Associated Programs

Preparing for Careers in the Health Professions: Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, Dentistry, Podiatry and Optometry

The information here should serve only as an introduction, and the student is advised to consult other sources, some of which are referred to herein, as well as the pre-health professions advisors (listed herein) for more comprehensive information. SUNY College at Old Westbury provides excellent instruction in all of the science and non-science courses that are either required or strongly recommended as entrance criteria for colleges of medicine, dentistry, osteopathy, podiatry, and optometry.  The specific minimum criteria for each of these professions are listed below.  While most pre-health careers students choose to major in a science area, this is by no means a requirement.  Students can major in any subject as long as the minimum academic criteria for admission are achieved.  The pre-health careers program at the College at Old Westbury has been in existence since the early years of the college.  Since that time, the program has had remarkable success in preparing students for studies in the major health sciences.  Particularly notable is the college’s success in preparing a significant number of minority students and women for such studies.

Students considering one or more of the above health professions should consult the resources below for more complete field-specific information:

Medicine

See Association of American Medical Colleges website for general information about medical careers and applying to medical school.

More specific information can be found in the following publications and websites:

Osteopathic Medicine

See American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) website for general information about osteopathic medical careers and applying to osteopathic medical school.

See the list of U.S. colleges of Osteopathic Medicine.

Dentistry

See American Dental Education Association website for general information about dental careers and applying to dental school.

More specific information can be found in the following publications and websites:

Podiatric Medicine

See American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine website for general information about podiatric medical careers and applying to colleges of podiatric medicine.

Health Professions Advisory Committee

Advisement for students interested in the health professions is offered by the college’s Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC). Current members of the committee are:  

General Requirements For Admission To Health Professional Schools

Listed below are minimum requirements for admission to professional schools in the health area.  Students should realize, however, that it is wise to plan to take more science courses than would meet minimum standards.  A broad range of courses in the humanities, social sciences, and behavioral sciences is also strongly recommended.  To be considered a good candidate for admission on the basis of minimum requirements requires exceptionally good performance.   The large majority of candidates with whom you will be competing have gone well beyond minimum requirements.  You should plan to do the same.

Medical Schools

Minimum requirements (may vary somewhat from school to school):

  • Biology 1 year
  • Chemistry 2 years (through organic chemistry)
  • Biochemistry 1 semester is strongly recommended
  • Physics 1 year
  • Mathematics through calculus
  • Statistics is strongly recommended
  • English 1 year
  • Psychology 1 semester is strongly recommended
  • Sociology 1 semester is strongly recommended

In general, four years of undergraduate work and a degree are expected from candidates seeking admission to medical school. Some schools, however, may admit exceptional students after three years of undergraduate work.

See Association of American Medical Colleges website for more information.

Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine

See American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) website for more information.

Minimum requirements (may vary somewhat from school to school):

  • Biology 1 year
  • Chemistry 2 years (through organic chemistry)
  • Biochemistry 1 semester is strongly recommended
  • Physics 1 year
  • Mathematics through calculus
  • Statistics is strongly recommended
  • English 1 year
  • Psychology 1 semester is strongly recommended
  • Sociology 1 semester is strongly recommended

Most colleges of osteopathic medicine require a minimum of three years of undergraduate work. The MCAT is also a requirement.

Colleges of Dentistry

Minimum requirements:

  • English 1 year
  • Inorganic Chemistry 1 year
  • Organic Chemistry 1 year
  • Biology 1 year
  • Physics 1 year

In addition to the above, some dental schools require other courses, such as:

  • Mathematics 1 year
  • Psychology 1 semester
  • Social Sciences and/or
  • Humanities several semesters
  • Quantitative Chemistry 1 semester

It is important that you examine ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools to determine the specific requirements for schools to which you will apply: 

A listing of dental programs is available at American Dental Association website

Colleges of Optometry

Visit Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) website for more information. 

Minimum requirements (these vary quite a bit):

  • Biology 1 year
  • Chemistry 1 or 2 years
  • Physics 1 year
  • Mathematics most require at least one semester of calculus  
  • English 1 year

Most schools have a minimum requirement of two years of undergraduate work.

The Optometry Admissions Test (OAT) is a requirement. 

Colleges of Podiatry

Visit American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine website for information on podiatry.

Minimum requirements (may vary somewhat):

  • Biology 1 year
  • Chemistry 2 years (though organic chemistry)
  • Physics 1 year
  • Mathematics not specified
  • English 1 year

A minimum of two years of undergraduate study is required for admission to colleges of podiatric medicine.  Most students accepted for admissions have, however, completed four years of undergraduate study.  The MCAT is also a requirement.

Admission Tests

  • Medical College Admission Test (MCAT): This test is required for all US colleges of medicine, osteopathy and podiatry. Generally, students preparing for medical school should plan to take the MCAT in the spring of the junior year or early summer thereafter.
  • Dental Admission Test (DAT): Required by all US schools of dentistry. The DAT is offered throughout the year. Generally applicants should be prepared to take the DAT one year prior to the intended admission date. However, applicants are advised to consult the specific dental schools regarding their policies on testing dates.
  • Optometry Admission Test (OAT):  Required by all US colleges of optometry.

Application Services

The Association of American Medical Colleges, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, the American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine and the American Association of Dental Schools provide application services that considerably reduce the amount of time applicants must spend filling out applications.  A single application is submitted to the service which then distributes copies to schools designated by the student.

Note: Not all schools participate in these services. Participating schools are shown in the publications listed above.   

Professional Schools That Have Enrolled Old Westbury Students

  • Harvard University (medical)
  • Vanderbilt University (medical)
  • Case Western Reserve (medical and dental)
  • Hahnemann University School of Medicine (medical)
  • Jefferson Medical College (medical)
  • Marquette University (medical)
  • SUNY/Stony Brook (Medical)
  • SUNY/Buffalo (dental)
  • SUNY/Upstate Medical Center (medical)
  • Boston University (medical and dental)
  • Howard University (dental)
  • Meharry Medical College (medical)
  • Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences (medical)
  • Bowman-Gray (Wake Forest University) School of Medicine (Medical)
  • Pennsylvania College of Podiatric Medicine
  • Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine
  • University of Pittsburgh (medical)
  • Sackler School of Medicine (medical)
  • New York University (dental)
  • New York Medical College (medical)
  • Tufts University (medical)
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University Dental School
  • New York College of Podiatric Medicine
  • NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine