Pre-Professional Health Science

Clarke offers students the opportunity to prepare for entrance into professional programs in the area of health science while completing their undergraduate degree. Many health science programs require a baccalaureate degree as a prerequisite for entrance into the professional program. Although application for admission into professional programs must be sought independently by the student, Clarke pre-professional health science advisers will act as advisers to students who wish to fulfill prerequisites for admission into specific programs. These advisers will also assist students in seeking admission to the following programs. Students planning to enter any of the following programs must notify the undergraduate studies dean so that a pre-professional health adviser and academic program may be assigned to them.

To view a listing of course descriptions and program requirements, click here.


Clarke provides the strong liberal arts background and the basic sciences that are required for future physicians and dentists. Although medical programs do not prescribe an undergraduate major, most schools require a basic science curriculum. The specific courses on which the subject matter portion of the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT ) and the Dental College Admissions Test (DCAT ) are based include general biology and zoology, general chemistry, organic chemistry and general physics. Although mathematics is not specified, the analytical skill developed in calculus will enhance student success on sections of the test requiring quantitative reasoning. Since specific requirements vary among different colleges of medicine and dentistry, students need to consult with the college of their choice and share this information with their pre-professional health science advisers. Ultimately it is the student’s responsibility to check and complete requirements associated to professional programs.

Clarke students in the Pre-Professional Health Program are expected to successfully complete a basic science curriculum, including the following courses:

  • BIOL 115 Fundamentals of Cell Biology and Genetics (4 hours)
  • BIOL 116 Ecology, Evolution and Diversity (4 hours)
  • CHEM 110, 111 General Chemistry I-II (8 hours)
  • CHEM 221, 222 Organic Chemistry I-II (8 hours)
  • PHYS 110, 111 Physics I-II (8 hours)

Because of the rigorous requirements for admission, students must have an outstanding scholastic record and a record of leadership and service activities when considering application to medical or dental school. Research experience is strongly recommended. For those students who gain early acceptance into medical or dental school, the first year of professional studies may be recognized as the final 30 credits required for a Clarke degree.
The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) is a centralized distribution, collecting and processing service for applying to most colleges of medicine. Clarke advisers will assist students in completing the application. Clarke students have successfully completed medical and dental programs at The University of Iowa, The University of Illinois, Chicago Medical College, Rush School of Medicine and others.


A solid foundation in the sciences is basic to the veterinary program. Veterinary medicine colleges strongly encourage students to complete a baccalaureate degree before enrolling, although entrance may be possible after 60 semester credits.

The specific requirements for admission to the professional program vary, but all require a minimum of biology (8-12 credits), chemistry (12-16 credits) and physics (8 credits). Other commonly required courses are English composition, humanities and social sciences and mathematics. As a liberal arts college with strong majors in biochemistry and biology, Clarke offers the opportunity to excel in all of these disciplines. Students are advised to consult the university of their choice to determine specific requirements.

Most successful applicants have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. An additional requirement for admission often is the successful completion of a standardized examination such as the MCAT , VMAT or the GRE. The Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) is a centralized distribution, collecting and processing service for applying to most colleges of veterinary medicine. Clarke advisers will assist students in completing the application.


A degree in pharmacy requires a six-year program culminating with the doctor of pharmacy degree. Students interested in pharmacy can complete two years of pre-pharmacy liberal arts and science courses at Clarke before transferring to a university college of pharmacy where the remaining four-year professional program is completed. Pre-professional course work should include general and organic chemistry, biology, calculus and physics. Many schools require economics in addition to other general education courses.

Students should request a catalog from the college of pharmacy they expect to attend and, with their adviser, plan the pre-pharmacy program accordingly. In addition to the required science courses, students must plan to meet the general education requirements of the school to which they will transfer. 


The Council on Chiropractic Education specifies pre-professional studies for chiropractic programs. A minimum of 60 semester credits at a baccalaureate degree-granting institution must precede the four-year chiropractic curriculum. Pre-professional credits must include one year each of biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics and English or communication skills. One course each in psychology and in the social sciences or humanities is also required. A minimum GPA of 2.75 is required for pre-professional credits. Students should be acquainted with the specific entrance requirements for the college of chiropractic that they expect to attend and consult a Clarke adviser in planning an appropriate program.


Podiatric Medicine, a four-year graduate program, is an area in which the demand for practitioners far exceeds the predicted supply. A broad general education such as that provided at Clarke University is an important component of the program’s prerequisites. Although students may apply to some schools after three years of undergraduate study, the baccalaureate degree is strongly encouraged. In the event that admittance to the podiatry program is obtained after three years at Clarke, the professional program may be used as the final year of the baccalaureate studies for a Clarke degree.
Admission requirements minimally include biological sciences, general and organic chemistry and physics. Students should be acquainted with specific entrance requirements for the program in which they expect to participate and consult an adviser in planning an appropriate program at Clarke. The minimum overall GPA of 2.5 is required; however, this may vary with the professional college. Candidates are required to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT ) as part of their application process.


Two national agencies issue certifications based on scores obtained on examination as proof of competency. Admission to the examination for Medical Technology requires a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university including courses in biological sciences, chemistry and mathematics and successful completion of an accredited medical technology program. Certification as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS) requires completion of a baccalaureate program , including biological and physical sciences, plus completion of a clinical laboratory program accredited by an agency of the U.S. Office of Education or approved by a state government agency. Clarke University advisers will assist interested students in securing placement in an accredited laboratory program and recognize those hours as the final 30 credits required for a Clarke University degree.

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