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Health Professions

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Choosing an Academic Major

Health professions schools welcome applicants from all academic disciplines.

The best advice:

• Choose a major that you enjoy and in which you will do well academically.

UMaine students with majors as diverse as biology, English, chemistry, zoology, animal-veterinary sciences, biochemistry, psychology, physics and microbiology have gained admission to medical and other health professional schools. Modern medicine is based upon science, and the majority of students preparing for the health professions at UMaine choose a science as their major. When exploring majors please visit for information on commonly chosen majors.

Health professionals are frequently among the leaders in their communities and may be called upon to serve in a variety of capacities. For this reason a broadly based liberal education– whether in the sciences, the social sciences, or the humanities– is strongly recommended.

Required Coursework

Although no specific curriculum is necessary, most schools in the health professions do share several academic requirements in common. These generally include:

Pre-Medical Studies Minor

The University of Maine offers a minor in Premedical Studies. This minor is intended for students majoring outside the biological sciences, to ensure that they have the necessary math and science prerequisites for admission to health professions schools. Students must not make substitutions in this list. Students declaring a minor in Premedical Studies should consult with their academic advisor and with the Health Professions advisor regarding completing other major requirements and the General Education Requirement. All candidates should consult specific programs at medical and other graduate institutions of interest regarding additional requirements, which vary among institutions.

The Department of Biological Sciences will certify the minor in Premedical Studies.

Helpful Coursework

You should consider taking additional coursework that includes biochemistry, genetics, anatomy, physiology, developmental biology, physical chemistry, quantitative analysis, and microbiology. All of the required courses must be taken for letter grades.

Most professional schools require laboratory participation for all of the science courses. Specific requirements may differ from one school to another. Therefore, early in your program you should identify a list of eight to ten schools to which you plan to apply, and research the admission requirements of each in detail.

Health professions schools do not usually require foreign language proficiency as a criterion for admission, however, in the multi-cultural society of the United States persons who must communicate with the public should consider developing fluency in at least one language other than English.

Another desirable, but usually not mandatory, skill is proficiency with computers. Students should include at least one course in computer science in their programs, regardless of major.

Your advisor will help you to schedule the necessary courses in the appropriate sequence so that you meet health profession admission requirements while completing the requirements of your academic major.

GPA (Grade Point Average)

Good grades alone will not get anyone admitted to a health professions school, but they ARE very important.

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Additional Links

Contact Information

Health Professions
Third Floor - 5748 Memorial Union
Orono, Maine 04469-5748
Phone: (207) 581-1359 | Fax: (207) 581-3003E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469