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Health Professions

Health Professions

The Health Professions Program at Union is available to all students interested in pursuing a health profession after graduation. We offer a wide range of opportunities for career exploration, including tours of medical and other health profession schools in New York, Boston and Philadelphia; opportunities for networking with alumni; workshops; and guest speakers addressing a variety of key topics in health care. We prepare students for doctoral programs in medicine allopathic (traditional MD), MD/Ph.D., osteopathic (DO), veterinary , dentistry, optometry , podiatry, physical therapy and pharmacy as well as for careers in allied health professions, from public health to communication disorders.


Pre-health advisors assist students throughout their undergraduate program at Union. The Health Professions Advisory Committee helps students learn how to prepare a competitive applicant portfolio and manage all aspects of the application process.

The trimester system:

Union’s three-term calendar, which runs from September through mid-June, allows for flexibility in scheduling of classes as well as experiences outside of the classroom. These include terms abroad, internships, research and community service, all of which strengthen students’ applications to health programs.


Students pursuing the health professions are advised to take the following courses:

  • Calculus (through MTH 102 or MTH 112 or MTH 113)
  • English (2 courses, including Preceptorial and one other of your choice)
  • Introductory Psychology or Sociology (statistics is also recommended)
  • Biology (BIO 110, Heredity, Evolution and Ecology; BIO 112, Physiology of Cells and Organisms; and BIO 225; Molecular Biology of the Cell)
  • Chemistry (CHEM 101 and 102, Introductory Chemistry; CHEM 231 and 232, Organic Chemistry)
  • Biochemistry (in consultation with your academic advisor)
  • Physics (PHYS 110 and 111, Classical and Modern Physics for the Life Sciences I)

Some health professions programs (i.e., PT, OT, Nursing) require additional Union courses, such as Microbiology, Developmental Psychology and Statistics. Many programs also require Human Anatomy and Physiology, which can be taken through the Hudson Mohawk Valley Consortium at neighboring schools.

Grades and standardized test scores:

Although you do not need to be a science major to gain admission to a health profession program, it is important to have strong science grades and above average standardized test scores. The best predictor of success on the medical college admissions test (MCAT) is the SAT.

Volunteer clinical opportunities:

Albany Medical Center, Best Buddies, Community Hospice of Schenectady, Eddy Senior Care, Ellis Hospital, Joan Nicole Prince Home (for terminally ill individuals), Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital, Center for Disability Services, Annie Schaffer Senior Center

Terms abroad:

Study abroad is an excellent way to develop an understanding of other cultures and prepare for a future of caring for an increasingly diverse patient population. Union programs in Australia, England, Ireland, Italy and Greece offer possibilities for classes or internships that relate to health professions and pre-medical studies.  On the National Health Systems (NHS) term, students have a unique opportunity to travel with a faculty mentor to learn about and compare health care delivery sites in the U.S., Canada, England and the Netherlands. This program addresses primary, secondary and tertiary care, community health care and special populations. Lectures in each country cover the historical, political, cultural, economic and social factors that shape the health care system. A summer mini-term in Tianjin, China, is hosted by Tianjin University of Traditional Medicine, one of the oldest and most renowned schools of its kind. Up to 15 students focus on understanding the theoretical foundations and practices of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The program includes classes, seminars, clinical and pharmacy visits, and travel to key sites within China. In addition, the new Cuba miniterm includes visits to clinics and medical facilities. 

Health professions schools accepting Union students:

More than 80 highly respected schools, from Albert Einstein College of Medicine to the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, have accepted Union graduates in recent years.

Guaranteed admittance programs:

Union has an eight-year combined B.S./M.S. or M.B.A./M.D. Leadership in Medicine Program with Albany Medical College as well as an Early Assurance Program with Albany Med for underrepresented students.