It is important to develop yourself both in and out of the classroom.
What upper level courses should I take?
Often doctoral health professions programs require the following upper level courses:
- Chemistry 231 and 232 (Organic Chemistry)
- Biochemistry (BIO 335 or CHM 380 or CHM 382 based on input from your academic advisor)
- Physics (PHY 110 and 111, Classical and Modern Physics for the Life Sciences I and II)
Are there additional courses required for health profession’s programs?
Course requirements vary by professional school. For example, most doctoral programs require 2 terms of Organic Chemistry (CHM 231 and CHM 232), 2 terms of Physics (PHY 110 and PHY 111) and Biochemistry (BIO 335 or CHM 380 or CHM 382 based on input from academic advisor)
Competency in Sociology and Psychology is expected for the MCAT, and some students choose to take PSY 100 or SOC 100 while others learn the material on their own.
Additional courses (ie. Microbiology, Developmental Psychology, and Statistics etc.) may be required for programs such as physical therapy, occupational therapy or nursing. Some health professions programs (ie. NP, PA, PT) also require courses in Human Anatomy and Physiology, which we offer at Union. These may also be taken at neighboring schools at no additional cost through the Hudson Mohawk Association or at another institution of your choice where you would pay for the credits beyond Union's tuition.
ISC 080 Exploring Health Care through Community Based Learning
Exploring Health Care through Community Based Learning is a course combining weekly supervised health care-related community based learning/observation experience with the study of the problems and means of health care delivery. The experience is designed for students interested in a health profession, including medicine, dentistry, nursing, vet, physician assistant, public health, occupational therapy, or physical therapy. Course requirements include 10 hours per week of community based learning, journals, essays, an oral presentation and weekly on-campus seminar meetings on Thursday mornings.
What can I do outside of the classroom?
Clinical experience and internship resources at Union
- Union’s Stanley R. Becker Career Center maintains alumni and internship databases.
- Union’s Kenney Community Center offers community programs on-site and maintains relationships with local community agencies for student placement at those agencies. Students should visit the Center at 257 Park Place or call (518) 388-6609 for more information.
- Exploring Health Care through Community Based Learning (ISC 080) offered through the Health Professions Office accepts applications each term for placement in a local health care related facility. Visit the Health Professions Office in Olin 110 for more information.
Note for physician assistant applicants: Most physician assistant programs require direct patient care hours with the number of hours required varying by program. Please check individual program requirements.
Local community opportunities:
Local organizations offer a variety of opportunities for students to become involved in the community as well as gain health-related experience:
- American Heart Association
- Community Hospice
- Clover Patch Pre-School Program
- Day Haven Adult Day Services
- Ellis Medicine
- Rotterdam Volunteer EMS
- Schenectady County Action Program – Early Childhood Education Programs
- Schenectady Community Home: Joan Nicole Prince Home
- Schenectady Inner City Ministry
- Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital
What about standardized tests?
Most graduate health professions programs require a standardized test for admission. Read further about the tests commonly required for graduate health professions schools:
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
Veterinary School Admission Tests
Students interested in attending veterinary school should check with their prospective institutions for test requirements.
Optometry Admission Test (OAT)
Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT)
How do I evaluate my readiness to apply?
How do I assess whether my grades are sufficient?
What is considered a competitive GPA can vary by graduate health professions program. Use the Health Professions Program Course Planning Guide and GPA tracker worksheet to plan your classes and calculate your math/science GPA.
How do I strengthen my credentials if needed?
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has a directory of Post-Baccalaureate Programs that students use to find a program to strengthen their academic credentials.
How do I evaluate my personal readiness to apply?
Download and complete the Anatomy of an Applicant guide to help you assess your demonstration of key competencies that health professions schools value.
If you have questions about your readiness to apply to the professional program of your choice after calculating your GPA and assessing your personal development, the Health Professions Office is here to provide insight and feedback.