Frequently Asked Questions

Prehealth Program

Getting Started

Application Process


Is the program structured or informal?

This is an informal prehealth program. Students take classes required by their major programs; therefore they need to constantly consult with both prehealth and academic advisors to plan ahead because classes can fill up very quickly.

How do I apply to join the prehealth program?

Download an application at PHAP . Please return it with your registration fees to the address on the application.

Can I get a 2nd-bac from taking upper division science courses and graduate courses through the program?

Yes. However, you need to indicate this on your initial application to the University so that you are admitted as a second bachelor's student. If you decide to take this path, you will need to join the prehealth program separately by completing an application as indicated above. You will receive advice from both the prehealth and academic advisors.

How long does it take to complete all the pre-requisites for professional schools?

It will take approximately two years to complete all pre-requisites and some upper division science courses. However, most students continue taking additional upper division classes once they apply to professional school during the "glide year".

What is the typical class size?

Prehealth classes typically have about 30-50 students and laboratory classes have about 20-25 students.

Will the school need all my transcripts or only the one that indicates I have received or will receive a diploma?

CSUEB will need all transcripts of all college-level classes you have taken to process your application for a second bachelor's. All other students are admitted as freshmen or transfer students.

Is there a file kept for each student with their letters of recommendations?

Yes, once you register with the program and paid the non-refundable one time fee of $125. A file is opened for you and your recommendation letters are kept on file.


What classes should I take?

Please refer to the Course Information Section for a general list of required and recommended courses. You must consult with a preprofessional advisor to be sure that the course(s) will meet admission requirements of the professional schools. It is recommended that student with little science preparation may wish to take introductory or non-major science courses before undertaking more challenging pre-requisites.

Do I have to repeat pre-requisites classes that I already took and did well in take another university?

No, but you will need copies of transcripts to prove you have already taken those courses. Generally, the rule of thumb is: if you have grades of C or better, do not repeat these basic science classes - take additional upper division classes in the same discipline.

I have a low GPA and want to retake some science courses, which ones should I retake?

It is recommended that student retake any pre-requisite courses where they received a grade of C- and below. It is more important to take more upper division classes and show an upward trend in GPA than to retake classes in which you received a C. Repeating courses you passed with a C or above is considered lack of proper judgment viewed negatively by most schools.

What are my chances of getting in to the classes I want to take if I am part of the program?

The priority for registration is as follows:
Graduate ( and 2nd bachelor's)
The priority for registration for students enrolling in 6000-level courses is as follows:
All graduate students
Undergraduate students majoring in the department concerned All other students

Do you have to be a science major to get into professional school?

No. Professional schools prefer broadly trained applicants utilizing a variety of skills in different academic disciplines. Our program has students majoring in sociology, English, computer science, history, business, and the sciences. However, it is important to complete your science pre-requisites with the best possible grades. Additionally, many schools require a minimum number of units in the liberal arts in addition to your science classes.

How does the quarter system compare to the semester system?

Each semester class taken will only satisfy one quarter at CSUEB. For example, General Chemistry (first semester) will only satisfy Chemistry 1101, you will still need to take 1102 and 1103 to complete the general chemistry requirement. will help you determine which classes may or may not transfer towards a degree at CSUEB.

Does the program have places where pre-health students can volunteer?

We usually compile a list of institutions our prehealth students are or have volunteered. Please refer to our list of volunteer opportunities.

How many hours of volunteer work should I have?

There is never a time when you will have enough volunteer hours. It is recommended that pre-health students have at least 40 hours of volunteering or shadowing. The more time you can show volunteering, the more seriously you will be taken as a committed applicant. Some programs like veterinary have a minimum hour's requirement. Students are advised to visit the appropriate websites or contact the respective schools for updated information on requirements.


Can I apply to professional school if I have a low GPA and/or low test scores?

Most professional schools want academic competence as reflected by grades over the years, plus the appropriate entrance exam. If your grades show some degree of mastery of the sciences, they will consider you competitive enough for consideration. Usually, we recommend to our prehealth students to ensure their GPAs are very close to 3.30 and above. We also recommend test scores about the national average if possible. (30 and above for the MCAT; 20 and above for DAT and at least 300 in OAT)

Does CSUEB offer "committee" letters of recommendation?

Effective Fall of 2006, PHAP no longer provides students with "committee" letters. It was determined by CSUEB that the "committee" letter does not necessarily give the applicant any more advantage over individual letters of recommendation. As a result it was decided that the program will be accepting all letters written by evaluators on behalf of the applicant and sending them as a letter package to applicant-selected schools. The program usually provides a cover letter and sends ALL letters of evaluation received on the student’s behalf in no particular order.

How do I get letters of recommendation?

You must complete the Recommendation Request and Waiver Statement and give them to your evaluator. Your evaluator will return these forms along with the letter of recommendation, directly to the PHAP Office SC N113A. The letter must be on institutional letterhead and needs to be sealed and signed across the seal by the evaluator. Many professional schools these days are requiring electronic evaluations. If this is the case for your program, please access the appropriate application service website to complete the letter of evaluation process. This typically includes information about evaluators whom the application service then contacts for electronic letter submission.

Who is responsible for writing the recommendation for medical school?

You choose your own evaluators according to your professional schools' requirements. Usually, they are science professors you have had extended contact with and did well in their classes. They can also be supervisors or professionals in places you have volunteered or job-shadowed. Generally, people who know you well and will strongly support your application. Many schools require 3 letters (2 from science professors and 1 from someone outside the academic environment; for example, your place of volunteership, research or health setting experience).

Should I waive my right to read my letter of recommendation?

Many professional schools generally believe that if students waive the right to read the letters, evaluators will be more honest & truthful in their recommendations without fear of retribution. The program therefore recommends that students waive their rights to read all letters of recommendation written on their behalf. Waiver Form

How do I send letter of recommendation to professional schools?

CSUEB has a letter-forwarding service. You can visit (recommended), e-mail, or fax the program secretary (Linda Steele), a list of schools with the addresses of where you want the letters of recommendation to go. A payment is required to cover the costs of shipping your letters. These fees will be collected by the secretary and can be paid by money order or check (payable to CSUEB / PHAP). Regular mail $6.00/set, UPS in-state $8.00/set, UPS out-of-state $11.00/set When providing your list of schools, please include payment for the program cannot send letters until payment is received. Please note that it can take up to 3 weeks to process your request as there are many more students like you - please plan accordingly.

What does it mean when schools invite you for an interview?

It is always a good sign when a student is invited for an interview. It indicates that professional schools are seriously considering you for possible admission. In fact, many schools believe that applicants talk themselves out of possible admission during the interview! As such plan accordingly. We usually do mock interviews in the program office by appointment (mock interviews for prehealth students are also available at the Career Development Center) and we provide pertinent feedback immediately afterward.

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