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Hobart and William Smith Colleges have a record of excellence in the health professions. HWS graduates gain admission to highly selective programs, and our alumni go on to become leaders in their fields. Our small class sizes, high-quality faculty, strength in the sciences, and community of collaborative, diverse and high-achieving students promote strong learning outcomes. Professional schools know this, and value our graduates for what they learn at HWS and for our graduates’ records of success in taking on new challenges after college.
At HWS, health professions advising is individualized. In addition to the information provided on the Health Professions webpage, the Health Professions Advising Office, located in the Salisbury Center for Career Services and Professional Development, maintains a wealth of additional resources. Materials are regularly posted to the Health Professions Group on Blackboard. Workshops, guest speakers, information sessions and other special opportunities are widely advertised on campus and shared with students through a health professions email distribution list.
Health Professions Club
This active, student-run group sponsors multiple health professions related programs both on and off campus.
An opportunity to observe the delivery of healthcare and volunteer in the healthcare field is provided each semester for interested sophomores, juniors and seniors. HWS has partnered with Finger Lakes Health and a number of other local providers. Interns commit to 50 hours of shadowing/volunteer time during the semester. The Health Professions Advising Office can also arrange short-term job shadowing and off-campus experiences.
Blackwell Medical Scholarship Program
Qualified high school seniors are considered for admission to this combined BA/BS and MD program. Those who meet and maintain the standards of the program are guaranteed a seat at the College of Medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University upon graduation from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. See the HWS Admissions webpage for more information about criteria and application materials.
Early Assurance Programs
SUNY at Buffalo School of Medicine and SUNY Upstate Medical University both allow qualified students to apply and be accepted to medical school at the end of the sophomore year.
The Health Profession Advisory Committee (HPAC), comprised of faculty members, administrators, and the health professions counselor, advises students regarding all aspects of the application process.
Majors and Minors
Pre-health students can and should major in disciplines that they are passionate about. While many pre-health students select majors in the sciences, this is often not required. The minor in Health Care Professions is a popular choice, but students can and should also minor in a subject of interest. Minors in foreign languages, Public Policy, Women’s or Men’s Studies, International Relations, Child Advocacy, or a host of others could serve pre-health students well.
Health professional schools set prerequisites for gaining admission to their programs. Students should consult regularly with their faculty advisers and the Health Professions Adviser to plan an academic program that best prepares them for their chosen profession. Information is also available on the Health Professions webpage and the Health Professions Group on Blackboard.
Prerequisite courses are the best initial preparation for standardized exams such as the MCAT, DAT and PCAT. Exams must be taken a year (or more) before entry into professional school. The Health Professions Counselor can provide additional information about exams and how best to prepare for them.
THE HEALTH PROFESSIONS MINOR
The health professions minor enables students to study health care from a variety of perspectives in the social sciences and the humanities. Tier 1 courses and experiences directly focus on health care related topics, while Tier 2 courses engage with issues that often impact human health or provide skills useful to health care professionals. Note that the minor is not a pre-professional program, and you should consult with the health professions adviser for information about prerequisites for admission to professional training programs in health care fields.
The Health Professions Advisory Committee Chair acts as the program coordinator and approves all minor declarations and audits. In addition to the courses listed below, selected courses may be taken abroad and designated as Tier 1 or Tier 2 with the approval of HPAC.
**Note: The curriculum for the minor is being revised. Students should check the online catalog and the Health Professions web page for the most up-to-date information.
