2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Pre-Health Professions

TCU offers a curriculum preparing students for programs leading to professional degrees in the following health professions: Allopathic Medicine (MD), Dentistry (DDS), Optometry (OD), Osteopathic Medicine (DO), Pharmacy (PharmD), Physician's Assistant (PA), Podiatric Medicine (DPM), and Veterinary Medicine (DVM).

The Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC) consists of faculty members who teach courses normally taken by students pursuing the above professional goals and presently includes Professors Giri Akkaraju, biology; Gary Boehm, psychology; Tracy Centanni, psychology; Matt Chumchal, biology and director; Mike Chumley, biology; Jeff Coffer, chemistry; Mathew Crawford, pre-health; Molli Crenshaw, biology; Meredith Curtis, biology and associate director; Mark Demarest, biology; Sophia Garcia, biology; Karol Gryczynski, physics & astronomy; Matt Hale, biology; Doug Ingram, physics & astronomy;  Marlo Jeffries, biology; Clark Jones, biology; Laura Luque, biology; Shauna McGillivray, biology and associate director; David Minter, chemistry; Mike Misamore, biology; Anna Petursdottir, psychology; Mikaela Stewart, biology; Anne VanBeber, nutritional sciences Stephanie Wallace, biology; David Weise, psychology. Jessica Alvarez and Sarah Jung, coordinators for the program, offices in SWR 258.

The duties of the committee are to advise students on their curriculum; provide counseling regarding the health professions; and evaluate, both for the student and for the professional schools, the student's suitability for entering the profession. The committee offers "mock" interviews and will write a committee-based letter of evaluation for those students who submit the appropriate biographical materials. Additional information is available at www.prehealth.tcu.edu.


Health profession schools prefer applicants who have completed a four-year curriculum leading to a BA or BS degree. While the health professions schools will accept students in any major, certain courses are required or suggested as described below. In addition, if medicine, dentistry or veterinary medicine is a student's primary career goal, the Health Professions Advisory Committee strongly recommends that students major within the College of Science & Engineering.

Required and Suggested Courses

Although each professional program has its own list of required and suggested courses, those shown below meet the requirements of the majority. Students should check the current requirements of schools to which they intend to apply before they begin their junior year at TCU to ensure that new or unusual requirements can be met before graduation.

Pass/No-Credit Option

See the Bachelor's Degree Definitions and Regulations in the Bachelor's Degree section of the University requirements.

Professional Entrance Exams

Most professional schools require entrance exams to have been taken at the time of application. Generally, these should be taken 15-17 months before contemplated admission; i.e., in the spring of the junior year for four-year students or in the sophomore year for three-year students (see below). Information on these exams is available in the Pre-Health Professions Office SWR 258. These include the Dental Admissions Test (DAT), the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) and the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT).

Health Related Activities

All students in TCU’s Pre-Health Profession Institute are required to participate in health-related activities (including shadowing and working or volunteering in a clinical setting.) Students cannot participate in health-related activities until they have participated in HIPAA and professionalism training and submitted all required paperwork to the Pre-Health Professions Institute. International students cannot begin participation in health-related activities until their second year in the program and are allowed to do no more than 20 hours per week, approved by their faculty and signed by the organization where the student will be participating. International students must also submit Curricular Practical Training forms to the Office of International Services. Participation is mandatory for all students, and all federal regulations regarding F-1 and J-1 students must be met in order for international student participation.

Health-Related Student Organizations

The program supports a number of health-related student organizations for pre-professional health science students. Additional information is available at http://www.prehealth.tcu.edu.

Pre-Health Professions Scholarships

Several competitive scholarships for pre-health professions are available for students who are at least sophomores; have a GPA above 3.0; have a record of service to TCU, the community or the profession; and have demonstrated a high motivation toward a career in medicine and dentistry. Applications are available from the Office of Scholarships and Student Financial Aid.