As part of Gonzaga University's mission, we are a community that models and expects excellence in academic and professional pursuits and intentionally develops the whole person – intellectually, spiritually, culturally, physical, and emotionally. This development of the whole person, cura personalis, is realized in our students through our commitment to a rigorous liberal arts core grounded in our Jesuit, Catholic and humanistic tradition. To guide our pre-health students in the pursuit of a career in healthcare with purpose, we ask that the students explore and master six core competencies that will assist them in becoming leaders of conscience in their chosen profession.
Along with the university’s liberal arts core, Gonzaga pre-health students have available to them all of their prerequisite coursework for graduate studies at a health professions school. Students who aspire to serve others by pursuing careers in the health professions must demonstrate a strong passion and understanding for the sciences. Given the rigors and demands of the profession, health science students must make a lifelong commitment to learning and refining their skills.
Gonzaga students seeking entrance into professional health programs can major in any discipline. Each year students work with their Faculty Advisors, the office of Academic Advising & Assistance (AAA), and the Health Professions Pathways Program (H3P) to come with an academic plan to meet their specific career goals. The requirements for different health professions graduate programs can vary but the following set of courses will meet the majority of prerequisites:
- 4 semesters of chemistry (including general and organic chemistry along with a course in biochemistry)
- 3-4 semesters of biology (introductory biology, along with genetics and physiology)
- 2 semesters of physics
- 2 semesters of English
- 1-2 semesters of math (including statistics and/or calculus)
Other courses that may be recommended in consultation with an advisor may include:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Inorganic Chemistry and an additional General Chemistry Lab
To learn to engage with patients and colleagues from diverse backgrounds and cultures, students are also encouraged to take coursework that will expand their knowledge of social determinants of health, ethical decision making and treatment of others, intercultural competence, varying faith traditions, and gender identities. Many of these class experiences can be found in one of the 129 Community Engaged Learning (CEL) sections across 16 different academic departments. Through these courses, 3,104 students contributed 43,182 hours of service to the Spokane community during the 2019-2020 academic year.
Taking advantage of its humanistic and Jesuit mission, Gonzaga looks to provide students a chance to develop outside of the classroom as well. The university has a long tradition of preparing students for a life in service to others and developing future healthcare professionals that care deeply for underserved populations. Along with the CEL courses mentioned above, Gonzaga students routinely engage in more than 80,000 service hours each year.
In the Spring of 2020 Gonzaga launched Opportunity Northeast, a place-based initiative strategically focused on improving outcomes for children, youth and families in Northeast Spokane. This endeavor engages Gonzaga students in transformative, real-world educational experiences, and offers staff and faculty the opportunity to engage more deeply in the shared work of community development through community-engaged scholarship, teaching, research and practice. The Health Professions Pathways Program sees Opportunity Northeast as an avenue for our pre-health students to learn how to serve and live and interact with the community they are serving, something we hope they take forward in their careers in healthcare and the communities they will we be a part of in the future.
Along with being active with the Spokane community, Gonzaga offers many other ways to gain leadership experiences through 130+ student clubs and organizations. More than 80% of the student population participates in a student organization on campus facilitating over 4,400 events every school year. In addition to our NCAA athletic teams, students can continue their athletic journey or begin a new sport in one of our club sports, many of which compete at the national championship level.