Pre-Health Professional Programs

Pre-Medicine, Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Optometry, Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Physician Assistant and Pre-Veterinary Medicine

Students intending to prepare for admission into a pre-health professional program must select a course of study leading to a Bachelor’s Degree in an academic area.  Any major may be selected as long as the student is careful to complete courses required by both the professional schools as well as those required for completion of the student’s Bachelor Degree program.  Students interested in a pre-health professional program must be advised by an academic advisor in their major area, and should also contact the COSM Advising Center (912) 478-0649 for advising on pre-health professional requirements.

Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Program

There is no major in “Pre-Medicine” or “Pre-Dentistry.”  Students desiring to go to medical or dental school should pursue courses of study leading to a Bachelor Degree in academic areas chosen according to their interests and aptitudes.  Freshman and sophomore pre-med/pre-dent students are advised regarding their pre-med/pre-dent studies by the advisors at the COSM Advisement Center.  Students with majors other than Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Psychology should be advised the COSM Advisement Center as freshman and sophomores and then by Prof. Jim Braselton as juniors in addition to the academic advisor in the chosen major.  Students must be careful to complete courses required for acceptance into medical school as well as those courses required for their degrees.  The most complete, up-to-date information on the Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental program is available on the web http://cosm.georgiasouthern.edu/advisement/pre-health-professional-programs/

Requirement for the Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Program

Only students with a GPA greater than or equal to 3.0 may transfer in as a Pre-Med/Pre-Dent student.  Students at the end of their second regular semester (not including summer) must have a GPA greater than or equal to 3.0 to remain as a Pre-Med/Pre-Dent student.  Students falling below a 3.0 average at the end of their second regular semester or any semester thereafter will revert to their declared major, will be removed from the Pre-Med/Pre-Dent program, and will no longer have access to additional advisement.

Freshman Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Students

During their first two semesters, in addition to one course appropriate for the chosen major, beginning freshmen should take:

Credit Hours
BIOL   2107Principles of Biology I3
BIOL   2108Principles of Biology II3
CHEM   1145Principles of Chemistry I4
CHEM   1146Principles of Chemistry II4
the appropriate math course(s)

While earning their degree students should take math courses through Calculus I (MATH   1441) or Calculus II (MATH   2242) (preferred). The Pre-Health Professions Review Board also encourages students to take Introduction to Statistics I (STAT   2231) or Applied Statistics (STAT   3130), especially if they are planning to apply to the Georgia Regents University/Medical College of Georgia.

Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)

Scores on the MCAT are required by almost all medical schools.  Currently, the test is given periodically from January to September.  It is recommended that the test be taken in April prior to the time the application is submitted and approximately a year and a half before matriculation at the medical school.  In order to be prepared to study for the exam, students planning to take the MCAT in April should complete two years of Chemistry, one year of Physics and at least one year of Biology by that April.  Students planning to take the MCAT in August should complete two years of Chemistry, one year of Physics and at least one year of Biology by the end of spring semester preceding that August.  These dates normally fall in year three.  Students who do not complete the above courses on time should be prepared to have their time of entrance into medical school delayed accordingly.  Students are typically better prepared for the MCAT if they elect to take calculus-based Physics rather than the other series of Physics courses.  At least one semester of biochemistry (Biochemistry I (CHEM   5541)) and one semester of genetics (Principles of Genetics (BIOL   3130)) is strongly recommended to be better prepared for the MCAT.  The attainment of competitive scores on the MCAT requires an extended period of intensive study.  Students are advised to obtain appropriate study materials and to study seriously and diligently over a period of several months.  They are also advised to take advantage of preparatory courses designed to tutor the student for the MCAT.  Depending upon demand, Georgia Southern offers an institutional course of this type through the Division of Continuing Education.

