Biological Sciences

Advising Sheets and Forms

Advising Sheets and Forms

Pre-health career information

Starting Fall 2023, we will offer a BIOL BA designed for many pre-health majors.  This is a 60-unit major, compared to the 78-unit BIOL or MICRO BS degrees, and includes anatomy and physiology, as well as GE courses designed to support health careers. If you are interested in a health career, you need to think carefully about which degree is best for you!  Here are some general guidelines.

Majors and Course Requirements: The minimum requirement for admission to most health professional schools (medical, osteopathic, optometry, dental, pharmacy, veterinary, chiropractic, physician’s assistant, podiatry) is the completion of at least 90-semester units, but a bachelor’s degree (120 Units) is recommended.  While students usually do not need a specific major, they do need to take courses required for application to professional schools.  Almost all schools require coursework in BIOL, CHEM, MATH, as well as in writing, social sciences, and humanities. 

The CSUC BIOL BA has been designed to fulfill these for most programs.  However, specific course requirements differ for different types of careers, and even within one type of career, courses requirements differ from one school to another.  Course requirements also change over time, depending on school. Therefore, it is highly recommended that students, while preparing for admissions, examine the requirements of their prospective professional schools and, with the assistance of their major advisor, design a program of study.  

Most medical, osteopathic, and optometry programs require a year of physics (PHYS 202A/B), which is not required for BIOL BA, and some require 2 semesters of CHEM or OCHEM.   A few still require a semester of calculus (MATH 109).   The BIOL BA leaves considerable room for additional coursework that may be needed for specific professional schools, but the BIOL BS or MICRO BS may be better suited for medical, osteopathic, and optometry programs.  Whatever degree or profession, high GPA is a critical element to gaining admissions to health profession schools.  Students who take more advanced versions of basic science courses may have an advantage, but only if they can achieve a high grade.

Experience: It is very important for students to have special health-related experience in addition to their course work. Most students get this by volunteering in an appropriate health profession setting.  The experience should have direct patient contact or other interpersonal involvement, and some professional programs have specific requirements for a minimum numbers of experience hours. The professional schools want to know if the applicants have first-hand knowledge of the realities of a career in a health profession. In some situations, experience plays a significant role in the admission selection process.  In some cases, academic credit may be received for such experiences, but this is typically outside our degrees. In contrast, research experience (BIOL 399 or 499H) may be useful to some students, but it is not a major requirement in the admissions process to most of the health professions.  Consult your advisor and specific professional school requirements for more information.

Professional Admissions Tests: In most professional schools, it is required that all the prerequisite courses be completed by June of the year of intended enrollment.  It is also helpful to complete most or all coursework before taking a professional admissions test, such as MCAT (Medical College Admission Test), DAT (Dental Admission Test), OAT (Optometry Admission Test), or GRE (Graduate Record Exam for Veterinary School Admission).

Resources: navigating the many paths to a health career is confusing and challenging, and there is no central source of information for all careers.  One generally useful resource is the Med School Insiders YouTube channel, but there are many others, and they are always changing.

Pre-health advising sheets

Advising sheet - medical doctor (MD) or osteopathic medical doctor (DO)  (PDF) 

Advising sheet - optometry doctor(OD) (PDF)

Advising sheet - dentistry (DDS) (PDF)

Advising sheet - Physician’s Assistant (PA)  (PDF)

Advising Forms (to add/drop courses, change major or minor)

You may view various forms by clicking on the blue links below. Some of these forms are Adobe Acrobat PDF documents. On these you can directly type in the required information and then print a copy. To print a copy of a non-Acrobat form, after it appears on your web browser screen, either click on your web browser print button or save it, then open it, then click on the application print button.

Additional University forms are available on the University website.(opens in new window)

To Add a Course

To add a course after the second week of classes, a Class Add/Update Request Form (PDF) must be completed including appropriate approval signatures.

To Drop a Course

To drop a course after the second week of classes, a Class Drop Request Drop (PDF) must be completed including appropriate approval signatures. 

Change of Major or Minor 

To change your major, add a minor, or drop a minor(opens in new window).