ACADEMICS: Pre-Health Professions

Pre-Health Professions FAQ

What is the Pre-Health Professions Committee?

The Pre-Health Professions Committee, or PHPC, is a committee made up of Alma College faculty and staff. Their purpose is to guide students pursuing the pre-health professions and help them apply to, interview for, and become admitted to a graduate program.

The committee is comprised of faculty who teach in related majors and have expertise in graduate school preparation, along with admissions and career services professionals. Meet the members of the committee.

What is considered pre-health?

While many different careers are considered pre-health, the committee oversees the following pre-health professional tracks: pre-dentistry, pre-medicine, pre-occupational therapy, pre-optometry, pre-pharmacy, pre-physical therapy, pre-physician’s assistant and pre-veterinary. Those pursuing pre-athletic training or pre-chiropractic may choose to use the assistance of the PHPC even though they are not technically under their purview.

What are the benefits of having the PHPC? What does the PHPC offer Alma students?

The PHPC helps pre-health professions students develop into competitive graduate program applicants. They do this through helping you navigate the required curriculum, offering professional development workshops, hosting mock interview sessions and providing personalized application feedback as well as a committee letter of evaluation.

What is a committee letter of evaluation? Why would I want one?

A committee letter of evaluation is a letter written by the entire PHPC. This letter will highlight your accomplishments and advocate for your acceptance into the pre-health professions graduate program of your choice. While not required, committee letters are preferred by certain programs. Additionally, a committee letter is beneficial because it shows that you have the support of multiple faculty and staff members in a single letter, in contrast to the traditional letter of recommendation authored by an individual.

How long do you have the support of the PHPC?

The PHPC supports you through matriculation to your pre-health graduate program. This includes alumni applying after a gap year or post-graduate experience.

What if I take a gap year?

If you decide to take a gap year, you will continue to have the support of the PHPC. The PHPC can also help you plan your gap year to ensure you get experiences that will strengthen your application in subsequent years.

How do I engage with committee?

You can engage with the PHPC as soon as you become an Alma College student. In fact, the earlier the better! The PHPC hosts an introductory session for first-year students (should this be more inclusive of transfers? Maybe say incoming students?) soon after you arrive on campus, and you’re always welcome to reach out to anyone on the committee.

What if I’m not sure I’m pre-health, or switch to pre-health later on?

If you are considering pre-health, but aren’t quite certain, that’s okay! We encourage you to get involved with the PHPC to gather more information about pre-health and get on track in case you do pursue a health profession. If you decide to pursue a health profession later on in your education, that’s alright too. Depending on how late you decide, you may need to take a gap year to gain the prerequisite experiences, but the committee can help you make the switch and navigate the process in the most efficient and effective way for you.

Does Alma have any articulation agreements with pre-health graduate programs?

Alma College has a couple of arrangements with pre-health graduate programs.

  • The Early Assurance Program with Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine.
  • An articulation agreement with Central Michigan University’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy program in which two spots are reserved for qualified Alma College applicants.
  • A 3-2 (accelerated) program with Washington University’s Occupational Therapy program in which students complete three years at Alma College followed by two years at Washington University, to obtain both a Bachelor’s degree (Alma College) and a Master’s of Occupational Therapy (Washington University).