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Meeting with an advisor can be a meaningful use of time - but only if the advisor and the student are both prepared.  The student should be an active participant in the meeting - not a vessel waiting to be filled with information.

Responsibilities of the student:

  • On your first visit, we will create a file for your information.  It is your responsibility to keep this file - review it and to bring it to every appointment.  Refer to it often - it will have information for your college career.
  • Know your goals - this can be challenging.  Often students have many goals and some are conflicting. Examples and how to deal with conflicting goals:
    • You want to work full time, but you also want to have excellent grades so that you can attend competitive health professional programs.
    • You want to attend competitive health professions programs but you want to take "easy" classes. 
    • Note: The examples above provide goals that are incompatible and result in confusion and stress.  Write down your goals and reflect on them.  
  • Know what  information you are seeking by researching topics.  This website ( has a great deal of information for you and links to information written by professional organizations.  Review relevant information before meeting with an advisor.
  • Make a list of questions.  First, seek answers on your own, so that you can ask higher level questions in the meeting.
  • Read all emails that come from the advising office - they will often have information  about preparing for the meeting.
  • Know and review your major - note which classes are completed and which ones are not.
  • Know and review your health professions pathway- which classes/activities are complete (or in progress) and which are not.  These requirements are listed on this website.
  • For events, check the Health Professions Office Newsletter - the link is on the Health Professions Home Page.  Let us know if you would like to be on the mailing list - email us at:
  • College can be a stressful time - please let your advisor know if you are having difficulty in or outside of class and ask for referral to campus resources - there are many.


Responsibilities of the advisor:

  • Prepare for the topic that the student has noted in their appointment.
  • Review past meetings with the student.
  • Remain up to date on university policies.
  • Remain up to date on health professions requirements.
  • Encourage students honestly.
  • Refer when necessary.
  • Work with students toward self-efficacy.


It is important for students to understand their degree requirements in order to make progress.

Use the ISU Online Undergraduate Catalog to find the degree requirements  - in general and for the BS in Health Science.

Select the concentrations below and further investigate your degree:

Health Science Concentration

Pre-Occupational Therapy Concentration

Review the page on this website regarding the BSHS concentrations that we advise for:  Health Professions Advising for the BS in Health Science

Students may be preparing for a career in a health profession (medicine, dentistry, physical therapy veterinary medicine, etc), but first they have to obtain an undergraduate degree.  That degree will be in a major offered by the university - it will not be pre-med, pre-dental, etc.  These are not majors, they are areas of study that include classes and activities required for entry into a graduate program.  

How to select a major:

  • Probably the most important quality to consider when choosing a major is whether you are passionate about it.  Any major will suffice  as preparation for a health professional program, but it must be rigorous and you must consider it to be valuable to your future.  Otherwise, you won't thrive in the major.  I ask my students to consider how they would answer the question, "Why did you select your major," if asked by an admission committee.  Reflect on that and work backwards to find a meaningful major
  • Resources to help you select a major:
  • There is no perfect major - but there is a perfect major for you.  No one can tell you what that is - you have to figure it out for yourself.  Beware of people who tell you that major x or major y is the best major.  Find the best major for yourself.
  • Review your transcript - which classes have been your favorites?
  • Consider aptitude - if you do not do well in science and math classes - a career in health professions may not be for you.  As with all aspects of college and life - reflect on your abilities.