Health Professions

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The healthcare industry is a varied and exciting career path. It includes popular medical fields such as doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants and dentists. But there are also increasing numbers of job opportunities in pharmacy, therapy, medical technology and more. It’s an excellent fit for students who love working with and helping people people, have a passion for science and want a career in a field that continues to increase in demand.

Because graduate school is nearly always required for health professionals, Holy Cross College aims to give its students a strong science background to complement the student’s major and prepare them with the prerequisites they need to succeed in a medical field. A pre-health profession student may select any major field offered by the college. While biology and chemistry are selected by a large majority of premedical students, medical schools do not require that a student select one of these majors. In choosing a major, a good rule is to follow your own interests. Ideally, the major should be one that will support an alternate career. Intellectual engagement in whatever major you choose, and demonstrated ability to learn large amounts of scientific information relatively quickly, are of greatest importance to admissions committees.

health science


Program Focus


life sciencesAt Holy Cross, the health professions track is designed for students considering careers in medicine or other health-related fields. Students undertake a strong science curriculum that provides the necessary background required by most professional schools. Combining the health professions track with strong academic performance, community and school service, and a relevant internship best prepares students to pursue future careers in medicine and many other health professions. Holy Cross also helps its students interested in a medical profession find an internship in the health industry. This will give students applying for and entering graduate school a well-rounded educational experience, no matter what career they plan to pursue.

There are four guided academic tracks for health professions at Holy Cross College:

  • Pre-Med/Pre-Dental
    For students hoping to enter medical school or dental school, this track prepares students with science and sociology fundamentals.
  • Pre-Physical Therapy
  • For students hoping to continue their education in a physical therapy program, this track prepares students with science, sociology, and statistical courses.

  • Pre-Physician’s Assistant
    For students hoping to continue their education in a physician’s assistant program, this track prepares students with science, sociology, and statistical courses.
  • Pre-Veterinary Science
    For students hoping to continue their education in a veterinary science program, this track prepares students with science, sociology, and statistical courses, as well as concentrated biology classes.

Students may also take classes at Saint Mary’s College and the University of Notre Dame to meet graduate school research and academic requirements.

Pre-Med/Dent Track



There are minimum requirements that must be included in the pre-medical program, preferably by the end of the second semester of the junior year, since at that time the student usually takes the MCAT. While the MCAT does not have calculus, most pre-medical students still have to take the class as part of the prerequisite courses for admissions to medical school. The general requirement is a year of math, which can be two semesters of calculus or one semester each of calculus and statistics. However, this can vary by school. You can learn the exact requirements for each school from that school’s website or admissions office.

Sample of Courses Required for Track

BIOL 151 Principles of Biology I: Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity I (plus lab)
BIOL 152 Principles of Biology II: Cell and Molecular (plus lab)
BIOL 255 Human Anatomy & Physiology I (plus lab)
CHEM 151 Chemistry I (plus lab)
CHEM 152 Chemistry II (plus lab)
CHEM 210 Organic Chemistry I (plus lab)
CHEM 211 Organic Chemistry II (plus lab)
MATH 151 Calculus I
PHYS 151 Physics I (plus lab)
PHYS 152 Physics II (plus lab)
PSYC 101 Intro to Psychology
SOCI 151 Principles of Sociology

Pre-PT Track



Sample of Courses Required for Track

BIOL 151 Principles of Biology I: Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity I (plus lab)
BIOL 152 Principles of Biology II: Cell and Molecular (plus lab)
CHEM 151 Chemistry I (plus lab)
CHEM 152 Chemistry II (plus lab)
BIOL 255 Human Anatomy & Physiology I (plus lab)
MATH 151 Calculus I
PHYS 151 Physics I (plus lab)
PHYS 152 Physics II (plus lab)
MATH/BUSI 210 Statistics: Probability
PSYC 101 Intro to Psychology
SOCI 151 Principles of Sociology
Volunteer Hours Most physical therapy programs require students to complete volunteer hours. Requirement is program dependent.

* Courses made available through the N.I.C.E program.