Tier 1: At least three of these courses or experiences
ANTH 341/441 Making Babies (offered alternate years)
BIDS (SOC) 295 Alcohol Use and Abuse (offered occasionally)
DAN 305 Somatics (offered alternate years)
ENG 115 Stories of Illness and Healing (offered only in Spring, 2013)
ENG 328 Health & Social Justice (offered only in Spring, 2013)
ENG 372 Cultures of Medicine (no longer offered)
HIST 313 Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution (offered in fall semesters alternating with HIST 325)
HIST 321 The Evolution of Human Emotion (offered every spring)
HIST 325 Medicine in Modern Europe (offered in fall semesters alternating with HIST 313)
HIST 371 Life-Cycles in History (offered every fall)
LGBT 204 Bodies of Difference
MDSC 307 Medicine and Society (offered every 2 to 3 years)
PHIL 156 Biomedical Ethics (offered 3 out of every 4 semesters)
PSY 203 Introduction to Child Psychology & Human Development (EDUC 202 Human Growth & Development may be substituted for PSY 203) (offered annually)
PSY 205 Adolescent Psychology (offered annually)
PSY 221 Introduction to Psychopathology (offered annually)
REL 213 Death & Dying (offered annually)
WMST 204 Politics of Health (offered at least in alternate years, alternating with WMST 362)
WMST 211 Place and Health (no longer offered)
WMST 362 Topics in Feminist Health (offered at least in alternate years, alternating with WMST 204)
HCP 450 An appropriate Independent Study approved by HPAC
An HWS-sponsored Hospital Internship (50-60 hours) OR EMT Certification
Tier 2: Additional Courses
AFS 200 Ghettoscapes (offered alternate years)
ANTH 110 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (offered every semester)
ANTH 205 Race, Class, Ethnicity (offered alternate years)
ANTH 220 Sex Roles: A Cross Cultural Perspective (offered annually)
DAN 225 Anatomy and Kinesiology (alternate years)
HIST 151 Food Systems in History (offered every semester)
ECON 122 Economics of Caring (offered every fall)
ECON 160 Principles of Economics (offered every semester)
ECON 248 Poverty & Welfare (offered alternate years)
ENG 213 19th Century American Literature and Women Healers (no longer offered)
PHIL 157 Multicultural Ethics (offered alternate years)
PHIL 234 What Should I Do? Possible Answers (offered occasionally)
PHIL 235 Morality & Self-Interest (offered at least in alternate years)
PHIL 315 Social Justice (offered at least in alternate years)
PSY 100 Introduction to Psychology (offered every semester)
PSY 245 Cross-Cultural Psychology (offered once a year)
REL 260 Religion and Philosophy from a Global Perspective (offered alternate years)
SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology (offered every semester)
SOC 221 Race and Ethnic Relations (offered every year)
SOC 224 Social Deviance (offered every year)
SOC 225 Sociology of Family (offered alternate years)
SOC 226 Sociology of Sex and Gender (offered alternate years)
SOC 241 Sociology of Sport (offered occasionally)
SPAN 101 & 102 Beginning Spanish I and II (counts as two credits toward the minor)*
SPAN 102, 121, 122, 203, 204 (up to 2 Spanish language courses at the 102 level or above)*
WMST 100 Intro to Women’s Studies (offered every semester)
WMST 220 The Body Politic (offered occasionally)
WMST 305 Food, Feminism and Health (offered occasionally)
WRRH 351 The Science Beat (offered alternate years)
WRRH 352 Writing in the Professional Workplace (offered alternate years)
*Spanish language courses can be counted toward the minor, to a maximum of two such courses. SPAN 101 (or the equivalent) can only be used for the minor if the student also completes SPAN 102. The idea is to give the participant a foundation for communicating with the increasing number of Spanish-speaking Americans. If your career plans in health care make another language desirable, up to two courses in a language other than Spanish can be incorporated similarly into the minor. Permission of your minor adviser AND the Health Professions Advisory Committee Chair must be obtained BEFORE you embark on any language other than Spanish toward the Health Professions minor.
Examples of coursework for a Health Care Minor
Tier 1: PHIL 156, PSY 203, PSY 205
Tier 1 or 2: PSY 100, ANTH 205, Internship
Tier 1: HIST 371, REL 213, Internship
Tier 1 or 2: HIST 151, SOC 100, ENG 213