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Department of Biology
Member, Texas Tech University System The Princeton Review - 373 Best Colleges, 2011 Edition

Benefits of ASU’s Pre-Health Professions Program

Advantages for ASU pre-health professions students:

  1. ASU consistently has one of the highest acceptance rates to health professions schools among state universities in Texas.
  2. ASU is one of the best values at a public four-year institution in the state.
  3. ASU has an outstanding reputation with medical and professional schools.
  4. ASU has a rigorous academic program.
  5. Our award-winning faculty are dedicated to teaching and learning.
  6. ASU offers small class sizes.
  7. ASU offers research opportunities.
  8. ASU offers shadowing opportunities with health professionals.
  9. ASU offers you the opportunity to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  10. ASU offers free tutoring in most courses.
  11. ASU offers a a wide variety of majors is available.
  12. ASU prides itself on informal, personal one-on-one advising,
  13. A very detailed and complete Health Professions Evaluation (HPE) is written for each applicant to health professions schools.
  14. ASU has award-winning organizations in biology, chemistry, physics and math.
  15. An Early Decision Program with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (medical school) is available for highly qualified Honors students.
  16. ASU participates in a state-recognized Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP) for qualified students.
  17. A Final Point

* What do I choose as an academic major?


  These are advantages for ASU pre-health professions students:

  1.   We consistently have one of the highest acceptance rates to health professions schools among state universities in Texas.
    Our acceptance rates vary from year to year (sometimes they are as high as 100 percent), but we consistently average just more than 50 percent. The statewide average is about 35 percent, and the national average is 45 percent.
  2.   ASU is one of the best values at a public four-year institution in the state. ASU has lower tuition rates than most other state universities in Texas. We offer a high-quality education at one of the most affordable prices and have a strong history for placing students in the health professions.
  3.   ASU has an outstanding reputation with medical and professional schools. Our graduates have been accepted at every medical and dental school in Texas as well as others nationwide. Many have graduated at the top of their class, so we have an established record of sending well-prepared students.
  4.   We have a rigorous academic program.
    This is to ensure you are prepared for the pace and workload of post-graduate work and a career in the health professions.
  5.   Our award-winning faculty are dedicated to teaching and learning.
    The university is designated as a regional teaching institution by the State of Texas. Our faculty members are committed to teaching, and we like doing it. Many of us conduct research that you can be a part of (see below), but our primary concern is teaching and your academic success. You will not find teaching assistants (TAs) instructing our labs for science majors. All the labs for our majors are taught by the Ph.D.s who also teach the lecture sections.
  6.   We have small class sizes.
    At ASU, you will not find classes with 400 students. Our classes are small enough that we can get to know you and interact with you on a personal level. We can also give you one-on-one attention when you need help.
  7.   We offer research opportunities.
    Any interested undergraduate has the opportunity to conduct research with a member of the biology, chemistry, physics or math faculty, usually in the student’s sophomore or junior year. Undergraduate research is rare at many other universities and the experience can be valuable for health professions students. It may also prompt you to pursue both M.D. and Ph.D. degrees.
  8.   You will have the opportunity to shadow health professionals.
    We have dedicated local physicians, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists and physician assistants who let you shadow them in their practices to gain all-important, actual health care experience. Many of these health professionals are ASU graduates.
  9.   You will develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
    Many of our courses incorporate application of information and problem-solving skills as teaching goals. These skills have become an important part of the MCAT (and other entrance exams) and in health professions schools and practices. ASU offers several courses in the sciences to help you develop these skills. As an example, Biology 1480 (Principles of Biology) – which all health professions students are required to take – incorporates an assessment strategy similar to the MCAT, so you get practice long before you have to take the exam.
  10.   Free tutoring is available for select classes.
    Many departments at ASU offer free tutoring and special peer-led supplemental instruction. English, math, physics, biology and chemistry are just a few that offer these resources.
  11.   A wide variety of majors are available.
    Pre-health students can major in anything they want. Yes, that is true. For more information, see “What do I choose as a major?” below.
  12.    Informal, personal one-on-one advising is available.
    Dr. Amaris Guardiola, Dr. Crosby Jones, Dr. Connie Russell, Dr. David Marsh and Dr. Russell Wilke do all the advising of our students. We are always available because we are interested in you and your success.
  13.   A very detailed and complete Health Professions Evaluation (HPE) is written for each applicant to health professions schools.
    These evaluations are critical to being seriously considered for admission. Most schools require or prefer an HPE, which is a composite evaluation compiled by a committee of science faculty. Each year, health professions schools tell us that our evaluations are the most detailed, informative and useful evaluations they receive. We get to know you personally through our advising and smaller class sizes, and this can be a big plus when you apply.
  14.   ASU has award-winning organizations in biology, chemistry, physics and math.
    Our student organizations in math and the sciences have a well-established track record of winning multiple national awards, even when competing against much larger organizations. In short, you have everything to gain by participating in activities and getting to know faculty better through these outstanding science/math organizations. Ask us for details.
  15.   An Early Decision Program with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (medical school) is available for highly qualified Honors students.
    By entering our Honors Program, you can apply early to the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center and have the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) waived, if you fulfill and maintain certain academic requirements. These include certain SAT/ACT scores, GPA, courses and other items. For more information, please contact the Honors Program at (325) 942-2722.
  16.   ASU participates in a state-recognized Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP) for qualified students.
    If you are eligible to receive a Pell Grant, you are automatically eligible for this early medical school admission program. The JAMP also has other requirements (SAT/ACT, GPA, courses, etc.), so please ask us about it.
  17.   A Final Point
    A health professions advisor at a large Texas state university once told an ASU student who was thinking of transferring there, “Stay at Angelo State. They will get to know you better, they will give you better and more personal advising and they will write a more complete evaluation for you when you apply.”

    Angelo State has an excellent reputation among health professions schools, both in Texas and out of state. ASU graduates are consistently among the top students at their respective health professions schools and are known for leading their medical school classes in histology, immunology, anatomy, biochemistry and microbiology.

    ASU graduates are selected for the best residency programs after medical school and we have had students accepted into many prestigious programs, including Vanderbilt, Tulane and Harvard, among many others.


  * What do I choose as an academic major?

There are no more pre-medicine or pre-dental degrees. Since it is possible that a career in health care may not work out for you, it is essential to choose an appropriate academic major, which may be any major offered by ASU.

The vast majority of students who apply to medical and dental schools have a degree prior to entering. How do you choose a major? We will visit with you at length about this, but you should choose a major that you can still use if you eventually decide not to attend a health professions school. For example, choose a biology degree if your alternative plan is to become a biologist or to earn master’s and/or doctorate degrees and become a researcher or college professor. However, if your back-up plan is to become a certified public accountant, major in accounting with supporting concentrations in biology and chemistry.

Get the idea? You can have a declared major in any field and still be a health professions student. Your advisors can show you how. Keep in mind, though, that there are biology and chemistry courses that are required by health professions schools, which may warrant a minor in biology and/or chemistry. Thus, we will want to visit with you EARLY in your career about majors and how to make an appropriate choice.

For More Information

Contact Dr. Russell Wilke, Health Professions Advisory Committee chairman at:

Department of Biology
ASU Station # 10890
San Angelo, TX 76909-0890

Office: (325) 486-6648
Biology Dept: (325) 942-2189

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Pre-Health Timeline

Need some guidance about what to do each year of school? View this Pre-Health Timeline.

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