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Allied Health Advising

Experiential learning opportunities, enhanced mentoring, and professional skills development – key features of the McDaniel Commitment – combined with the flexibility of the McDaniel Plan’s liberal arts and sciences curriculum – make McDaniel an ideal place to pursue pre-professional studies in allied health.   

 

There are many paths and a variety of career options in the allied health field.  McDaniel College, like most liberal arts colleges, does not have a pre-health major.  Instead, students are encouraged to choose a major that encourages their passions and challenges them to be successful.  In fact, students do not need to pursue a specific major for entry into the allied health professions, as each graduate and professional program has their own set of prerequisite courses to gain entry.  Students, in consultation with the allied health advisors, can generally meet these requirements through any of the McDaniel majors.   

Students in Kinesiology lab.

Education and Career Paths

McDaniel students have gone on to graduate and professional programs for physician assistant studies, physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic, clinical exercise physiology, applied health physiology, athletic training, orthotics & prosthetics, nursing, and medicine among others.

Recent McDaniel graduates have been accepted into programs at schools such as Yale University, Duke University, Baylor University, Thomas Jefferson University, Johns Hopkins University, Stony Brook University, University of Maryland, George Washington University, Elon University, University of Delaware, University of Miami, University of Pittsburgh, Chatham University, Salus University, Shenandoah University, Tufts University, Arcadia University, Johnson & Wales University, University of South Florida, and Drexel University.

Students can find information on many of the careers in healthcare from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics or ExploreHeathCareers.com.

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75-80%

Average acceptance rate of McDaniel Student applying to Allied Health postgraduate programs

Advising

Allied health advising can begin as early as the first semester on campus or whenever a student first decides to pursue a health-related career. Students are strongly encouraged to have regular meetings with the allied health professions advisors (Dr. Steve McCole and Dr. Jennifer McKenzie) throughout their time on campus. The allied health advisors, in addition to the student’s major advisor, help each student to individualize the McDaniel Plan by identifying courses and experiences to best meet the student’s goals.

To this end, the allied health professions advisors have information on model schedules, prerequisites, internships, admissions, and other information that they happily provide to anyone that meets with them. One of the strengths of our advising is that these meetings allow a mentoring relationship to develop. This relationship is particularly helpful when the student is going through the application process and needs a letter of recommendation.

Haley Jacobs ’17, physician assistant at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.

Haley Jacobs, '17

Haley Jacobs played soccer all 4 years at McDaniel and graduated with a major in Kinesiology and a minor in Biology. The turning point in her career path came during Jan Term her sophomore year, when she completed an internship at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Haley began applying to PA school in her junior year and ultimately enrolled at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, where she began classes just 10 days after ringing out on McDaniel’s Old Main Bell.

Physician assistant, physical therapist, and occupational therapist are the three most common allied health professions that our students have pursued. Because the prerequisites vary for each graduate school program, students are encouraged during their sophomore and junior years to identify the specific prerequisites for schools of interest. While each graduate program may have different requirements, a list of commonly required classes for each of the professions appears below. Note that most of the science classes listed below also have required lab components.

Occupational Therapy  

  • Human Anatomy (BIO 1120)
  • Human Physiology (BIO 2211)
  • Introduction to Psychology (PSY 1106)
  • Developmental Psychology (PSY 2209)
  • Abnormal Psychology (PSY 2211)
  • Introduction to Sociology (SOC 1104)
  • Statistics (STA 2215) 

Completion of these courses at McDaniel College does not guarantee that the student will meet the prerequisite requirements for Occupational Therapy education programs. Additional courses in Psychology, Physics, Kinesiology, and Biology may also be required. There is no restriction for a specific major. Common majors include Kinesiology, Psychology, Biology, and Sociology.

Physical Therapy  

  • Human Anatomy (BIO 1120) 
  • Human Physiology (BIO 2211) 
  • 2 semesters of Biology (BIO 1111 and BIO 1117) 
  • 2 semesters of Chemistry (CHE 1101 or CHE 1103 and CHE 1102 or CHE 1104) 
  • 2 semesters of Physics (PHY 1101 and PHY 1102) 
  • Introduction to Sociology (SOC 1104) 
  • Psychology (PSY 1106) 
  • Statistics (STA 2215) 

Completion of these courses at McDaniel College does not guarantee that the student will meet the prerequisite requirements for Physical Therapy education programs. Additional courses in Biology, Kinesiology, Math, Psychology, and Sociology may also be required. There is no restriction for a specific major. Common majors include Kinesiology, Biology, Chemistry, and the Chemistry – Kinesiology dual major. 

