The Pre-Health Professions Path as a DNS undergraduate

Students considering medicine, physical therapy, dentistry, physician assistantship, nursing, or other advanced medical training have similar undergraduate course requirements. This page provides information for DNS students in or considering a pre-health track. This information is not a substitute for meeting with a pre-health advisor as soon as possible.

Information about pre-health paths can be found with the Health Professions Advising Center.

The Health Professions Advising Center lists all  required and recommended pre-health coursework, which includes a strong foundation in the natural sciences as well as coursework in social sciences and quantitative reasoning. These requirements align well with requirements for Nutritional Sciences (NS)Human Biology, Health, and Society (HBHS), and Global and Public Health Sciences (GPHS) majors.

Pre-health students should:

  1. Pay close attention to pre-health advising notes within their major requirements, which highlight important modifications
  2. Compare and contrast their major requirements with pre-health requirements to include any other important modifications and additions
  3. Work with a pre-health advisor to develop a draft 4-year plan that includes all requirements and appropriate sequencing

Coursework is only one important part of preparing for a career in medicine and health. Many other activities and resources can help you to decide whether a career in medicine is right for you, assess what type of career in medicine interests you, and gain early insight into the skills and thought processes involved in a career in medicine and health. Some of these are described briefly below.

Students should also review the resources from HPAC to further explore different health professions.

  • Field Experience in Your Major: Field experience can provide unique opportunities for education and personal professional growth. Some students get credit for field experience; e.g. NS 4020 with a DNS faculty member.
  • Research: Undergraduates can participate in research for credit, as a volunteer, through a position outside Cornell, and/or through the DNS Honors Program. Participating in research and working closely with a faculty member can help you decide how interested you are in the research aspects of nutrition and medicine.
  • Volunteer Opportunities: Many students engage in public health-related volunteer opportunities on- or off-campus, in Ithaca or Tompkins County, or in their hometowns. Some volunteer to help health care providers or community support programs over the summer. Students can discuss interests and ideas with a pre-health advisor.