The 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.

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Pre-professional 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 has a medical school acceptance rate of 91%. Students are strongly advised to complete the Cooperative Education in Medicine program. Unique opportunities include an immersive summer program at Hennepin County Medical Center and the Mayo Innovation Scholars program.

NEW! Starting in 2019, students who have completed a bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year institution may pursue an intensive, one-year post-baccalaureate pre-medical program.

Learn More

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.

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.

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 Cooperative Education in Optometry program increases the likelihood of acceptance by professional programs.

Pharmacy

This preparation program is for students intending to pursue a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree. Recent graduates have been accepted to 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 experiences working with animals.  Our faculty oversee cooperative education 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, N.D., allows students to complete the internship requirement here during the senior year.

Degree Requirements and Courses

Required Courses

Additional Requirements

Most AT programs require the following college courses:

  • 4 to 8 credits in human anatomy and physiology
  • 4 credits in general physics
  • 4 credits in general chemistry
  • 4 credits in biomechanics
  • 4 credits in physiology of exercise
  • 1 credit in medical terminology
  • 4 credits in nutrition 

Note: Some programs may also require the Graduate Record Exam, a research-based position paper and a minimum of 50 hours of observation completed under the direct supervision of a BOC ATC in an athletic training room setting. 

Required Courses

Additional Requirements

Dentistry ranks second to medicine in the number of Concordia students who enter professional schools each year. Concordia pre-dental students work closely with faculty advisors and the HPAC to maximize successful applications.

  • Most dental schools require the following college science background courses: 
  • at least 8 credits in biology
  • 4 credits in microbiology
  • 8 credits in general chemistry
  • 8 credits in organic chemistry
  • 4 credits in biochemistry
  • 4 credits in mathematics
  • 8 credits in physics

Because most dental schools expect applicants to have completed a bachelor’s degree before entering their programs, other required college courses also serve to satisfy Concordia’s graduation requirements.

Dental schools do not mandate a specific academic major but most Concordia pre-dental students major in either biology or chemistry. All schools require the Dental Admissions Test, which is generally taken sometime in the junior year.

Pre-dental students establish close connections with area dentists through Concordia’s Cooperative Education in Dentistry program. Mentored by experienced practitioners in nearly all specialties of dentistry, students emerge from this program with strong experiential bases for their motivation for a career in dentistry.

Required Courses

Required Courses

Additional Requirements

Each year, more Concordia students are accepted to schools of medicine than to any other health professions programs listed in this section. Early interaction with Concordia premedical advisors facilitates the overall process of presenting a successful application.

Virtually all medical schools require the following courses: 

  • 8 credits in biology (additional courses are often recommended)
  • 8 credits in general chemistry
  • 8 credits in organic chemistry
  • 4 or 8 credits in biochemistry
  • 4 or 8 credits in mathematics
  • 8 credits in physics
  • 4 or 8 credits in a behavioral science

Medical schools expect applicants to have satisfied all of the general requirements leading to an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree. Medical schools do not specify preferred major areas of study; Concordia students accepted by medical schools have majored in a variety of disciplines.

All medical colleges require that students take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) prior to submitting an application. The MCAT is given in April and August of each year and is taken when all of the above listed science courses have been completed.

Premedical students work closely with the HPAC to prepare comprehensive and strong applications in a timely manner. Successful applicants have good GPAs, strong MCAT scores, a variety of volunteer and work experiences, and 

supportive Committee Evaluations. Students are strongly advised to complete Concordia’s Cooperative Education in Medicine program. Development of good communication and leadership skills, along with a thoughtful and informed liberal arts background, are major assets.

Concordia also offers a Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program. This intensive one-year program is designed for highly motivated individuals with excellent academic records, who have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited four-year institution, but lack most or all of the prerequisite science courses needed for admission to medical school. The nine courses (36 credits) required for the Postbacc Premed program allows students to complete in 12 months the necessary science foundation to achieve strong MCAT scores and fulfill the course requirements for medical school admission. The Health Professions Advisory Committee works with Postbacc students throughout the duration of the program and subsequent medical school application process.

Required Courses

Additional Requirements

Because schools of occupational therapy vary in their requirements, interested students should consult with the program advisor as soon as possible. The science requirements for these programs are less extensive than those for the other health professions covered in the catalog.

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

Most OT programs value prior experience in the field, which most students obtain through Concordia’s Cooperative Education in Occupational Therapy program.

Advisor
Julie C. Rutherford

Required Courses

Additional Requirements

Optometry schools are four-year professional schools leading to the Doctor of Optometry degree. As such they consider for acceptance students that have completed the undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree.

