Additional Pre-Health Programs

Careers in the medical field are varied and diverse. While many health care fields require students to take similar core classes, there are some important differences.  

WPI’s Office of Academic Advising for Pre-Professional Programs offers excellent guidelines and preparation for students planning to apply for admittance into medical or other health professions schools in such areas as:

Physical Therapy 

Physical therapy is a health care specialty involved with evaluating, diagnosing, and treating disorders of the musculoskeletal system. The ultimate goal of physical therapy is to restore maximum functional independence to each individual patient. To achieve this goal, physical modalities such as exercise, heat, cold, electricity, and massage are used. 

Physical therapy is provided by physical therapists, who are licensed health care professionals with a master’s or doctorate degree in physical therapy. Physical therapists evaluate, diagnose, and manage the physical therapy treatment plan, customizing it to each individual’s needs. 

Physician’s Assistant

Physician’s Assistants are concerned with preventing, maintaining, and treating human illness and injury by providing a broad range of health care services that are traditionally performed by a physician. Physician’s assistants conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery, and write prescriptions.

Physician’s assistants work in hospitals, clinics, and other types of health facilities, and exercise autonomy in medical decision making as determined by their supervising physician.


Optometrists are independent, primary health care providers who examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures as well as diagnose related systemic conditions.

Optometrists prescribe and/or provide eyeglasses, contact lenses, low vision aids, and vision therapy. They prescribe medications to treat eye diseases and perform certain surgical procedures.

Pharmaceutical Sciences

The pharmaceutical sciences are a group of interdisciplinary areas of study involved with the design, action, delivery, disposition, and use of drugs. This field draws on many areas of the basic and applied sciences, such as chemistry, biology, epidemiology, statistics, mathematics, physics, and chemical engineering, and applies their principles to the study of drugs.