Tag Archives: PUC pre-professional

Academic Spotlight: Pre-Professional Programs

An education at Pacific Union College prepares students well, especially for a variety of pre-professional programs. PUC offers a large variety of pre-professional programs that allow students to either obtain a four year degree or fulfill the necessary prerequisites to transfer to a bachelor’s program at another healthcare-specific institution. 

For years, PUC has maintained a medical and dental school acceptance rate well above the national average. Students have had uniquely high acceptance rates to top-notch medical and dental schools like Loma Linda University, well above the national average. Many PUC alumni have also continued on to graduate from some of the nation’s most prestigious graduate schools, including Harvard, Yale, and Georgetown. 

Programs offered:

  • Pre-Art Therapy
  • Pre-Dental Hygiene, B.S., for Admission to Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Dentistry, D.D.S., for Admission to Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Professional Curriculum: Law
  • Pre-Medicine for Admission to Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Professional Curriculum: Optometry
  • Pre-Pharmacy for Admission to Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Public Health for Admission to Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Veterinary Medicine for Admission to UC Davis

A Faculty’s Perspective

“PUC has a strong reputation for its pre-medicine and pre-dentistry programs because of the very high acceptance rates our students have. Our students are consistently accepted to dental and medical programs, with medical school acceptance rates in the top 10 percent of the nation. Students are well prepared through science courses in the pre-med and pre-dent programs, and they generally perform well on the MCAT and DAT.” – Dr. Marie Pak, faculty

Fast Facts 

  1. The active student-led Pre-Professional Club offers networking, help on professional school applications, mock admissions interviews, tips on the best classes to pair for a successful degree, and more. Club officers arrange for speakers, workshops, and other regular events to help students learn more about pursuing careers in the healthcare field. Read “Life is About Balance: PUC’s Pre-Professional Club Provides Meaningful Connections” to learn more. 
  2. PUC also offers an A.S. in health sciences that is a great fit for students going on to pursue programs like dental hygiene, clinical lab science, and speech pathology at other institutions. 
  3. For years, PUC has maintained a medical and dental school acceptance rate well above the national average. The five-year average dental school acceptance rate at PUC is 65 percent, and for medical school, this goes up to 68 percent. The national average is around 33 percent.
  4. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of healthcare occupations is projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.4 million new jobs. Healthcare occupations are projected to add more jobs than any of the other occupational groups.

What You Can Do

For students interested in the healthcare field, there are a host of possibilities available to them. From art therapy to medicine to optometry, students can find the career that best suits their goals and aspirations.

  • Art therapy
  • Dental hygiene
  • Dentistry
  • Law
  • Medicine 
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacy 
  • Public health
  • Veterinary medicine

Learn more about PUC’s pre-professional programs at puc.edu/academics. Our team of admissions counselors can answer any questions you have. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email admissions@puc.edu to get connected with a counselor now and start learning about all the options available to you! 

Academic Spotlight: Pre-Professional Allied Health

If you’re interested in a career in healthcare but aren’t sure yet what you want to specialize in, take a look at PUC’s pre-professional allied health programs!

Programs offered:

  • Pre-Cardiac Electrophysiology Technology (A.S.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Clinical Laboratory Science (B.S.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Communication Sciences (B.S.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Cytotechnology (B.S.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Diagnostic Medical Sonography, B.S., for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Health Information Administration, B.S., for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Medical Radiography (A.S.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Nuclear Medicine (B.S.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Nutrition & Dietetics (B.S. or M.S.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Occupational Therapy (M.O.T.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Orthotics & Prosthetics (M.S.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Pathologists’ Assistant (M.H.S.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Physical Therapist Assistant (A.S.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Physician Assistant (M.P.A.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Radiation Sciences (B.S.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Respiratory Care (B.S.) for Loma Linda University

A Faculty’s Perspective

Professor Vicki Saunders is an assistant professor of nutrition and also coordinates the two-year health sciences degree program at PUC. We sat down with her to talk about pre-professional programs and what advice she would give to a student interested in pursuing a career in allied health.

Read “What Exactly is Allied Health? Professor Saunders Tells It All.” now!

Fast Facts

  1. Students who choose to study a pre-allied health program at PUC can also work towards earning an A.S. in health sciences, which is a way they can complete prerequisites for their designated program and also graduate with a diploma.
  2. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of healthcare occupations is projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.4 million new jobs. Healthcare occupations are projected to add more jobs than any of the other occupational groups.

