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Applying to Graduate and Professional Programs

Many professions in the health care industry require students to earn advanced degrees and training beyond their bachelor's degree.  If you wish to pusue a career in medicine, dentristry, physical therapy, physican assistant, occupational therapy, athletic training, pharmacy, chiropractic, or others, you will likely need to enroll in an advanced degree program in order to acheive your career goals.  When applying to graduate and professional programs in health care fields, students typtically must apply through a centralized application system, often referred to as a CAS.  CAS websites are a great way to begin researching schools with graduate and professional programs in your area of interest.  The school directory in each CAS lists the schools that particpate in the CAS application and provides links to specific information about each program.  Individual schools update their CAS information pages annually to provide the most accurate information possible to prospective students.  If you are interested in a career pathway, but do not know what schools have programs that you might be interested in, the CAS website for that field is a great place to begin! 

Here are links to the CAS websites for some of the most common health care fields:

 

Entrance Examinations for Graduate and Professional Programs

Many of schools that offer advanced degrees and training programs in health care fields also require students to take an entrance exam to gain admission into their programs.  Some common exams that you might be familiar with are the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Medical College Admissiontest (MCAT).  You may have heard of these exams, but might not know their purpose. Many graduate and professional programs within health care use these and other entrance exams to evaluate prospective students' knowledge and skills in areas that are important to the profession, such as science, math, critical thinking and reasoning, problem solving, reading, writing, and many others.  Some areas have their own specialized exam, such as the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) for pharmacy, which others use a more general test.  Some areas even accept multiple tests.  Some schools will not accept test results if they are more than a few years old.  It is important to research the schools that you are interested in attending and find out which tests, if any, they require students to take and when they prefer students take them. 

Here are links to admission testing requirements for some of the most common health care fields:

 

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