Jul 15, 2024  
2019-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biology, Health Professions Concentration, B.S.

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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.

Upper Division Electives (13-14 crs.)

Physiology Elective:

Additional Biology Electives (10-11 crs.)

Electives should be selected with advisement. Certain professional schools may have specific requirements.

BIO 300 - Careers in the Health Professions Credits: 1  (strongly recommended)

Please note only 3 credits of research and 3 credits of internship may count as biology electives. Credits in excess of that number count as free electives.

Allied Fields (31-34 crs.)



Students who have successfully completed more difficult physics and chemistry courses can substitute them for lower level required courses in those fields.

General Education Requirements

Foundations (15-16 crs.)

Foundational courses coupled with other experiences provide students with their core First Year Experience, providing opportunities to develop the requisite quantitative, analytical, written communication, and oral communication skills needed to succeed while in college and throughout life after college. Five program goals express the purpose of these foundational courses and how they support student success.

Interconnections (9 crs.)

This curriculum will provide students with opportunities to explore human behavior, social interactions, and global communities through humanities and the social and behavioral sciences. Open discourse about the causes and consequences of human behavior and thought, and the interconnectedness of societies revealed by examining traditions and structures, provides a pathway to mutual respect and tolerance in a diverse world.

Three program goals express what we will do for students. Each goal has an associated rubric that outlines what we expect students to learn or accomplish. Students must complete three (3) courses in this curriculum, with at least one (1) course being a diversity course (‘D’ rubric) and at least one (1) course being a global perspectives course (‘G’ rubric).

Citizenship and Responsibility (6 crs.)

This curriculum will provide students with opportunities to consider the function and development of institutions, as well as their own responsibilities in society. Tools for development of students as informed and responsible citizens can include study of principles and research in social science, analysis of the development of social and political systems and practices, application of critical analysis and reasoning, and contemplation of ethics and values. Each goal has an associated rubric that outlines what we expect students to learn or accomplish.

Students are required to complete two (2) courses (or their equivalents) in this curriculum, with no more than one (1) course being attributed with the same program goal.


Guide and prompt students to understand responsible citizenship through the development of ideas of citizenship and rights, how society protect or fails to protect basic rights, and avenues for individual or collective action.

Ethical Reasoning

Guide and prompt students to identify ethical theories or guidelines and apply appropriate ethical reasoning to reach conclusions and support moral judgments.

Natural World and Technology (9 crs.)

This curriculum will provide students the opportunity to learn how new knowledge is created by applying scientific principles and technology to address historical and contemporary questions. Two program goals express what we will do for students. Each goal has an associated rubric that outlines what we expect students to learn or accomplish.

Students must complete 3 courses in this curriculum, with at least two (2) courses (or their equivalents) involving the natural world (‘N’ rubric).

Courses required for major:

Creativity and Expression (6 crs.)

This part of the curriculum will provide students with opportunities to explore artistic and literary disciplines and their modes of expression, considering the processes by which artistic works are imagined and created as well as the analytical tools for describing and appraising works of art and literature. Each goal has an associated rubric that outlines what we expect students to learn or accomplish.

Students must complete two (2) courses (or their equivalents) in this curriculum, with one (1) course being a literature course (‘L’ rubric)and one course in either the arts or creativity (‘A’ or ‘C’ rubrics).

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