Pre-Health Advisement

Students dressed in medical outfits

At St. John’s University, pre-health students gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed for success in medical or graduate school. You can choose from a range of exciting and challenging majors, any of which will allow you flexibility to complete the necessary academic and extracurricular requirements for graduate study in a health-related field.

Health professions encompass a wide range of careers that offer both challenging and rewarding service. 

These fields include:

Allopathic MedicineChiropractice Medicine
OptometryOsteopathic Medicine
Physical TherapyPhysician Assistant
PodiatryVeterinary Medicine

Consult the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook for an overview of healthcare occupations. You can also find more information at

Professional organizations are also an excellent information resource. The American Medical AssociationAmerican Osteopathic AssociationAmerican Dental AssociationAmerican Veterinary Medical AssociationAmerican Chiropractic AssociationAmerican Optometric AssociationAmerican Podiatric Medical Association, etc., all have valuable information if you are interested in a related career.

Contact Information
For more information and to register for the Pre-Health Professions Advisory Committee, please contact:

Gregory Gades
Senior Assistant Dean and Chair of Pre-Health Professions Advisory Committee
St. John Hall, Room 145
[email protected]

Additional Information

The Pre-Health Professions Advisory Committee (PHPAC) will help you find your path into the healthcare profession of your choice. When you register with the committee, you will be assigned an advisor experienced in guiding students through the complex process of gaining admission to a health profession graduate school. Your advisor will help you prepare applications to medical and health-related professional schools, select an appropriate curriculum to fulfill pre-requisites for these schools, and stay abreast of their admission requirements. The committee will also prepare the letters of evaluation required by professional schools. 

If you’ve decided to pursue a career in healthcare, it’s important to begin preparing as soon as possible.

Year One

Year Two

  • Begin accumulating healthcare experience through shadowing, volunteering, and/or employment.
  • Begin to register for prerequisite coursework if you have not done so already.
  • Request a letter of evaluation from the PHPAC.
  • Prepare for admission examinations (E.g. GRE, DAT, MCAT, MAT, OAT).

Year Three

  • Gain research experience.
  • Request letters of recommendations from professors, preferably those teaching science courses.
  • Take admission examinations.
  • Write your personal statement.
  • Review the contents of your pre-health folder.
  • Submit applications (before June).

Year Four

  • Go on interviews.

St. John’s University offers two types of accelerated programs that may be of interest to students preparing for careers in healthcare.

  • Combined Bachelor of Science (B.S.) / Master of Science (M.S.) programs in Biology and Chemistry allow you to complete both degrees in just four years, saving time and a year of graduate tuition.
  • The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) / Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) program, offered in conjunction with SUNY College of Optometry, will allow you to complete both degrees in seven years.

Getting involved in student organizations and honor societies will help you build your resume and make connections. Some organizations that may be of interest to students preparing for health-related careers include:

The United States has a critical need for doctors from underrepresented populations, and medical schools increasingly look to recruit individuals committed to serving communities with high minority populations. These programs consider an applicant’s medically-related opportunities, life experiences, personal essay, and interview in addition to GPA and MCAT scores.

The following medically-related and research-focused opportunities allow underrepresented students to increase their exposure to the health professions and thereby increase their chances of acceptance into medical school:

ArizonaThe University of Arizona Graduate College Minority Health Disparities Undergraduate Summer Research
CaliforniaUniversity of California Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Enrichment Program
University of California San Diego School of Medicine Medical Scientist Training Program Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship
ConnecticutUniversity of Connecticut Aetna Health Professions Partnership Initiative Health Disparities Clinical Summer Research Fellowship Program
FloridaUniversity of Florida Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Pharmacology and Therapeutics
GeorgiaCenter for Disease Control Undergraduate Public Health Scholars (CUPS)- Project IMHOTEP at Morehouse College
MassachusettsAMGEN Scholars Program at the NIH
Harvard Medical School Four Directions Summer Research Program (for Native Americans)
Harvard Medical School Program for College Students: Summer Clinical and Translational Research Program
Harvard School of Public Health Summer Program in Biostatistics and Computational Biology
Harvard School of Public Health Division of Biological Sciences Summer Program in Biological Sciences in Public Health
Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Diversity and Inclusion Summer Research Trainee Program
MIT Department of Biology Undergraduate Summer Research Internships
Tufts University The Sackler School Building in Diversity in Biomedical Sciences for Undergraduates
MichiganCenter for Disease Control Undergraduate Public Health Scholars Future Public Health Leaders Program at the University of Michigan
University of Michigan School of Public Health Summer Enrichment Program
MinnesotaUniversity of Minnesota Life Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Programs
MissouriBiomedical Research Apprenticeship Program at Washington University
NebraskaCreighton University Health Sciences Multicultural and Community Affairs Undergraduate Biomedical Research Program
New HampshireDartmouth College Geisel School of Medicine MD-PhD Undergraduate Summer Fellowship Program
New YorkAlbert Einstein College of Medicine Summer Undergraduate Research Program
Center for Disease Control Undergraduate Public Health Scholars Summer Public Health Scholars Program at Columbia University
NYU Musculoskeletal Research Center Summer Undergraduate Research Program
The Mount Sinai School of Medicine International Exchange Program for Minority Students
Weill Cornell Medical College Travelers Summer Research Fellowship Program

Weill Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan-Kettering Gateways to the Laboratory Summer Program

Yale School of Medicine Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship
North CarolinaUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Summer Research for Undergraduates
Wake Forest School of Medicine Excellence in Cardiovascular Sciences
OhioCase Western Reserve University School of Medicine Heart, Lung, and Blood Summer Research Program
The Ohio State University SUCCESS Program Summer Undergraduate Course: Creating Excellence in Scientific Study
Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine Summer Scholars Program
PennsylvaniaUniversity of Pennsylvania Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics Summer Undergraduate Minority Research Program
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine Center for Molecular Studies in Digestive and Liver Diseases Undergraduate Student Scholars Program
University of Pittsburgh Summer Undergraduate Research Program
TennesseeVanderbilt University School of Medicine ASPIRNAUT Undergraduate Research Internships on the Pathobiology of Diabetic Nephropathy
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center: Discover Cancer Research Program
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine-Vascular Biology Short Term Training Program for Minority Students
Washington, D.C.Georgetown School of Medicine Academy for Research, Clinical, and Health Equity Scholarship
WisconsinMarquette University College Science Enrichment Program
University of Wisconsin-Madison Molecular and Environmental Toxicology Center Summer Research Opportunities Program for Minority Students
Non-StateAmerican Cancer Society Fuller Fellowships for Science and Public Health Students

American Gastroenterological Association Investing in the Future Student Research Fellowship

The American Physiological Society Integrative Organismal Systems Physiology Fellowship
The American Physiological Society Short-Term Research Education Program to Increase Diversity in Health-Related Research Fellowship
The American Physiological Society Short-Term Research Experience for Underrepresented Persons
Center for Disease Control Undergraduate Public Health Scholars Dr. James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Diseases Fellowship at Kennedy Krieger Institute
Center for Disease Control Undergraduate Public Health Scholars Maternal Child Health Careers at Kennedy Krieger Institute
Center for Disease Control Undergraduate Public Health Scholars Public Health Leadership and Learning Undergraduate Student Success at Kennedy Krieger Institute
The Leadership Alliance Summer Research Early Identification Program
Summer Health Professions Education Program