Pre-Health Programs at Augustana University

Pre-Health Professional Programs

Prepare for Graduate Studies

Prepare for graduate study in areas such as medicine, dentistry, clinical lab science, physical therapy, environmental biology, teaching, research and industry and get the most out of an education while doing it. Augustana University students stand out from other applicants for graduate programs and jobs due to its rigorous academic records, scientific research and hands-on experiences in health care. Augustana's 10-year cumulative student acceptance rate to medical schools is nearly twice the national average. AU's core curriculum will strengthen critical thinking and communications skills to assist in everyday work caring for people.

Virtual Cadaver Table

Virtual Cadaver Table at AU

Augustana University Pre-Health Professional Programs

Below are some health professions that are of interest to many Augustana students. Many programs, including physician assistant, physical therapy and veterinary medicine programs, require Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores for application.

Students are encouraged to learn about their chosen health profession through internships, volunteer experiences and employment. 

Admission requirements vary among graduate schools; therefore, a student interested in a career in the health industry should identify the schools he or she is interested in as early as possible. Students should consult with their advisors on a regular basis to discuss course selection and graduate and professional school application procedures.

“There is a high demand for genetic counselors in the marketplace today. So much so that programs can’t train students fast enough to keep up with the demand. New opportunities in genetic counseling are emerging everyday." — Quinn Stein, program director for Augustana's Genetic Counseling Graduate Program

 Genetic Counseling

Genetic counselors work with individuals and families who are considering genetic testing by helping them identify risks for certain disorders, investigate family health history, interpret information and determine if testing is needed. The genetic counseling process helps people understand and adapt to the medical, psychological and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease.

Find course descriptions and requirements for the genetic counseling pre-professional program.


Chiropractors focus on the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders, with an emphasis on treatment through manual adjustment and/or manipulation of the spine.

Most chiropractors seek to reduce pain and improve the functionality of patients as well as to educate them on how they can account for their own health via exercise, ergonomics and other therapies to treat back pain.

Course descriptions and requirements for the chiropractic pre-professional program.


Explore the high demand profession of dentistry, a branch of medicine specializing in oral health. Roughly 80% of dentists practice general dentistry, but there are a number of career specializations including academic dentistry, dental research, dental public policy, international health care and private practice specialization.

Course descriptions and requirements for the dentistry pre-professional program.

 Medicine and MD/Ph.D. Programs

Physicians diagnose illness and injury, prescribe and administer treatment and advise patients on how to prevent and manage disease. Physicians and surgeons have demanding education and training requirements including four years of medical school and anywhere from three to seven years in an internship and residency program.

Course descriptions and requirements for the medicine pre-professional program.

Timeline for Application 

 Mortuary Science

Mortuary science leads to careers such as embalmer, funeral director, funeral service manager, mortician or undertaker. Individuals in these roles work in funeral homes and/or hospitals. Licensure for these careers requires completion of a mortuary science program.

Course descriptions and requirements for the mortuary science pre-professional program.

 Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy is a health profession that uses a variety of rehabilitative, educational, social and vocational activities to help individuals in adapting or improving performance in areas of work, school, independent living or play. Services are provided to people of all ages whose lives have been disrupted by illness, injury, developmental problems, social or psychological dysfunction or the aging process. The goal is to aid people in attaining their maximum functioning potential.

Course descriptions and requirements for the occupational therapy pre-professional program.


Students interested in the independent primary health care profession for eye care will find excellent job prospects after finishing their education. Optometrists examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases, injuries and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures.

As an optometrist, you will identify conditions affecting your patients' eyes and counsel patients regarding surgical and non-surgical options to meet their visual needs. In cases involving surgery, optometrists provide both preoperative and postoperative consultation and care.

Course descriptions and requirements for the optometry pre-professional program.

 Physical Therapy

Physical therapists work closely with patients and clients to restore, maintain and promote physical health and wellness through rehabilitation of injury or disease. Patients may include accident victims and individuals with disabling conditions such as low back pain, fractures, head injuries, arthritis, heart disease and cerebral palsy.

Course descriptions and requirements for the physical therapy pre-professional program.

 Physician Assistant

For those interested in a high-demand and highly rewarding health care position that requires less post-graduate work than an M.D., consider becoming a physician assistant. Physician assistants have advanced knowledge of general medicine and can provide nearly all clinical services a physician can, including examining and treating patients.

Course descriptions and requirements for the physician assistant pre-professional program.


Enjoy a career that consistently ranks as one of the best jobs in the United States. Pharmacists prepare and distribute medication prescribed by doctors to patients and help monitor and advise those patients on the effects and contents of the drugs they are given.

Course descriptions and requirements for the pharmacy pre-professional program.

 Veterinary Medicine

If you have a passion for animals and a love for science, consider a career as a veterinarian. Vets care for the health of pets, livestock, zoo animals and laboratory animals using the latest research to deliver the best in health care. Veterinary schools expect that applicants have an understanding of and commitment to the profession, which goes beyond a love of animals. 

Course descriptions and requirements for the veterinary medicine pre-professional program.

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