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Pre-Professional Programs in Biology

For each of the pre-professional programs offered by the Department of Biological Sciences, it is recommended that students choose the Option in Cellular and Molecular Biology to fulfill the minimum requirements of professional schools.


While dental schools do not require a degree in biology, over 90 percent of students accepted into dental schools have four years of undergraduate education or more, and over 65 percent have majors in some area of the biological sciences. It is usual for pre-dental students to complete a bachelor's degree in biological sciences while broadly educating themselves in non-scientific subjects. Other scientific majors are also possible (see chemistry). The most important part of the pre-dentistry program is a solid general education. Dental schools select highly motivated students who have shown evidence of above-average accomplishments in a rigorous academic program. During each semester your program of courses outside the sciences should reflect this commitment to becoming well-educated.

Pre-dental students should consult with the pre-dental advisor each semester. Note that many dental schools also require an upper-division course in psychology and/or biochemistry. The Dental Aptitude Test is required for application to dental school. While acceptance rates into dental schools vary from year to year, CSU, Chico has a high rate of acceptance.


Although a BS in biological sciences is not absolutely essential for admission to medical schools, the majority of students admitted to those schools that release their admissions statistics have degrees in the biological sciences. Degrees in other science majors are possible (see chemistry for an alternative program). Successful medical school applicants often have a second, non-science major to compliment their degree in biological sciences. While students may apply for admission to medical school any time after their junior year, the majority of those admitted have completed a four-year degree, and a sizable number are admitted only after additional graduate work. The education recommended, therefore, is also appropriate for those seeking advanced training in graduate schools or employment in fields related to medicine.

Pre-medicine students should consult with the pre-medicine advisor each semester. The Medical College Aptitude Test is required for application to medical school. While acceptance rates into medical schools vary from year to year, CSU, Chico has a high rate of acceptance.

Pre-Physician's Assistant

Physician's Assistant (PA) training programs are a relatively recent addition to the biomedically oriented undergraduate student's career options. Postgraduate PA training is widely available in northern California. These programs are competitive and require an extensive science background similar to medical schools. The Option in Cellular and Molecular Biology will fulfill these minimum requirements. For further information on this expanding career opportunity in human health and medicine, consult with the pre-medicine advisor.

Pre-Physical Therapy

The Department of Biological Sciences offers up-to-date information and advising for those interested in a postbaccalaureate Physical Therapy degree. Many of the required courses are offered in the department and many of the department's majors have entered a Physical Therapy program after graduation.

Pre-Veterinary Medicine

Admission to a veterinary college is highly competitive. Academic performance and non-academic factors, such as appropriate work experience, are a major part of the selection criteria. Pre-veterinary medicine students should consult with the pre-veterinary advisor each semester. The Option in Cellular and Molecular Biology meets the minimum course requirements for admission to the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis. It is strongly recommended that an upper-division course in comparative anatomy also be taken.

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