Welcome to Pre-Health at UW Tacoma

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On this site, you can explore different health careers and find resources that will help you plan and prepare for a degree in health.


Welcome to Pre-Health advising at UW Tacoma!

Are you preparing for a career in a health profession such as medicine, dental, or pharmacy studies?  A career in health is an incredibly rewarding profession. However, pursuing a career in health is a challenging path and one that takes a lot of planning and preparation. On this site, you can explore different health careers and find resources here at UW Tacoma that will help you as you explore and prepare for a career in health.

Q: What should I major in if I am interested in Pre-health?

A: Anything!

You can major in anything as you prepare for a career in health. Health professional schools don't consider an applicants major in the admisisons process. There are, however, specific requirements that each gradaute and professional school will look for, however, so research and careful planning are both important aspects of your preparation. 

Yet simply completing a major is not enough. 

Choosing a career in health or health care is not one decision, but a series of decisions based on exploration, investigation, and reflection. You should continually assess your academic readiness, motivation, and skills in sciences as well as humanities and social sciences. Volunteering, job shadowing, and other forms of community service are also essential elements of your exploration of what the profession is all about, and whether it is a good match for you. 

Pre-Health is a process...

We define pre-health (or pre-med) as a process a student goes through if they intend to enter a health professional field. Pre-health is not a “major” or “track”. The process includes:

  1. Actively exploring a variety of health care professions and understanding the type of work (e.g. patient contact, type of facility) involved and how this matches your personal strengths, motivations, and preferences
  2. Preparing for a selected health profession, this includes both academic (e.g. course planning and major selection) and vocational endeavors (e.g. job shadowing, volunteering, research, leadership, work experience)
  3. Applying to the professional schools including assessing readiness to apply, selecting schools, preparing for and taking entrance exams, and preparing a compelling application

Core skills, values, knowledge and experience required for pre-health

Pre-Professional Competencies Thinking and Reasoning Competencies Science Competencies
  • Service Orientation
  • Social Skills
  • Cultural Competence
  • Teamwork
  • Oral Communication
  • Ethical Responsibility to Self and Others
  • Reliability and Dependability
  • Resilience and Adaptability
  • Capacity for Improvement
  • Critical Thinking
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Scientific Inquiry
  • Written Communication
  • Living Systems
  • Human Behavior