Health Career Overview


Are you interested in a health career and want to learn more about health career options?  Central Washington University provides many opportunities for students interested in health careers.  We offer health-related degree programs you can complete right here—such as Food Science and Nutrition, Paramedicine, Public Health, Psychology and Counseling, and Safety and Health Management.  Our science major coursework and social science and humanities elective options offers much of the prerequisite coursework desired by many external graduate or professional health degree programs. 

Choosing A Health Career

You may first think of physicians, dentists, and nurses, but those are only three of the hundreds of careers that provide direct health care. And, there are many more occupations that are essential in the effort to maintain the health and condition of the human body -- through research, program planning and public health services. 

CWU Health Career Degree Programs

Contact your major department as soon as possible to learn of any pre-admission requirements and to connect with the professional advisor for your major.  Your advisor will assist you in developing a plan that accounts for proper course sequencing and pre-health coursework for your desired career choices. Please take advantage of the opportunity to meet with a knowledgeable designated pre-health faculty member, as well as your advisor. 

CWU Pre-Health Coursework & Advising 

The following links to specific health career resources provide contact information for faculty and advisors that can help you or answer any questions you may have, a list of suggested courses you can take here at Central that generally correspond with the prerequisites for further study, and helpful links for learning more about the fields and applying to programs.  While CWU offers many of the necessary “pre-health” prerequisite courses for advanced degree or professional health programs, we do not offer majors or degrees in pre-health. You may complete a bachelor degree in any area; however, most students usually choose a major where some of the prerequisite courses for graduate health programs overlap with graduation and major requirements.  You can complete many of these prerequisites while you also earn a CWU bachelors degree in your field of interest. 

Health Career Scholarships

Apply for Pre-Health Scholarships Within the Scholarship Central Portal:

Dennis W. Farrell Pre-Medicine Scholarship

To provide financial support for students pursuing a degree in pre-medicine who are Washington State residents with a GPA of 3.5 or higher in the biological sciences, the physical sciences or mathematics and a 3.4 accumulative overall GPA. Scholarships are to be used for tuition, fees and books. Learn more today.

Vatheuer Family Foundation Pre-Medicine Scholarship

To provide support for CWU students who plan to pursue a career in medicine.  Applicant must be in the process of preparing for success on the MCAT and entry into medical school, have a GPA of 2.0 or better and must demonstrate financial need as determined by the FAFSA or WASFA. Preference given to undeserved students. 

Arthur and Doreen Parrett Scholarship

To provide financial support for students majoring in engineering, science, pre-medicine or pre-dentistry. Applicant must be a resident of Washington State and have earned at least 31 credit hours.

Rudolph & Jimi Vernie Scholarship

To provide financial support for students majoring in paramedicine (EMT), early childhood education or pre-medicine.  Applicant must have a 3.0 or higher GPA and have earned at least 76 credit hours.

  • Can I major in a pre-health field, such as pre-medicine or pre-physical therapy?

    CWU does not offer majors in any pre-health careers field, but we do offer all the necessary prerequisites for students to get into many graduate programs that lead to careers in the health industry. We highly recommend that students seek pre-health advising very early in order to plan their route to success.

  • What should I major in if I am planning to pursue graduate school in a health field?

    Students may choose any major on campus they wish. There are some majors that more closely align with the prerequisite courses for many graduate programs. For example, students often choose to major in Biology or Chemistry if they are pursuing pre-medicine. Or students planning to pursue pre-physical therapy often choose Clinical Physiology or Biology. However, it is very important for students to understand that graduate schools are looking for well-rounded students. You should pursue a course of study that you enjoy and one that could lead to a career in a field you find fulfilling should you not be immediately successful at earning a spot in a highly competitive health program.

  • What are some of the classes I should take right away so that I can graduate on time?

    Pre-health careers students must understand that there are sequences of math and science that need to be completed early. Most graduate schools will require a minimum of pre-calculus. We highly recommend that students do not put off taking the Compass math placement exam. Students should be ready to fulfill their math requirements their freshman year. In addition, most programs will require chemistry and biology. Students must be on track to complete these requirements in a timely fashion or they may not be able to finish in four years. Pre-health careers students should seek advising very early to make an academic plan.

  • I am a transfer student with a direct transfer agreement. How can I complete my program in two years?

    Transfer students must plan very carefully to take some of their prerequisite courses at their community college. Students should plan to complete at least through pre-calculus (or calculus depending on their field of study). Students should also complete the chemistry and biology sequences that are relevant to their field of study (please see individual programs for prerequisite courses). Transfer students should know that without very careful planning from the freshman year, it may not be possible to complete the prerequisites in two years after transferring.

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