BS in Health Sciences: Pre-Professional Programs

St. Thomas University students seeking careers in medicine as well as dentistry, podiatry, pharmacy, optometry, chiropractic or veterinary medicine get the courses they need to meet their pre-professional requirements, including a science-based education, opportunities for research, and hands-on experience in their chosen field. In addition, students receive strong analytical and communication skills.

Each student’s program plan is created in consultation with the student’s advisor in the program. Degree programs in Biology and Chemistry support students seeking coursework to fulfill their pre-professional education track.

All full-time School faculty hold doctorates and many are actively engaged in research. In fact, laboratories and teacher-student research in our brand new 25,000 square foot Carnival Cruise Lines Science and Technology Building are the center of the St. Thomas University experience. Gain essential research experience early in your career through course credit or volunteer positions in our Undergraduate Research Program.

LECOM Early Acceptance Program

STU offers an Early Acceptance Programs (EAP) for Pre-Health students to attend Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), one of America’s largest and most affordable medical schools. LECOM will admit up to five STU students each to the medicine, pharmacy, and dental EAPs and up to two students to the podiatry EAP. All STU students in the program are guaranteed to receive LECOM admissions interviews. Pending STU and LECOM admissions committee reviews, students can join the LECOM early admission programs between their acceptance to STU and their sophomore year of college, with some students potentially eligible to start their medical school career after just three years of undergraduate study.

Sample Curriculum

Bachelor of Arts in Biology for Pre-Professional Programs

Freshman year
Credits Course
6 English Composition & Literature
8 Principles of Biology I & II with Laboratories
3 Microcomputer Applications
6 Pre-calculus Algebra and Trigonometry
1 First Year Experience
6 Two Electives

Sophomore year
8 Anatomy and Physiology with Laboratories
8 General Chemistry I & II with Laboratories
4 Calculus I
3 Applied Statistics
3 Biomedical Ethics
3 One Elective

Junior year
4 Microbiology with Laboratory
4 Genetics with Laboratory
8 Organic Chemistry I and II with Laboratories
8 Physics I and II with Laboratories
6 Two Electives

Senior year
8 Biochemistry I and II with Laboratories
4 Cell Biology with Laboratory
4 Quantitative Analysis with Laboratory
3 Communication and Report Writing
9 Three Electives
3 Elective in Biology or Chemistry

Start your Path to Professional Development

Professional schools are looking for more than just GPAs and standardized test scores. They want to see well-rounded applicants who will complete the diversity of their incoming classes. You need to set yourself apart as a unique individual.

At St. Thomas University we assist you in highlighting your strengths by framing the exceptional factors that differentiate you from the many other highly qualified applicants. At St. Thomas University we “develop leaders for life.”

Acquiring experience in your chosen field through shadowing and service allows you to become familiar with the demands and sacrifices associated with a health profession. The City of Miami has within its limits some of the best hospitals and health care centers in the nation. We will work with you to find appropriate experiences at local hospitals and health-care facilities.

We provide assistance to fulfill your professional aspirations

Opportunities at St. Thomas University include continuous counseling from dedicated Pre-Health Advisors. Our Pre-Professional Advisors provide:

  • Personal attention and support to each student
  • Tips on how to succeed in college
  • Information on extra-curricular activities and part-time employment
  • Opportunities to learn about the various health professions, their educational requirements, standard admission exams (MCAT, PCAT, DCAT, VCAT, etc.) and the application process for each school
  • Information on the required courses for each professional school
  • Up-to-date trends at professional schools
  • Application strategies for professional schools
  • Assistance with personal statements and essays
  • Preparation for admission interviews (mock interviews)
  • Letters of recommendation from our Pre-Professional Committee
  • Guidance throughout the entire admissions process
  • Training and knowledge in interpersonal and communication skills
  • We assist students in balancing a rigorous academic schedule with meaningful extra-curricular activities.

At St. Thomas University, we provide a variety of services to help you become the strongest possible candidate for admission to the school of your choice.

Typical education requirements for acceptance into Medical, Anesthesiology, Dental, Optometry, Pharmaceutical and Veterinary programs throughout the United States:

Medical Doctor (MD)
Admission requirements vary by school. It is important to check for the admission requirements of the specific school that you are interested in to be sure that you will meet all of the pre-requisites required by that school.

Professional medical education consists of four years of graduate level study. Typically, the first two years of medical school are composed of classroom instruction and laboratory work; the second two years consist of clinical rotations. Following graduation from medical school, students may elect to continue their training by doing a one year internship and/or a one-to-three year residency. The residency option is required in order to specialize in medicine.

Standard Test Requirements: MCAT taken prior to last year of undergraduate work – The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a standardized, multiple-choice examination designed to assess the examinee’s problem solving, critical thinking, writing skills, and knowledge of science concepts and principles prerequisite to the study of medicine. Scores are reported in Verbal Reasoning, Physical Sciences, Writing Sample, and Biological Sciences. Medical colleges consider MCAT scores as part of their admission process.

