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In the Health Sciences

MacMurray's health-related pre-professional programs are designed for students seeking admission to graduate study at a dental, medical, occupational or physical therapy, or veterinary school. In general, those schools are looking for students with B.A. or B.S. degrees, excellent grades, and high scores on their admission tests (MCAT, GRE, etc.). In addition to a solid foundation in the biological, chemical, and physical sciences, students must show evidence of a broad education (including humanities and social sciences) and demonstrate a commitment to their chosen careers.

These programs are not majors in themselves. Students enroll in a major related to their future profession and are advised by their faculty advisor in that major.


The curriculum required for entrance into dental school is the same as that required for medical school (see below). Students interested in pre-dentistry usually major in biology (health track). Students are strongly encouraged to have a solid foundation in organic chemistry and biochemistry. Internships and career experiences with local dentists or dental service providers are available.

Acceptance to dental school tends to be slightly less competitive than acceptance to medical school. The process for application to dental school is similar to that for medical school. Students take the Dental Admission Test (DAT) in the spring of their junior year. Students may find it helpful to take a drawing class, since part of the DAT involves perceptual ability.


Pre-medicine students may major in biology (health track), preferably with courses in chemistry. Students in other majors should complete general chemistry and organic chemistry and a year each of biology and physics. Other recommended courses include biochemistry, mathematics, psychology (physiological psychology, sensation, and perception), anatomy and physiology, and microbiology.

Although medical schools require a strong foundation in the sciences, they also look for a broad liberal arts education with highly developed skills in communication, preparation in the humanities and social sciences, and a commitment to community service. Therefore it is possible to be accepted into medical school with any major as long as the science requirements have been fulfilled. Pre-medicine students can choose among a variety of internships, including those with local physicians, hospitals, and medical schools.

Factors taken into account by medical school admissions committees include grade point average, score on the Medical College Admission Test, and record of campus involvement. Generally, the successful medical school applicant has a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 or better and no less than 3.50.

Pre-occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists help those with physical, developmental, and mental disabilities to develop and maintain daily living and work skills. They work in offices of health practitioners, nursing care facilities, hospitals, and schools. Pre-occupational therapy prepares for admission to a master's degree program in occupational therapy. Students interested in pre-occupational therapy typically major in biology (health track) or psychology, although other majors are possible.

Undergraduate requirements for graduate programs in occupational therapy are variable, so the choice of courses at MacMurray will depend in part on the choice of school for occupational therapy. The faculty advisor in the student's major can assist the student in these choices.


In addition to the pharmacist's traditional role of preparing and dispensing medicines, the dynamic changes in health care will mean that pharmacists will be taking on new responsibilities that will offer greater opportunities. The wide range of workplaces and working conditions for pharmacists offers jobs that satisfy all preferences from set hours at a corner pharmacy to owning your own business. MacMurray College's Biology Program (pre-health track) can prepare you for graduate school as a pharmacist where you would study for a doctorate of pharmacy.

Through rigorous courses in such disciplines as biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, and human anatomy and physiology, you are exposed to the knowledge you need to enter the graduate school of your choice.

Admission to pharmacy school is competitive, and students need a minimum 3.50 grade point average, must do well on the Pharmacy College Admission Test, and have work experience while they are an undergraduate. A variety of internships are available with pharmacies and hospitals in the area.

Pre-physical Therapy

Physical therapists work in many health care settings, such as neonatal intensive care units, schools, sports medicine clinics, rehabilitation centers, industrial clinics, and private offices. Pre-physical therapy prepares for admission to a master's degree program in physical therapy.

Pre-physical therapy is more interdisciplinary than many concentrations, involving courses in mathematics, physics, and psychology as well as those in the life sciences. Students interested in pre-physical therapy usually major in biology (physical therapy track), then complete additional courses required for entrance into the professional school of their choice, but it is possible to major in other areas, such as psychology.

Courses suggested in addition to the biology major are chemistry (general chemistry, biochemistry), psychology (general psychology, developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, physiological psychology, sensation and perception), and introduction to sociology. Medical terminology also is recommended, as students without this course will probably be required to pass a proficiency exam in this subject early in the first semester of their graduate program. Applicants to physical therapy graduate schools should have a grade point average of at least 3.50.

Internships are available at a number of area facilities.

Pre-veterinary Medicine

Students interested in pre-veterinary medicine should major in biology (health track). It is recommended that students also complete one year of organic chemistry and MATH 131.

Although requiring a strong foundation in the sciences, veterinary schools also look for well-developed communication skills and preparation in the humanities and social sciences. The College offers a wide variety of internship programs, including those with local veterinarians, veterinary hospitals, and zoos.

Competition for a place in veterinary school is perhaps more intense than for other professional schools. Factors taken into consideration by admissions committees include college grade point average, score on the Graduate Record Exam (General), career experience with a veterinary practice, and involvement in extracurricular activities. For admission into veterinary school, applicants should have a grade point average of at least 3.50 to 3.75.

Internships are available at a number of area facilities.

Other Pre-professional Programs


Pre-law students select a major that will maximize the student's possibilities for being admitted to law school and prepare them for the area of the law in which they are most interested.

Law school admissions committees are looking for students with excellent grades in any rigorous major. A student interested in environmental law may choose to major in biology. A student interested in tax law may choose accounting. Courses in areas such as history, philosophy, and English are attractive to law schools because of their emphasis on writing and analysis.


MacMurray offers a four-year pre-professional program for those preparing for graduate-level work in a theological school or seminary. Students will work closely with their advisor in choosing a major and the required and recommended courses that will best prepare them for success in a theological school.

Required courses for the pre-seminary program are

In addition, these courses are recommended: