Academic Preparation and Performance

Choice of Major

There is no “pre-med” major at Providence College or at most other colleges and universities. Students’ interests should dictate their choice of major as long as the preparation for professional school admission can also be completed.

Because of their interests, most P.C. pre-health professions students complete degrees in Biology, Chemistry or Biochemistry. Both the B.A. and B.S. degrees meet the premedical and dental admission requirements which include a minimum of two semesters each of Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, General Physics, Calculus, and English. It is wise to elect other science courses that will strengthen and broaden your science background. Biochemistry is strongly recommended. Other recommended electives include Genetics, Physiology, Histology & Cytology, Immunology, Comparative Anatomy, Developmental Biology and others.

Some professional schools have other specific prerequisites that must be completed.  For example, PA, NP and Physical Therapy schools generally require Human Anatomy, Physiology and Statistics.  It is important to become familiar with the specific professional school requirements before planning and embarking on any appropriate academic program.  Schools also vary in their requirements. Click here for a summary of the prerequisites for many of the health professions school.

The best advice is to become informed about general and school specific admission requirements.  Review the Facts about the Professions tables and visit the web sites for the professional school organizations

Level of Academic Performance

Academic performance as it relates to professional school admission is generally measured by both grades and admission test scores. The grades required for admission vary with the profession, and professional schools generally will provide a range of grades and test scores of the students they have accepted into their programs.

Medical and veterinary schools tend to accept students with the highest grades, usually 3.5 or better, medical schools because of the large number of applicants, and veterinary schools because of the small number of schools.  All health professions schools want strong students.

Admission test scores are another criterion considered.  Professional schools are looking for scores that reflect strong grades a student has earned, or for scores that may suggest academic strengths that do not show up on a student’s transcript.  Admission tests may be taken more than once, but require preparation, and, in the case of the Medical (MCAT), Dental (DAT), Optometry (OAT), Pharmacy (PCAT) admission tests, are subject based exams.  Many professional schools (e.g. PT, NP, Veterinary) now require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) which is not subject based, but tests verbal, analytical and quantitative skills.