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Health Sciences, Pre-Professional Program

Whittier provides excellent preparation in the basic fields required for admission to accredited professional schools. There is a Health Science Advisory Committee of faculty members which works closely with each student.

Students should plan to complete a Bachelor's degree in a specific major before applying to the school. Although it is possible to enter some schools upon completion of 90 semester credits, most beginning health science students have completed four years of undergraduate work. It is important that each student determines the specific courses required for the schools to which application is made.

Certain minimum requirements are common to most medical, dental, optometry, chiropractic and veterinary schools. These include one year of each of the following

  • biology
  • inorganic chemistry
  • organic chemistry
  • physics
  • English

Strongly recommended courses include

  • math (often through calculus)
  • additional biology (i.e. Genetics, embryology)
  • social and behavioral sciences
  • biochemistry

Other recommended courses are

  • anatomy
  • physiology
  • microbiology
  • quantitative analysis

In addition, participation in the Whittier College Health Professions Shadowing program is encouraged. This program is designed to provide opportunities for students to learn what professionals really do in their fields. Students observe the work of the health professional during a two hour period, ask questions as time permits, and may repeat their visit at the agreement of the professional. The goal for the program is for the professional to share their enthusiasm and concerns for their field with students to enable them to make a more informed choice of career. 

Medical schools where Whittier graduates have been accepted include UCLA, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, UC San Francisco, UC Davis, University of Southern California, Georgetown University, Harvard University, Medical College of Wisconsin, New York University, Oregon Health Sciences University, Stanford University, Tufts University, Tulane University, University of Colorado, Vanderbilt University, and Yale University.


Students intending to pursue a health science program should contact an advisor in the Biology or Chemistry Departments immediately after admission to Whittier College to plan their curricula and to determine the specific requirements of the schools they are considering.