On the path to pursue a health profession
Am I a record enhancer?
The Post Baccalaureate Studies for the Health Professions program (PBS) is designed for college graduates who intend to pursue careers in the health professions. A Record Enhancer is a student who has already taken most of the prerequisite courses, but needs to enhance course quality and GPA for entrance into professional schools.
What courses should I take?
Our courses afford students the opportunity to demonstrate academic excellence while mastering key concepts. Our course offerings range from the basic prerequisites (Organic Chemistry, Cell Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, and Microbiology) to upper level courses (Biochemistry, Immunology, Molecular Biology, and Eukaryotic Tissue Culture). A course sequence in Inorganic Chemistry and Physics is available if needed, as well as Calculus and Statistics. Courses in Communication Studies, Multicultural Studies, Psychology, Sociology and other subjects may also be taken. Learn more about the curriculum.
Post Bacc advisors will work with students to create an individualized course plan based on courses required or recommended, personal responsibilities and preferences, need for health care experience, and a full-time or part-time schedule. Students in need of taking or repeating introductory courses such as Algebra, Statistics, General Chemistry, General Biology or General Physics may need to complete these before entering the more advanced courses. Learn more about how advisors can support you.
Interest in biomedical research?
Shoreline Community College offers a four-quarter certificate program in Biotechnology Lab Specialist, which is a good option for record enhancer students who have an interest in biomedical research. This program starts Fall quarter each year and includes 10-12 credits of upper division science lecture and lab, taught in the afternoons and evenings (3pm to 9pm). The fourth quarter incorporates an internship at a local research agency or company. Learn more about the Biotechnology program.
What health care experience should I have?
Health profession schools require or expect applicants to have spent time in health care settings interacting with patients and health care providers. Through this experience, students gain an understanding of the specific profession as well as other health professions, and the US health care system. This is considered a necessary component to prepare for entrance. Learn more about health care experience opportunities.
What help can I receive for test preparation?
We understand the challenge of professional school is digesting and learning a huge volume of information in a short time. The PBS program will help students develop effective study strategies to learn, retain, and comprehend the biomedical sciences. Each health professional field designates which test are used as part of the application process.
Here is a list of the most common health profession exams:
- Dentistry, DDS – DAT (Dental Application Test)
- Medicine, MD and DO – MCAT (Medical College Application Test)
- Pharmacy, Pharm C – PCAT (Pharmacy College Application Test)
- Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant, Physical Therapy, Veterinary Medicine – GRE – General Test (General Record Exam)
The DAT, MCAT and PCAT include significant science content, such that most of the science prerequisite courses need to be completed before taking the test. In addition, there are sections in verbal reasoning and/or critical thinking. Note: the DAT and PCAT do not include physics in the science sections, but the MCAT does.
The GRE General Test includes Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical
Writing. This content is not specifically related to prerequisite courses, though
it will help to have completed college mathematics and statistics, as well as a broad
range of liberal arts courses.
One of the seminars the PBS advisors offer is on the topic of test preparation and how to connect with other resources. Learn more about seminars.
From whom can I get advice?
The PBS has two designated advisors to support students with all of these aspects of your preparation and application: course selection, school selection, application preparation, test preparation and encouragement. Learn more about the advisors.
A few notes about special populations:
Bachelor's degree from outside the United States: most health professional schools require that most prerequisite courses are taken in the United States.
International students: our program is open to students on a temporary visa, however, not all health professional schools admit such students.
Non-traditional students: our student population is diverse in age, life experience, educational background, work experience, race, and ethnic heritage.
Veterans: Shoreline CC has an active Veteran’s Program and Resource Center.