Pre-Health Professions

College of Science and Engineering
Dean: James C. Kelley

Chair, Health Professions Advising Committee and Director, Center for Preventive Medicine and Health Research: Robert M. Schmidt

Health Professions Advising Committee--Barnes, Krevor, Kuby, Piontkowski, Schmidt, Trapp, Williston


Pre-Health Professions (listing of courses)

Program Scope

These programs of courses in science, mathematics, humanities, and social science are designed to satisfy the admission requirements for graduate schools in the health professions. The health professions for which these programs are designed include: human medicine (both allopathic and osteopathic), dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, optometry, podiatry, and related health professions. These programs are NOT academic majors leading to the baccalaureate degree. Although most applicants to health professional schools major in science, medical schools also encourage applications from students who have majored in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and behavioral sciences providing, of course, that they have also taken required premedical/prehealth professions science courses. The choice of an undergraduate major should reflect the overall academic interests of each student. Health professional schools prefer students to select courses which emphasize analytical thought or interdisciplinary approaches to societal problems and preparation for life-long education, rather than courses which are primarily based on memorization of facts. Information about the health professions and their professional schools can be obtained from the Health Professions Advising Committee Office or the Office of the Pre-Health Professions Student Alliance (PHPSA).

Admission to schools of pharmacy, optometry, podiatric medicine, and other health professions requires fewer courses than does the program described below. Students should consult a member of the Health Professions Advising Committee for the exact requirements for admission to the schools of these or other health professions.

Career Outlook

Continuing shortages of health professionals, especially those pursuing careers in primary health care (e.g., general internal medicine, family practice, pediatrics, preventive medicine) in underserved rural and urban areas, guarantee numerous job opportunities and excellent remuneration. SFSU students are accepted at over 60 allopathic medical schools each year and are recruited by other health professional schools throughout the United States.


The following is a list of courses recommended by the Health Professions Advising Committee (HPAC) for admission to most medical schools, osteopathic medical schools, and dental schools. Catalogs of individual schools should be referred to for specific requirements for admission.

BIOL 230	Introductory Biology I				5
BIOL 240	Introductory Biology II				5
CHEM 111	General Chemistry I				5
CHEM 113	General Chemistry II				3
CHEM 114	General Chemistry II Laboratory			2
CHEM 333	Organic Chemistry I				3
CHEM 334	Organic Chemistry I Laboratory			2
CHEM 335	Organic Chemistry II				3
CHEM 336	Organic Chemistry II Laboratory			3
PHYS 111	General Physics I				3
PHYS 112	General Physics I Laboratory			1
PHYS 121	General Physics II				3
PHYS 122	General Physics II Laboratory			1
Total units							39
Beyond these requirements for admission, the following science courses are further recommended for a more thorough preparation for medical school. (Some schools require more extensive preparation in biological sciences and mathematics.)

BIOL 350	Cell Biology					3
BIOL 355	Genetics					3
BIOL 380	Embryology					4
BIOL 492	Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates		4
BIOL 612	Human Physiology				3
CLSC 714	Aging: Health and Disease			3
CLSC 736	Clinical Laboratory Medicine: AIDS		3
MATH 220	Calculus and Analytic Geometry I		3
MATH 221	Calculus and Analytic Geometry II		3

The following courses in humanities and behavioral and social sciences are cited as examples only. Other courses in these areas may also be appropriate.


Any NEXA course								3
ENG 150		Study of Literature					3
ENG 154		Masterworks of Literature in English			3
ENG 214		Second Year Written Composition 
HUM 214		Second Year Written Composition: Humanities		3
ENG 420		Introduction to the Study of Language			3
PHIL 350	Philosophy of Science					3
PHIL 383	Ethics in Medicine					3
HUM 300	Ideas and Traditions						3

Behavioral and Social Sciences

ANTH 630	Medical Anthropology					3
PSY 200		General Psychology					3
PSY 455		Cross-Cultural Perspectives in Psychology		3
SOC 476		Medical Sociology					3

SFSU Home   Search   Need Help?  

1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132 (415) 338-1111

Last modified July 03, 2012 by