Explore Pre-Health at Portland State

Portland State offers students a wide variety of options for pursuing a career in healthcare. Students can choose from one of 15 differerent specialization areas and receive expert advising and professional school preparation. Learn more about the pre-health program tracks:

Pre-Chiropractic Medicine

Chiropractic practicioners are healthcare providers who focus on manipulation of the body, with emphasis on a holistic understanding of the body's relationship between the skeletal system, muscles, and nerves.

Pre-Dental Hygiene

Dental hygienists work with dentists to help people improve and maintain good oral health. They educate patients about oral health and provide services such as teeth cleaning, plaque removal, and preventative dental care.


Dentists are healthcare professionals devoted to maintaining the health of the teeth, gums, and other hard and soft tissues of the oral cavity.

Pre-Medical Laboratory Science

Clinical laboratory scientists work in the clinical laboratory of a hospital or in other medical facilities. They perform the laboratory analyses used in the diagnosis and treatment of disease and the maintenance of health.


A medical career offers a wide variety of applications from clinical practice to biomedical research to public health policy development. Physicians are direct healthcare providers who understand the scientific basis of medicine and the abnormal and normal functioning of the human body.

Pre-Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic doctors are primary healthcare providers that practice holistic diagnosis, non-toxic treatment, and proactive prevention to promote overall health and wellness. 


Nurses are hands-on healthcare professionals that provide patients with direct, personalized care. They are important members of the healthcare team and are extensively involved in helping patients with the maintenance and promotion of health, in adapting to acute or chronic illness, and in coping with the final stages of life. 

Pre-Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapists are healthcare professionals who assist individuals with physical, developmental, or mental impairments to overcome challenges, independently perform tasks, and fully participate in their daily lives. 


Optometrists are primary providers of vision care who are concerned with eye health and general health problems that affect the eyes, color vision, depth perception, and visual performance.


Pharmacists are health care professionals skilled in understanding and monitoring drug therapy, uses, and interactions. 

Pre-Physical Therapy

Physical Therapists are licensed healthcare providers that help restore or improve motor function in patients who suffer from loss of muscle strength, physical mobility, or circulation.

Pre-Physician Assistant

Physician Assistants (PAs) are licensed health care professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision.

Pre-Public Health

Public health professionals work to protect entire population groups from experiencing unnecessary, preventable injury or illness, and to help create the conditions that support life-long good health for everyone.

Pre-Radiation Therapy

Radiation Therapists are professional healthcare technicians that administer radiation treatments to patients with cancer. 

Pre-Veterinary Medicine

Veterinarians are licensed medical professionals dedicated to maintaining and promoting the health and well beings of animals.