Kinesiology students conducting an experiment in a lab.  illustration

Overview

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, you will choose a major that encourages your passions and challenges you to be successful. In fact, you do not need to pursue a specific major for entry into the allied health professions, since each graduate and professional program has its 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.

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. Since 2011, the acceptance rate of our graduates going into these fields has averaged 75-80%.

Recent McDaniel graduates have been accepted into programs at schools such as Baylor University, Drexel University, Duke University, George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University, Stony Brook University, Yale University, University of Maryland, University of Miami, University of Pittsburgh and Tufts University.

Check out the wide array of careers in healthcare.

Advising

Allied health advising can begin as early as the first semester on campus or whenever you decide to pursue a health-related career. Students are strongly encouraged to have regular meetings with the allied health professions advisors Dr. Steve McColeand Dr. Jennifer McKenziethroughout your time on campus. The allied health advisors, in addition to your academic major advisor, will help you individualize the McDaniel Plan by identifying courses and experiences to best meet your 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 you are going through the application process and need a letter of recommendation.

Experiential Opportunities

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

Often, these experiences can take place at home during summer and semester breaks or during the semester at various locations near campus. 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.

Timeline

Here is an example of how you might maximize your four years at McDaniel to achieve your goal of a career in allied health.

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 Dr. Jennifer McKenzie during your time on campus. This relationship is particularly helpful when you are going through the application process, which often occurs during the summer between junior and senior years.