Dental Admissions Test (DAT)

Scores on the DAT are required by almost all dental schools.  The test is administered by testing centers and is a computer-based test.  It is recommended that the test be taken in May/June to the time the application is submitted and approximately a year and a half before matriculation at the dental school.  In order to be prepared to study for the exam, students planning to take the DAT should complete two years of Chemistry and at least one year of Biology by the spring of year three of their college careers.  Students who do not complete the above courses on time should be prepared to have their time of entrance into dental school delayed accordingly.  At least one semester of biochemistry (Biochemistry I (CHEM   5541)) and one semester of genetics (Principles of Genetics (BIOL   3130)) is strongly recommended to be better prepared for the DAT.  The attainment of competitive scores on the DAT requires an extended period of intensive study.  Students are advised to obtain appropriate study materials and to study seriously and diligently over a period of several months.  They are also advised to take advantage of preparatory courses designed to tutor the student for the DAT.  Depending upon demand, Georgia Southern offers an institutional course of this type through the Division of Continuing Education.

Application Procedures for Medical and Dental Schools

For most schools, deadlines for application are during the fall preceding the year of entry into the school.  Early application is recommended.  It is the responsibility of the student to secure the proper application materials and to meet all deadlines.  Requests for college transcripts to be sent as part of the application should be made sufficiently early in order for official transcripts to arrive before the deadline(s).

The Pre-Health Professional Review Board

Letters of recommendation for Pre-Dental and Pre-Medical students are prepared by the Pre-Health Professional Review Board, as required by most medical/dental schools as part of the primary application.  Letters will be written only for those students who have been interviewed by the Board and additional  letters of reference will not be written for students by individual members of the Board unless approved by the Chair of the Board.  Students desiring letters should contact Prof. Jim Braselton (jbraselton@georgiasouthern.edu) in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, to arrange for an interview with the Board at least 12 weeks in advance during the regular academic calendar year.  Interviews normally are held during Spring semester of the calendar year in which the first application is submitted.  Competition for admission to the schools is such that favorable letters can be written only for those students who have achieved adequate GPAs and test scores.  Pre-Dental students requesting an interview must have at least a 3.2 cumulative GPA and an average score of 17 on each section of the DAT.  Pre-Medical students requesting interviews must have at least a 3.4 cumulative GPA and a total of at least 22 points on the MCAT.  Because interviews are usually conducted before MCAT or DAT scores are obtained, the Board will interview students who they reasonably believe will perform satisfactorily on the MCAT or DAT.  Students who do not meet these requirements and who think that there are extenuating circumstances should make this known, in writing, to Prof. Braselton.  Subsequently, the Board will make a decision regarding the eligibility of the student for an interview. Only form letters of reference will be sent from the board for any student who was not interviewed, but who has requested a letter. The above are minimum criteria for consideration for recommendation by the board and do not ensure acceptance into the respective schools.

Our standard Pre-Medicine and Pre-Dentistry curriculum consists of the following courses:

Credit Hours
BIOL   2107
2107L
Principles of Biology I
and Principles of Biology I Laboratory
4
BIOL   2108
2108L
Principles of Biology II
and Principles of Biology II Laboratory
4
BIOL   3130Principles of Genetics3
Select 12 credit hours of BIOL Electives at 3000 Level or above12
CHEM   1145Principles of Chemistry I4
CHEM   1146Principles of Chemistry II4
CHEM   3341Organic Chemistry I4
CHEM   3342Organic Chemistry II4
Biochemistry I (strongly recommended)
MATH   1112College Trigonometry (if necessary)3
MATH   1441Calculus I4
Calculus II (Recommended)
Select one of the following:8
Principles of Physics I
and Principles of Physics II (Calculus - based Physics Strongly Recommended)
Introduction to Physics I
and Introduction to Physics II

Because there will be a very limited number of Biology courses, students not majoring in Biology should consult with their advisor to choose the most appropriate Biology courses.

Pre-Veterinary Medicine

Students interested in pursuing studies leading to the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) must select a course of study leading to a Bachelor’s Degree in an academic area.  This curriculum is designed to qualify students for admission into a College of Veterinary Medicine.  An essential component of a student’s preparation for veterinary college is practical experience working with animals, preferably gained by working with a practicing veterinarian. 

Credit Hours
Required Pre-Vet Courses
BIOL   2107
2107L
Principles of Biology I
and Principles of Biology I Laboratory
4
BIOL   2108
2108L
Principles of Biology II
and Principles of Biology II Laboratory
4
Select 4 credit hours of BIOL Elective at 3000 Level or above4
CHEM   1145Principles of Chemistry I4
CHEM   1146Principles of Chemistry II4
CHEM   3341Organic Chemistry I4
CHEM   3342Organic Chemistry II4
CHEM   5541Biochemistry I4
MATH   1113Pre-Calculus4
Select one of the following:8
Introduction to Physics I
and Introduction to Physics II
Principles of Physics I
and Principles of Physics II
Highly Recommended Electives
BIOL   4240Biology of Microorganisms4
BIOL   5131Cell Biology3
BIOL   5132Molecular Genetics3
BIOL   5241Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy4
MATH   1441Calculus I4
Recommended Electives
BIOL   5210Comparative Animal Physiology Laboratory1
BIOL   5230Comparative Animal Physiology3
BIOL   5240Histology4
BIOL   5248Immunology4
BIOL   5341Parasitology4
BIOL   5343Medical-Veterinary Entomology4
BIOL   5431Virology3

Pre-Pharmacy (Two-year / Three-year Transfer Program)

Students interested in Pre-Pharmacy typically do not complete a Bachelor’s Degree program at Georgia Southern University, but instead take the prerequisite courses required for admission and then transfer to one of the professional Pharmacy Schools.  Georgia Southern University offers a two-year Pre-Pharmacy program designed to complete the entrance requirements of most Pharmacy Schools in two years (although a few schools now mandate 90 credit hours of prerequisite coursework and will require an additional year at Georgia Southern University before becoming eligible to transfer).

Students wanting to complete a degree in pharmacy in the minimum period of time should plan on transferring to a school of pharmacy no later than summer following their sophomore year and should begin the transfer application process after the first year of undergraduate study.  Some students, however, apply for admission to pharmacy programs at a later stage, such as following the completion of an undergraduate degree, provided they have met the admission requirements.  In either case, an additional four years in pharmacy school results in completion of the Professional Pharm. D. Degree (Note: South University School of Pharmacy offers a year-round program that is completed in three years).

The prerequisite courses commonly required to apply to different Pharmacy program vary, so students should check the website of their desired schools for the most recent admission requirements. However, schools in our region have some consistent science requirements as outlined below:

Common science courses required by regional Pharmacy Schools

Credit Hours
BIOL   2107
2107L
Principles of Biology I
and Principles of Biology I Laboratory
4
BIOL   2108
2108L
Principles of Biology II
and Principles of Biology II Laboratory
4
CHEM   1145
CHEM   1146
Principles of Chemistry I
and Principles of Chemistry II
8
CHEM   3341
CHEM   3342
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry II
8
MATH   1112College Trigonometry3
MATH   1441Calculus I4
STAT   2231Introduction to Statistics I3

Registration in the Pre-Pharmacy program does not guarantee admission to the professional phases of a school of pharmacy.  Enrollment in the professional phase is limited, and the student will be accepted in accord with academic standing, aptitude for career in pharmacy, and PCAT (pharmacy college admission test) scores.  The PCAT should be taken at least one year prior to enrollment in pharmacy school.  Because enrollment in pharmacy school is competitive, a GPA of 2.5 is required to enter or stay in the Pre-Pharmacy program.

Advising for the Pre-Pharmacy Program will be handled in the COSM Advising Center (CAC).  The CAC advising staff will answer questions related to the pre-pharmacy process and also help with choosing a major should the student decide to earn a degree at Georgia Southern University while completing the Pre-Pharmacy requirements.

Pre-Optometry

The requirements for admission into the various optometry schools and colleges are not identical. Typically, the requirements include courses in Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, English, Physics, Psychology, and the Social Sciences.  The Pre-Optometry course requirements represent a minimum of three academic years of study.  However, students are encouraged to obtain a four year degree prior to application for optometry school.

Direct individual inquiries are invited by

The American Optometric Association
Department of Public Affairs
243 N. Lindbergh Blvd.
St. Louis, Missouri 63141
Telephone (314) 991-4100. 
Also see website http://www.opted.org.

Pre-Physician Assistant

The COSM Advisement Center provides a central point of contact for any student interested in attending PA school.  The requirements for admission into the various physician assistant (PA) programs are not identical.  Typically, the requirements include courses in Biology, Chemistry, Human Anatomy and Physiology, Psychology, Statistics, and Public Speaking.  In addition, most PA programs require a minimum amount of direct patient care experience for admission.  Check with a COSM advisor for more information.