Pre-Health Professions


The Pre-Health Professions Advising office provides counseling and resources for enrolled students and graduates of UNC Charlotte who are interested in health-related professional graduate schools (medical, dental, veterinary, pharmacy, optometry, physician assistant, physical therapy, occupational therapy, podiatry) and related non-nursing fields. Information and guidance on academic requirements, credentials, application procedures, and extracurricular activities is available. Pre-health advising is intended to supplement (not replace) the student’s academic planning with their academic advisor.

Appointments are available to currently enrolled students (non-visiting) who meet eligibility requirements and alumni. Incoming freshmen and transfer students should plan to complete an orientation to their pre-health track as part of New Student Orientation (see your NSO online packet). For questions or comments, please email PreHealth Advising.

Getting Started

The first step to take on your pre-health track is to complete an Orientation to your specific track (Pre-Med Orientation, Pre-Optometry Orientation, etc). Orientations cover everything you need to know to get started: required and recommended courses, GPAs, timeline options and planning, extracurricular activities, and more. Depending on the pre-health track, the orientation will be available in an online or live format.

  • Freshmen, Sophomores, and New Transfer Students in the College of Health and Human Services, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and University College: Contact your academic advisor for orientation information. Orientations are not provided in summer and are not provided before you matriculate.
  • Freshmen, Sophomores, and New Transfer Students in Colleges not listed above: Orientations are not provided in summer and are not provided before you matriculate. To request your orientation during fall or spring semesters, send an email to with the following information: name, UNCC student id#, and type of orientation you need (pre-med orientation, pre-optometry orientation, etc).
  • Juniors, Seniors (currently enrolled): To get started on your pre-health track, send an email to with the following information: name, UNCC student id#, and type of orientation you need (pre-PA orientation, pre-dental orientation, etc).
  • Postbaccalaureate/Second-degree Students and Alumni: Send your questions by email to Be sure to include the following information: name, UNCC student id# (required), type of pre-health track you plan to follow (pre-PT, pre-dental, etc), and indicate if you are a career-changer or record-enhancer.

Majors for Pre-Health Students

Healthcare professions schools look at a variety of academic factors when deciding which students to accept; transcripts and admissions test scores are the main academic indicators of the student’s potential to survive and thrive in professional school. The most important features of the student’s transcript are as follows:

  • Ability to successfully manage full and challenging course loads
  • Willingness to attempt rigorous courses
  • Strong grades, especially in science/math courses
  • Consistently high level of performance, semester-to-semester

With planning, these academic attributes can be demonstrated from most any major offered at UNC Charlotte.

There is no preferred major for pre-health students, and there is no requirement to major in a science. For example, over one-third of students currently entering US medical schools majored in something other than science or math; other healthcare professions schools have similar entrance statistics (30-40% of accepted students did not major in science or math).

Undergraduates must declare a major, but there are no pre-health majors or minors at UNC Charlotte; rather, students follow pre-health “tracks”. Think of a pre-health track as a plan of attack that includes the required and recommended courses for your particular area of healthcare. For instance, a pre-med student selects a major AND also follows a pre-med track; the student has a list of courses to complete for their major, and another list of courses for their pre-med track. The student works to complete both course lists during their college years.

Pre-health tracks are portable- they can be built around most any major on campus. Pre-Health Advising is available to help you plan your pre-health track around the major you’ve selected.

Pre-health students are encouraged to consider these 2 criteria when selecting a major:

  1. Pick a major that you will find interesting and enjoy studying.
  2. Have a career ‘plan B’: every pre-health student should have an alternate career path in mind; pick a major that can provide acceptable career options.

If your major meets these 2 criteria, you’ve probably picked the right major.

Pre-Health Options

There are many pre-health options available to students, but here are a few of the most popular

pre-veterinary medicine
pre-occupational therapy
pre-physical therapy
pre-physician assistant