Pre-Health Advising

For students interested in pursuing studies in healthcare, the Suffolk University Health Careers Committee provides current information on a variety of health careers, and writes recommendations for qualified students seeking admission to professional schools. As far as recommendations to such professional schools are concerned, only the Health Careers Committee are recognized representatives of Suffolk University.

A student-run Health Careers Club exists to foster interaction among students with interests in the health careers. Interested students should contact the club through the Department of Biology. Interested students should contact Eric Dewar (Associate Professor, Department of Biology and Chair, Health Careers Committee), during their first semester at Suffolk.


The admission requirements for medical schools throughout the country are being liberalized, but the changes are not uniform, and the rates of change are not the same. The trend is toward less emphasis on science courses that tend to be repetitious, and more upon the humanities and social science subjects. Students are being encouraged to possess a broad liberal arts background as well as basic education in the sciences. This is largely due to the overhaul to the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) in 2015.

Nevertheless, nearly all medical colleges still require one year of general chemistry and one year of organic chemistry, one year of physics, one year of biology, one year of English composition, and one year of English literature in pre-medical preparation. Further coursework in Psychology and Sociology is also required for the 'new' MCAT. In addition to these requirements, Suffolk recommends that students take Anatomy and Physiology I-II and Biochemistry before the MCAT if feasible.

Catalogues of some medical schools indicate that an applicant can be approved for admission after three years of college work. However, the number of applicants far exceeds the number of students to be admitted. Only students with the strongest academic record, MCAT scores, and promise of success as a doctor are selected.


Most dental schools set as a minimum requirement for admission the inclusion of one year of general chemistry and one year of organic chemistry, one year of biology, one year of physics, and one year of English composition. Suffolk also recommends taking Anatomy and Physiology I-II and Biochemistry before the DAT (Dental Admissions Test) if feasible.

While some dental schools set 60 semester hours as the minimum quantity requirement, the crowded condition of the professional schools allows them to be more selective in their admissions; in practice, students with a bachelor's degree are given preference. The applicant may be required to present himself or herself for an interview before his or her admission status is determined.


The minimum academic requirements for admission to a school of veterinary medicine parallel those of dental and medical schools. However, since there are far fewer veterinary colleges than medical or dental schools, the opportunities are more limited. Consequently, the customary requirement for admission is the completion of the baccalaureate. In addition, most veterinary schools are state universities which give priority for admission to residents of the state.

Veterinary schools require a course in “Animal Husbandry," “Experience on a Farm,” or work in a veterinary clinic as a prerequisite to admission. Suffolk University does not offer these courses, but they may often be obtained at another institution during the summer. Prospective students should apprise themselves of the specific requirements of the various veterinary schools as early in their undergraduate program as possible.


Colleges of optometry, like other professional schools, base their admission standards on the academic records of their applicants. The requirements for admission to the schools and colleges of optometry are not identical. Typically, the requirements include courses in English, mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology or zoology. Some schools and colleges have varied requirements in psychology, the social sciences, literature, philosophy, and foreign languages.

The pre-optometry requirements for almost all accredited colleges of optometry represent a minimum of two academic years of study. It is recommended that Suffolk University students who plan to study optometry pursue a commonly required freshman year in which they include in their programs the Seminar for Freshmen, First-Year English, Introductory Mathematics, General Biology, and Inorganic Chemistry. In their sophomore year, pre-optometry students should study General Physics, Calculus, Second-Year English, Logic, Speech, and courses from the humanities or social sciences. The student should be acquainted with the requirements of the optometry college he or she expects to attend. Applicants for admission will complete the OAT (Optometry Admission Test) before their application.