Preprofessional Programs

The University of Iowa offers several pre-professional programs for students planning careers in law or in one of the primary health care delivery areas: Dentistry, Medicine, Physical Therapy, Physicians Assistant, Chiropractic, Mortuary Science, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, or Veterinary Medicine. It is important to keep in mind that the pre-professional areas are not academic majors; rather, they are suggested programs of study that prepare students to apply to professional school upon completing their undergraduate degrees.

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Chiropractic Medicine Preprofessional Program

Chiropractors, also known as doctors of chiropractic medicine or chiropractic physicians, diagnose and treat patients whose health problems are associated with the body’s muscular, nervous, and skeletal systems, especially the spine. Chiropractors believe that interference with these systems impairs the body’s normal functions, lowers its resistance to disease, and causes painful skeletal imbalance.

The University of Iowa does not offer degree programs in chiropractic medicine, but does offer course work to help students prepare to enroll in chiropractic programs elsewhere.

dentistry clinic

Dentistry Preprofessional Program

Dentistry is a field in which practitioners work to improve people's health and quality of life through preventative and corrective oral health. Dentists work as general dentists in clinical settings or with advanced degrees in orthodontia, pediatric dentistry, or hospital and operative dentistry. Additional career opportunities include researching dental diseases and treatment techniques.

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Law Preprofessional Program

Law is a professional degree program and is not offered as an undergraduate major. Students applying to Iowa may declare a pre-law designation on their application to receive specialized advising and preparatory course work as undergraduates. This designation means that you eventually intend to apply to a law school.

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Medicine Preprofessional Program

The Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree is a professional degree program that requires first completing an undergraduate degree. The University of Iowa offers a pre-health sciences designation (also known as "pre-med") for undergraduate students that provides specialized advising and course work in preparation for medical school.

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Mortuary Science Preprofessional Program

Funeral direction in the United States is controlled by state licensing boards, and requirements for licensure vary considerably from state to state.

Licensure in Iowa requires completion of:

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Occupational Therapy Preprofessional Program

Occupational therapists are health professionals who treat patients with injuries, illnesses, or disabilities through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They help these patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working.

Occupational therapists work in hospitals, with audiologists, in offices of physical, occupational, and speech therapists, and in schools, nursing homes, and home health services. They also work in mental health settings to help patients with mental illness, emotional problems, or developmental disabilities.

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Optometry Preprofessional Program

Optometrists are trained to provide eye care to people who have vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Optometrists spend much of their time assessing the vision status of each patient to provide individualized corrective lenses in the form of contact lenses or eyeglasses. They also specialize in low-vision care.

The University of Iowa does not offer a degree program in optometry, but does offer course work to help students prepare to enroll in an optometry program elsewhere.

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Pharmacy Preprofessional Program

Career options in pharmacy range from filling prescriptions at neighborhood stores to conducting research, engaging in clinical practice, and teaching. Pharmacists also consult with and counsel patients and other health care professionals. Many are involved in medication therapy management, providing drug therapy to improve patients’ lives.

Along with their science training and expertise in drug selection and preparation, pharmacists must have the business and communication skills necessary for multifaceted careers.

Physical Therapy Session

Physical Therapy Preprofessional Program

Physical therapists are committed to meeting the health needs of society through prevention, rehabilitation, public education, and research. They promote optimal human health and function by applying scientific principles to prevent, identify, assess, and correct acute or prolonged movement dysfunction problems.

Specialization areas in physical therapy include cardiopulmonary systems, electrophysiology, geriatrics, neurology, orthopedics, pediatrics, sports physical therapy, and women’s health.

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Physician Assistant Preprofessional Program

If you’re interested in medicine and in helping people but are concerned about the requirements and cost of a lengthy medical school program and residency, physician assistant studies may be a good choice for you.

Physician assistants (PAs) are health professionals licensed to practice medicine with supervision by a physician. PAs work together with other medical professionals as members of health care teams.

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Podiatric Medicine Preprofessional Program

Podiatrists are professionals who are trained to diagnose and treat diseases or disorders of the foot and related structures.

Podiatrists treat arch problems, bunions, heel spurs, calluses, corns, and ingrown toenails; ankle and foot injuries, deformities, and infections; and foot complaints associated with disease. They may prescribe drugs, order physical therapy, set fractures, and perform surgery. They also fit corrective inserts called orthotics and design custom-made shoes and plaster casts or strappings to correct deformities.

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Veterinary Medicine Preprofessional Program

Veterinarians play a major role in the health care of pets, livestock, zoo, sporting, and laboratory animals. Some veterinarians use their skills to protect humans against diseases carried by animals or to conduct clinical research on human and animal health problems. Others work in basic research, broadening the scope of fundamental theoretical knowledge, or in applied research, developing new ways to use knowledge.