Pre-PA Track



Sample of Courses Required for Track

BIOL 151 Principles of Biology I: Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity I (plus lab)
BIOL 152 Principles of Biology II: Cell and Molecular (plus lab)
CHEM 151 Chemistry I (plus lab)
CHEM 152 Chemistry II (plus lab)
CHEM 210 Organic Chemistry I
CHEM 211* Organic Chemistry II (plus lab)
BIOL 255 Human Anatomy & Physiology I (plus lab)
Biology* Microbiology OR Genetics OR Immunology
MATH/BUSI 210 Statistics: Probability
PSYC 101 Intro to Psychology
SOCI 151 Principles of Sociology

* Courses made available through the N.I.C.E program.
** Course requirements are dependent on graduate program of interest.

Pre-Vet Track



Sample of Courses Required for Track

BIOL 151 Principles of Biology I: Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity I (plus lab)
BIOL 152 Principles of Biology II: Cell and Molecular (plus lab)
CHEM 151 Chemistry I (plus lab)
CHEM 152 Chemistry II (plus lab)
Chem 211 Organic Chemistry I (plus lab)
CHEM 212 Organic Chemistry II
CHEM 220 Biochemistry
MATH 151 Calculus I
PHYS 151 Physics I (plus lab)
PHYS 152 Physics II (plus lab)
MATH/BUSI 210 Statistics: Probability
PSYC 101 Intro to Psychology
SOCI 151 Principles of Sociology
BIOL 312 Microbiology (plus lab)
BIOL 209 Genetics (plus lab)

* Courses made available through the N.I.C.E program.

Faculty


br jesus 2
Br. Jesus Alonso, C.S.C., Ph.D.
Vice President for Strategic Initiatives

While at St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX, I was awarded a Presidential Award in my last year as an undergraduate. I have a doctorate in microbiology, and I have worked with Ebola and Marburg viruses as a researcher at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio, TX, under the direction of Jean L. Patterson. In 2013, I published two peer-reviewed articles on my virus research.

When working with students, my main goal is to challenge them to become problem solvers. Facts in all fields of study are in continuous evolution, and students therefore must understand that texts provide the basis for future discovery. As an educator, I require my students to think about contemporary challenges in science which in turn would help them understand how they too can become contributors to scientific thought and understanding.

Martin Sulkanen
Martin Sulkanen, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Physics

My Ph.D. in physics from Cornell University led me to a post-doctoral fellowship at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and a career in astrophysics with companies and organizations such as NASA Marshall Flight Center, Michigan Research and Development Center, and Leidos, Inc. Because of my lifelong fascination with the profound consequences of the basic principles of physics on our universe, I have studied binary star systems, galactic radio jets, and worked on NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory Project Science Team.

As a professor of physics and mathematics, I encourage my students to develop an intuitive understanding for physics to guide the understanding of further mathematical analysis: “don’t get lost in the equations!” My students have gone on to a variety of careers in places such as at Yale University, the International Space Station and the the US Patent & Trademark Office.

Yuhui Lu
Yuhui Lu, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Chemistry

The study of chemistry is necessary for students who want to pursue a career in natural science, medical science, and engineering. It also helps liberal art students to improve their reasoning skills, understand scientific methodology, and gain deeper insight between human-nature relationships. I challenge all my students, regardless of background, to engage in logic, diligence, and self-discipline.

I have earned Ph.D.s in both chemistry and electrical engineering. I use this combination of disciplines to research nanoelectronics and single molecular devices with colleagues at the University of Notre Dame. I have also been a principal investigator of grants with the National Science Foundation, and undergraduate research supervisor. I am currently pursuing a variety of research opportunities for Holy Cross students.

lynne
Lynne Csiszar-Cary, Ph.D.
Chair, Division of Natural Sciences
Associate Professor of Biology

Prior to arriving at Holy Cross College, I worked as a research scientist in the pharmaceutical industry for Miles Laboratories/Bayer, a director of product development for American Biogenetic Sciences, and an Associate Professor of Biochemistry and administrator for 13 years at Bethel College. At Bethel I taught upper level science courses, developed an undergraduate research program in breast cancer and a graduate program in biotechnology. I am committed to life-long learning. I hold a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, an M.S. in Microbiology from the University of Notre Dame and two degrees from Purdue University: a B.S. in Biology and B.A in Psychology. My Ph.D. research characterizing IFP2, an invertebrate transposable element was published in the journal Virology. Currently, I’m completing a M.S. in Project Management at the University of Wisconsin.

