Pre-professional health career advising

VCU offers pre-professional health career advising to students seeking competitive admission into medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, veterinary, optometry or physician assistant programs.  

Students may select an advising track in a health profession field when they are admitted to VCU or at any time during their enrollment. Our pre-professional health career advisors help prepare students for professional school application through guidance with pre-professional health curriculum, admissions test preparation, co-curricular activity involvement and application competitiveness.

VCU’s pre-professional health program is not an academic major or minor, but rather it is a combination of career development advising and a set of predetermined courses that are widely accepted across the nation for admission requirements.

Students should declare a major in an academic discipline, in addition to an advising track in one of these pre-professional health areas:

Students can only be on one track at a time. If you are interested in an unlisted health professional program, email

Advising process

Students can meet with a career advisor at any point during their declaration or maintaining process.

It is highly recommended that students meet with a career advisor often to ensure that they are engaging in experiences and staying on track to becoming a competitive candidate for their chosen path.

Schedule an appointment

Student can make an appointment with a career advisor in Handshake:

  1. Log into Handshake with your VCU ID and password
  2. Click Career Center
  3. Click Appointments
  4. Click VCU Career Services
  5. Select what you want to discuss and a time that works for you
  6. Select how you want to meet and enter some notes on what you want to talk about for the career advisor to read before your appointment

You will receive an email confirmation of your appointment from Handshake.

Declaring a pre-professional health track

Students interested in a pre-professional health program must complete the following requirements prior to declaring a track and being assigned to a pre-professional health advisor:

Step 1: Curricular requirements

All students declaring a pre-professional health track must earn a cumulative VCU GPA of at least a 2.7. Transfer students applying during their first semester at VCU may use their cumulative GPA from previous institutions.

Students must also complete the following courses with a grade of C or better:

Pre-dentistry, pre-medicine, pre-optometry, pre-pharmacy, pre-physician assistant or pre-veterinary medicine students

  • BIOL 151 and BIOZ 151
  • CHEM 101 and CHEZ 101
  • CHEM 102 and CHEZ 102
  • MATH 151 (or MATH 200)

Pre-occupational therapy students

  • BIOL 101 and BIOZ 101
  • PSYC 101

Pre-physical therapy students

  • BIOL 151 and BIOZ 151
  • CHEZ 101
  • CHEM 102
  • MATH 151

Step 2: Professional development requirements

Students are required to watch a Pre-Professional Health Declaration Workshop and pass a quiz for the advising track they wish to declare. These workshops can be found in the Pre-Professional Health Hub in Canvas.

Step 3: Declare your track

Once the curricular and professional development requirements listed above are successfully completed, students are eligible to declare their pre-professional health advising track.

Satisfactory progress

In order to maintain your Pre-Professional Health Track, you must maintain a 2.7 GPA.

Fulfilling the requirements to declare and maintain a pre-professional health track does not guarantee admission to a professional health program. These requirements are the minimum acceptable standards to apply to a professional health program. It is imperative that students meet with their pre-professional health advisors to develop plans to become a competent and competitive candidate.

Remove a pre-professional health track

Students who are no longer interested in pursuing their designated pre-professional health advising track must remove their advising track by visiting this page and selecting the “opt out” option. Contact for more information.