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Steven H. Denison, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology
Pre-Health Advisor

Eckerd College
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711

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toll-free: (800) 456-9009
fax: (727) 864-8060



Pre-Health at Eckerd

Like most liberal arts colleges, Eckerd does not have a formal pre-health program.  While there is no standard way for students to prepare for entrance into medical school, there are a number of different approaches that can be taken by Pre-health students to prepare them for the next step.  The defining characteristic of these approaches is that they are developed as the result of an ongoing conversation between a student, his or her academic mentor, and the Pre-Health advisor, who provides advice based on the recommendations of the Pre-Health Committee - a group of professors from various disciplines who make it their job to pay attention to acceptance trends for various medical schools and disciplines. Eckerd graduates have been successful in gaining admission to medical schools. In the last six years, Eckerd graduates have been accepted to the following medical schools (M.D. programs): University of Hawaii, Mercer University, New York Medical College, University of Michigan, Florida State University, West Virginia University, University of Miami, University of Arkansas, University of Kentucky, University of Mississippi, University of South Florida, University of Central Florida, Jefferson Medical College.

It is never too early to begin thinking about planning out your education in a way that will enhance your chances of getting into medical school.  Whether you're thinking of allopathic medicine, veterinary medicine, osteopathic medicine or dentistry, having a plan early on will be invaluable to you later.  You can start this process by talking to your academic mentor.  If you do not yet have a mentor, or do not know who your mentor is, you can also contact the current Pre-Health Advisor, Prof. Steve Denison

If you're just wondering what kind of recommendations to expect from your mentor and the Pre-Health Advisor, here are some general guidelines that may be useful to you:

  • Generally, a major in the Natural Sciences Collegium will be the wisest choice for Pre-Health Students, but some students choose other majors and supplement them with science electives.
  • Extracurricular activities are important, as are the recommendations that arise from them.  It is better, however, to be devoted to and good at a few activities rather than to participate inconsistently in a large number of them.
  • Often, unconventional academic paths make a student stand out more to medical schools.  Use your mentor and the Pre-Health advisor as resources to help you be creative in planning your path to medical school.
Additional resources are also available on this site.  In the "Q & A with Professor Denison" section, you can find answers to the most commonly asked questions about Pre-Health at Eckerd.  If you don't see what you're looking for there, you can submit your own question on the Contact Us page. There are also helpful links to external pre-health resources, as well as an excellent section with success stories and advice from Eckerd graduates who went on to medical school.

Medical School?

Whether you're thinking of allopathic medicine, veterinary medicine, osteopathic medicine or dentistry, our Pre-Health Program can help put you on your path to medical school and beyond. 63% of all qualified Eckerd students gain acceptance to US allopathic (MD) medical schools.