Pre-Health for Prospective Students

Welcome to the University of Virginia community of Pre-Health Hoos! Upon matriculation to UVA, our Pre-Health Advisors are here to guide you in preparation for your application to health professional programs. Advising is tailored to the individual needs of each student to guide you in each step toward your healthcare career.

We look forward to meeting you during summer orientation! In the mean time, we encourage you to review the information below and browse the pre-health web tools in preparation for your pre-health experience at UVA.

Choice of Major: What should I major in?
What are the pre-requisite requirements for the health professions?
Will my AP credit satisfy pre-requisite requirements?
Will my dual enrollment credit satisfy pre-requisite requirements? 
What courses do I need in my first semester at UVA? 
What percentage of UVA students gain acceptance to health professional programs? 
How do I explore and learn more about health careers?

Choice of Major: What should I major in?

Although health professional schools for dentistry, medicine, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, podiatry, and veterinary medicine identify basic courses necessary to matriculate to their programs, these requirements do not dictate what you should major in at the undergraduate level. In fact, they admit students from many academic backgrounds. Schools for the health professions have no preference for what major you select nor whether you pursue a Bachelor of Arts of a Bachelor of Science degree, as long as you complete the necessary pre-requisites and adequately prepare for the required entrance exam. You should select a major you will enjoy! Schools look to see that you complete rigorous and challenging combinations of courses, and show a strong performance in them. They want to see you pursued and excelled in your course of academic study.

UVA students whom successfully gained admission to health professional schools have majored in the following programs, just to name a few:

African American Studies Anthropology Art History Astronomy
Biochemistry Biology Biomedical Engineering Classics
Cognitive Science Communication Disorders Computer Engineering English
Foreign Affairs Foreign Language Global Development Global Public Health
History Human Biology Interdisciplinary Studies International Relations
Kinesiology Linguistics Mathematics Music
Neuroscience Nursing Philosophy Political Science
Psychology Religious Studies Sociology Women's Studies

What are the pre-requisite requirements for the health professions?

It varies widely based on individual professions as well as professional schools. You can find an outline of pre-requisites for each health profession on the pages below:

Will my AP credit satisfy pre-requisite requirements?

Schools vary on whether they accept Advanced Placement (AP) credit as completion of a pre-requisite requirement.

  • If schools accept the credit, they look for completion of upper level coursework in the same discipline at the university level.
  • If UVA awards you with credit for a science lecture class (i.e. Chemistry or Physics), but not the lab course, you will still need to complete the corresponding lab courses at UVA.
  • Many students choose to re-take science coursework for which they received AP credit in order to prepare for 1) upper level coursework at UVA, and 2) entrance exams which may require a greater understanding of the material than was expected on the AP exam.
  • If you take a course you already have AP credit for, you will no longer receive the AP credit to fulfill graduation requirements.

Will my dual enrollment credit satisfy pre-requisite requirements?

Yes, you can receive credit, provided you earned a C or better in your dual enrollment coursework. You are still encouraged to complete upper level coursework in the science disciplines to supplement dual enrollment credit.

What courses do I need in my first semester at UVA?

During the summer, you will engage in the important process of orientation to UVA which includes registration for your classes. Below are examples of some school-specific pre-health course recommendations for your first semester. Your major of interest or school may already suggest or require specific courses to begin your first semester, so be sure to check with that school or department before you register. 

  College of Arts & Sciences School of Education Kinesiology Program School of Engineering & Applied Sciences

Chemistry Lecture + Lab*

Biology Lecture + Lab

Chemistry Lecture + Lab

Considerations Psychology or Sociology Course Psychology or Sociology Course STS Writing Course






APMA Placement

**The Biology Department recommends that students interested in the Biology major, enroll in BIOL2100 during their first semester. 

What percentage of UVA students gain acceptance to health professional programs?

It is important to note that UVA Pre-Health Advising is an optional service and does not place any restrictions or minimum requirements for students to apply to health professional programs. We report admission acceptance data based on the aggregate information provided to us through each profession's centralized application service. It is important to note application services report information in different ways. For instance, some services report the percentage of students accepted (allopathic medicine, dental medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy) while others report the number or percentage of students who matriculated (physician assistant studies, osteopathic medicine), or the number of students who applied (veterinary medicine).

Available applicant and acceptance data can be found on the following pages for each health profession:

There are so many opportunities to work in the health professional field. How do I explore and learn more about them? is a reputable, free, and multi-disciplinary health careers website designed to explain the wide array of health professions and provide easy access to individuals seeking information.

Interested in preparing for one of the following professions at UVA? Check them out here:

Informational Interviews & Shadowing
Identified one or more professions of interest to you but not sure what to do next? Organize an informational interview or shadowing experience with someone in your network. This is an opportunity to engage in a highly focused conversation with and observation of a professional who works in the occupation of interest to you. One of the best ways to predict if you will be happy in a future profession is to talk with someone currently working in that field, not to mention it could possibly help to connect you with future opportunities