviser works with the admissions staff at the various graduate programs to ensure we are developing you with the skills and experiences the programs seek. In addition to personalized advising, you benefit from information sessions, workshops and graduate school visits that provide important updates, prepare you for entrance exams, application to graduate schools and interviews.

Sample Coursework

The courses listed with each program are general requirements for most graduate programs and do NOT include other coursework needed for your major.  Where entrance exams are important we try to schedule courses so that you will have completed the preparatory courses prior to taking the entrance exams which generally occurs the summer after your junior year.

Most programs require a basic year of biology and chemistry, and these are included in the number of semesters listed. The basic year of biology includes Introduction to Cells (Biol 131) and Diversity of Life (Biol 130).  The basic year of chemistry includes General Chemistry (Chem 131) and Inorganic Chemistry (Chem 151).

To view sample coursework for individual programs, visit the academic program page for your area of interest.

How to get started

Contact a pre-health adviser and make an appointment to learn more about our pre-health programs, and go to the academic program page for the program you are interested in to learn more.

Emerging scholars

Programs

Occupational Therapy

Your pre-health adviser and/or health professions coordinator will work with you to ensure that you have taken all required coursework and completed required health care or research experience.  General Requirements tend to include:

  • Biology: 3 semesters
  • Psychology: 3 semesters
  • Social Sciences: 1 semester
  • Statistics: 1 semester
  • Completion of the GRE
  • Experience in the OT setting

 

Optometry

Your pre-health adviser and academic adviser will work with you to ensure that you have taken all required courses. Minimal requirements generally include:

  • Biology: 3 semesters including human anatomy and microbiology
  • Chemistry: 3 semesters including one semester of organic chemistry and biochemistry
  • Physics: 2 semesters
  • Mathematics: 2 semesters (statistics and calculus)
  • Social Sciences: 1 or 2 semesters
  • Psychology: 1 or 2  semesters
  • English/rhetoric: 2 semesters
  • Exam: Completion of OAT

 

Chiropractic

Your pre-health adviser and academic adviser will work with you to ensure that you have taken all required courses. Minimal requirements generally include:

  • Biology: 2 semesters
  • Chemistry: 4 semesters
  • Physics: 2 semesters
  • Communication: 2 semesters
  • Psychology: 1 semester

 

Medicine

Your pre-health adviser and academic adviser will work with you to ensure that you have taken all required courses. Minimal requirements generally include:

  • Biology: 4-6 semesters
  • Chemistry:  5 semesters
  • Statistics: 1 semester
  • Physics: 2 semesters
  • Behavioral sciences: 1-3 semesters
  • English: 1 semester
  • Communication: 1 semester
  • Exam: Completion of the MCAT

 

Pharmacy

Your pre-health adviser and academic adviser will work with you to ensure that you have taken all required courses. Minimal requirements generally include:

  • Biology: 5 semesters required
  • Chemistry: 4-6 semesters required including biochemistry  and analytical chemistry
  • Math: 2 semesters required (typically statistics and calculus)
  • Economics: 1-2 semester of microeconomics and accounting
  • English/rhetoric: 2-3 semesters
  • Psychology: 2 semesters
  • Pharmacy technician experience exam: completion of PCAT

Physicians Assistant

Your pre-health adviser and academic adviser will work with you to ensure that you have taken all required courses. Minimal requirements generally include:

  • Biology: 6 semesters  including microbiology, genetics, anatomy and physiology
  • Chemistry: 4 semesters including inorganic, organic and  biochemistry
  • Psychology: 3 semesters including abnormal psychology
  • Mathematics: 1 semester of statistics or biostatistics
  • Speech and composition
  • Exam: Completion of GRE
  • Medical terminology

Minimum hours of direct patient care and PA shadowing vary with each institution from 0-1000 hours.

Physical Therapy

Your academic adviser and/or pre-health adviser will work with you to ensure that you have taken all required coursework and completed required health care or research experience.  General requirements tend to include:

  • Biology: 4 semesters
  • Chemistry: 2 semesters
  • Physics: 2 semesters
  • Statistics: 1 semester
  • Psychology: 3 semesters
  • English/rhetoric: 2 courses
  • Completion of GRE
  • Medical terminology
  • Experience in the PT clinical setting: minimum hours vary with institution

 

Veterinary Medicine

Your pre-health adviser and academic adviser will work with you to ensure that you have taken all required courses. Minimal requirements generally include:

  • Biology: 4 semesters required
  • Chemistry: 5 semesters required
  • Physics: 1 semester required
  • English: 2 courses required
  • Speaking: 1 semester required
  • Arts/Humanities: 3 semesters required
  • Exposure to veterinary medicine/animal care (both large and small animals)
  • Exam: Completion of GRE

Podiatric Medicine

Your pre-health adviser and academic adviser will work with you to ensure that you have taken all required courses. Minimal requirements generally include:

  • Biology: 2 semesters required, anatomy recommended
  • Chemistry: 4 semesters required general chem. and organic, biochemistry recommended
  • Physics: 2 semesters required
  • English/Rhetoric: 2 semesters
  • Exam: Completion of the MCAT

Taking courses in the behavioral sciences is also recommended.

 

Dentistry

Your pre-health adviser and academic adviser will work with you to ensure that you have taken all required courses. Minimal requirements generally include:

  • Biology 2-4 semesters
  • Chemistry: 4-5 semesters
  • Physics:  2 semesters
  • English: 1 semester
  • Communication: 1 semester
  • Demonstrated experience in fine motor manipulation
  • Exam: Completion of DAT

 

Nursing

Your pre-health adviser and academic adviser will work with you to ensure that you have taken all required courses. Minimal requirements generally include:

  • English: 1 semester
  • Communication: 1 semester
  • Sociology: 1 semester
  • Psychology: 1 semester
  • Lifespan development: 1 semester
  • Chemistry: 1 semester
  • Biology: 1 semester
  • Anatomy and Physiology (EXSC or BIOL): 2 semesters
  • Nutrition: 1 semester
  • Statistics: 1 semester
  • Humanities electives:  3 semesters
  • Social science electives: 2 semesters
  • Certification: Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
  • Exam: Completion of the TEAS test