How to prepare for a degree in health care while in high school

Wondering what you can do right now? Here are tips and classes to prep for a health care career.

Are you ready to start working toward a degree in health care? We spoke to admissions counselor Kelsey Huelse from the University of Cincinnati's College of Allied Health Sciences.

Huelse shares what steps to take and classes to sign up for that will help build a strong resume for your college application. Plus, pro tips to help guide you to becoming a successful allied health student.

What classes to take in high school

As you might imagine, math and science courses are the most important to prepare you for the rigors of a health care degree. But there are a variety of ways you can better prepare your readiness for college-level coursework.

  • Consider taking some of the following courses:
  • Pre-calculus and calculus if possible.
  • Chemistry and physics.
  • Honors courses.
  • AP courses.
  • Dual-enrollment courses (CCP).
  • Test out your science skills by challenging yourself with a rigorous natural science course in high school.
  • Take a look at the curriculum for the major you are interested in and see if there are any specific courses that would best prepare you for your future courses. 

Gain experience through leadership and volunteer experiences

A lot of students ask us how they can enhance their application beyond just their GPA. A great way to do this is to showcase your involvement. Future health care heroes are passionate members of the community who are always willing to offer a helping hand. They are also leaders who advocate for their field and their patients. You can showcase you are on the right path by volunteering in your community and taking on leadership positions in high school.

Some examples of this are:

  • Volunteering at a local clinic or pet shelter
  • Being the captain of a sports team
  • Leading a student organization through a fundraising effort
  • Organizing a food drive
  • Planning a prom or school dance
  • Serving as a senior class officer

Leverage early admission program opportunities

Some universities offer early admission programs that allow you to secure your spot into competitive graduate or clinical programs alongside your undergraduate admission. These programs are invaluable - they give you peace of mind that you will reach your final goals!

Familiarize yourself with the admission standards for these programs – they are often higher than the admission to the program. Is there a GPA you should strive for? Are there courses you need to take to be eligible? Ensuring you know what these are early will allow you to plan your path. UC’s College of Allied Health Sciences offers early admission opportunities in nearly every major.

Visit campus

Visiting campus is a crucial step in your college search process. Not only will it allow you learn about the school’s admission requirements and programs, but it allows you to see if the campus culture and facilities will enhance your education. COVID-19 has caused many campuses to decrease the number of students and families they can host at each admissions related event – keep this in mind and make sure you register early! 

Take the Next Step 

Still interested in learning more?  Attend a  UC Admissions event  and register for “College of Allied Health Sciences” - we’d be happy to talk through our majors and opportunities.

Headshot of Kelsey Smith Huelse

Kelsey Smith Huelse

Asst Dir Student Recruitment, CAHS Student Affairs



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