Pre-Professional Health Emphasis


This degree allows students to earn an A.A. degree that fulfills all the Minnesota State transfer curriculum requirements while at the same time preparing them to pursue a post-graduate degree in any of the following fields:
- Chiropractic
- Dentistry
- Medicine
- Optometry
- Pharmacy
- Podiatry
- Physical Therapy
- Veterinary Medicine

All of these areas of study require a solid foundation in the core sciences. Students will take 31-32 credits of chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics at Riverland Community College and will take additional chemistry and biology classes after transferring to a four-year institution. Students usually earn a baccalaureate degree before entering their professional program, but it is not always a requirement.

Students are encouraged to check the specific requirements and recommendations of the professional schools they are interested in, as they vary from school to school. For example, most programs require a semester of calculus, but some require two semesters of calculus, while in other cases pre-calculus may be sufficient. Students should check requirements for baccalaureate degrees in which they are interested.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum General Education requirements for programs:

AA – 60 credits total; 40 credits of MnTC general education containing all 10 goal areas; 1 credit HLTH/PHED required.
AS – 60 credits minimum; 30 credits of MnTC general education, (16 credits required [4 cr. each] from goal area 1 [ENGL1101 required], 3 or 4, 5, and 6); 1 credit HLTH/PHED required.
AAS – 60 credits total; a minimum of 15 credits of MnTC general education (3 cr. each from goal area 1 [ENGL1101 required], 3 or 4, 5, and 6).
Diploma – 31-72 credit total; 24 credits minimum in occupational or technical courses.    

*Notes—more details about the course lists and recommendations

If a course has an Honors counterpart, it may be substituted. For example, SPCH 1110 may be substituted for SPCH 1100.
Most programs will require one semester of calculus. Pre-calculus is often appropriate for pre-chiro students and may be sufficient for some pre-dental, pre-PT, & pre-vet students. Some majors may require two semesters of calculus.
Students may substitute PHYS 2201/2202 if it is needed/preferred for their intended program or major. Pre-pharmacy students may substitute a Sci/Math elective for PHYS 1502, but pre-pharmacy students planning on earning a bachelor’s degrees in science should take both semesters of physics.
Choose from BIOL 1092, BIOL 2040, MATH 1210, or MATH 1220. Students who need either MATH 1210 or MATH 1220 should take that. Otherwise most students should take BIOL 1092. If taking a biology class, pre-optometry, pre-PT, and pre-pharmacy students may want BIOL 2040 rather than BIOL 1092.
At least one of the courses must come from a discipline other than PSCY. Suggested courses include SOCI 1101 or ANTH 2220 or ANTH 2240.
At least one of the courses must come from a discipline other than PHIL. ARTS 1112 is recommended for pre-dental students.
At least one of the elective classes must meet Goal 8—Global Perspectives.

Location: Austin
Program Starts: Fall/Spring/Summer
Course Plan: 4 Semesters
Faculty: Virginia Johanson, Catherine Haslag, Chuck Meyer, John Carlson, Pam Ruble

For in-depth information including outcomes, program fees, course descriptions, and more please visit the Pre-Professional Health Emphasis program page at

Course List

MATH1210 Calculus I (Goal 2 & 4) 5 CR
CHEM1201 General Chemistry I (Goal 3 & 10) 5 CR
CHEM1202 General Chemistry II (Goal 2 & 3) 5 CR
PHYS1501 College Physics I (Goal 2 & 3) 4 CR
PHYS1502 College Physics II (Goal 2 & 3) 4 CR
BIOL1091 General Biology I (Goal 2 & 3) 4 CR
Science/Math elective (usually General Biology II or Calculus I) 4-5 CR
ENGL1101 Composition I (Goal 1 & 2) 3 CR
ENGL1105 Composition II: Research (Goal 1 & 2; Prereq ENGL1101) 3 CR
SPCH1100 Fundamentals of Speech (Goal 1 & 9) 3 CR
PSYC1105 General Psychology (Goal 5 & 7) 4 CR
two History/Social Science electives 5-6 CR
PHIL1140 Health Care/Medical Ethics (Goal 6 & 9) 3 CR
two Humanities/Fine Arts electives 6 CR
PHED/HLTH/EMER course or THTR 1111 1 CR
CCLS1000 First Year Experience 1 CR