Pre-professional Health Tracks

Students intending to prepare for any of the health and science tracks (Chiropractic, Dentistry, Medicine, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, and Veterinary Medicine) should follow the course of study covering their respective pre-professional requirements as stated in the catalogs of the institutions in which they plan to enroll.  In addition to their major advisor, students will have a science faculty assigned to help guide and counsel students who intend to prepare for entrance into these professional tracks.  The science faculty assigned for each pre-professional track are as follows:

Pre-professional Track Science Faculty coordinator
Chiropractic Dr. Christina McCartha 
Dentistry Dr. Christina McCartha 
Medicine Dr. Catherine Lovett 
Occupational Therapy Dr. Steve Lambert
Pharmacy Dr. Valarie Burnett
Physical Therapy  Dr. Bret Clark
Physician Assistant  Dr. Laura Lanni
Veterinary Medicine  Dr. Charles Horn

Click on faculty name to intiate an e-mail to that person.  Further details on each track are described below.

Students may major in any area as long as the necessary coursework for entrance into the pre-professional track has been completed. Many students choose biology or chemistry as their major due to the quantity of required coursework in these areas. Students should find out the necessary coursework through websites from the professional schools in which they are interested in applying. The appropriate science faculty advisor will help you develop an individual plan for completion of necessary coursework. The science faculty have very general four year templates for each pre-professional track. Of importance for candidates to all professional health programs is the completion of 2-3 volunteer, internship, or job shadowing experiences within the area of intended study. These show the professional schools that candidates are serious about their chosen future career path and have an understanding of their intended profession.  Further, applicants are expected to have excellent oral and written communication skills.


Students interested in Chiropractic medicine must have completed 90 semester hours of coursework to be accepted with no required graduate exam.


Dental school admission requirements include the Dental Admission Test (DAT). For more information on DAT content see the following link:  Scores on the DAT will be greatly enhanced by completion of appropriate courses prior to taking the DAT during the summer before the senior year.


The recent trends in admission to Medical schools have been to reduce the number of courses required for admission. However, the standardized test, the Medical College Admission test (MCAT) is a criteria by which admission is granted. The MCAT is undergoing major changes during 2015. Scores reflect a student’s ability in four areas: biological and biochemical foundations of living systems; chemical and physical foundations of living systems; psychological, social, and biological foundations of behavior, and critical analysis and reasoning skills. For additional information on the MCAT content please see the following link:  Scores on the MCAT will be greatly enhanced by completion of appropriate courses prior to taking the MCAT during the summer before the senior year.


The health professions tracks of Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy both require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) For more information on the GRE, see the following link:


Most Physician Assistant graduate programs require at least two years of college courses in basic science and behavioral science as prerequisites.


The Pre-pharmacy track prepares students for application to the clinical doctorate program in Pharmacy (PharmD). The pharmacy schools of South Carolina have merged into the South Carolina College of Pharmacy with campuses in both Charleston and Columbia. A new Pharmacy graduate program has opened at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina and enrolled its first class in fall, 2010.


Veterinary Medical school admission requirements include the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) (for GRE information, see the following link: or the Medical College Admission test (MCAT). For MCAT information, see the following link: .
Scores on the MCAT will be greatly enhanced by completion of appropriate courses prior to taking the MCAT during the summer before the senior year. South Carolina does not have a veterinary school; hence South Carolina residents must attend an out-of- state veterinary school. However, students may be considered in-state residents for tuition purposes at the University of Georgia, Tuskegee University (Alabama) and Mississippi State University.


Where do I start?? How do I prepare for a professional degree as an undergraduate??

  • The expectations include a specific minimum GPA, Experiential Learning (Internships, Research) opportunities, required entrance tests, prerequisite course requirements, degree requirements and choosing a major.  All of these will all be discussed with you.
  • In addition, a preliminary 4 year plan of study for each pre-professional track at Newberry College has been developed to assist you in developing a plan of study while at Newberry College.

How will Newberry College Help you prepare for professional school??

  • Newberry College has excellent PhD prepared faculty with expertise to prepare you for entrance into professional school.
  • The student organization, FMPA - Future Medical Professional Association, was created to provide students with opportunities for interaction with professionals and other students.
  • A Board of Professionals was established to provide students with an opportunity for interaction and networking to improve their professional school entrance applications.
  • We also provide Specialty Advisors to guide you in the preparation in the pre-professional area in which you are interested in addition to an advisor within your major.

What are my responsibilities for preparation??

  • Communicate with your specialty advisor on a regular basis.
  • Register and prepare for entrance exams at the appropriate time.
  • Research the pre-professional programs, requirements, and expectations for the program in which you are interested.
  • Plan time for internships, shadowing, research and other experiences in preparation for the application process.
  • Develop a 4 year plan.


Any student interested in any of the above health sciences and also in doing research in these fields
is invited to join the Future Medical Professional Association (FMPA). This student organization will offer many opportunities to do volunteer projects, apply for internships, get helpful tips for applications and interviews, overall networking, and also have fun. This organization is co-advised by Dr. Valarie Burnett and Dr. Catherine Lovett. Career Services makes available practice entrance exams for students to take multiple times prior to taking the actual exam.

Additionally, Newberry College pre-professional advisory board, pre-professional advisors and mentors, along with career services will guide pre-professional students through undergraduate preparation for graduate school.

Pre-professional Health Tracks