For some high-achieving students, the laser-like focus necessary to make the dream of becoming a healthcare professional come true can lead to blind spots when choosing an educational institution for pre-professional study. After all, a “biology degree” is as good as a “human biology degree,” right? The truth is, how you map out your “pre-professional” education in healthcare matters.
Unfamiliar with the term “pre-professional” program? That’s OK because it’s not like majoring in a particular subject. “Pre-professional” refers to a specific path of study in college that leads to a professional program after graduation – schools of medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, law, and others.
For example, let’s consider that you’re leaning toward a pre-professional program in healthcare because you want to interact with human patients. Both a bachelor of science in biology and a bachelor of science in human biology degree take four years of study, yet they approach the subject differently.
The broader survey of “biology” explores processes, functions, and systems for all types of living organisms. A singular focus on a “human biology” degree signals a deeper, more detailed investigation into how the human body and its systems work.
The human biology degree, because it is focused, allows more extensive study into other human life science areas:
If you know you’re going directly from a pre-professional program to a professional school, think of it as being two parts of a unit of study. If not coordinated and set up properly, you may not get the streamlined educational experience needed to be entirely successful.
That’s why the best option is to do the homework necessary to find a healthcare-centered university, one with a dedication to life science and related coursework. For someone planning to become a doctor of chiropractic, for example, classes leading to a human biology degree provide more relevant content than those leading to a general biology degree.
It’s also important to understand the makeup of the teaching faculty. Talented professors know how to communicate their subject matter in ways that resonate with students with any learning style. Avoid colleges and universities that rely heavily on teaching assistants (TAs), have student-faculty ratios above 18:1, or both.
You can learn more about student-faculty ratios here, and most universities will publish this statistic on their websites.
Sometimes students elect to transfer credit from general education courses (“gen eds”) before enrolling in a professional program. Not all courses transfer as expected, so if you think you might go the transfer route, get information as early in the process as possible. You can get started by finding out what documented transfer agreements (or articulation agreements) exist between the colleges and universities you’re considering.
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, chiropractic and health sciences university in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City. Founded by the Cleveland family in 1922, CUKC has been pioneering healthcare for 100 years.
CUKC offers an Associate of Arts (A.A.) in Biological Sciences that can apply toward earning a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Human Biology degree. CUKC offers these courses in eight-week intervals on campus and online.
Many CUKC human biology program graduates apply to medical, dental, or chiropractic programs. Some students at CUKC simultaneously earn a human biology degree and a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree. This option works well for focused students who want to maximize the overall value of their education by earning two degrees at once.
CUKC admissions advisors are ready to answer your questions and help you navigate your options successfully. Request more information here, and get our free eBook: Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession.