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Pre-Health/Pre-Medical Advising: When Choosing a Major

Earning a B.S. or B.A. degree in college requires selecting a major. Terms such as pre-med or pre-dental are only descriptive labels since North Carolina Central University (NCCU), like most other schools, does not award any pre-health degrees. 

Most graduate health and medical professions programs require a four year college degree prior to acceptance.  These programs require applicants to have a strong foundation in the natural sciences, biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. In general, graduate health/medical programs do not have a strong preference for what students choose to major in as long as the student successfully completes the prerequisite course work and is competitive for their program.

Students can use two criteria to help select a major:

  1. Select a major that you are truly interested in; something which would be a backup plan if you are not successful in getting into medical school.
  2. If you don't have an interest outside of the health field, choose a major which includes the prerequisites required by your career field such as biology, chemistry, mathematics or physics.

The majors offered at NCCU which come close to including the prerequisite course work are Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Specific information about these and other degree programs offered at North Carolina Central University can be found at the College of Arts and Sciences.  In addition to the traditional science majors and degrees, College of Behavior and Social Sciences offers programs in nursing, and health-related fields that require most the medical, dental, and pharmacy school prerequisites.

Call or visit the Health Careers Center to schedule an appointment with the University Health Profession Advisor to prepare yourself for a career in health care or a medical field.

Center Services and Activities

  • Advocacy
  • Application Assistance
  • Career Advising/Center Planning
  • Community Service/Community Outreach
  • Graduate and Professional Schools Bus Tours
  • Individualized Guidance
  • Information Resources Check-Out System
  • Mock Interviews
  • Recruitment
  • Test-Taking Skills Workshops
  • Tutorial Referral
  • Writing Assistance

Pre-Medical: Application Services

There are two types of medical schools; each has their own centralized application service: one is for allopathic programs (M.D.) and the other is osteopathic programs (D.O.).  The application process has been streamlined as a centralized system so that students do not have to request application from each individual school that he/she intends to apply too.  These applications are computerized.  Applications for foreign medical schools are handled individually by each school.

A student can complete an initial or primary application online and designate which schools they would like to submit them to.  The cost depends on the number of schools you select.  Schools review the primary application and make a decision whether to invite the applicant to submit the secondary or formal application.

Upon receiving the secondary application and letters evaluation, the school reevaluates the entire application and decides which candidates will be interviewed.  Once you are offered an interview, your chances of being accepted increases. 

Numerous medical schools use a “rolling admissions” process where applicants that submit their application material first are interviewed first.   These schools select the candidates for admissions from interviews and continue this process until the class is filled.  It is an advantage to the student to submit application materials early as possible. 

Listed below are the application services used by medical schools:

Medical

Allopathic programs (M.D.)
American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS)
Section for Student Service2450 N St. NW Suite 201
Washington, D.C. 20037-1131
www.aamc.org (202) 828-0600

Osteopathic programs (D.O.)
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOMAS)
5550 Friendship Boulevard Suite 310
Chevy Chase, MD 20815-7231
www.aacom.org (301) 968-4190

Note:  Not all medical schools are members of AACOMAS.  Check individual schools for their participation.

Chiropractic

Students can contact individual schools to request information and application materials. www.amerchiro.org

Dental

American Association of Dental Schools (AADSAS)
1625 Massachusetts Ave. NW Suite 601
Washington, D.C. 20036-2212
www.adea.org (202) 667-1887

Nursing 

American Association of Colleges of Nursing
One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530
Washington, D.C. 20036
www.aacn.nche.edu (202) 463-6930

Optometry

Students can contact individual schools to request information and application materials. www.opted.org

Pharmacy

Pharmacy Application Service (PharmCas)
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP)
www.PharmCAS.org

Note:  Not all pharmacy colleges are members of PharmCas. Check individual schools for their participation.

Physician Assistant

Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA)
American Academy of Physician Assistants
450 N. Washington St.
Alexandria, VA 22314-1552
www.aapa.org (703) 836-2272

Podiatry

American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine (AACPM)
1350 Piccard Drive Suite 322
Rockville, MD 20850
www.aacpm.org (800) 922-9266

Veterinary

Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS)
1101 Vermont Ave. Suite 411
Washington, D.C. 20005-3521
www.aavmc.org (202) 682-0750

Health Careers Club and Societies

The purpose of the Health Careers Club and Societies is to encourage and educate students who express an interest in pursuing a medical or health career.  Students will have an opportunity to shadow doctors and meet recruiters and representatives from various medical schools. The club seeks to encourage an exploration of the field while providing its members with information to better prepare them for their chosen career.     

Eagle Pre-Medical Society

The purpose of the Pre-Medical (Pre-Med) Society is to encourage and educate students who express an interest in pursuing a medical career.  Students will have an opportunity to shadow medical doctors and meet recruiters and representatives from various medical schools. The club seeks to encourage an exploration of the field while providing its members with information to better prepare for medical school.   

NCCU Pre-Dental Society

The Pre-Dental Society is a student run organization.  The goal of the Pre-Dental Society is to teach students about the career of dentistry and provide them with the resources and knowledge needed to assist them in getting into dental school.  A shadowing program has been established.  This program provides students with the opportunity to participate in on-the-job learning.  This experience helps students further their career development before pursuing a dental program.

The organization encourages community involvement and members serve in numerous volunteer roles.  In addition, the club seeks to assist its members in becoming the most qualifies applicants for dental school. 

Pre-Pharmacy Society

The Pre-Pharmacy Club is a student organization for undergraduates who plan on pursuing careers in pharmacy. The goal of the club is to provide resources and opportunities to introduce undergraduates to the world of pharmacy.  In addition, the club seeks to assist its members in becoming the most qualifies applicants for pharmacy school.

The organization also seeks to encourage community involvement and present members with opportunities to serve the community through volunteer service.  By adding depth to members’ understanding of pharmacy, the Pre-Pharmacy Club constantly strives to make its members the best prepared and most informed applicants for the pharmacy program.

 
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