Pre-Health Professions

Examples: Dentistry, Medicine, [Physicians and Physician's Assistants], Optometry, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Veterinary Medicine

Many students entering Jacksonville University hope to one day have a career in a health profession, such as medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, physician’s assistant, public health, physical therapy, or veterinary medicine. In order to successfully apply to a health professional school following graduation from Jacksonville University, students must successfully complete various undergraduate science courses, as well as courses from other disciplines. These undergraduate prerequisites are determined by the individual health professional schools, and may vary somewhat between institutions. The following information and suggested course list provide general information to JU students interested in preparing for a Health Professions career. JU students are strongly encouraged to seek out their advisor and JU Pre-Health Professions advisors for additional detailed information regarding preparation for application to medical school or other health professions.

Many students wishing to pursue a career in medical school or another health profession choose to obtain an undergraduate major in Biology or Chemistry. However, there is actually not a requirement for any specific major in order to apply to a health professional school. Overall, these schools look for well-rounded individuals who have demonstrated the ability to use their intellect. However, regardless of major chosen, a student must fulfill specific undergraduate course prerequisites for the professional school to which he/she would like to apply. Many schools have similar basic undergraduate science course requirements, with varying recommendations for additional coursework in the sciences and other subjects. For instance, most medical and health professional schools require at least 8 hours of Biology. Examples of additional science courses that may be required by such schools include Human Anatomy and Physiology (Physician’s Assistant and Physical Therapist), Biochemistry (Pharmacy), and Genetics (Veterinary Medicine).

It is very important for JU students intending to pursue a career in a health profession to work closely with their faculty advisor and/or JU Pre Health Professions advisors early and regularly, in order to stay on track with meeting entrance and course requirements. Additionally, it is strongly advised that JU students closely read the websites of professional schools to which they may apply to understand specific undergraduate course and entrance exam requirements that a particular school may have. Students are also encouraged to join JUMPS, the Jacksonville University Medical Pre-Professional Society, which holds meetings throughout the year on topics relevant to Pre Health Profession students. Below is a list of courses that will help prepare JU students for successful application to a Health Professional school. These requirements encompass the material needed for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), which is required by all but a few medical schools in the U.S. These courses also comprise the information needed for basic background for the study of medicine as well as admission to most other health professional programs. The requirements are to be regarded as minimal for either purpose.

Pre-Health Professions Basic Course Recommendations (38 credits)

Pre-Health Professions Basic Course Recommendations
Code Course Credit
BIOL 180* Biological Diversity 4
BIOL 190* Biological Unity 3
BIOL 290* Basic Laboratory Techniques in Biology
(Prerequisites: “C” or better in BIOL 190, CS 150, ENGL 103, MATH 206; and either BIOL 180, CS 160, or CHEM 104)
CHEM 103* General Chemistry I
(Prerequisite: “C” or better in MATH 104 or placement in a core mathematics course)
CHEM 104* General Chemistry II
(Prerequisite: “C” or better in CHEM 103)
CHEM 301/L Organic Chemistry I
(Prerequisites: “C” or better in CHEM 103 & CHEM 104)
CHEM 302/L Organic Chemistry II
(Prerequisite: “C” or better in CHEM 301 & CHEM 301L)
PHYS 111 Principles of Physics I
(Co-requisite: MATH 110 or MATH 112)
PHYS 112 Principles of Physics II
(Prerequisite: PHYS 111)
MATH 140* Calculus I
(Prerequisite: “C” or better in MATH 110)

* Prerequisite for select 300/400-level BIOL courses. Specific prerequisites are listed for each course in the Course Descriptions portion of the academic catalog. This may be waived in certain cases by permission of the faculty teaching upper division courses

In addition to the basic requirements, the following courses are recommended for strengthening the student’s scientific foundations, and good performance in these courses will also make the student a stronger candidate for admission to the program of their choice. The courses that an individual student should take will vary with the student’s intended career path and the professional school(s) to which they are intending to apply. The student should always review the requirements of their intended school(s) and work closely with their JU advisor.