Physician Assistant  

  • Anatomy (BIO 1120 or BIO 3324) 
  • Physiology (BIO 2211 or BIO 3316) 
  • 2 semesters of Biology (BIO 1111 and BIO 1117)  
  • Microbiology (BIO 3307) 
  • 2 semesters of Chemistry (CHE 1101 or CHE 1103 and CHE 1102 or CHE 1104) 
  • Organic Chemistry (CHE 2217 and 2017) 
  • Psychology (PSY 1106)  
  • Statistics (STA 2215) 

Completion of these courses at McDaniel College does not guarantee that the student will meet the prerequisite requirements for physician assistant education programs. Additional courses in Biology, Chemistry, Kinesiology, Math, Psychology, and Sociology may also be required. There is no restriction for a specific major. Common majors include Biology, Kinesiology, Chemistry, and the Chemistry – Kinesiology dual major. 

Experiential Opportunities

Although specific requirements vary by graduate and professional program, students are strongly encouraged to complete internships, shadowing experiences, and take part in research with faculty members.

Oftentimes, these experiences can take place at home during summer and semester breaks or during the semester at various locations near campus. Some of the sites near campus where students have recently interned, volunteered, or shadowed have included: Carroll Hospital Center, Life Fitness Physical Therapy, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, Pivot Physical Therapy, Towson Sports Medicine Center, and the University of Maryland Medical Center.

The allied health advisors and McDaniel’s Center for Experience and Opportunity are available to assist students in planning for and identifying these types of opportunities.

Each summer, students interested in undergraduate research are selected to participate in the Student-Faculty Collaborative Summer Research Program.

Timeline

The suggestions and order of items listed below are for sample purposes only. Completion of these items does not guarantee that the student will meet the prerequisite requirements for a given graduate program.

First Year

  • Talk with your First Year Seminar advisor to schedule your first semester classes
  • Meet with allied health professions advisor to learn general information and graduate school requirements
  • Think about potential majors and minors; start planning your path
  • Maintain excellent GPA
  • Participate in clubs and extracurricular activities, volunteer
  • Shadow allied health careers of interest
  • Consider obtaining relevant certifications (depending on career interest) such as CPR/AED, First Aid, EMT
  • Consider summer internships and/or student-faculty research opportunities

Sophomore Year

  • Declare a major, if you haven’t already
  • Meet with allied health professions advisor to review your plan and progress
  • Maintain excellent GPA
  • Participate in clubs and extracurricular activities; volunteer
  • Research potential graduate schools to identify specific prerequisite courses and requirements
  • Consider obtaining relevant certifications (depending on career interest) such as CPR/AED, First Aid, EMT
  • Consider work and internship experiences
  • Consider student-faculty research opportunities

Junior Year

  • Study for and take the GREs
  • Meet with allied health professions advisor to review your plan and progress
  • Maintain excellent GPA
  • Participate in clubs and extracurricular activities; run for leadership positions
  • Narrow the list of potential graduate schools to identify specific prerequisite courses and requirements
  • Consider work and internship experiences
  • Consider student-faculty research opportunities
  • Meet with allied health professions advisor for assistance in application process
  • Apply to graduate and professional schools

Senior Year

  • Apply to graduate and professional schools, if you haven’t already
  • Meet with allied health professions advisor to prepare for interviews
  • Maintain excellent GPA
  • Participate in clubs and extracurricular activities; run for leadership positions
  • If you do not get accepted, consider ways to strengthen your application and other related options

Advice

Students are strongly encouraged to have regular meetings with the allied health professions advisors (Dr. Steve McCole or jmckenzie@mcdaniel.edu) during their time on campus. This relationship is particularly helpful when the student is going through the application process, which often occurs during the summer between a student’s junior and senior years of college.