Pre-Health Advising

Medicine, Dentistry, Chiropractic, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, Podiatry, Optometry, Osteopathy, Veterinary


The College of Staten Island is proud to serve as a springboard for students interested in professional graduate training. Many of our graduates go on to rewarding careers in health professions such as medicine and dentistry after having received thorough preparation during their undergraduate years.

Contact Information

Grozdena Yilmaz, MPAS, PA-C

Director of Pre-MD/Pre-Health Advisement

Building 6S-137
Email Grozdena Yilmaz, MPAS, PA-C

Pre-Medicine Preparation

To become a medical doctor, students most often complete their undergraduate bachelor’s degree, followed by graduate study at an accredited medical school, and then several years of a residency in a medical facility under the guidance of an experienced physician.

Most medical schools in the United States do not require that their applicants have a specific undergraduate major. All medical schools will require that students have a strong foundation in the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics.)

Many medical schools will place great emphasis on courses which teach effective communication skills to students in addition to a background in the humanities, which focus on the human condition; and a background in the social sciences which focus on human society and relationships. Students should become familiar with the specific requirements and recommendations of the medical schools to which they plan to apply.

The minimum requirements for admission to medical schools in the United States are:

  • one year of English,
  • General Chemistry with laboratories,
  • General Biology with laboratories,
  • General Physics with laboratories,
  • Organic Chemistry with laboratories

Also recommended are:

  • At least one year of advanced mathematics, including calculus
  • One or more advanced courses in science, sociology, and psychology

All applicants to medical schools in the United States must take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). The three areas tested are: verbal reasoning, physical sciences and biological sciences. Most medical schools use the MCAT scores, evaluated in conjunction with college grades, as predictors of performance in medical school. MCAT scores and college transcripts are the most important determinants of admission to medical school. Also strongly considered are letters of recommendation from the College’s pre-medical advisory committee, research experience, extra-curricular activities, work-related experience, required essay, and a personal interview.

the Advanced Imaging Facility Located in Building 6S, Room 006, the Advanced Imaging Facility hosts an array of atomic force, confocal, transmission and scanning electron microscopy and live cell imaging system. Ultramicrotome and cryo-ultramicrotomes slice samples as fine as 3 microns. Offline image processing using Imaris is also available.​

Students interested in pursuing a career in medicine or dentistry should consult with the Pre-Medical Advisory Committee as soon as possible, as the Committee is there to assist students in planning a route for success. The Committee’s mission is to help students achieve the dream of becoming doctors, and is happy to advise students about course selection as early as the freshman year.

College of Staten Island Pre-Med Advisory Committee

Grozdena Yilmaz is chair of the Pre-Med/Pre-Health Advising Committee. Professor Yilmaz oversees the advising of all students across campus exploring careers in medicine, dentistry, physician assist and other health fields. Professor Yilmaz is a long-term advocate for effective student mentoring. She is the Deputy Chair of Biology, a licensed physician assistant, and member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. • 718-982-3831

Stephen G. Morris is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at CSI. In 2008 Dr. Morris received a Distinguished Professor Award in the area of Scholarship/Creative Activity, and in 2009. the James V. Mehl Outstanding Faculty Scholarship Award from Missouri Western State University. • 718-982-2895

Ellen-ge Denton is a New York State licensed psychologist with postdoctoral training in pediatric psychiatry and clinical research methods at Columbia University Medical Center.
Ellenge.denton@csi.cunyedu • (on sabbatical)

Probal Banerjee is a Neuroscientist and Cancer Biologist with post- doctoral training in Neurochemistry at the Department of Pediatrics, University of Chicago Medical Center. • 718-982-3938

Shiryan Sukhram is Assistant Professor of Biology at CSI. Dr. Sukhram holds both MPH  and PhD degrees from Florida International University. • (on sabbatical)

Shi Jin is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry at College of Staten Island. He joined the committee in 2020. • 718-982-3890 • Office: 6S-234

University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (UB SPPS/SUNY)

The College of Staten Island (CSI/CUNY) and the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (UB SPPS/SUNY) have formed three new collaborative agreements that provide CSI students opportunities to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

Students can pursue three options with established CSI to UB pathways including two accelerated options: 6 years (2+4) and 7 years (3+4) as well as a more traditional route of 8 years (4+4). All options begin with taking prerequisite degree requirements at CSI in Biology, Chemistry or Biochemistry and completing the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) at UB SPPS. A CUNY-SUNY partnership ensures a world-class education with significant cost savings of up to $150,000 compared to the equivalent degrees offered by private colleges. At least two seats are guaranteed for the doctoral portion of all three programs. In 2020, UB SPPS PharmD program was ranked #1 in New York State.
Learn more by visiting

SUNY College of Optometry (New York, NY)

The College of Staten Island offers an affiliation program with SUNY College of Optometry, whereby highly qualified students may complete a joint BS or BA degree and OD degree in just seven years instead of the usual eight.

Selected academically talented high school seniors and college freshmen can be admitted to an approved joint degree track at CSI and, simultaneously, to candidacy for admission to the professional OD program at SUNY Optometry.

Upon maintaining the required academic standing, the qualified student is admitted to the SUNY College of Optometry. After the first year at SUNY Optometry, the student receives his or her baccalaureate degree from CSI. The Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree is awarded after completing the four years at SUNY Optometry.
Learn more by visiting sunyopt. edu

CSI is proud to have served as the undergraduate training ground for many alumni who have gone on to practice dentistry or chiropractic medicine.

Dentistry or chiropractic schools in the United States do not require or recommend any specific field of study as an undergraduate major for applicants. Most schools suggest that the in-depth study of any of the liberal arts and sciences is valuable preparation. Some dentistry or chiropractic schools have established admissions criteria and additional recommendations. It is important for pre-dentistry and pre-chiropractic students to choose appropriate courses to prepare for admission. Students should become familiar with the recommendations of the schools to which they intend to apply.

Minimum requirements for admission to dentistry or chiropractic schools in the US:

  • one year of English,
  • Biology with laboratories (may include a half-year of genetics and a half-year of botany),
  • General Physics with laboratories,
  • General Chemistry with laboratories,
  • Organic Chemistry with laboratories.

Also recommended are:


  • At least one year of advanced mathematics,
  • One or more advanced courses in science, sociology, and psychology.

Applying to Dentistry Schools

All applicants to dentistry schools in the United States must participate in the Dental College Admission Testing Program and take the Dental College Admissions Test (DAT). The four examinations that comprise the testing program cover: principles of biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry; perceptual ability; reading comprehension; and quantitative reasoning.

DAT scores and college transcripts are the most important determinants of admission to dentistry school and are used as predictors of performance in dentistry school. Also considered are letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, work- related experience, required essay, and a personal interview.

In recent years, graduates of CSI have been admitted to medical schools throughout the region, including SUNY Downstate, Upstate and Buffalo, NYU, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, as well as professional schools such as New England Colleges of Optometry and Osteopathy, the New York Colleges of Osteopathy and Podiatry, and Rosalind Franklin University. Additional professional school acceptances include School of Dental Medicine at SUNY Buffalo, NYU, Columbia University and University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). Graduates have been accepted to veterinary school at Cornell and Tufts Universities.*

*Source: Macaulay Honors College at CSI Graduate Survey.

Interested in this program? Please complete our inquiry card

Please contact Professor Grozdena Yilmaz, Pre-Med/Pre-Health program advisor for students majoring in Biology, or Holly Block, Assistant Director for Recruitment.