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Pre-Health Advising

ESF students interested in medicine (MD, MD/PhD, Physician's Assistant, Nurse Practitioner or Registered Nurse), dentistry, optometry, physical therapy, and veterinary medicine are encouraged to identify themselves to the ESF Pre-Health Coordinator (Dr. Lee Newman, lanewman@esf.eduwho can then assist them in exploring these pathways, including choosing the right major while at ESF, advising them on academic qualifications and preparing for the application process.

Entering ESF students interested in the health professions may participate in the Pre-Health sessions offered during Open House events, which allows them to meet with current Pre-Health students on campus and helps incoming students to decide on the right major for their career path. Depending on the chosen path, suitable majors might be Environmental Biology, Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Environmental Science or Environmental Health. Once students select their major, they will be paired with academic advisors who have expertise in advising Pre-Health students.

Students should begin the pre-professional pathway as early in their academic programs as possible, as many upper division requirements have pre-requisite courses that should be taken early in the college career. Most health professions schools require courses in each of the following subjects:

  • English

  • General Biology

  • General Physics

  • General Chemistry

  • Organic Chemistry

  • Biochemistry

Depending on the career path chosen, other courses such as Calculus, Psychology, Nutrition and Anatomy and Physiology may also be required. Regardless of the specific prerequisites of a given school that will advance the student's career goals, coursework available at ESF has proven to be valuable to applicants.

In addition to the coursework, enrollment at ESF enables students to attend seminars at local hospitals and participate in the preparatory workshops, research activities, internships and training programs that will help to ensure their success in the professional school admissions process.

Programs of Study

Environmental Biology

An excellent major for those students considering veterinarian medicine. The major allows students to explore a diverse array of animal systems and has a wide range of electives available. These electives allow students to enroll in those courses that are required for admissions into their chosen programs.

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology


Most if not all of the requirements of medical and veterinary schools are already required by this major. Other courses within the major prepare a student for not only the practice but also the research side of medical and veterinary fields, where cutting edge developments are moving the fields forward.

Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology


Many of the requirements of the major and Pre-Health programs overlap. Students interested in understanding how biochemical pathways work, or how pharmaceutical are both produced and work in the body will find this major a great fit.

Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry

Environmental Science

The wide range of electives offered in this major make it easy to pick up the required courses for admission into the Pre-Health programs, and also allow students to related options and minors. The Health and the Environment focus area aligns well with all Pre-Health interests.

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science

Environmental Health

For students looking to understand how the environment we live and work in impacts both individual and population health, this major is a perfect fit. The Pre-Health focus area meets all requirements for health programs and directed electives in nutrition and public health enhance the experience.

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health