Premedical/Prehealth Care Professional Study
The Pre-Professional Health Programs Advising Office in Hood House provides advising for all students preparing for postgraduate careers in medicine, dentistry, optometry, chiropractic, podiatry, physical therapy, pharmacy, naturopathic medicine, and physician assistant programs. There is no pre-health major at UNH. Health professional graduate programs do not evaluate based on undergraduate major. Interested UNH students should register with the Pre-Professional Health Programs Advising Office online to be added to an email list and be kept informed of important events, opportunities, and deadlines regarding preparation for application.
Identifying as a pre-health student at UNH consists of the following:
- Taking the prerequisite courses for admission. A list of the specific prerequisite courses for each intended health profession can be found on the UNH Pre-Health website.
- Gaining volunteer and healthcare experience. Applicants to health professional programs will be expected to demonstrate a sustained involvement in volunteer and community service. It is also expected that applicants have shadowed healthcare providers. Many students volunteer in various healthcare settings and some students seek out licensure and certificates to provide hands-on patient care. These experiences often include working as an EMT, LNA/CNA, or phlebotomist.
- Preparing for entrance exams. Students applying to medical school are required to take the MCAT exam. Students applying to dental programs are required to take the DAT, and applicants to optometry programs take the OAT. The MCAT, DAT, and OAT are standardized, comprehensive exams that test students' knowledge of biological and physical sciences as well as verbal reasoning and writing skills. Exams are usually once the student has completed prerequisite coursework. Students applying for physician assistant and physical therapy programs may be required to take the GRE, a more general exam similar to the SAT in structure and content.
The Pre-Professional Health Programs Advising Office works with the Pre-Professional Health Advisory Committee, a group of 10-12 UNH faculty members and local healthcare providers, to provide students with comprehensive, confidential evaluation services at the time of application. An application information meeting is held each fall to outline the application process and establish timetables and deadlines. Students should note that the medical and dental school application process begins a full two years before matriculation; e.g., in the fall of a student's junior year if they wish acceptance following graduation. However, a delay of a year or more between graduation and admission is neither unusual nor detrimental, and in many cases, students can use this time to improve their credentials by taking additional courses and/or gaining exposure to the profession.
It is important that students understand that in order to gain admission to a health professional program they must not only satisfy the prerequisite requirements, they must satisfy these requirements at a high level of achievement. The Pre-Professional Health Programs Advising Office can provide students with information on competitive GPA and entrance exam scores for each of the postgraduate health professional programs.
The Pre-Professional Health Programs Advising Office is located in Hood House and can be contacted by phone at (603) 862-7740 or by email at Premed.Advising@unh.edu. The office also has a website at http://www.unh.edu/uac/premed-advising/advising.