High School Preparation

High School Courses

  • We recommend taking a rigorous high school curriculum including biology, chemistry, physics, math-including pre-calculus and calculus, and humanities courses. This will help you to build a solid foundation for your future college coursework.

  • In addition, your future health professions program and success in your career will require you to have excellent reading, writing, oral communication, and critical thinking skills.
  • Taking a variety of challenging courses in the humanities and social sciences (literature, writing, history, philosophy, language) is usually the best way to develop these skills.

Advanced Placement Credit

  • Advanced Placement (AP) courses may be helpful in building this foundation and may be accepted by UNH for college credit, however we advise that all of the health professions pre-requisite math and sciences be taken in college as part of a four year curriculum.  AP credits are not be accepted by some professional school admissions.
  • In addition, an AP course may not provide adequate preparation for the upper level sciences you will be required to complete  in college or provide sufficient preparation for the entrance exams. 


  • As a high school student, you can gain valuable experience and information regarding health professions by volunteering in your area of interest or job shadowing a professional in that field. While it is important that you are successful in the sciences and have a desire to help people, it is equally important that you begin to develop a feel for the world in which you hope to work. These experiences will help you determine careers you may be interested in as well as eliminate fields that are not right for you.  Does your high school have a shadowing or internship program that provides opportunities in heathcare settings? Check with family members and friends to "network" for shadowing possibilities. Often students are able to arrange experiences through a family physician, dentist, physical therapist, or other healthcare provider. You may also want to contact your local hospital, long-term care facility, and community health care clinic to inquire about volunteer opportunities. You will also find it useful to keep a journal which details your experiences and reflections on what you have observed and learned.


  • In addition, do your own research on the professions that interest you.  See: ExploreHealthCareers.org and sources such as the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) which provides reliable, up-to-date information on many aspects of different career fields.  
  • Remember, it's never too early to start exploring the health professions and gathering information. The more prepared you are, the smoother the process will be for you, and the more certain you can be that your choice is the right one.