Preprofessional Program Options

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

Pre-Health Professions Program Requirements and Courses

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.

AJ Flemming ’17 on Being an Athletic Trainer

My internship at St. Cloud Orthopedics was my most satisfying experience in college. I assisted with the High Energy Advanced Training program at area schools and also was immersed in clinical experience.


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.

Katelin Kruger ’20 on Preparing for Chiropractic School

Concordia was always at the top of my list. I knew I wanted to go into chiropractic, and the curriculum here fit me best. Through the variety of courses, I was able to work with all ages in creating healthier lifestyles with fitness, nutrition, and mental health.


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.

Taylor DeVine ’23 on his Pathway to Pre-Dentistry

I completed an internship with the Red River Valley Dental Access Project, a nonprofit clinic that specializes in low-cost dental extractions for the underserved. I was immersed in many aspects of dentistry and was inspired to tackle disparities in the community through my vocation as a dentist.


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.


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.


This program is for students intending to pursue a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Students often choose to major in biology or chemistry and apply to Pharm.D. programs following their junior year.

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.

Kyra Nichols ’23 on her PEAK Opportunity

While working as a personal trainer at Rise Fitness and Training, I learned much more about the human body and how it moves, as well as the business side of the fitness industry.

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 Major

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.

Degree Requirements and Courses

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Dr. Julie C. Rutherford

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