When you enroll at Susquehanna, you’ll be paired with an advisor and application tool to guide you in your course planning and scheduling. The following is an excerpt from the complete course catalog. Enrolled students follow the requirements of the course catalog for the academic year in which they declare each major and/or minor, consult with their advisor(s) and the Academic Planning Tool.
Prehealth Professions, Including Premedicine, Predental, Preveterinary and Others
Susquehanna graduates successfully pursue advanced degrees in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, chiropractic medicine, podiatry, physician assistant, doctor of physical therapy and doctor of pharmacy programs. In addition, Susquehanna graduates pursue advanced training in allied health fields, including occupational therapy and accelerated nursing programs. The Health Professions Advising Committee, chaired by Associate Professor of Health Care Studies and Biology Jan Reichard-Brown, coordinates the preparation of students for professional schools in these areas. Students receive career-specific advising, as well as assistance with arranging internship opportunities, professional test preparation, application preparation and school selection.
Demonstration of a strong level of competence in the natural sciences remains a uniform requirement for successful admission to medical school, dental school and other health professions programs. Most students pursue science majors such as biology, biomedical sciences, chemistry, biochemistry and psychology. However, students can pursue any major, provided they complete the science prerequisites, which commonly include at least two semesters of biology and one year each of general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics and, occasionally, one year of biochemistry or higher level math. Students should be cognizant that some health professional programs may require additional coursework, such as human anatomy and human physiology. Students need to consult the catalog descriptions pertaining to major or intended major to determine the recommended sequence of courses and how the required prehealth professions courses may fit into their program. Students are strongly encouraged to work with their academic adviser from within their department and to consult with the health professions adviser as they plan schedules and progress through their major. Candidates for professional schools must maintain high grade point averages and score well on profession-specific standardized tests. Susquehanna students most often take the MCAT, DAT, OAT and PCAT after they have completed the course work pertinent to the specific exam. Additional test-specific preparation and practice exams are highly recommended. A formal test preparation course is one method students choose to prepare for the MCAT and DAT, since these computer-based standardized examinations encompass content areas from the sciences, social science, mathematics and English language skills. In response to the intense nature of these exams and the level of preparation that is required, Susquehanna University developed an innovative program to reimburse students for half the cost of taking an MCAT or DAT preparation course as part of their preparation for the application process. Students wishing to take advantage of this program should complete all prerequisite courses by the end of the academic year in which they are preparing for and taking the MCAT or DAT.
The third component of a successful application to a program in the health professions entails experience in the field and community service. Susquehanna students are encouraged to experience internships and volunteer opportunities during the academic year, as well as during vacations and breaks. Most students design their own experience by working jointly with the health professions adviser and the Career Development Center, or they take advantage of service-learning and travel options focusing on medicine offered through the university or other programs that have been screened by the health professions adviser. Sophomore and junior years are the ideal times for these internship experiences.