Frequently Asked Questions

  • General Information

    What is the Office of Pre-Health Professions? 

    Our office supports FIU students applying to Pre-Health professional programs: Medical, Dental, Optometry, Pharmacy, Physican Assistant, Podiatry, and Veterinary. This includes discussing the application timeline for programs, reviewing course requirements, assisting with committee letter packets, and timing preparation for admission tests.  

    Does the Office of Pre-Health Professions assist students interested in Nursing? Athletic Training? Occupational Therapy? Physicial Therapy? Or Speech Language Pathology? 

    No.  Students interested in the FIU Undergraduate Nursing or Graduate Health Science programs should contact the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences at 305-348-7703.  

    How can I meet with a Pre-Health Advisor? 

    Currently enrolled students can make an appointment with an advisor after they have designated their pre-professional intent in their FIU student portal. 

    To designate your Pre-Professional intent, please follow these instructions:

    Login to your account 

    Select Academic Advising tile 

    Select My Major tile 

    Select drop-down menu 'Pre-Professional Intent' & how you would like to be designated (pre-med, pre-dental, pre-vet, etc.)

    Once you have completed these steps, allow the system 24-48 business hours to assign you one of our advisors. Log back into Panther Success Network to schedule an appointment with your assigned advisor. For more instructions on this process, please refer to the Panther Success Network Tutorials 'make an appointment' section. 

    I am not an enrolled student. What should I do? 

    Prospective students should first speak with FIU Admissions about becoming a current student. Then follow the above steps to designate their pre-professional intent to meet with an advisor.

    When should I meet with a Pre-Health Advisor? 

    Students are encouraged to meet with their Pre-Health advisor as early as their first semester at FIU.  We also suggest students consult with our office at least once a semester to make sure they are on track.

  • Academics

    What major should I choose? 

    Majors should be chosen depending on specific field of interest.  Commonly chosen majors include: Biological Sciences, Natural & Applied Sciences, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Psychology, or Liberal Studies. 

    What if my major is not listed above?

    While almost any major is acceptable, students should consider the pre-requisite coursework required of their professional programs when choosing.  Students also have the option to add a Second Major in Natural and Applied Sciences to complete required coursework. 

    Note: 'Pre-Medicine' 'Pre-Dental' etc. is NOT a major. It is simply the interest to apply to a specific graduate program upon completing a bachelors degree. Students will be required to declare a major (or add a second major) and are then able to designate their pre-professional intent.  For more information, please see above under General Information 'How can I meet with a Pre-Health Advisor?'. 

    Can my Pre-Health Advisor change my major? 

    No.  Your Pre-Health advisor does not have access to changing your major.  Please contact your main Academic Advisor to complete the major change process.  For more information, please review the OneStop Change Degree Program information. 

    Can the Office of Pre-Health Professions Advising lift a hold on my registration?

    No. You should connect with an academic advisor about registration issues. See above question. 

    Can the Office of Pre-Health Professions Advising Office help me gain registration priority?

    No. You should connect with an academic advisor. 

    What classes should I be taking? 

    Students can refer to their chosen career page for a more comprehensive list of basic academic coursework.  Choose your career track, and click on the 'cirriculum' link under the Academics tab.  It is a student's responsibility to check with individual programs regarding the coursework needed to matriculate at their institution.

    How is distance learning/ online coursework evaluated? 

    As a result of COVID-19, many schools are flexible and will consider online courses as needed.  It is a students responsibility to check with their individual programs on how these courses will be evaluated.  

    What is a good GPA for prefessional schools? 

    While it will vary between professional schools, students are encouraged to maintain a competitive GPA.  Most graduate programs expect at minimum a 3.0 GPA. 

    How can I calculate my Overall GPA & Science GPA? 

    Students can use our GPA Calculator Spreadsheet to calculate their overall GPA. 

    How do I know which courses are classified as science? 

    Professional schools classify science courses as Biology, Chemistry, Physicis, and Math Courses (BCPM).  For more detailed information, please use the AAMC Course Classification Guide

    Do professional schools accept AP/IB credits? 

