At Ohio State, "pre-health" is not a major. It is an officially-recognized area of academic interest. Identifying your pre-professional interest will enable your college advisor, your major advisor, and your pre-professional advisor to provide you with a wide range of support to realize your goals. Interested in health professions such as medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, or physical therapy? Besides providing basic information on such careers, the purpose of the pre-health program is to help current or prospective Ohio State students locate a pre-health advisor on campus.

What is pre-health?

This is a designation for those who seek admission to health professional programs, usually upon completion of a baccalaureate (BA, BS, etc.) degree. While the “well-known” fields including medicine and dentistry continue to draw interest, we encourage students to explore other options—all of which lead to satisfying careers in which one can make a difference.

The term pre-health can also refer to students interested in four-year degree programs that lead directly to health careers upon graduation. To name a few, these include nursing, dental hygiene, medical technology, and medical dietetics. (All of these programs are available at Ohio State.)

An excellent starting point to explore health career possibilities is the online Occupational Outlook Handbook

Why choose a career in the health professions?

Students are drawn to the health professions for many reasons. Some have relatives or parents who are actively involved as physicians, nurses, researchers, optometrists, dentists, etc. This was their first introduction to the health professions, and they have experienced it first hand. Other students have an inner “call” or sense of responsibility to become care-givers and healers to those who need health assistance and direction. Still other students have their first interaction with the health professions through interaction with other students in their science majors, research experience, and the support groups/clubs associated with their majors. Many are seeking a career where they can serve their community and country as responsible citizens, and enjoy their chosen field as a day-to-day activity.

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