Required college courses for these programs include:

  • 8 credits in general biology
  • 8 credits in anatomy and physiology (for some programs)
  • 8 credits in general chemistry
  • 8 credits in organic chemistry
  • 4 credits in biochemistry
  • 4 or 8 credits in mathematics
  • 8 credits in physics

A variety of other courses are recommended depending on the specific school. In general, the courses required for graduation from Concordia are also acceptable to schools of optometry. Pre-optometry students work closely with the HPAC as they prepare for a successful application.

Colleges of optometry require applicants to take the Optometric Admissions Test (OAT). Generally, the OAT is taken when the student has completed the required science courses.

Successful applicants commonly have volunteer and work experience in the field. Participation in Concordia’s Cooperative Education in Optometry program increases the likelihood of acceptance by professional programs.

Required Courses

Additional Requirements

A four-year program (from the time of acceptance into the program), the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) is the degree that prepares students to practice pharmacy in the United States. Although a bachelor’s degree is not required for entry into many Pharm.D. programs, over the years a number of Concordia students have opted for this preprofessional concentration.

Courses required before attempting application to colleges of pharmacy include:

  • 4 or 8 credits in general biology
  • 4 credits in microbiology
  • 4 or 8 credits in anatomy and physiology
  • 4 credits in mathematics (calculus)
  • 4 credits in general chemistry
  • 4 credits in organic chemistry
  • 4 credits in physics
  • 4 credits in English
  • 4 credits in economics
  • 8 credits in behavioral sciences

Besides the courses listed above, most pharmacy schools require applicants to complete about 30 additional semester-hours of credit.

Students interested in pharmacy should meet early with the advisor for this program. Because Pharm.D. programs typically require individual letters of evaluation (rather than a Committee Evaluation) as part of the application, students generally do not work through the HPAC. This option is available to Concordia students, however, if desired.

Required Courses

Additional Requirements

Professional programs in physical therapy (PT) grant the master’s degree (M.P.T.) or doctoral degree (D.P.T.) in physical therapy. Required courses for these two programs vary, though the bachelor’s degree is required by most PT programs. These programs do not require a particular undergraduate major, but most Concordia pre-PT students major in biology, psychology or exercise science.

Most PT programs require the following college courses:

  • 8 credits in general biology
  • 8 credits in anatomy and physiology
  • 8 credits in general chemistry
  • 4 credits in mathematics
  • 8 credits in physics
  • 8 or 12 credits in psychology

Most of the additional courses that are required for a degree from Concordia are also highly recommended by PT schools. Most PT programs require the Graduate Record Exam.

Concordia pre-PT students work closely with the HPAC to achieve a successful application. Experience in the field is often an important prerequisite. Concordia students obtain such experiences through a combination of volunteer and work experiences, and participating in the Cooperative Education in Physical Therapy program.

Required Courses

Additional Requirements

The demand for physician assistants (PAs) continues to expand. Professional programs leading to the master’s degrees for PAs are increasing in number. In recent years, Concordia graduates have been accepted to PA programs and are now serving in the profession.

PA schools require many of the same courses required by other health professions programs and include the following:

  • 8 credits in general biology
  • 8 credits in anatomy/physiology
  • 8 credits in general chemistry
  • 8 credits in organic chemistry
  • 4 credits in biochemistry
  • 8 to 12 credits in psychology
  • 2 credits in medical terminology
  • 4 credits in microbiology
  • 4 credits in statistics

Individual PA programs have a number of other courses that are either required or recommended, most of which also satisfy the general requirements for graduation from Concordia College. Many programs require the Graduate Record Exam.

Students should consult with faculty advisors early to plan their programs. They also have opportunity to work through the HPAC to maximize their potential for a successful application. Successful applicants to PA programs accumulate many hours of observation and medically related work experiences. Concordia’s Cooperative Education in PA program is designed to help students achieve these goals.

Required Courses

Additional Requirements

Veterinary medical schools share similar requirements with other health sciences professional schools. Individual schools, however, have greater variance in their requirements; therefore, it is essential that interested students consult early with pre-vet advisors.

Typically, veterinary medical schools require the following:

  • 8 credits in general biology
  • additional courses such as anatomy/physiology, microbiology and genetics
  • 8 credits in general chemistry
  • 8 credits in organic chemistry
  • 4 credits in biochemistry
  • 8 credits in physics
  • 4 or 8 credits in mathematics
  • a variety of non-science courses

Many veterinary schools require the Graduate Record Exam and a few require the Veterinary College Admissions Test (VCAT). Individual veterinary schools should be contacted about their entrance test requirements.

All veterinary medical schools expect applicants to present extensive experiences working with animals. Concordia’s Cooperative Education in Veterinary Medicine program provides excellent exposure to both small animal and large animal veterinary medicine.

Students should make contact (through websites) with veterinary schools of their choice early in their undergraduate career. Most applicants work through the HPAC because most veterinary medical schools prefer a Committee Evaluation to separate letters of recommendation.

Contact

Dr. Julie C. Rutherford

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