What You Can Do

There’s a wide variety of places pre-professional allied health programs can take you! Here are just a few ideas to get you started.

  • Cytotechnology
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Nutrition & dietetics
  • Occupational therapy
  • Optometry
  • Physical therapy
  • Public health
  • Speech-language pathology
  • Veterinary medicine

Learn more about PUC’s pre-professional allied health programs at puc.edu/academics. Our team of admissions counselors can answer any questions you have. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email admissions@puc.edu to get connected with a counselor now and start learning about all the options available to you!

What Exactly is Allied Health? Professor Saunders Tells It All.

The single-handed most critical, yet annoying question any college student may be asked is the following: “What are you majoring in?” While many individuals may be fortunate enough to have this question figured out, others struggle to even wrap their minds around committing to one of the many majors Pacific Union College has to offer. Although PUC is especially known for its pre-med, pre-dent, and nursing programs, there are also plenty of options offered in allied health.

So, what careers do allied health studies lead to? Fear not, here are just a few occupations one can have with a background in allied health: physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, x-ray technician, radiology technician, nutrition/dietetics, speech-language pathology, and more, including a new program in diagnostic medical sonography. There are close to 20 different allied health options for students to choose from! See a full list of PUC’s majors, including all of the allied health programs, at puc.edu/admissions.

Yet, many incoming college students are unaware of the boundless possibilities—aside from pre-med, pre-dent, and nursing—that healthcare has to offer. So, the question remains, how does one go about pursuing a career in allied health? In light of these questions, PUC’s very own allied health adviser, Vicki Saunders, offers insight on how to become an allied health professional.

What is your role at PUC?

I am an assistant professor of nutrition and I also coordinate the two-year health sciences degree program.

What is your favorite part about being an adviser?

My favorite part about being an adviser is the one-on-one conversations with students. What can I say? For the most part, it is very rewarding.

Can you explain what pre-professional programs are?

Pre-professional programs are tracks in undergraduate programs that prepare you to continue on to another institution to earn a professional degree after completing a series of prerequisite classes, which generally are 1-2 years (though a few programs now require a four-year degree). The term “pre-professional” is a bit confusing, as it applies to a much broader group than just pre-allied health programs; it can include pre-allied health programs as well as pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, etc. I specifically work with students who have chosen to study pre-allied health programs. (See a full list of PUC’s majors, including all of the allied health programs, at puc.edu/admissions.)

What is a piece of advice you can give to incoming students interested in pursuing a career in allied health?

Well, if they are not here yet, I suggest they start shadowing. If they are shadowing, they can get a form on Loma Linda University’s website (or other prospective schools) for tracking shadowing hours. Many schools now require individuals applying to allied health programs to complete a certain number of shadowing hours. For example, physical therapy requires 80 hours of shadowing versus occupational therapy requires only 40 hours. Some therapies don’t require a lot of hours, but it is good to shadow and observe what these professionals do to see if it’s a fit for you. Different personalities click with different professions. Some professions are behind the scenes, while others require contact with people regularly.

Given how competitive some pre-professional and allied health programs are, what are some tips on how to succeed?

One tip is to take all the sciences you can in high school to give yourself a foundation. It’s probably not a good idea to try to skip chemistry and physics in high school if you want to get into a physical therapy program in college. There are some schools that are really academically challenging, but a large number of schools are not as rigorous. However, incoming students can’t doodle around their freshman year—they may miss out on what they want to get into. One of the biggest errors students make is looking at a schedule of 16 class credits plotted on their calendars and say, “look at all that free time!” Sixteen hours represents approximately a 40-hour week. They need to consider more than just time in classes; there’s studying, prepping for class and projects, writing research papers, etc. College students end up knowing how to balance time usually around their second year, although freshmen sometimes have a harder time doing that.

How do PUC’s pre-professional programs set themselves apart from programs offered by other schools?

It depends on which school one is looking at. Not all schools offer the A.S. degree in health sciences that we do. This is a way for students who are just attending college to complete prerequisites to also leave with a diploma. PUC is known for its high academic standards. When I was at LLU for an advisers’ conference, there were some PUC alumni who mentioned they had found that some of their college courses were more difficult at PUC than what they had found at LLU. Although we have not transitioned to a being a university, we are a very established college.

Interested in learning more about PUC’s degree in health sciences, or another allied health program? Talk with one of our enrollment counselors today! They can give you more information about each program’s requirements and advise you on what classes you should take to be prepared for PUC. Email enroll@puc.edu or call (800) 862-7080, option 2 to talk with a counselor.