Health Professions Pathways

You can choose any undergraduate major offered at Michigan Tech to prepare for your career in health. Health professional schools don't require specific majors; it's not a factor in admissions. Which major should you choose? Many take a science-based path, but there is no one right answer. We give you the flexibility—and pre-health advising—to make your path your own.

"Choosing a major solely to look good on an application is not recommended. Pick the course of study that calls to you."Nicole Seigneurie, Health Professions Coordinator

Take a look at these pathways our undergraduate students often choose—if you don't see what interests you, check out all our undergraduate majors at Michigan Tech.


 

Student looking into a microscope with a lab coat on and safety glasses

Biological Sciences

Academic Advisor: Marc Madigan

The Department of Biological Sciences for more than a quarter century has launched students into health professions careers. Our graduates are regularly accepted into all four of Michigan's medical schools as well as other schools around the nation. If you choose to earn a BS in Biological Sciences with a pre-professional concentration, you will gain a strong foundation in natural sciences through laboratory investigations and all-season field work.

The curriculum is designed to meet prerequisites for medical, dental, optometry, veterinary, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant, and other graduate-level professional schools. You can also choose to major in medical laboratory science, an option that prepares you to work in a hospital laboratory, performing analyses on blood, tissues, and other bodily fluids to detect diseases. It is one of the fastest growing health professions, with an estimated 380,300 open positions within the next five years. Our students benefit from hands-on, case-based instruction. Many students receive multiple job offers. Our program has a 100 percent job-placement rate, so you can directly enter the workforce or choose to continue your education in a graduate-level health program.

If you choose to major in biochemistry and molecular biology or bioinformatics, you will research the molecular basis of life and harness computing power to solve complex problems in genetics and genomics. Completion of the human genome creates countless opportunities in prognosis, diagnosis, and treatment of human diseases. Our faculty and staff provide dedicated, rigorous preparation for the career path you choose.


Student using a screwdriver on and fixing a piece of medical equipment

Biomedical Engineering

Academic Advisor: Michael Labeau
From artificial hips to 3-D printing organs, biomedical engineering focuses on advances to improve human health and health care. The study includes aspects of mechanical, electrical, and chemical engineering. It integrates materials, chemistry, and computer science, as well as math. Biomedical engineers work in many fields, from designing and developing medical devices to pioneering tissue and stem cell engineering. Our curriculum perfectly aligns with the needs of pre-health professional students—and many of our students go on to earn advanced degrees in health-care fields.


Close view of a researcher using a multi-pippette transfering liquid into small vials

Chemistry

Academic Advisor: Lois Blau
Our majors prepare students for health professional programs While professional health programs will accept any baccalaureate degree, a chemistry degree is coveted, and our alumni going on to professional schools have a nearly 100-percent admission rate. Any of our degree programs provide a strong base, but the courses of study particularly well-suited for health-care careers include bachelor of science degrees in chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry or biochemistry and molecular Biology with a chemistry focus. And if you decide later to opt out of attending a professional school, a degree in a chemistry-related major provides a solid foundation to pursue other career interests.


Research participant using a hand crank that is pulled with a chain

Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology

Academic Advisor: Kathy Carter

The Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology (KIP) offers undergraduate and graduate degrees for students pursuing health professions careers, including bachelor's programs in exercise science and sports and fitness management, a master's program in kinesiology, and a PhD program in integrative physiology.  Our human health, body-centered curriculum integrates rigorous learning with high-impact clinical and applied experiences to prepare students for advanced health-professional education. 

KIP faculty values both teaching and research and provides students with exceptional undergraduate research opportunities supported by federal grants and health foundations. We have established relationships with local, regional, and national hospitals, and employ affiliated faculty from local hospitals to help instruct clinical courses and increase student exposure to practicing health professions. With a 15-to-1 student- to- faculty ratio, students learn interactively, develop interpersonal skills, and benefit from personalized advising. We mentor students to get them involved in community outreach, seminars, and other creative activities. Our acceptance rate is 70 percent, in part because Michigan Tech has skilled and motivated students and a curriculum deeply rooted in the core sciences.


View of legs, feet, and hands of two people sitting across from each other

 Psychology

 Academic Advisor: Susie Amato-Henderson
A BS in psychology can form your path to health professions through the study of human behavior and the cognitive process—perception, memory, judgment, reasoning, and problem-solving. Students considering health professions have more than traditional options available: a degree in psychology can open the door to understanding mental health through clinical or counseling psychology, developing better medical equipment or medical decision-making aids through human factors psychology, or the study of preventative behaviors in the field of health psychology. Because there are so many sub fields, our students develop their own professional identities and goals through plenty of free electives and opportunities to pursue minors consistent with their goals.

The degree program, designed to mesh with undergraduate curriculum guidelines suggested by the American Psychological Association, includes community internship opportunities. You will get to know your faculty and advisors well. You will work with the technology of now, and the future—eye trackers, virtual-reality interfaces, and neurophysiological recording equipment. About 50 percent of our graduates go on to advanced training. Given the larger emphasis on psychological concepts in the MCAT, even those seeking a traditional route in medicine will find it beneficial to major or minor in psychology.