General Course Requirements: BA Biology. 8 credits Chemistry, 8 credits Biology with lab, 6-9 credits Organic Chemistry, 4-8 credits Physics. Recommended: 8 credits human Anatomy and physiology, additional biology (microbiology, genetics, cell physiology, biochemistry), 3 credits Public Speaking, 3-6 credits English composition, 3 credits Statistics, 3 credits Mathematics, 12-24 credits Humanities/Social Sciences.

Anesthesiologist Assistants (AAs)

An anesthesiologist assistant is a physician assistant specialist trained to administer anesthesia. In the United States, an anesthesiologist assistant must complete two and a half years of training in a CAAHEP accredited anesthesiologist assistant program after obtaining a baccalaureate degree and required medical prerequisites.

Students are taught course work that enhances their basic science knowledge in physiology, pharmacology, anatomy, and biochemistry with special emphasis on the cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, nervous, and neuromuscular systems. Clinical instruction educates students extensively in patient monitoring, anesthesia delivery systems, life support systems, and patient assessment as well and in the skills need to provide compassionate, quality care.

Testing: GRE or MCAT

Dental Medicine

Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.)
Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.)
Admission to a dental school requires three to four years of college with specific science courses; however, most entering students possess a bachelor’s degree. Competitive scores on the Dental Admission Test (DAT) are also required. The dental school curriculum is a four-year program leading to a D.D.S. (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or a D.M.D. (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree. Specialization requires an additional two or more years of training.

DAT: The testing program is designed to measure general academic ability, comprehension of scientific information, and perceptual ability. While all dental schools require examinees to participate in the Dental Admission Testing Program, test results are only one factor considered in evaluating the admission potential of an examinee. Validity studies conducted by the testing program have shown that test scores in conjunction with college transcripts are useful in predicting performance.


Doctor of Optometry (O.D.)
Doctors of Optometry receive four years of specialized professional education and clinical training at an accredited school, after competition of their undergraduate prerequisites. Although a minimum of two years of college is required, the majority of today’s optometry students have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Competitive scores from the Optometry Admission Test (OAT) are required. of Optometry

OAT: Standardized examination designed to measure general academic ability and comprehension of scientific information. The OAT is sponsored by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) for applicants seeking admission to an optometry program. All schools and colleges of optometry in the United States, and the University of Waterloo, Canada require the OAT.


Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D.)
A Pharm. D. program customarily requires six years and may also be designed as a post baccalaureate program, usually exceeding six years of study. Admission to pharmacy programs is usually contingent upon successful completion of a pre- pharmacy curriculum. Many programs require that the applicant take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT). In addition, admission requirements may include grade point average, residency status, letters of recommendation and applicant interviews. Pre-pharmacy course work typically consists of chemistry, biological sciences, physical sciences, English, social and behavioral sciences, and the humanities.

PCAT: Measures general academic ability and scientific knowledge necessary for the commencement of pharmaceutical education. The PCAT is constructed specifically for colleges of pharmacy.

Veterinary Medicine
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)
Admission to a college requires two to three years of college work with courses in math and science. Most veterinary students have bachelor’s degrees. After the four-year veterinary college program, many graduates complete an optional internship or residency program; others go directly into practice. Competitive scores on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) are required. Some schools also require Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General, and the GRE biology subject test. of Veterinary Medicine

Testing: A few DVM schools require the GRE general test and the Biology Subject test, which is only given three times each year using paper and pencil. Some veterinary schools will accept the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) or the GRE.

GRE: measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills that have been acquired over a long period of time and that are not related to any specific field of study. The GRE Subject Tests gauge undergraduate achievement in eight specific fields of study.

Biology Subject Test: The GRE Subject Tests gauge undergraduate achievement in the eight disciplines listed below. Each Subject Test is intended for students who have majored in or have extensive background in that specific area.

Additional Acceptance Criteria:

Competition for acceptance into Graduate or professional schools is high and students can improve their odds by working in the field of their professional study during their undergraduate years. Students also gain pertinent skills, knowledge, abilities, and insights into the profession.

Extracurricular Activities
Admissions officers are interested in applicants who, in addition to having good academic credentials, are humanistic in nature, who care genuinely about others, and who have shown evidence of this interest through volunteer or community service activities. In addition to your GPA and MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) scores, community service and extra-curricular activities are important to a student’s application to medical school. Your participation in volunteer work and leadership activities provides some evidence of your personal qualities such as integrity, breadth of interest, human relations skills, and motivation towards medicine.

Community service is essential to an application. Volunteering should serve two functions: exploration of working in a medical setting and public service.

Letters of Recommendation
Be sure you have spent enough time with each recommender so that they fully understand your interest in medicine. Second, be sure to give them a copy of your American Medical College Application Service personal statement. You are also advised to write out a brief synopsis of any other activities, research experience, community efforts, or volunteer work you have done. It is very helpful to recommenders to have as much detail in writing for them to review when writing their letter. Providing your recommenders detailed information will also ensure you that your letters will have accurate information regarding your activities, such as dates and places you worked. Finally, the more information people have about you, the more comprehensive their letters can be. If you take responsibility in giving your recommenders solid information in writing, you help yourself in getting solid, informative letters of reference.

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