Students in biology may pursue studies in a number of health sciences including pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, pre-optometry, pre-podiatry, pre-veterinary medicine, pre-pharmacy, pre-chiropractic, and pre-physical therapy. The Health Professions Committee, consisting of members of the Biology and Chemistry departments, provides students with advisement on such matters as course selection, professional school admission test information, and professional school interviews. Health professions-oriented students are encouraged to join the Health Sciences Club. This organization hosts professional program representatives and health care practitioners who discuss admissions procedures and criteria and career opportunities.
Shippensburg University Health Professions Committee Policy regarding support of pre-professional health science applicants is as follows:
The Health Professions Committee, comprised of faculty members from the biology and chemistry departments, provides students who are applying to medical, dental, optometry, podiatric, and veterinary medical programs practice interviews and committee letters of recommendation to support their applications. These particular disciplines are identified because admissions committees for these programs prefer committee letters of reference in lieu of individual reference letters. Students applying to other health professional programs will obtain individual letters of reference as required for their professional school applications.
The policy of the Shippensburg University Health Professions Committee requires a minimum 3.2 cumulative QPA (medical, dental, veterinary applicants) or 3.0 cumulative QPA (optometry, podiatric applicants) in order for a student to be granted a practice interview and committee letter. For transfer students, at least two semesters must be completed at Shippensburg University before a committee interview and letter will be provided. This minimum QPA requirement is based on the past history of success for former students and the recommendations set forth by professional programs. However, this requirement does not imply these minimum QPAs will be competitive for successful application.
Students should seek counsel from their pre-health advisor regarding the suitability of their qualifications for their desired program of study prior to requesting a committee interview and letter. Committee interviews are typically conducted in mid-April and requests for interviews should be made to the primary health science advisor prior to April 1 of the application year.
Shippensburg University has several agreements with health professional schools that enable qualified and motivated students to enter a professional program before they complete their requirements for the baccalaureate degree. If students complete at least 90 credits of specific course work (with advisement), Shippensburg University will accept credits transferred from the affiliated program after students complete their first professional year. Students are then awarded a B.S. in biology. Though admission is not guaranteed, the programs do give Shippensburg University students preferred consideration for admission. Accelerated articulation agreements exist with:
- Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Salus University - College of Optometry
- Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine
- Temple University School of Dentistry
- New York Chiropractic College
- Logan Chiropractic College
- Thomas Jefferson University - Jefferson College of Health Professions
An articulation program also exists with Arcadia University's Physician Assistant master's degree program.
The Thomas Jefferson University College of Health Professions affiliation enables students to pursue undergraduate degrees in radiologic sciences, biotechnology, cytotechnology and nursing, a master's degree in occupational therapy, and a doctoral degree in physical therapy. Students complete two or three years of specific course work at Shippensburg University prior to being admitted to Thomas Jefferson University for the professional portion of their program.
Students in the health professions concentration must maintain at least a 2.8 QPA in their major and overall program through graduation. Students who are withdrawn from the health professions track because their QPA has fallen below the 2.8 minimum may reapply when they reattain the minimum QPA.