Health Sciences Programs FAQs
What is a curriculum sheet?
Curriculum sheets identify the requirements necessary to apply for and successfully complete a health sciences program (i.e., application period, start semester, application criteria, prerequisite and course requirements). A curriculum sheet is available for each health sciences program.
If you are a current high school student interested in dually enrolling at PCC, you should refer to the curriculum sheets specifically designed for Career and College Promise (CCP) students.
Who is eligible to apply for a health sciences program?
Refer to the curriculum sheets for application criteria and minimum prerequisites needed to apply. Application criteria and minimum prerequisites vary among programs.
Can I apply to more than one health sciences program?
You may apply for two programs at one time. However, you will be required to rank your choices in order of preference. If you are accepted into your preferred choice, you will not be considered for your subsequent choice.
Does applying to a health sciences program require a separate application form from the PCC application for admission?
Yes. You must complete a Health Sciences Application in addition to the PCC application for admission. A Health Sciences Application may not be completed until you have completed a PCC application and the application criteria and minimum prerequisites for your program(s) of interest are met.
Currently enrolled high school students interested in dually enrolling at PCC should contact 252-493-7411 for assistance with the PCC application process.
How competitive is admission to a health sciences program?
Not all programs utilize a competitive admission process. For those that do, competitiveness depends on the number of applicants and the quality of the application pool. Most of the competitive programs have about 2-3 applicants for every space available in the program. Competitiveness varies from year to year with each applicant pool.
Do I have to complete all of the general education and recommended courses (if applicable) required for a health sciences program to apply?
You must complete the required minimum prerequisites to apply to your program(s) of interest. Any remaining general education and recommended courses are not required to apply. However, completing additional general education and recommended courses beyond the minimum prerequisites does make you more competitive for admission.
How does GPA and quality points impact admission to a health sciences program?
The curriculum sheets identify the minimum GPA required to apply to each health sciences program. Most programs with competitive admission use quality points to rank applicants. The Health Sciences Admissions Step-by-Step Guide explains how to calculate quality points.
Do I need a criminal background check to apply to a health sciences program?
You do not need a criminal background check to apply to a health sciences program. However, clinical facilities may require criminal background checks, drug screenings, credit checks, professional license checks, and/or proof of US citizenship prior to or during participation in the clinical portion of a program. Any expenses associated with these requirements are the responsibility of the student. Pending the outcome, clinical facilities may deny a student the opportunity to complete the clinical portion of a program. A student who is unable to complete the clinical portion of a program will not be able to graduate.
Is CPR certification required to apply to a health sciences program?
CPR certification is a requirement to apply for some health sciences programs. Refer to the curriculum sheets to confirm this requirement.
What CPR certifications are acceptable?
BLS Certification from the American Heart Association is the only CPR certification accepted.
Will successful completion of Nursing Fundamentals in high school satisfy the Nurse Aide course required for admission to the Medical Sonography, Cardiovascular Sonography, Echocardiography, and Nuclear Medicine programs?
Yes. Successful completion of this course will satisfy the Nurse Aide requirement.
What is the deadline to apply for a health sciences program?
Refer to the curriculum sheets for application dates. Application dates vary among programs. Health sciences programs not filled to capacity after the application period may extend their application deadline.
How are applicants selected for admission to a health sciences program?
The Health Sciences Admissions Step-by-Step Guide describes the methods used to accept students to each program.
Will letters of recommendation help me be selected for admission to a health sciences program?
Applicants for the Radiation Therapy and Medical Dosimetry programs require two letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation are not recognized by other health sciences programs and will not be accepted by the health sciences admissions specialists.
Does PCC have “waiting lists” for their health sciences programs?
No. Health Sciences Applications are accepted each year. Applicants not accepted will need to re-apply the following year.
When will I be notified of my application status?
Notification varies depending upon the program to which you apply. A health sciences admissions specialist will make you aware of when to expect notification when you complete your Health Sciences Application. Most fall start programs will mail out notification letters in June.
How will I be notified of my admission status?
You will be notified by mail of your admission status. Health sciences admissions specialists will only use the contact information on file in the Admissions & Records Office for corresponding with applicants. Failure to provide accurate and updated contact information to the Admission and Records Office may prevent continued processing of your Health Sciences Application which could jeopardize your admission to a program.
Once I receive notification I am accepted into a health sciences program, what are my next steps?
Next steps will be included with your acceptance packet. Some of the next steps will have deadlines prior to your enrollment in the program. Therefore, it is important you open your acceptance packet immediately and respond accordingly. Failure to meet the required deadlines will forfeit your seat in the program.
How long will it take me to complete a health sciences program?
Refer to the curriculum sheets for program length. Program length is the amount of time it takes to complete a health sciences program once accepted and varies among programs. Additional time may be needed to complete minimum requirements in English, math, or science, minimum prerequisite courses, and general education and recommended courses needed to increase competitiveness.
Will a criminal history impact my ability to get a job in healthcare?
Criminal background checks, drug screenings, credit checks, professional license checks, and/or proof of US citizenship may be required after graduation by examination boards, state licensing boards, and employing agencies. Pending the outcome, a graduate may be disqualified from examination eligibility, state licensure, and/or employment.
What do I do if I’m not accepted into my health sciences program(s) of interest?
Contact your faculty advisor for an appointment to re-evaluate your career goals and educational plan. They can advise you on your options for becoming more competitive next year as well as assist you in exploring alternative career opportunities that are available.
I have completed all the application criteria, minimum prerequisites, and general education course requirements for my health sciences program(s) of interest and it will be a semester or more before I know if I am accepted. Is there something I can do short term that will benefit me in a health sciences program while I wait for notification?
You may explore some of the health care offerings through PCC’s Continuing Education Division such as Nurse Aide or Phlebotomy. Successful completion of one of these offerings can be a great learning experience for anyone interested in a health career and may potentially lead to a part-time employment opportunity that could be maintained once accepted into a program.
Will I be a full-time student once I enroll in a health sciences program?
Students who have completed all of the general education requirements prior to enrolling in a health sciences program will likely not be considered full-time students (based on credit hours) every semester once enrolled in a health sciences program.
What kind of class schedule can I expect once I enroll in a health sciences program?
Once students enroll in a health sciences program, they can generally expect to be in class, lab, and clinical practice four to five full days per week. This may include evening, night, and weekend clinical practice experiences. Due to the nature of the program, Polysomnography students complete most clinical practice experiences at night.
Can I work while I’m enrolled in a health sciences program?
It is challenging for most students to work while enrolled in a health sciences program. For this reason, students are discouraged from working full-time. Students who work while enrolled in a health sciences program must be able to balance work and study. Students’ work hours must be scheduled to accommodate class, lab, and clinical practice hours. Class, lab, and clinical practice hours are not scheduled to accommodate students’ work hours.
Students may not work any shift immediately preceding a clinical practice experience. Any student who violates this policy will be asked to leave the clinical facility and given an absence for the clinical day. Sleep impairment on the part of the student is a detriment to patient safety.
Is a physical examination required before I can complete clinical practice?
Yes. All students admitted to a health sciences program are required to have a physical examination and submit a completed medical form. A record of appropriate immunizations is also required to be submitted with the medical form.
How soon will I find a job once I complete a health sciences program?
Employment is often found within six months following graduation from most health sciences programs. PCC does not guarantee job availability upon graduation from any health sciences program. Students should not expect to always find employment in the local area.