Preparing for a Health Profession

The Basics

There are many pieces to every application, including your GPA, standardized test score, personal statement, list of experiences, letters of recommendation, and biographical information.
Some health professions schools review applications holistically, while others rely on metrics to determine eligibility. The best way to prepare is to develop ALL of the pieces in an application, including yourself. Your personal attributes will play a big role in your success.

The best advice is to stay involved in the advising process. The Health Professions Advising office is here to support you on your journey, but we can only do so much. You must show up to learn about important topics and concepts, all designed for your future success.

 

Preparing Academically

Each health profession has its own unique set of prerequisites that every student must satisfy in order to be admitted to a school. The "Prerequisite Course List" button on the right will provide you with a list of UC Davis courses that are commonly used to fulfill these requirements. Use the Prerequisite Advising Sheets in the right column to identify required courses for various schools for your health profession.

Some things you should consider about prerequisite coursework:

  1. Different majors require different series. Follow your major requirements.

  2. Complete all of your prerequisite courses for a letter grade - DO NOT take any of them P/NP.

  3. Most medical schools DO NOT accept AP credit to fulfill a prerequisite course for their program. The best course of action is to take the courses recommended below, even if the university has given you AP credit for those courses.

Pre-Health Course Options

Please see our Prerequisite Course List Options for the list of prerequisite subjects across many health professions. Keep in mind you do not have to take all of these classes just the ones required by your health profession and major.

 

Health Careers Information Chart

Please see our Information Chart for more information about GPA averages per profession. Keep in mind, these are averages, not requirements.

The Safe Zone

In HPA, we often refer to the "Safe Zone", which is a GPA above 3.0 (overall and science). A GPA of 3.0 would be barely meeting the minimum requirements for many programs. You cannot have too high of a GPA. If you are struggling to maintain a 3.0, please make an appointment with the Director of Health Professions Advising. Everyone is capable of earning above a 3.0. In almost every case, the lower grades are the result of time management, study techniques, test anxiety, poor reading comprehension, or another skill that can be developed. There are many resources on campus to assist you in achieving your goals.

Take two minutes to learn some quick tips from the Director of HPA, Joanne Snapp.

 

Being Proactive

Being proactive in your success means making decisions that lead to better outcomes before finding out that there is a problem.

For example, many students say, "I'll wait and see how I do on the mid-term before I decide whether I need tutoring."

Being proactive would mean going to tutoring, office hours, study groups BEFORE the mid-term to prevent the low grade.

Another example, many students say, "I don't have time to study 30 hours per week."

Being proactive would include keeping a paper planner, writing out all of the quarter's assignments at the start, breaking those assignments into manageable tasks, and assigning each task to a day and time, and following a schedule. 

 

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.