The pre-health professions program is for students who intend to attend professional programs in the areas of athletic training, chiropractic, dentistry, medicine, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant, or veterinary medicine.

Preprofessional Program Options

Athletic Training

Students who intend to pursue a master’s degree in athletic training most often major in exercise science and complete recommended biology, chemistry, and physics coursework.

Chiropractic

Students accepted by chiropractic schools come from a variety of majors. Required courses are in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics. You’ll have opportunities to participate in faculty-student research, internships at healthcare facilities, and complete anatomy coursework with human cadavers.

Dentistry

Dentistry ranks second to medicine in the number of graduates entering professional schools each year. Dental schools generally do not mandate a specific academic major but most Concordia pre-dental students major in biology or chemistry. All schools require the Dental Admissions Test, which is generally taken in April of the junior year.

Medicine

Described as rigorous but supportive, our pre-med program prepares students to learn both inside and outside the classroom. While our acceptance rate to medical schools is always at least twice the national average, it is not the rate that sets us apart, but the preparation students undergo to ensure their success in a professional program.  Students are challenged, inspired, and encouraged to think critically, ask questions, develop excellent study habits, and develop a love of learning that will carry them through the rigor of a medical school education. Our students are also supported in finding quality healthcare employment to fully test their commitment to a medical career, and volunteering opportunities in the local community to demonstrate their desire to serve others. Unique opportunities include an immersive summer program at Children’s Hospital Network of Minnesota with Concordia alumni physicians.
 
A 12-month postbaccalaureate pre-medical program is also available to students who have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year institution.

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Maddie Sather '15 on Being Prepared for Med School

Concordia not only gave me a solid foundation of knowledge and a good work ethic, I had research opportunities and cadaver anatomy experience that put me ahead at medical school.

Occupational Therapy

A variety of undergraduate majors are good preparation for OT programs; however, most Concordia students opt to major in psychology. Liberal arts courses and courses in art and music are also highly advised.

Optometry

Students intending to pursue a Doctor of Optometry often choose to major in biology or chemistry. Successful applicants commonly have volunteer and work experience in the field. Participation in Concordia’s optometry internship program increases the likelihood of acceptance by professional programs.

Pharmacy

This program is for students intending to pursue a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Starting in Fall 2024, Concordia will offer a dual-degree program that partners with North Dakota State University School of Pharmacy. Students will complete three years of coursework at Concordia for a bachelor’s degree in biosciences with a pharmacy concentration then four years at NDSU for a Pharm.D. degree. This allows students to shorten the academic completion time for a doctorate to seven years and receive degrees from both Concordia and NDSU. Recent pre-pharmacy Concordia graduates have been accepted to graduate schools such as the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities and Duluth), Pacific University, UNC, and The Ohio State University.

Physical Therapy

Most pre-PT students major in biology, psychology, or exercise science. Related experience is often an important prerequisite for PT schools and our students achieve this through a combination of volunteer and work experiences.

My internship at St. Cloud Orthopedics really solidified my dream of doing physical therapy because I was immersed in the clinical experience every day. — AJ Flemming ’17

Physician Assistant

Each year, there is an increased demand for physician assistants. Most students interested in the field decide to major in biology or chemistry but will complete coursework in other areas. Observation and related work experience requirements exist for most programs.

Veterinary Medicine

Pre-veterinary students are required to take courses in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and a variety of non-science courses. Veterinary medical schools expect applicants to have experience working with animals. Our faculty oversee internship experiences that provide exposure to both small animal and large animal veterinary medicine.

Professional Program Options

Clinical Laboratory Science

Our affiliation with the School of Clinical Laboratory Science at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, North Dakota, allows students to complete the internship requirement here during their senior year.

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Contact

Dr. Julie C. Rutherford

Associate Professor, Biology; Director, Pre-Health Professions Program; Director, Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Program Biology, Health Professions