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Undergraduate Pre-Health Professions Program

John Carroll University pre-health students enroll in a wide range of undergraduate majors and pursue any number of professional careers: allopathic (M.D.) or osteopathic (D.O.) medicine, physician assistant, dentistry, optometry, podiatry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and more.

Pre-Health at John Carroll University

Health professional schools value students with the kind of core academic grounding (philosophy, history, humanities) and broad experiential learning encouraged at a liberal arts college. As a pre-health student, you can choose to major in sciences (biology, chemistry, physics) or nearly any area, as long as you demonstrate an aptitude for science and complete the prerequisite coursework set forth by your chosen professional program. 

Regardless of your career path, future admissions committees will evaluate your academic record and many other competencies: reliability, resilience, emotional intelligence, communication, quantitative reasoning, complex problem solving and a facility with scientific inquiry.

Professional Healthcare Preparation Minor and Certificate

John Carroll created two options — a minor and a certificate — to give pre-health students broad exposure to health careers through intentional coursework and experiential learning, including shadowing, research, internship, medical immersion trip and service learning.

The Professional Healthcare Preparation Minor and Certificate Program is ideal for students participating in our early acceptance and preferred admission programs with medical and professional schools. These include:

  • Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine Early Acceptance Program reserves as many as 10 seats annually in OU-HCOM’s medical school for JCU students who are established Ohio residents.
  • Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine Early Acceptance Program reserves as many as 20 seats annually for JCU students in LECOM’s medical, dental, and pharmacy schools. 
  • MEDStart University of Toledo College of Medicine allows qualified students to by-pass the MCAT and gain early acceptance to the medical college in their junior year.
  • Case Western Reserve University Master of Science in Anesthesia Program, which reserves as many as four seats for JCU graduates annually in each of the program’s locations: Cleveland, Houston, and Washington, D.C. 
  • University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Doctor of Pharmacy degree in which students complete three years of undergraduate study in the JCU chemistry program followed by an additional four years to complete the doctor of pharmacy degree.
  • Northeast Ohio Medical University offers an early assurance opportunity for John Carroll students pursuing a Doctor of Medicine degree. Starting in 2025 the NEOMED early assurance program will transition to a master’s plus M.D., first enabling students to complete a Master of Foundations in Medicine before gaining acceptance to the M.D. program.

Pre-Health Program Highlights


Our Pre-Health Professions Program includes a full-time director and a physician-in-residence who’ll advise you on course selection, career paths, and medical/ professional school applications and interviews.  We provide personalized application and interview preparation through our Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC). An entire team of faculty and staff will help you evaluate your strengths, create a compelling application, and improve your interview skills.

The Dolan Center for Science and Technology provides classrooms, collaboration and lab spaces where you’ll have opportunities to gain valuable hands-on experiences beginning in your first year.

You’ll collaborate with faculty mentors using advanced equipment, learning the latest techniques in your field.

At JCU, you’ll be learning in the heart of one of the nation’s top healthcare regions, with access to internships, research, and alumni connections needed to guide your career. Cleveland is home to three major health systems: Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, and the MetroHealth System. Our students regularly shadow physicians, interact with JCU alumni, gain clinical experience, conduct research, and volunteer at these world-renowned institutions. Some of our students also work part-time, holding medical scribe,STNA, or PCNA positions, at local hospitals.

Pre-Health students can directly serve our campus through participation in JCU’s Emergency Medical Squad (JCU EMS), a fully functioning emergency response team run entirely by students.

JCU Pre-Health students experience  medical immersion trips to Honduras annually, and less frequently to locations including Jamaica, El Salvador, Ecuador, and the U.S./ Mexico Border. These experiences will challenge you to face the realities of the world while you reflect on the values of leadership and service.

JCU Pre-Health students volunteer at many regional organizations, including the Cleveland Free Clinic and Care Alliance, a local organization that provides health-related services.

  • Case Western Reserve University College of Medicine and School of Dentistry
  • Creighton University College of Dentistry
  • Georgetown University College of Medicine
  • Kent State School of Podiatric Medicine
  • Oakland School of Medicine
  • Ohio State University College of Medicine, College of Optometry, School of Dentistry, and School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Pennsylvania State College of Medicine
  • University of Michigan School of Dentistry
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy


“JCU students have become physicians, dentists, physician assistants, anesthetists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, veterinarians, optometrists, and pharmacists, just to name a few! They thrive in their professional programs and have fulfilling careers helping others with their healthcare needs. Many JCU alumni who are healthcare professionals comment that their time at JCU prepared them in every way - academically, mentally, spiritually, and professionally - for their healthcare careers!”
— Kathleen Lee, Director, Pre-Health Professions

Notable Alum


Elizabeth Posney , ‘17

Posney is a Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate at The Ohio State University. As a JCU undergraduate studying chemistry, she carried out research at the Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute. Her team performed histomorphometric analysis to determine the extent of vascular remodeling in the hind limbs of mice that had travelled aboard NASA space shuttle. She presented her findings at the Lerner Research Institute summer poster session, and the annual John Carroll University Celebration of Scholarship.


Alumni Across The Region Map

Pre-Health Alumni Across the Region

John Carroll University alumni live, work, teach and support communities throughout the region from Northeast Ohio to Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit, Columbus, Buffalo, Rochester, Pittsburgh, New York City, Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia.