Pre-Health Students Info

Pre-Health Student Information: see the following link for video presentation by Dr. Blair.


To meet with any advisor during the academic year (Sept through May) call direct and leave a message or send an e-mail. During the summer, please call 256-782-5642 in advance to arrange an appointment with an available advisor.

Benjie Blair ( 256-782-5643

Dr. Blair is director and chair of the Pre-Health Professional Committee. He advises students that are interested in medicine, osteopathic medicine, physical therapy, pharmacy, physicians assistant, dentistry, and various other health professional programs. He is committed to working hard to help students achieve their goals.

Jim Rayburn ( 256-782-5803

Dr. Rayburn works with sophomore-senior advisees that are interested in medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, podiatry, and optometry. He is a firm believer that students should be advised honestly and should be informed when they are not performing up to their abilities and/or the program.

Roger Sauterer ( 256-782-5963

Dr. Sauterer advises incoming freshmen and transfer students in all Pre-Health Professional areas. He is very concerned that students get off to a good start.

Chemistry: Dr. Al Nichols ( 256-782-8150


It is your responsibility to:

  • Know the requirements of the health professional program and/or institution you are planning to attend.
  • Meet those requirements successfully (with more than adequate grades).
  • Do those activities that can (and do) enhance your application (beyond being just another applicant with a number).
  • Know the timetable for application.
  • Stay in contact with the advisors throughout your program (freshman to senior) and communicate frequently with  schools in which you plan to apply.

Jacksonville State University Pre-Health Professional General Timetable

(If you plan to apply for admission to a health/health-related professional program, this TIMETABLE will guide you in planning your application.)


Request catalogs and application materials before October 1st from the professional schools at which you intend to apply.

Apply to take the MCAT or other exams, depending on your goals

Take MCAT exam at nearest site* (offered throughout the year)


Request recommendations from faculty early in the Fall semester. These may include:

A. Individual letters of recommendation (sent directly by faculty)

B. A single composite recommendation from the health professional committee. Many schools prefer composite letters; be sure to find out!

Initiate application to selected professional schools: (Note: many professional schools use AMCAS as a centralized application center.

Tips for making your application to professional schools successful:

A. Obtain an MCAT study booklet as early as possible in your college career and refer to it as you are taking courses. This will reinforce both the classes you take and allow you to become familiar with the types of questions most asked on the MCAT.

B. Send interviewers "thank you" notes that are less than one page! Be sure to know their names and how they are spelled! Word these notes with your name in several locations to help imprint your name on their brains!

C. Know something about the school(s) at which you are interviewing and what areas they emphasize. For example, if it is an osteopathic school, you should know what osteopathic medicine is and who started the concept.

D. Shadow a medical doctor for a few weeks, especially if they graduated from the school you want to attend, and if possible, with a doctor who is on the interview committee at the school. It provides name recognition and can be a significant factor.

E. Work diligently on your personal statement and spend time looking over each word! Make sure your application is free of spelling and grammatical errors, is consistent, concise, and will make the review committee consider you.

F. Be ready for any question in your interview and know the overall opinions of medical doctors. Hot topics in Science (life on Mars, prion diseases, emerging infections, antimicrobial peptides, etc.). Some of the more outlandish questions that have been included: What is the pH of the human body? What have your greatest failures been and how are you working to change them? What do you think about the governmental interaction with medicine in the U. S.? If you practice medicine in an underprivileged area of the country with over $200,000 in student loans making approximately $10.00 per patient, how will you pay for your student loans?

What JSU Biology can do for YOU!

The entire Biology Department is committed to aggressively preparing our students for their futures in professional careers. This includes frequently advising students to study harder, freely tutoring our students as time allows, and carefully informing students that they are not performing to a level required to achieve their goals.

Each professor in the JSU Biology Department is currently performing research in their field of study. They are open to taking on undergraduate students early in their careers to perform research that often results in presentations, publications, and a hands-on learning experience.

The Health Professional Committee office maintains files for each student who enters the pre-professional program. We invite you to obtain letters of recommendation from the beginning of your school career. Obtain these from those professors that you feel can properly evaluate your progress immediately after completion of a course, so that the letters can reflect recent memories and the professors are not given time to forget the little details that make a letter effective. These files will be used to personalize your composite letters of recommendation as you begin the application process.

Many opportunities for research at outside locations such as UAB, local Veterinarian clinics, and environmental research sites are available to increase your opportunities for interaction with professionals that may be able to help you prepare for graduate school.

Small classes in the upper level courses allow more personalized interaction between students and their instructor.

We believe this is essential and allows us to work with individual students more effectively.

JSU recognizes the needs of minorities and women in preparing for professional careers.

Outreach programs are being developed to allow pre-professional students to interact with local high school students to initiate preparation for college in young students interested in a future pre-professional program.


Check off Sheet for Pre-Health Professional Students

AAMC-American Association of Medical Colleges

UAB School of Dentistry

UAB School of Medicine

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine

UAB School of Optometry

Auburn Pharmacy (Harrison School of Pharmacy)

Samford Pharmacy (McWhorter School of Pharmacy)

Ross University (West Indies)

Life University