Barry S. Rothman, Ph.D. { Health Professions Home Page}

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Majors and Minors to Consider

Recommended Majors

Not Recommended

Double-Majors

Graduation Requirements

Retaking Courses

Auditing Courses

Community College Courses

Recommended Minors

 

See the Undergraduate Education section of the online SFSU Bulletin for a comprehensive overview of undergraduate regulations.

 

Preparation for health professional school includes, at the minimum, course work in biology, chemistry, and physics. Although most applicants to health professional schools major in a natural science (biology, biochemistry, chemistry), majors in other fields (social sciences, behavioral sciences, humanities) have also been successful in gaining admission provided that these applicants have completed the prescribed course requirements. I recommend that the final choice of undergraduate major reflect the true academic interests of the student.

 

Recommended Majors

The following majors, leading to BS degrees, overlap considerably with the requirements of health profession schools. Please note the the Clinical Science major has been discontinued.

 

Biology Department, concentrations in:

 

Biochemistry and Chemistry Department, concentrations in:

        • Biochemistry...........(course flow) - recommended for Pre-Pharmacy students
        • Chemistry (BS).......(course flow)

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Not recommended

I strongly suggest that pre-health students not take the General Biology major leading to a BA degree. This major is well suited for students who want to become high school biology teachers. Unfortunately, it attracts many other students because it requires about 10 fewer units, allowing graduation in less time. However, the General Biology requirements are so diffuse and have so little depth that they make a considerably less impressive health profession school application.

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Double-Majors

Being a double-major can add impressive depth to your academic preparation, but will, of course, extend the time it takes to graduate. The two majors must be chosen from different departments for example, English and Biology.

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Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate, you will have to meet your major's requirements with courses that you have not failed (received a grade of F) and you will have to maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher in your major. In addition, many major's courses require grades of C- or greater in their pre-requisite courses. However, these minimal standards are not sufficient for entry into a health profession school.

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Retaking Courses

For entry into health professions courses, I strongly recommend that you retake any health profession pre-requisite classes for which you received a grade of C- or below. Retake pre-requisites with a grade of C or electives with a grade of C at your own discretion; also consider auditing such classes for review purposes. I prefer seeing students taking new, advanced courses rather than repeating courses with tolerable (C) grades.

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Auditing Courses

Course material can be previewed or reviewed by auditing. Informal audits require the consent of the instructor, but are not noted on your transcript and do not require any additional fee payments. Formal audits require the consent of the instructor, are not noted on your transcript and may require any additional fee payments.

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Community College Courses

If you transferred from a community college, all your course work from that college will be considered lower-division, even if the equivalent course at SFSU is upper-division. Health profession schools prefer that pre-requisites be taken at 4-year universities like SFSU rather than at community colleges. Some will not look at community college grades unless they were generated before official transfer to a 4-year university.

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Minors to Consider

Biology (if you're a Chemistry major), Chemistry (if you're a Biology major), Holistic Health or Health Education. Minors also add some depth to your academic profile, and often do not require much additional course work.

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