Additional Recommended Courses

Additional Recommended Courses for Pre-Health Professions
Code Course Credit
BIOL 301WR Microbiology
(Prerequisites: “C“ or better in CHEM 104; and either BIOL 208, or MSC 113 & MSC 114, or BIOL 280 & BIOL 290, or BIOL 290 & CHEM 322; and either CHEM 211SI, or CHEM 311SI, or BIOL 223SI)
BIOL 305 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
(Prerequisites: "C" or better in BIOL 190; and either BIOL 280, or BIOL 207, or MSC 113 & MSC 114)
BIOL 308 Principles of Immunology
(Prerequisite: “C“ or better in either BIOL 208 or BIOL 290)
BIOL 309 Animal Physiology
(Prerequisites: “C“ or better in BIOL 180 and CHEM 104; and either BIOL 208, or BIOL 290, or MSC 113 & MSC 114; recommended: CHEM 301)
BIOL 320 WI Human Ecology, Infectious and Zoonotic Disease
(Prerequisites: BIOL 223SI; and either BIOL 190 or BIOL 208; and either BIOL 207, or BIOL 280, or MSC 113 & MSC 114)
BIOL 322 Medical Microbiology
(Prerequisites: “C” or better in CHEM 104; and either BIOL 223SI, or CHEM 211SI, or CHEM 311SI; and either BIOL 208 or BIOL 290 or MSC 113 & MSC 114)
BIOL 337 Genetics
(Prerequisites: “C“ or better in CHEM 104; and either BIOL 208 or BIOL 290)
BIOL 402WR Cell Biology
(Prerequisites: “C” or better in either BIOL 223SI, or CHEM 211SI, or CHEM 311SI; & a “C” or better in either BIOL 208, or BIOL 290, or MSC 113 & MSC 114)
BIOL 430# Special Topics: Wildlife Disease Ecology
(Prerequisites: “C” or better in BIOL 280 or BIOL 204 or BIOL 207; and either BIOL 208 or BIOL 290; and BIOL 223SI)
BIOL/CHEM 435 WI Biochemistry I
(Prerequisites: “C” or better in CHEM 302; and either BIOL 190 or 208; and either BIOL 290, CHEM 322, or MSC 114 (BIOL 290 strongly recommended))
BIOL/CHEM 436 Biochemistry II
(Prerequisites: “C” or better in BIOL 435WI or CHEM 435WI)
CHEM 322 Analytical Chemistry
(Prerequisite: “C” or better in CHEM 104)
CHEM 323 Instrumental Analysis
(Prerequisite: “C” or better in CHEM 104)
PSYC 201 Introductory Psychology 3
SOC 203 Introductory Sociology 3

# BIOL 430 denotes a special topics course. Special topics courses vary in theme and not all special topics courses are applicable to students persuing a health profession. However, students interested in some health professions may find the Wildlife Disease Ecology course beneficial and may wish to take it when it is offered.

In addition to successful completion of course requirements, programs leading to degrees in the health professions often recommend and/or require students to show evidence of completing numerous experiencial hours (e.g., volunteerism, clinical shadowing, research, internships, work experience) related to the health profession. Programs may differ in the minimum expected, so it is important to check the recommendations of individual programs early and often. Involvement in student clubs, service organizations, and other extracurricular activities also help students develop additional skills complementary to future work in the health professions.

A variety of internship programs with either Research or Clinical/Practical Professional orientation are available to JU students. JU students collaborate with mentors at the Mayo Clinic, UF Health Jacksonville and other institutions. The faculty and staff at JU work with these institutions to identify and encourage minorities and other students who are interested in careers in research and medicine through these internships. JU has also devised numerous shadowing, internship, and research projects for students at other medical and dental facilities, as well as an array of veterinary sites.

Bachelor's Degree in Conjunction with Professional Schools

Jacksonville University’s policy is to grant a bachelor’s degree to a student who attended JU for three years, then successfully completes at least one year at a professional school qualified under transfer credit policies and in a field related to the major pursued at JU. The following qualifications and procedures apply:

  • Before leaving Jacksonville University, the student must:
    • Complete all core curriculum courses required for the expected degree.
    • Complete all specific course requirements for the major pursued, as well as other major requirements, to the extent that no more than 12 credit hours of electives in the major remain to be taken.
    • Have an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher, qualify according to the rules of transfer, and complete a total of 120 semester credit hours.
  • Acceptable professional schools for this special consideration must be accredited to grant degrees in the following fields:
    • Medicine (MD, DO, PA) or podiatry
    • Dentistry
    • Physical Therapy
    • Veterinary Medicine
    • Pharmacy
    • Optometry
    • Occupational Therapy
    • Law
    • Chiropractic Medicine
  • In order to qualify for this consideration, the student must:
    • Apply for graduation, using the appropriate JU Graduation Application Form.
    • Furnish complete transcripts of the academic record at the professional school.
    • Be approved by the major department at JU.
    • Be approved by the appropriate academic dean.
    • Be approved by a majority vote of the University Faculty.​