    Some professional schools will accept these credits but not all.  Contact individual schools on their policies regarding AP and IB credits. 



  • Professional Experiences

    How important are professional experiences and extracurricular activities in applying to health professional programs? 

    Part of your pre-health professional journey will be to cultivate knowledge of your future profession, develop proficiency in various skills, and to demonstrate a compassionate approach to healthcare. This can be achieved in various ways but students should consider their interest in the field should be more then to 'help others'.  You want to be specific in why you have chosen this career and why you know you would be a good fit. 

    Some programs ask for a specific number hours and some programs are looking for well-rounded applicants.  All applications will ask you to showcase your unique path to your chosen profession, this is your opportunity to stand apart from other applicants in this competitive process! 

    How can I find Volunteering/ Shadowing/ Research opportunities? 

    Students are encouraged to get involved on campus to find these opportunities; begin with revewing clubs and organizations on campus on Panther Connect and engage with the FIU Center for Student Engagement

    Students can also review various labs on campus through the Labs & Facilities Page in the College of Arts Sciences and Education (CASE) page.

    Additionally, each of the science departments has many faculty members with active research groups. The best way to find a research opportunity or mentor is to review the interest areas of the faculty in your major field. Contact the faculty and ask for an interview or follow website instructions to apply for research opportunities. Learn what they expect of you and be willing to make a long-term commitment. Research will usually require one or more years of consistent involvement on your part. Typically, students start research in the summer of their sophomore year.  Funding for student research at FIU can be secured from the MARC U*STAR program and the McNair Scholars Program.

    Students are also able to find research off-campus of their choosing. 

    Can I conduct research outside a "hard science" area?

    Yes, the ultimate goal should be to understand the research process, this does not always mean it is restricted to the 'hard sciences'.  But a record of accomplishment and understanding is important. Many professional schools do prefer to have students perform research in a lab using conventional chemical and biochemical techniques which mirror your future pathway. Many students apply to summer programs offered in the areas of science, engineering, medicine and dentistry at major universities all around the country to craft a competitive application. 

    How can I find a medical professional to shadow?

    Many clubs and organizations on campus facilitate these experiences for students.  Another route would be to ask your family physician, family dentist or the pharmacist where you obtain prescriptions. You can also reach out to local area clinics and hospitals.  Talk to them and ask their advice. Be willing to volunteer; do not expect a paying job.

    How do I become a volunteer at a hospital?

    Contact the volunteer department of the hospital at which you'd like to volunteer.

  • Admissions Test Preparation

    Visit your career page for specific test information and resources.

    What is a very good score on the MCAT, DAT, PCAT, OAT, GRE, and PA-CAT?

    Scores on these required admissions exams should be significantly above the national average:

    • MCAT >509 (National Avg. 500)
    • DAT >20 (National Avg. 18)
    • PCAT >450 (National Avg. 340-460)
    • OAT >350 (National Avg. 300)
    • GRE >310 (National Avg. 300)
    • PA-CAT >535 (National Avg. 525)
  • Professional School Interviews

    Do I have to interview? 

    Almost all pre-health professional programs will require students to be interviewed.  Students should check in with each program they have applied for specific details. 

    What are the types of interviews? 

    Multiple Mini Interviews, Individual or one on one, and Panel interviews. For more specific information, reach out to individual programs. 

    How can I prepare for my health professional school interviews?

    Students should prepare as they would for a regular interiview.  Know commonly asked questions, the school's history, mission, cirriculum and have questions prepaired for the interviewer. 

    Is there an office on campus that can help me with mock interviews?

    We encourage students to work with the FIU Career and Talent Development.  Some student organizations will set up mock interviews as well. Follow PreHealthFIU on social media for events from our office. 

  • International, Post-Baccalaureate and Transfer Students

    Visit Pre-Health Resources for information about pre-health studies at FIU as an international student, post-baccalaureate student.