Frequently asked questions:

I am an entering freshman. What courses should I take in the first year if I am interested in a pre-med track?

In the first semester, you should take CHM 111 with lab.  In the spring you should register for CHM 122.

When should I start biology courses?

If you are not planning on majoring in biology, you should begin biology with BIO 114, in either the fall of your second year or, if you have excelled in CHM 111, in the spring of your first year.

Who should I speak to if I am interested in attending a health professions program such as in medicine, dentistry, nursing, etc, after I graduate?

In addition to your academic advisor, there are eight health professions advisors who are available to consult with you on the prerequisites and application process for the various programs. You can find a list of the health professions advisors and their areas of specialty in the Health Professions Handbook and on the Health Professions web page (http://college.wfu.edu/prehealth/).

When should I apply to medical school?

Many prestigious schools have designed pre-medical programs that use the full four years of college to prepare their students for admission to medical school.  Medical schools are looking for students who have demonstrated that not only are they good students, but that they are committed to service and have a breadth of life experiences. Every year you will become more mature and have more life experiences that will make you a more competitive applicant. In addition, your senior year grades will be included in the consideration for medical school. In the fourth year you will be taking mostly courses in your major and elective courses, in which students generally do very well. This is an opportunity to maximize your GPA.

If I am a pre-health professions student, is it possible to study abroad?

Absolutely! Even pre-medical students and pre-physician assistant students who have the greatest number of prerequisite courses to complete can study abroad. Please see the course planning guides in the Health Professions Handbook. Whatever health professions program you are aspiring to, study abroad is possible but it takes careful planning. Visit the Office of Global Programs and Studies in Reynolda Hall during your first semester, and begin to plan!

Is there a study abroad program that will allow me to complete prerequisite courses that I need for my health professions program?

It is difficult to find science courses in English abroad unless you study in an English-speaking country. But if you plan ahead, you can fit all of your science prerequisites in while at Wake Forest, and use your study abroad time to appreciate the art, history, and culture of the country in which you choose to study.

What else should I be thinking about besides course work to make me competitive for a health professions program after I graduate?

All of the health professions programs require that you have both volunteer community service hours and volunteer clinical service hours, and that you have “shadowed” (interned with) a professional who works in your chosen profession.

The other thing that you should be thinking about is that in three or four years you will need at least three letters of recommendation, two of which will most likely be from faculty members.  A letter of recommendation that says “I had Johnny in class and he earned an A” is the same as no letter at all. Get to know several professors. Take another class taught by a professor that you have had previously, who you really enjoyed. Work with faculty on projects in which they are involved. Visit during office hours. Discuss your career aspirations.  Let the faculty know who you are above and beyond your performance in their class.

What is the Health Professions Committee?

The Health Professions Committee is comprised of all of the health professions advisors. Besides as serving as advisors for students interested in various health professions, members of the committee evaluate and rank pre-medical and pre-dental undergraduate students as part of their application process to medical or dental school.

What is the “committee letter?”

Medical and dental schools ask for a letter from the students’ undergraduate institution(s) that expresses the degree of support that the institution has for the student’s application, and an explanation of that support.  This letter is written by the Director of Health Professions Advising, with input from the Health Professions Committee. In order to have a committee letter sent on your behalf, please see more information and deadlines here.