One Application. Two Healthcare Degrees.

Are you a high school student who has your mind set on a future as a Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist or Physician Assistant? If your answer is yes, you've come to the right place.

Our Direct Entry Healthcare program streamlines your path to becoming a healthcare professional. 

Students complete four years of undergraduate study at Clarkson for a BS degree, then directly enter our master's or doctorate degree program in their chosen healthcare field.

There’s no second application, as long as all the requirements and academic criteria have been met.

We designed this program to attract the best, brightest and most promising students who wish to enter the fields of healthcare. Direct Entry provides a guaranteed spot for first-year undergraduate students in our:

Request More Info Apply Now Pre-Health Fact Sheet PDF

Contact the Lewis School of Health Sciences Contact Admissions

Studying Healthcare at Clarkson

Clarkson has three flagship graduate programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy and physician assistant studies, all of which were named by U.S. News & World Report as among the best in the country. These programs are part of the Lewis School of Health Sciences at Clarkson and have a special focus on quality rural healthcare. Learn more below about what makes our healthcare programs unique. 

Our Health Courses and Programs

Students enrolled in our First-Year Direct Entry Healthcare programs greatly benefit from Clarkson's course and minor offerings that are relevant to a future career in healthcare. After choosing from one of our 50+ majors, students still find time in their four years at Clarkson to choose relevant minors to take their studies further. We also offer all of the required coursework needed to apply to the health graduate programs of your choice, including: biology, chemistry, physics, math/calculus/statistics, English, psychology and sociology, organic chemistry (medical, dental, vet, PA), anatomy and physiology (PA, PT), biochemistry (medical, dental, vet), microbiology (vet, PA) and nutrition (vet).

Popular Majors for Pre-Health Sciences

Our most popular majors for Pre-Health Sciences undergraduate students are:

Relevant Healthcare Minors

For students who know that a career in the health field is in their future, we offer several minors that provide the right experience and coursework needed to meet their goals. Some minors that may be of interest include:

Health Coaches Course

Pre-Health Sciences students can take Health Coaches, a yearlong course featuring weekly discussions with healthcare professionals on topics such as population health, chronic diseases in the healthcare system and community medicine. This course also includes a semester working with patients to gain service and experience hours in the medical field.


Clarkson University health sciences programs.

Healthcare Facilities, Resources & Research

Simulation Spaces
Our state-of-the-art Simulation Lab is an extension of the classroom that allows students to apply strategies learned in lectures to hands-on activities in a realistic environment. The Sim Lab consists of a fully functioning house and outdoor environment, complete with a vehicle. Mock hospital rooms also allow students to practice evaluations and interventions in acute care settings.

Video and 360-degree images of our healthcare lab spaces

Cadaver Lab
An integral part of our undergraduate anatomy and physiology course is our Cadaver Lab, where students have the chance to work with an actual cadaver, something that isn't offered to undergraduate students at many other universities.

Clarkson University Innovation Hub
Innovation Hub

Innovation Hub
Clarkson Ignite is an innovation ecosystem that connects students to faculty, staff, alumni, and community leaders to gain critical hands-on, creative experience. The Innovation Hub, located in the heart of campus, is home to a variety of innovation spaces such as the Dorf Makerspace and Digital Making Suite.

Trudeau Institute
The renowned Trudeau Institute, where the cure for tuberculosis was developed, offers Clarkson students a Biomedical Scholars Semester Program, an intensive living and learning experience that appeals to students interested in human health science and biotechnology.

Learn more about the Trudeau Biomedical Scholars Semester Program

Personalized Attention & Advising

At Clarkson, we provide our undergraduate healthcare students with a team of staff from across the University to help plan course schedules, develop the credentials needed to get complete requirements for our graduate programs, study for placement exams and successfully enter their direct entry program of choice. Every student has a personalized experience to reach their individual goals. 

The Office of University Advising provides a Pre-Health Student Advisor who specializes in mentoring and coaching our students throughout their time at Clarkson to reach their goals. Our Career Center works with students to assist in helping them find relevant internships and co-op opportunities that will boost their resumes and give them the experience needed to navigate the vast healthcare industry. Our faculty, especially in the departments of biology, chemistry and biomolecular science, and psychology are experienced in providing additional mentorship to students who are eager to find success in healthcare. 

Learn about the Office of University Advising

Direct Entry Program Scholarship Opportunities

All students accepted into a direct entry healthcare program will be eligible to receive the following scholarships towards their undergraduate and graduate education.

CU Health Sciences Scholarship (Undergraduate Level) - $20,000
This award is $5,000 per year ($2,500 per semester) for eight semesters during your time as an undergraduate student.

Presidential Scholarship (Graduate Level) - PT/OT: $20,000; PA: $15,000
This award is split evenly over each term during your graduate program of choice.

Learn more about all Clarkson's scholarships, special awards and unique funding options.

Graduate Program Requirements

Students who are directly admitted into one of our three graduate health science programs as first-year students will have a number of criteria and checkpoints to demonstrate that they are prepared for graduate study, including meetings with their Pre-Health Sciences advisor and department faculty, completing prerequisite courses, being at our above their program's GPA requirement, completing observation/volunteer hours, and more. Learn more about the terms and conditions for each program below.

Physician Assistant Program Requirements

Physical Therapy Program Requirements

Occupational Therapy Program Requirements

Healthcare Direct Entry FAQs

What is a direct entry program?

A direct entry program admits students as undergraduates to a specific healthcare program, such as Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy or Physician Assistant Studies, and guarantees them a seat in the affiliated graduate program upon completion of all undergraduate requirements and performance standards.

What direct entry programs does Clarkson offer in healthcare?

Clarkson offers direct entry to our Doctor of Physical Therapy, Master of Science in Occupational Therapy and Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies programs.

How does the direct entry program at Clarkson work?

Students in our direct entry programs will still pursue their chosen undergraduate major, while completing the same graduate program prerequisites under the special advising program of their choice. If the criteria and academic standards are met, a spot in the graduate program will be guaranteed. 

How many students are enrolled in direct entry programs each year?

Each year, our three graduate health programs enroll the following number of students for direct entry:

Physical Therapy: 25 students

Occupational Therapy: 25 students

Physician Assistant Studies: 10 students

What majors do direct entry students pursue?

Direct entry students can pursue any major at Clarkson, as long as all required courses for their graduate program of choice are fulfilled and academic criteria met. Popular majors for students interested in healthcare include:

  • Biology
  • Biomolecular Science
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Psychology
What's your purpose? Achieve it here.