Why Washburn for Pre-Professional Health?

If you know you want to work as a medical doctor, physical assistant, dentist, optometrist, pharmacist, physical therapist, or veterinarian, Washburn will provide the strong scientific foundation you need to be successful in your advanced study and your career. You’ll most likely pursue a degree in Biology, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (Biology Department), Chemistry, Biochemistry, or Laboratory Science (Chemistry Department), or Exercise and Rehabilitation Science (Kinesiology Department).

Because you’ll train as a scientist – focusing on fundamentals and skill building with experts, not graduate students – you’ll be ready for the next level at graduation. With a faculty mentor and advisor who knows what it takes to reach your goals, you’ll complete at least one semester of research (Biology and Chemistry), which may be lab or field based. Internships also are available with our many partners.

Career Forecast Stable OutlookAverage Salary $200,000on campus
A student focuses on his experiment in a lab on campus

Washburn's pre-health professions programs are excellent preparation

  • Learn from field experts not graduate students in small classes that help you thrive.
  • Internships in a variety of settings will help you explore career paths prior to graduation. Recent sites include state agency labs, medical centers, and a brewery.
  • Biology Department scholarships, Chemistry Department scholarships, and Kinesiology Department scholarships are available to incoming and returning majors.
  • Find your people on campus with student clubs. 
  • Graduate with research experience (required for graduation in Biology and Chemistry) guided by a faculty mentor, which could lead to a conference presentation or publication.

Pre-Health options

Your advisor will guide you to the right courses for your goals. If you’re interested in pre-veterinary, pre-physical therapy, pre-optometry or pre-dentistry, let them know right away so they can get you the information you need to plan for success.


The pre-medicine program is for students interested in attending medical school after completing their bachelor's degree.

The following pre-medicine requirements and recommendations are for the University Of Kansas School Of Medicine (KUMC) for students at Washburn University. Other medical schools require essentially the same courses but inquiry should be made by the junior year to ensure compliance.





Biology (1 year with lab)

BI 102 General Cellular Biology (5) F, S

BI 103 General Organismal Biology (5) F, S




General Chemistry (1 year with lab)

CH 151 Fundamentals of Chemistry I (5) F

CH 152 Fundamentals of Chemistry II (5) S




Organic Chemistry (1 year with lab)

CH 340/342 Organic Chemistry I (5) F

CH 341/343 Organic Chemistry II (5) S




Physics (1 year with lab)

PS 261 College Physics I (5) F

PS 262 College Physics II (5) S



PS 281 General Physics I (5) S

PS 282 General Physics II (5) F





Mathematics (1 course)

MA 140 Statistics (3) F, S


MA 151 Calculus I (5) F





English (2 semesters)

EN 101 (3) F, S, Sm

EN 300 (3) F, S, Sm







BI 255 Human Physiology (4) F, S, Sm


BI 330 Animal Physiology (4) Variable




BI 275 Human Anatomy (4) F, S, Sm




BI 301 General Microbiology (4) F, S




BI 333 General Genetics (4) F, S




BI 353 Molecular Genetics (3) F




BI 355 Developmental Biology (5) Variable




BI 357 Histology (4) Variable




BI 362 Immunology (3) S




CH 350 Biochemistry I (3) S




PY 100 Introduction to Psychology (3) F, S, Sm




SO 100 Introduction to Sociology (3) F, S, Sm




PH 214 Medical Ethics (3) Variable



*Content is not specifically on the MCAT2015 exam, but some knowledge would be helpful.

Applicants are also expected to possess a general understanding of healthcare and medicine based upon employment, physician-shadowing, or volunteer experiences. Joining a student organization early in a student’s academic career, such as AMSA, may help provide opportunities for shadowing and volunteering.

The MCAT is required of all applicants and is generally taken following the junior year. MCAT scores usually are only valid for 3 years, depending upon the medical school. Applicants should have completed a curriculum leading to a baccalaureate degree (regardless of major) that will be conferred prior to the planned date of enrollment in medical school.


Pre-Physician Assistant

The pre-physician assistant program is for students interested in attending a physician assistant program after completing their bachelor's degree.

The following pre-PA requirements and recommendations on this page are for the Wichita State University Physician Assistant (PA) Program. Because PA programs vary widely in their required coursework, students should consult other PA programs' requirements to ensure they are on track with prerequisite coursework.


Washburn Courses

General Biology (1 semester)

BI 102 Gen. Cell. Biology (5)

General Chemistry (1 year with lab)

CH 151 Fund. of Chemistry I (5)

CH 152 Fund. of Chemistry II (5)

General Microbiology with lab (1 semester)

BI 301 General Microbiology (4)

Human Anatomy

BI 275 Human Anatomy (4)

Human Physiology (1 semester)

BI 255 Human Physiology (4)


MA 140 Statistics (3)

Pathophysiology (1 semester; upper division)

AL 320 Human Disease (3) OR
NU 313 Pathophysiology / Pharmacology* (3)

Medical Terminology

AL 141 Medical Terminology (3)

* With permission from the WU School of Nursing

HIGHLY Recommended Courses:


AL 101 Introduction to Health Care (3)


BI 333 General Genetics (4)


BI 362 Immunology (3)


CH 350 Biochemistry I (3)

HS 270 Theories on Aging (3)

Other Requirements: Health care experience (direct patient care) is strongly preferred.

Application Requirements (for the PA Program at Wichita State University).

A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university will be required prior to matriculation into PA school. Minimum GPA for degree and prerequisite coursework is 3.0. Coursework more than 10 years old will be subject to departmental review and in some cases applicants may be required to repeat certain courses.

Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores must be submitted by all applicants and the exam must have been taken in the previous five years.

All applicants must be submitted through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) website. The initial application deadline for summer admission is usually the October 1 of the prior year. Applicants must also submit a Wichita State University Graduate School Application. A supplemental application will be sent to qualified applicants.

The functions of a physician assistant include performing diagnostic, therapeutic, preventive and health maintenance services in any setting in which the physician renders care, in order to allow more effective and focused application of the physician's particular knowledge and skills.

Your role will require intelligence, sound judgment, honesty and the ability to relate to people in a reasonable manner. An attitude of respect for self and others, adherence to the concepts of privilege and confidentiality in communication, and a commitment to the welfare of others are essential attributes for you to demonstrate.

The specific tasks you will have to perform, as a physician assistant will vary because of the differences in practice requirements mandated by geographic, political, economic and social factors. For those reasons, your education will emphasize didactic and clinical studies that will prepare you to function as a generalist with the ability to expand to more specialized areas.

Upon graduation, you will be eligible to take the certification examination developed by the National Board of Medical Examiners and administered by the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants. The examination is required for PA practice in most states, including Kansas.

The professional curriculum is divided into two phases, each lasting 12-14 months:

  1. Didactic Phase.  The didactic year includes graduate coursework in the basic sciences (anatomy, pharmacology, pathophysiology), clinical sciences, research methods and statistics, epidemiology, behavioral medicine, ethics, preventive medicine and community health, social and legal issues, and clinical skills.
  2. Clinical/Research Phase.  The clinical/research year is a series of clinical rotations in a variety of medical settings, primarily in Kansas, and directed studies in research leading to the completion of a final research project. Students are required to complete rotations in family practice, general internal medicine, pediatrics, prenatal care and gynecology, general surgery, emergency medicine, psychiatry and behavioral medicine, and geriatrics. Students complete nine rotations of 4-8 weeks each (approximately 50 weeks total). All students are required to complete a minimum of three rotations outside the city of Wichita, KS with at least three rotations in a rural or urban underserved community.

The ideal candidate for the PA Program will have:

  • A real desire to be a PA
  • Familiarity with the role of a PA
  • Realistic expectations about the program
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Maturity
  • Interpersonal skills


The pre-pharmacy concentration is for students interested in continuing their education in pharmacy school. Students interested in the Pre-Pharmacy program should also consider pursuing the A.A. degree in Laboratory Science.

The following requirements and recommendations are for the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy admission requirements. Other pharmacy schools have similar requirements, but inquiry should be made to ensure compliance.

Fall Semester

Course Number  Course  Credit Hours
CH 151  Fundamentals of Chemistry I  5
BI 102  General Cellular Biology  5
EN 101  Freshman Composition  3
WU 101 Washburn Experience 3

Spring Semester

Course Number  Course  Credit Hours
CH 152  Fundamentals of Chemistry II  5
BI 255 Human Physiology 4
MA 151 Calculus and Analytic Geometry I 5
SO 100 Introduction to Sociology 3

Second Year

Fall Semester

Course Number  Course  Credit Hours
CH 340  Organic Chemistry I  3
CH 342  Organic Chemistry Lab I  2
BI 301  General Microbiology  4
EN ---  Course in Literature 3
PS 261 College Physics I 5
Elective 1

Spring Semester

Course Number  Course  Credit Hours
CH 341  Organic Chemistry II  3
CH 343  Organic Chemistry Lab II  2
BI 250 Introduction to Human Anatomy 3
MA 140 Statistics 3
AN 112 Cultural Anthropology 3
CN 150 Public Speaking 3

Other Requirements

The plan provided assumes a student enters Washburn University with a Math ACT score of 28 or higher to satisfy the prerequisite requirements for MA151. A lower score will most likely require additional coursework. It is strongly advised that you visit with the Pre-Pharmacy (AA in LS) advisor to work through your individual situation.

Associate of Arts in Laboratory Science (AA in LS)

Students will complete all requirements for the AA in LS which will automatically satisfy the KU General Education Core Goals 1-3. The courses SO 100 and AN 112 are needed to satisfy the KU General Education Core Goal 4.

All goals and learning outcomes of the KU Core, www.kucore.ku.edu must be satisfied as a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree requirement.

General Studies

A minimum of 68 credit hours of eligible Pre-Pharmacy coursework must be completed prior to matriculation into the professional curriculum of the KU School of Pharmacy.  Activity courses in physical education or the arts (music, theater, etc.) may not be counted as part of the 68 hour minimum.

Degrees to match your goals

Learn more about the best-suited degree for your goals, including a sample schedule and a major map, which can help you imagine the experiences you’ll want to pursue along your way:

A biology student adjusts a microscope slide.

Molecular Biology and Biotechnology

Two students work on an experiment while wearing safety goggles.

Laboratory Science (Pre-pharmacy option)

Kinesiology students test their reflexes

Exercise and Rehabilitation Science (Pre-PT option)

CAREER FORECAST: stable outlook

Recent internship sites

University of Kansas Medical Center

Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Topeka Zoo

Student/faculty ratio


Washburn pre-health programs provide

Well-respected program

Research grant writing practice

Lab and field research opportunities

Financial and academic support

GET IN TOUCH WITH Department of Biology

Department of Biology
Stoffer Science Hall, Room 202
Washburn University
1700 SW College Ave
Topeka, KS 66621

Phone & Email
Phone: 785-670-2077

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