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Pre-Health Professions


dentist and student working at free clinic
 
students learning how to suture wounds
 
Students compounding pharmaceuticals in cleanroom

The mission of the McMurry University Health Professions Preparation Program is to provide curricular advising and career guidance needed by our students as they prepare themselves for application to (and successful completion of) health professions school programs.

Health Professions Preparation Programs

Want to work as a healthcare provider?  Welcome to McMurry!  We provide the courses and preparation for students who plan on applying to health career programs throughout Texas and beyond. Our Pre-Health Professions Preparation Program will help you become a competitive applicant for your chosen for health career program.  Then, you enter the health profession school for specialized training that brings you the credentials needed to work in that health profession.  The entire education process can be completed in the normal four-year time span of a college career or may take a decade filled with advanced specialized training, depending on the field chosen.

What Are the Health Professions?

The Health Professions include those careers providing health services in medicine, dentistry, and other medically-oriented fields.  These include many other important health professions that run the gamut from pharmacy to physical therapy, chiropractic to nursing, physician assistant to optometry, genetic counseling to public health, veterinary medicine to podiatry, and numerous other options requiring varying levels of college preparation and professional instruction. Our goal in Health Professions preparation is to help you discover your niche in provision of health services, based on your skills and ability and interests.

Students of any major may attend a professional school, provided they take the prescribed required courses beforehand, meet other admissions requirements, and are selected from the pool of qualified applicants in a competitive process.  Because many of the pre-requisite courses also fit into one or another science major, the majority of students pursuing health professions programs tend to major in the sciences. Our goal in the Pre-Health Professions Preparation Program is to maximize the success of our students by guiding them in the steps necessary to achieve that dream and complete their McMurry degree.  

How Do I Get Started?

Our advice - don't start that journey until you know where you want to go!  With so many different career paths and job descriptions available to those interested in health careers, it would be impossible for the average college student to know about all the options available to a student and specific pre-requisites to be met.  How can you choose what is best for your interests and abilities and talents and motivation until you have done your homework?  That's why we developed a two-hour seminar course series for incoming freshman and transfer students:  PREP 2105 and PREP 2106

PREP Seminars

PREP 2105 and PREP 2106 should be taken in your first fall semester at McMurry.  You will explore the variety of health career fields and what it takes to prepare for working in each, discovering how many programs there are in Texas for your chosen field, what their pre-requisite courses are, and what an acceptable entrance exam score might be. You will chart out what courses you take each semester at McMurry and where you will fit in shadowing and other professionally-oriented experiences.  You will meet professionals in your chosen field, prepare that elusive perfect personal statement, and participate in mock interviews with practitioners and members of professional school admissions committees.  When you are done, you will have a great understanding of the field you are pursuing, the path it will take to get there, and the nature of the work you will be doing.  

Then, you'll come back in your second semester at McMurry and begin to put that plan into motion!

Enrichment Opportunities

Biology provides a variety of unconventional and unusual enrichment opportunities for our students interested in health professions.  Ask our students about Science Friday events in recent years, and they will tell you they learned how to suture wounds through a clinic hosted by medical personnel from the United States Army, they compounded pharmaceuticals in the cleanroom at Texas Tech School of Pharmacy, they participated in epidemiological simulations run by the Texas Tech School of Public Health, among other things.  We want you to be engaged with health matters in and out of your classes!

Capstones

Most McMurry programs do not require capstone experiences for outgoing seniors.  However, all students completing a degree from the Department of Biology (Biology, Biomedical Science, Life Sciences, Environmental Science ) are required to complete a capstone.  We encourage those pursuing health professions careers to complete their capstone via an internship working with a healthcare provider in their chosen field. Internships are meant to help students connect the dots between their past course work and its relevance to their future in healthcare.  They also give a glimpse into the professional life of a practitioner and expectations of the field.  There is no better source for understanding the work you hope to one day do than to walk alongside someone who does it every day.  Coordinator for internships in Biology is Dr. Tom Benoit.

Application

When you are ready to apply for admission to a health program, you will contact Dr. Larry Sharp and request a composite letter of evaluation.  All science faculty from whom you've taken courses or worked alongside during your time at McMurry will assess your readiness for the program, with the responses collated and formatted into a single composite letter of evaluation.  This is the type of letter preferred by health programs.  If you are judged a good prospect for the program based on your test scores, transcript, and application, you will be invited to the professional school for an on-site interview.  Admitted students are selected from interviewed applicants.

For More Information

Students who wish to pursue a health profession are encouraged to meet with Dr. Larry Sharp (office Science 112) to find out more about the program and opportunities at McMurry.  He can be reached at sharpl@mcm.edu