Pre-Health Scholars (PHS)

The Beyond120 Pre-Health Scholars (PHS) program is for prehealth students in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (CLAS). PHS encourages student engagement in the Beyond120 prehealth curriculum, humanities and social science courses, engagement in research, clinical and community service, excursions, and study abroad experiences. PHS academics and experiential opportunities benefit pre-health students in developing depth and diversity related to understanding the worldviews of others and insight into how people experience and apply meaning to healthcare experiences. PHS enhances growth of pre-health competencies required for admission to healthcare professional schools, interaction with future patients, and lifelong service to others in healthcare professions.

View the Pre-Health Scholar Information Session video.

For more information, contact Bobbi Knickerbocker at

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Book an Appointment with a Beyond120 faculty member to talk about internships, global engagement, experiential scholars, research, or other career services.

Why Should I Do the Program?

Pre-health competencies are best developed through depth and diversity of thought and reflection through the humanities. social sciences and experiential learning. Information from the experts below!

“The humanities provide an outstanding foundation for understanding complexity and human variability, the conceptual basis for understanding medicine. “…health humanities foster critical thinking, empathy, and tolerance for ambiguity—qualities in high demand for medical school and beyond. What’s more, “the programs give students the opportunity to really grapple with the importance of culture in medicine and societal responses to illness and disability.”
– Charles M. Wiener, MD. “More Pre-Med Students Opting for Health Humanities Programs

“For pre-med students, they can offer insight about the social and cultural contexts of health care. The health humanities trend dovetails with recent changes in the MCAT® exam, the need for more humanistic criteria in the admissions process, and a growing recognition that medical schools need to be turning out physicians who can function effectively in teams, think on their feet, and interact well with patients from diverse backgrounds. In fact, researchsuggests that academically, medical students with undergraduate degrees in the humanities perform as well as pre-meds with science backgrounds but tend to have better empathy and communication skills, and a more patient .”
– Howard, Beth. “More Pre-Med Students Opting for Health Humanities Programs

“Humanities programs focusing on health and healthcare delivery in their cultural, historical, aesthetic, and political contexts complement efforts of health professions schools to recruit students who are patient-centered, ethically intelligent, skilled in communication, and competent with diverse populations.”
– Lamb, E.G., Berry, S.L. PhD, Jones, T. , “Health Humanities Baccalaureate Programs

What Are the Requirements for the PHS Scholar Program

A minimum of 12 credits of approved health-related humanities and/or social science courses in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (CLAS). Courses need to be at the 3000 and above level and outside of a student’s major requirements. Courses must be passed with a grade of “C” or above.

Students may seek approval for courses by emailing Bobbi Knickerbocker at All Beyond120 courses will count towards the 12 credits.

Pre-Health Courses

IHS1100 – Introduction to the Pre-Health Process – 1 credit hour
This course will provide guidance on how students can prepare to be a healthcare professional and apply to health graduate programs. It will also introduce students to current topics in healthcare in a holistic, mind-body-spirit context including exploration of the patient/family experience, and one’s self as related to healthcare issues and topics. The use of the word ‘medicine’ in this course is all encompassing to include all healthcare professions.

IHS3935 – Human Dimensions in Healthcare – 3 credits
Seminar for those pursuing a profession in healthcare. Holistically explore and analyze health-related topics in humanities and social sciences via multimedia, stories, speakers, reading, and discussion to have greater insight, sensitivity, and understanding in human dimensions and individual worldviews related to health.

IHS3102 Pre-Health Pathways – 2 credits
Consistent/continual personal and professional growth is the core to preparation for health career professions. Offers pre-health students opportunities for analysis, engagement, and assessment of intrapersonal, interpersonal, and critical reasoning pre-professional competencies defined by healthcare professional schools. Creation of professional development plan and professional school ‘application portfolio’ demonstrate knowledge, skills and qualifications needed for competitive applicants.

How Can I Earn Points?

Tier One: Choose at least one – 5 points each

All activities listed in Tier One must be for a full semester; Full semester = a minimum of 12 weeks.

  • Research
  • Employment in a clinical/healthcare setting such as a certified M.A., CNA, EMT, scribe, phlebotomist, vet tech, dental assistant, dental lab, etc. (minimum 60 hours)
  • UF campus or Gainesville community service as volunteer or internship (minimum 50 hours)
  • Pre-Health Scholar Service Groups
  • Pre-Health Scholar Leadership Role – Service Group Leader, Ambassador, TA
  • Pre-Health Scholars Internship
  • Study Abroad/Exchange program
Tier Two: Choose at least two – 3 points each
  • Healthcare Shadowing – minimum of 40 hours
  • Clinical Volunteering – minimum 40 hours
  • Community Service – minimum 40 hours
  • Beyond120 MentorConnect – consultation with at least one mentor
  • Beyond120 Excursion
  • Beyond120 Short Study Abroad/Exchange
  • PHS Self Designed Project – Submit a proposal for a self-designed project that relates to humanities, social sciences. multicultural, inclusion, service, etc. This can be diverse in context whether a cultural event, art show, research project, food drive, etc. You will need a mentor to work with. This can be Beyond120 and/or UF faculty or service agency supervisor. Your mentor needs to complete the form for confirmation of project completion.
Tier Three: Choose at least three – 1 point each
What are the benefits of being a Beyond120 Experiential Scholar?

As you complete points, Beyond120 PHS Scholars are eligible to receive the following:

  • 3 – 19 Points:
    • Assistance in building a PHS Scholar plan
    • Priority registration for Beyond120 events and excursions.
  • 20+ Points & 12 credits of Humanities and Social Science PH related courses (3k+) outside of major with Cs or above:
    • Beyond120 graduation regalia.
PHS Roadmap: Keeping Track The PHS Roadmap form is provided for you to keep track of your activities and points earned. You can use this form to keep track of the experiential learning opportunities you engage with, the program points you earn through them, and to make and monitor goals for future experiential learning. When you have earned the required 20 points for completion, email this form in to Bobbi Knickerbocker at
When Do I Apply?

You may apply for the PHS Scholar program as soon as you are a student at UF. However, if close to graduating, you must be able to demonstrate the ability to complete PHS requirements.

You may finish the remaining academic credits and experiential points in a flexible fashion prior to graduation. Feel free to exercise creative freedom in mixing and matching Beyond120 courses, study abroad programs, excursion, research, shadowing and other approved opportunities that aid in developing an understanding of the human dimensions and competencies in healthcare and the versatility of a CLAS degree.

When Should I Apply to Receive Graduation Regalia?

Email for information on regalia and certificate of completion.

Pre-Health Scholars Registration

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