Pre-Health Professions Program
Our Pre-Health Professions Program is a formal mentoring and advising system that supports HPU students who are in pursuit of careers in medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, pharmacy, physical therapy, chiropractic health, or optometry. As a student in our Pre-Health Professions Program you can major in any discipline while benefitting from our program which includes knowledgeable faculty and staff who provide advise, coordinate internship opportunities, proactively track your academic progress, and regularly review your academic plan and career goals.
Although all majors are supported, most Pre-Health Professions students choose to major in Biochemistry or Biology - Human and Health Sciences. A Chemistry major also serves as an excellent choice and is recognized for its rigorous science preparation. The curriculum for each of these majors is characterized by a solid foundation in the physical, chemical, and biological sciences while enriched through general education courses in literature, history, humanities, and the social sciences. Each of these majors includes courses that are prerequisites for schools in the health professions, and our advisors will work with you to ensure you take all the required coursework for your chosen area or study.
Why prepare for the health professions at Hawaii Pacific University?
In the Department of Natural Sciences, our faculty members take great pride in quality undergraduate teaching, focusing keenly on a science education that is highly relevant and one that provides students with extensive training and critical thinking skills. This type of preparedness is also recognized by our faculty as critical to students’ eventual success when taking the highly competitive qualifying examinations for health professional schools (MCAT, DAT, OAT, PCAT, and GRE). We offer rigorous courses in the disciplines required by health professional schools and the courses are taught in small classes by highly qualified and involved instructors. At the same time our faculty possess a wealth of experience in training and mentoring students through the process of entering medical and other health professional schools. Our faculty also have a growing involvement in research (see below) and in all our scholarly pursuits, education shapes our goals. From a broader perspective, Hawaii Pacific University is also set in one of the best places in the world to live, work, and study. With students from more than 80 countries, HPU offers a rich learning community that enhances our students’ global perspective and cultural understanding.
- Average student-to-faculty ratio of less than 14 to 1
- Highly skilled faculty who consider teaching their primary responsibility
- Students receive academic mentoring by faculty members and professional staff, that can help them develop, strategize, and implement their approach towards achieving their professional goals.
- Committee Interview Process and Letter of Evaluation for qualifying students (a highly desired component of a health professional school application)
- Ample undergraduate research opportunities in the biomedical sciences
- Professional enrichment activities which include: informational sessions, seminars, practice testing (e.g., MCAT’s), the Alpha Epsilon Delta honor society, and self-assessment activities like the Myers-Briggs personality inventory and leadership style assessments
PRE-MEDICAL STUDIES MINOR
Professional schools value multi-talented applicants who possess strong and varied backgrounds in the sciences as well as the liberal arts. The successful medical school applicant may major in a core science discipline, or even a discipline outside of the sciences. The Pre-Medical Studies minor is an option for students who wish to distinguish themselves with a rigorous minor that further prepares them for the knowledge and skills that are required by medical schools and tested by the MCAT and other qualifying exams. A minor in Pre-Medical Studies will help prepare any student at HPU to pursue a career in medicine or other healthcare profession of their choice, regardless of their major program of study.
POST-BACCALAUREATE CERTIFICATE IN PRE-MEDICAL/PRE-HEALTH STUDIES
The Pre-Medical/Pre-Health Certificate is designed for students already possessing a bachelor’s degree, that are now looking for a streamlined program where they take science courses (and other associated subjects) that will prepare them for the qualifying examinations for health professional schools (MCAT, DAT, OAT, GRE, etc.) This may include recent graduates that have redefined their career goals or returning students looking for an altogether new career path.
The goal of this two-year certificate program is to guide participants through the entire preparation and application process so they will be competitive applicants to health profession schools. The program is intended for students who wish to apply to medicine (M.D. or D.O.), dentistry, pharmacy, optometry, physical therapy, chiropractic, or veterinary medicine schools (students wishing to apply to other health professional schools will also are considered). A Committee Letter of Evaluation will be available for those successfully completing the certificate requirements; the letter can be submitted as part of the student’s health profession school application.
For more complete information and certificate requirements click here.
UNDERGRADUATE BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES
Our teaching focus is balanced by a cadre of faculty engaged in federally-funded biomedical and chemical research which provides undergraduates with advanced training and research opportunities. Such experiences in an undergraduate education are generally recognized and valued by health professional schools. Another prominent example of the positive impact of research on our undergraduate education is the hybridization of our state-of-the-art research and teaching laboratories towards both undergraduate education and ground breaking research (at our Hawaii Loa Campus). At HPU we do not believe that undergraduate courses should be taught in the far off, oldest and most run down corners of the university. We feel that it is vital to provide students with an up to date, well-maintained lab space so students and teachers can learn and teach most effectively and efficiently. We pride ourselves on the immaculate (newly remodeled) facilities for advanced courses that resemble those utilized at top research labs, both academic and industrial. These labs are well equipped with cutting edge instrumentation that are the same tools being used in professional research labs. The result is active biomedical research programs that not only provide research opportunities for undergraduate students but also rely on undergraduate researchers as the primary force that conducts the highly technical and exciting research we are engaged in. Our current projects range from discovering molecules of medicinal interest in nature, to making complex molecules (again of medicinal interest) in the lab, to studying the malfunction of proteins in the body that lead to disease. See our lists of scientific equipment and recent publications from our Biochemistry and Chemistry faculty and students.
NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY FOR THE PRE-HEALTH PROFESSIONS
Alpha Epsilon Delta is a pre-health professional national honor society that brings additional opportunities for students to develop leadership skills in the health professions. Scholarships and grant opportunities are available through the society’s national office. New members must be at least midway through their sophomore year and carry an overall and science GPA of 3.2 or higher. For more information contact: Dr. Louis Primavera, firstname.lastname@example.org, 808-236-5834