The Health Care Preprofessional Office

Welcome to students who are planning on going to a professional school in some aspect of health care. This includes students in premedical, predental, prepharmacy, prephysical therapy, preoccupational therapy, preveterinary, preoptometry, prephysician assistant, predental hygiene, prehealth informatics/management, preradiologic sciences, and precytotechnology areas. Our website has curriculum information about courses you could take at USM to prepare you for entrance into these professional schools. Our website also provides guidance in preparing for and applying to professional schools. This goes beyond the courses you should take. We want to assist you in meeting your goal of becoming a health care professional.

Upcoming Events

We schedule events for our students to meet with professional school admissions officers, scholarship organizations, and student organizations that assist students in preparing for professional school. The list of events for this semester is linked below.

Click to see upcoming Preprofessional Events

If you are a USM student pursuing a health care preprofessional program such as premedicine, predentistry, prepharmacy, prephysical therapy, preveterinary, or other health care programs please fill out the information form.  This provides our Preprofessional office a means to notify you with important information regarding your program, inform you about upcoming events, and indicates potential eligibility for consideration for preprofessional scholarships. Prelaw students should contact the College of Arts & Letters. Prenursing students should contact the College of Nursing.

Click here to fill out Preprofessional Form for USM Students

Location of Preprofessional Office

The USM Preprofessional Office is housed in the College of Science and Technology and is located in the Dean’s Office complex in the Bobby Chain Technology Center (TEC 103).

Preprofessional Curricula at USM with Course Sequences

Click below for more information and suggested course sequences:

Success in Gaining Entrance into a Professional School

The University of Southern Mississippi provides students with the resources needed and the opportunity to be successful in gaining entrance into a professional school. Many students have taken advantage of their opportunities and have reached success as physicians, dentists, optometrists, pharmacists, physical therapists, veterinarians, etc. Entrance into a professional school is usually decided by an admission's committee based upon how well students meet a number of the criteria that are listed below:

  • Completion of prerequisite courses with a high grade point average (this takes two to four years depending on professional school)
  • Achieving a high score on admissions tests such as MCAT, DAT, PCAT, GRE, or other entrance exams
  • Observing health care professionals in practice
  • Demonstrating care for others, often through community service
  • Demonstrating leadership ability, often through being a leader of a student organization
  • Motivation to succeed as a health care professional
  • Personal characteristics such as integrity, critical thinking, empathy, etc.

USM provides all the prerequisite course work needed for each of the professional schools. Its departments or programs in Biological Sciences, Chemistry/Biochemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Kinesiotherapy, Exercise science, and Psychology are strong and faculty are concerned about the success of their students.

Preparation for a health care career involves two educational phases:

  1. Course work at Southern Miss (the "preprofessional" phase) and then 
  2. Four or less years in a professional school

For many fields, such as medicine, dentistry, and physical therapy, “preprofessional preparation” typically means a baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree from Southern Miss followed by four or fewer years at a professional school. Some programs, such as pharmacy, dental hygiene, and occupational therapy, may consist of two to three years of courses at Southern Miss followed by up to four years in a professional school.

Admission to professional programs is very competitive and the application process must be initiated anywhere from several months to almost a year before the expected date of entry.

Important Links:

USM Preprofessional FAQs

Need help with a science or math course? Try the free online Khan Academy tutorial website!  Also for Khan Academy free MCAT preparation material go to http://www.khanacademy.org/test-prep/mcat

Want to volunteer for community service? Sign up online at Southern Miss Center for Community and Civic Engagement. In the HUB room 104, 601-266-5074. 

AED, the National Health Preprofessional Honor Society

AMSA, American Medical Student Association

Hatten Premedical Externship

Predental Externship

MCAT Prep Course (BSC 399)

The MCAT Exam

UMC Health Careers Pipeline & MEDCORP programs

UMC Health Careers Development Program website

Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program

Mississippi Rural Dentists Scholarship Program

Legal Considerations

Effective July 1, 2004, Section 37-29-232 of the Mississippi Code requires that students enrolled in a health care professional academic program undergo fingerprinting and a criminal background check before any clinical rotation in a licensed healthcare facility may occur. The background check typically occurs after the student completes an interview at the professional school. Some students are denied entrance into health care professional programs because of criminal incidents from their past or failing to report those incidents on applications.

Preprofessional Office Functions

  • Advise USM students about course selection, scheduling, and strategies for success in preparation for health care professional schools (see list of preprofessional curricula above)
  • Advise prospective students about USM Preprofessional Curricula and services
  • Maintains preprofessional webpages with current information about professional schools’ entrance requirements and deadlines
  • Assists students in the professional school application process
  • Coordinates having speakers from professional schools and scholarship organizations come to USM to talk with students
  • Coordinates USM courses that assist preprofessional students in observing physicians or dentists in practice (BSC 392) and in preparing for admissions tests such as the MCAT, DAT, PCAT, and OAT (BSC 399)
  • Informs students about USM Preprofessional Events
  • Advises student USM Preprofessional Organizations

For more information about health care careers in any of the preprofessional areas contact:
Preprofessional Office
Ms. L. Machell Haynes, Preprofessional Assistant
601.266.4741
ladonna.haynes@usm.edu
College of Science and Technology
118 College Dr. #5165
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001

Dr. Jeffrey Evans, Preprofessional Advisor
601.266.4883
Jeffrey.Evans@usm.edu
Preprofessional Office
College of Science and Technology
118 College Dr. #5165
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001