Student presenting their poster to professor

General Advising for Health Careers

Preparing for a career in health or medicine takes time, resources, and commitment. If you’re thinking about a health-related career, contact a pre-health advisor early to determine which professional route best matches your skills and talent.

Our office will assist you in all aspects of preparation, from helping you determine your field of study to developing your credentials as a medical or health professional school applicant. We can also help you acquire clinical experience and connect you with other pre-health students.

Seeking additional advice? Contact us.

Registering with the Office of Health Careers Advising

Connect with our office as early as possible to begin planning your path to a health professional school. To register, complete the appropriate form below. (Available to current Furman students.)

Health Interest Form 2023 (First Year Students)
Health Interest Form 2022 (Sophomores)​
Health Interest Form 2021 (Juniors)
Health Interest Form 2020 (Seniors)​

Choosing A Major

At Furman, there is no pre-health major. As a pre-health student, you can choose any major that best fits your interests and career goals, as long as you maintain at least an A-/B+ GPA (at least 3.6 is preferable) overall and in your science courses.

Fulfilling Course Requirements

If you are planning to apply to health professional school, you should review specific course requirements for each field and school.

Course Requirements (Allopathic Medical School)

If you are pursuing a degree in medicine, you must complete the following courses to prepare for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

  • Two Biology Courses
  • BIO 111: Foundations of Biology
  • BIO 210/211/212: Genetics
  • Four Chemistry Courses
  • CHM 110: Foundations of Chemistry
  • CHM 115: Introductory Kinetics and Thermodynamics
  • CHM 120: Organic Chemistry
  • CHM 220: Bio-Organic Chemistry
  • One Biochemistry Course (One of the Following Courses)
  • BIO 303: Biochemistry of the Cell
  • CHM 460: Biochemistry
  • SCI 220: Metabolic Biochemistry
  • Two Physics Courses
  • PHY 111: General Physics I
  • PHY 112: General Physics II
  • Two Social Science Courses
  • PSY 111: General Psychology
  • SOC 101: Introduction to Sociology
  • One Statistics Course (One of the following courses)
  • MTH 120: Introduction to Statistics
  • ECN 225: Statistics
  • OR major-specific statistics course with a statistics emphasis (BIO 222, PSY 201&202, SOC 303)
  • One-Two Calculus Courses
  • MTH 150

AP Credits

Many health and medicine schools will not accept AP credit for pre-requisite courses. However, most of these schools will allow students to supplement the requirement by taking a more advanced course in the same field that extends beyond the pre-health requirement. If you are concerned that your AP credit will not be accepted, we recommend you rescind your AP credit and take the course at Furman unless you can supplement your credit with a more advanced course. It is your responsibility to determine a health professional school’s policy regarding AP credits. Please note that health professional schools will uphold current policies at the time of the application rather than policies in place when students began their undergraduate coursework.

Organizing Your Schedule

Plan to take at least one science course each semester. Some semesters you will need to take two science courses.

We suggest beginning by taking either CHM-110 or BIO-111 in the fall of your first year. Students who are particularly strong in sciences can take both simultaneously.

Wait to complete your Physics requirements (PHY-111 and PHY-112) unless you choose to major in physics. Taking these courses later keeps the material fresh when preparing for the MCAT.

You must complete MTH -150 before registering for PHY-112.

Since many majors include a statistics requirement, do not take a statistics course until you have chosen your major.

Plan ahead when choosing a biochemistry course (BIO-303, CHM-460, or SCI-220) because these courses are only offered during specific semesters.

For the Psychology (PSY-111) and Sociology (SOC-101) courses, many of the registration slots are reserved for first and second year students. We suggest completing these courses within your first two years.

If you plan to start medical school after graduating from Furman, an extensive review for the MCAT during your junior year. Prepare your courses accordingly.

Studying Away

If you intend to study away, remember to consider your application timeline, including when you will be taking your professional exams, completing your applications, and traveling for interviews.

Keep in mind that there are several study away programs offered during the Maymester.

Gaining Experience

Clinical Experience

All health professional schools look for applicants who know their field on a deeper level than in a classroom setting. Observing, job shadowing, or researching at a medical clinic or facility provides students with this hands-on learning. Contact the Health Experiences Coordinator. 

Research

Though most health professional schools do not require research experience, basic science research or clinical research can improve your critical thinking skills and your ability to work with others. Find a research project that interests you by connecting with a professor or Prisma Health.

Volunteering

Any health profession is built upon service. Look for areas to serve that will reflect your strengths and passions, rather than volunteering in places that you believe might only pad your application. Find volunteer opportunities with Heller Service Corps.

Student Organizations

Working with other students on campus helps foster collaborative, communication, and leadership abilities. Explore our student organizations.