Most colleges and universities, including Keene State, do not have specific majors like “pre-med” or “pre-dentistry,” and there’s no “best” major for getting admitted to med school or other health profession schools or programs. Instead, students should choose a major that aligns with their interests while allowing them to pursue various career opportunities, while keeping in mind the need to take courses that are required for admission to health profession schools. Common majors for students on pre-professional pathways include:
Keene State also offers options/specializations that are designed for students planning to pursue advanced degrees in the health field:
- Health Sciences
- Population Health Option, Pre-Professional Health Specialization
- Health Sciences, Addiction and Pre-Professional Mental Health Option
- Nutrition Option
- Exercise Science, Allied Health Option
Click on any of the links above to learn more about these Keene State majors. Current KSC students already declared in these majors should talk to their academic advisor if they’re considering applying to health-related graduate programs and other schools. Prospective students and KSC students in other majors can contact department chairs to start the conversation about pre-professional health pathways.
Health-related professional programs usually require a solid foundation of science courses, all of which are offered at Keene State:
- Cell Biology
- Anatomy & Physiology
- General Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
Many programs also require courses in the social sciences, such as psychology and sociology, and math courses like physics and statistics. Consider which other courses you can take that will make you a stronger, well-rounded candidate. Classes that strengthen your communication skills and teach you about social issues, people, cultures, and health policy will satisfy graduation requirements in ways that have direct bearing on your future as a health professional.
It’s important to look at different schools’ requirements and recommendations and work with your academic advisor to plan course selections that align with your goals and with the requirements of the programs you’re thinking of applying to. The links on the Health Professions page and central applications websites will help you find specific requirements for different schools and programs.
As an example, most medical schools require the following courses:
- One year of Biology with lab
- One year of General Chemistry with lab
- One year of Organic Chemistry with lab
- One semester of Biochemistry
- One year of Physics with lab
- One year of English
- And many medical schools also require 1 – 2 semesters of math (calculus, statistics, college math) — you’ll need to look at the prerequisites of the schools you’re applying to.
Outside of Class
Many health-related programs and schools have requirements for experiences outside of the classroom, such as observation hours, volunteering in the field, or direct patient care experiences. Be sure to check for requirements outlined by your programs of interest.
Keene State offers opportunities for clinical and research experiences through academic departments, the Center for Creative Inquiry, and NH-INBRE — talk to your advisor for more information about connecting with these. In addition, the Health Professions Club is a student organization for all who are interested in careers in health and a valuable resource for any student considering applying to a health profession school.