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Academics: Pre-Professional Programs

Pre-Professional programs

Calvin's pre-professional programs prepare students for admission to post-baccalaureate professional schools—medical school, dental schools, veterinary schools, physician assistant programs, physical therapy schools, pharmacy schools, occupational therapy programs, and optometry schools.

John Wertz and Eric EdewaardEach pre-professional program has an advisor and many faculty knowledgeable about professional schools. These faculty members will work with you to plan for your professional future.


  • Calvin College aims to prepare women and men to serve in a profession that needs compassionate and wise healers. Academic excellence, state-of-the-art facilities, research opportunities, and caring, supportive faculty and staff who know you as an individual all create an environment for success at Calvin.
  • To maximize application information, a pre-medicine committee uniquely develops each recommendation for a medical or dental school.
  • Contact Calvin's pre-med advisor, Rich Nyhof.

» Learn more about pre-med and pre-dentistry.


  • Since 2000, approximately 90% of Calvin's pre-dents have been accepted into dental schools.
  • To maximize application information, a pre-dentistry committee uniquely develops each recommendation for a medical or dental school.
  • Contact Calvin's pre-dental advisor, Rich Nyhof.

» Learn more about pre-med and pre-dentistry.

Meagan Mc RaePre-Veterinary

  • One to four Calvin graduates apply to colleges of veterinary medicine each year.
  • Requirements for veterinary schools are similar to human medical schools.
  • A recent Calvin grad received a full-ride scholarship to the veterinary school at Michigan State University.
  • Each pre-vet student works with Rich Nyhof, the pre-vet advisor, to develop an individualized program of study.

» Learn more about pre-veterinary.


  • While the pre-optometry program at Calvin College is small, graduating 1 or 2 students a year, it is highly successful. In the past ten years all pre-optometry graduates of Calvin have been accepted to optometry school.
  • Contact Calvin's pre-optometry advisor, John Ubels

» Learn more about the pre-optometry program


  • Would you like to play a vital role in the health care system as a pharmacist?
  • Pharmacist responsibilities include a range of care for patients, from dispensing medications to monitoring patient health and progress to maximize their response to the medication.
  • You can take courses at Calvin that are prerequisites for acceptance to pharmacy school.
  • Contact Calvin's pre-pharmacy advisor, John Ubels

» Learn more about the pre-pharmacy program

Pre-Physician assistant

  • If you are interested in medicine but not set on a specific career path, you might want to consider working as a physician assistant (PA). Employment opportunities are excellent, and the demand for PA services is expected to increase.
  • As a physician assistant, you will be trained and licensed to practice medicine under the supervision of a licensed physician. Job duties include recording medical histories, performing physical examinations, performing diagnoses, counseling patients, ordering and interpreting laboratory tests, assisting in surgery, setting fractures, and writing orders for prescription drugs.
  • Contact one of Calvin's pre-PA advisors, Rich Nyhof or Amy Wilstermann.

» Learn more about the pre-physician assistant program.

Pre-Physical therapy

» Learn more about the pre-physical therapy program

Pre-Occupational therapy

  • Occupational therapists work with people across the lifespan that have a physical, developmental, or mental condition. The goal of occupational therapy is to help clients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working.
  • Calvin College has a 3-2 combined curriculum program with the Program in Occupation Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Contact Calvin's pre-OT advisor Amy Wilstermann.

» Learn more about the pre-occupational therapy program


Early Assurance Agreement

Michigan State University Medical School in Grand Rapids announces partnership with Calvin College and two other area schools.
Read the news »

New partnership with the University of Michigan Medical School

A full-tuition scholarship will be provided for one student planing to pursue both a pre-medical program at Calvin College and a medical degree at the University of Michigan. Learn more »

Clinical Neuroanatomy

During the month of January students spent three hours each day learning about the anatomy of the brain and spinal cord.

The biology interim course, Clinical Neuroanatomy was a great introduction to the rigors of medical school for the seven pre-med students in the class.

"Most of these students will go on and study these things in more detail, but they’ll already have the big picture in front of them,” said biology professor Pete Tigchelaar.

Student holding brain and spinal cord

Genetic Counseling

Genetic counseling is a dynamic, challenging and rapidly growing subspecialty within the field of human genetics. Genetic counseling is the process of helping people understand and adapt to the medical, psychosocial and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease.

To learn more about this career and educational opportunities at Calvin and beyond, contact Professor Amy Wilstermann.