As Chair of the Division of Natural Sciences, I believe supporting students with mentoring and career advising is critical for maximizing success in medical school, post-graduate programs, and science careers. Through this support, faculty and staff add value to each student’s Holy Cross experience. My philosophy of teaching is transforming undergraduate students’ lives through a synergy of classroom, research laboratory and real-life internship experiences. My greatest joy as a faculty member is knowing my students personally outside of the classroom and helping them discover their personal career calling. I am also interested in developing community partnerships improving STEM programs, supporting Catholic undergraduate education, and advocating for social justice.

John Cybulskis
Assistant Professor of Mathematics

I have enjoyed teaching all age ranges of students, and I am proud of the successes that they have had. I love to take science out of the classroom, and in that pursuit, I have been a mentor/trainer for the Mechanical Universe Program, a mentor/trainer in a comprehensive conceptual curriculum for physics, and the Indiana Finalist for the NASA Teacher in Space program.

I encourage my students to be open minded and intensely curious, without fearing investing work to gain knowledge. The world will never be less mathematical, but Mother Nature is willing to share her secrets with those willing to learn.

Huiyuan Hu, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor of Chemistry

CDR Dennis J. Vandenberg, USN (Ret.), CTP
Adjunct Professor of Mathematics

Math inspires critical thinking, applies to real life management problems, and can helps students be more effective leaders. I like to make sure my students know that math isn’t just for classrooms, but has a place in the real world job market. If someone is motivated and committed, they can do anything they want with a degree in math.

Sample Med School Requirements


The course requirements for the Indiana University School of Medicine are listed below along with the Holy Cross College equivalent courses. For other medical schools, slight changes may be necessary in the program. The premedical student should consult the catalogs of medical schools of interest or the book “Medical School Admission Requirements” which is published each May by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

In addition to the courses required for admission to I.U. Medical School listed, students wishing to graduate from Holy Cross College must meet all of the college’s graduation requirements. It is recommended that you check frequently with a pre-med academic advisor to be sure that you are following the correct program that will not only qualify you for admission to medical school, but also one that will allow you to graduate on time. The Holy Cross pre-medical course requirements are similar to most medical school requirements in the United States.

Indiana University Medical School-required pre-medical courses (IU requirements) are followed by the Holy Cross College equivalent for those courses.

Biology: 8-10 hours. (1 year) – BIOL 151 Principles of Biology I + Lab, BIOL 152 Principles of Biology II + Lab and Molecular Cell Biology; (General Biology Lecture + Lab and Cell Biology Lecture – 11 hours)

General Chemistry: 8-10 hours. (1 year) – CHEM 151 Principles of Chemistry I + Lab, CHEM 152 Principles of Chemistry II + Lab; (General Chemistry Lecture + Lab – 8 hours)

Organic Chemistry: 8-10 hours. (1 year) – CHEM 211 Organic Chemistry I + Lab, CHEM 212 Organic Chemistry II + Lab; (Organic Chemistry Lecture and Lab – 8 hours)
Biochemistry: 3-4 hours. 1 course (no lab required) – BIOL/CHEM 420 Biochemistry + Lab; (Biochemistry Lecture + lab – 4 hours)

Physics: 8-10 hours. (1 year)– PHYS 151 Physics for Science, Medicine and Engineering I + Lab, PHYS 152 Physics for Science, Medicine and Engineering II + Lab; (General Physics Lecture + Lab – 8 hours)

Social Sciences: 1 course in each Social and Behavioral Science, i.e., Psychology and Sociology – PSYC 101 General Psychology and SOCI 151 Principles of Sociology; (Psychology and Sociology Lecture – 6 hours). General recommendations include completing one course in Social Science (i.e., Anthropology, Introduction to Sociology, Cultural Anthropology, Ethnography, African American Studies, etc.) and one Behavioral Science (i.e., General Psychology, Lifespan Development, etc.).

In addition to the requirements listed above, Holy Cross College also offers several courses that would provide important background information for some of the courses taken during the first two years of medical school and for preparation for the MCAT. These courses include BIOL 209 (Genetics + Lab,) BIOL 256 (Human Anatomy and Physiology II + Lab) and BIOL 312 (Microbiology + Lab).

Department Contact


Br. Jesus Alonso, C.S.C., Ph.D.
Chair, Division of Natural Sciences
Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
jalonso@hcc-nd.edu