Many students study at the University of Rochester while preparing for medical, dental, veterinary or another health professional school. Being a “pre-med” or “pre-vet” etc. is an interest and not a program or major. Students do, and should, prepare for their intended health professions programs in a great variety of ways.
You should familiarize yourself with the pre-requisites courses required by your intended programs and individual schools. This guide is a good start, but you are responsible for knowing and fulfilling the requirements of any particular program or school. The Career Advisers in the Gwen M. Greene Career & Internship Center (4-200 Dewey Hall) can help you determine these requirements.
While all health professions schools require a strong undergraduate background in the sciences, it is NOT necessary to major in the sciences. Health professions schools actively encourage applications from individuals in all academic disciplines.
Your main considerations in evaluating possible majors should be your interests. The best recommendation we can give to you is to follow your passions. If you have passion for English, art history or computer science, make this a major. By pursuing something that you are passionate about, you are more likely to engage with the material, seek out opportunities above and beyond the classroom, have a stronger academic performance, and be more animated when discussing, in both verbal and written form, what you choose to study while in college.
Most careers in the health professions require many years of specialized schooling beyond college, and require you to make connections with people from many different backgrounds. Why not pursue an undergraduate major that allows you to broaden your horizons while also developing interests that may help you to establish connections with others in your future career? Further, a student who is successful in a diverse set of classes can be especially interesting to an admissions committee.
Plan B refers to what you might do if you lose interest in your initial health professional goal, or if an application does not have the desired outcome; Plan B is an integral piece of any application process. Consider if your chosen career in the health professions did not exist, what career path would you pursue?
The unfortunate reality is that many of those who apply will not be accepted. For those applicants who select a major based on their interests, they are well on their way to developing a Plan B.