The Pre-Health Program at Shenandoah University offers credit and non-credit opportunities for undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career within the health professions.
Pre-health students at Shenandoah can pursue one of a variety of health professional careers such as athletic training, dentistry, medicine, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant, public health, and veterinary medicine.
The Pre-Health Program at Shenandoah University:
- provides guidance within an environment that supports diversity and inclusion to students interested in a career within the health professions
- coordinates and provides academic experiences focused on building knowledge and skills necessary for a successful transition into graduate health profession education
- provides advising tailored to a student’s individual progress toward developing a strong application for entry into their chosen professional schools
The program is designed to help guide students as they develop as competitive applicants to graduate schools that match their desired profession and their academic and pre-professional profile. Because the program encourages growth in pre-professional development, the program elements of student self-assessment and reflection build the skills and knowledge to continue to develop to meet individual needs after graduation. The Pre-Health Program provides students with opportunities in three different areas: Curriculum & Coursework, Pre-Health Advising, and Pathways to the Graduate Health Professions.
Shenandoah University’s pre-health program helps students develop as competitive applicants to graduate schools that match their desired profession and their academic and pre-professional profile. Here, our pre-health program director and students talk about what makes this program (and the early assurance pathway available) so unique.
Curriculum & Coursework
Academic success is an important part of a student’s journey into a career in the health professions. At Shenandoah, we offer several academic opportunities for students to be better prepared for their graduate health professions education.
Exploring the Health Professions (EHP) Seminar Courses
The EHP seminar series is s sequence of 3 1-credit courses designed for any student in the pre-health program. The courses concentrate on building knowledge of the healthcare careers, introducing students to issues of practice in today’s healthcare climate, and building skills in self-reflection, self-directed learning, research, interpersonal communication, teamwork, and professionalism.
Classes cohorted with students in the Pre-Health Program
Students pursuing a career in any health profession often take the same foundational courses, regardless of the discipline. At Shenandoah, we offer sections of these foundational courses that are filled with pre-health students. By doing so, the course instructors have the opportunity to develop skills students will need in graduate professional education and present material with a focus of the needs of the pre-health student. This is a great way to provide an opportunity for students interested in similar areas of student to learn material together.
This 12-credit program for students interested in pursuing a career in the health professions aims to promote the foundational knowledge and skills needed to transition to graduate-level health-professions training. The program is designed to provide learning experiences that help students develop in their career path by incorporating aspects of professional identity development, career discernment, and practical application of skills such as problem-based learning, self-directed learning, and medical research skills. Supervised experiential learning experiences in real healthcare settings help situate the learning in real-life medical practice settings. Classes taken with other healthcare students provide an opportunity to learn with others with similar career goals and to continue to interpersonal and professional skills.
Health Humanities refers to the application of the disciplines associated with the humanities to the development of the knowledge and skills necessary for excellence in the health professions. Health Humanities is particularly directed toward the development of the interpersonal skills necessary to the “art” of health care delivery in a diverse, multicultural society. This 6-course, 12-credit hour Health Humanities Certificate sequence will develop students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills, their cultural competence and relevant communication and interpersonal skills through engagement with literature, the visual and performing arts, spirituality, philosophy, ethics, history, and political science. Experiential learning opportunities will be integrated into each course.
Pre-Health Advising at Shenandoah University consists of in-person advising sessions either in a group or individual setting that seek to provide guidance to students interested in pursuing a career in within the health professions. Sessions focus on ensuring that pre-health students are on track for timely application to their professional school of choice and preparing their applications. Advising is provided by both the Director of Pre-Health Education, Dr. Schempp and by peer advisors. Together, they provide students with important insights into how to succeed in their career pursuit.
Pathways to the Graduate Health Professions
Shenandoah University offers a variety of pathways to admissions into the graduate health professions.
A student at Shenandoah completes a bachelor’s degree and applies to the graduate program(s) of their choice.
Traditional Pathway to Graduate Health Profession Degrees Offered at Shenandoah:
- Athletic Training (MSAT)
- Athletic Training/Physical Therapy Dual Program (MSAT/DPT)
- Music Therapy
- Occupational Therapy (MSOT)
- Pharmacy (PharmD)
- Pharmacy/ MBA Dual Program (PharmD/MBA)
- Pharmacogenomics & Precision Medicine
- Physical Therapy (DPT)
- Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS)
- Physician Assistant/Public Health Dual Program (MSPS/MPH)
- Public Health (MPH)
- Public Health (MPH) 3 + 2 Accelerated Track
Traditional Pathway to Graduate Health Profession Degrees Outside of Shenandoah:
Articulation Agreement Pathway
Shenandoah University Schools of Health Professions and Pharmacy have established articulation agreements with undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences. These articulation agreements are designed to build strong partnerships between the SU College of Arts and Sciences and the graduate health professions programs. These agreements provide a pathway into the graduate admission process by reserving a set number of seats in their programs for students applying from within Shenandoah.
Articulation Agreement Pathway Programs:
- Doctor of Pharmacy Articulation Agreement
- Doctor of Physical Therapy Articulation Agreement
- Master of Science in Athletic Training Articulation Agreement
- Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Articulation Agreement
- Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Articulation Agreement
- Master of Public Health Articulation Agreement
Early Assurance Pathway
The Early Assurance (EA) Pathway is available for incoming freshman applicants and is highly competitive. This pathway guarantees an admission interview with a graduate program as long as criteria are maintained during the undergraduate years. The graduate schools reserve placements with their graduate program for all EA students passing the interview. Some graduate programs offer an early assurance pathway that accelerates a student’s transition into the graduate program by overlapping the first year of graduate school with their fourth year of undergraduate study.
Early Assurance Pathway Programs:
- 2+4 Early Assurance for the Doctor of Pharmacy Program (EA-PharmD)
- 3+4 Early Assurance for the Doctor of Pharmacy Program (EA-PharmD)
- 3+3 Early Assurance for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program (EA-DPT)
- 3+2.5 Early Assurance for the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Program (EA-MSOT)
- 3+2 Early Assurance for the Master of Science in Athletic Training Program (EA-MSAT)
- 4+2.5 Early Assurance for the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program (EA-MSPAS)