Program Description

The Pre-Professional Health Sciences (PPHS) advising program has been in place at Seattle Pacific University (SPU) for over 20 years and currently serves over 350 students overall and around 150 or more entering students each year. The mission of the PPHS program is to encourage students to pursue a holistic approach to their education, to be reflective about their learning, and to demonstrate social responsibility and a commitment to service.

About PPHS | Mission Statement

Primary attention is focused on applicants to health professions in preparation for and during the application process. In doing so, student, and their parents, can expect the PPHS courses (1200, 1800, 3400, and 4600) and extracurricular activity expectations to revolve around following areas: academic competence, community service, narrative medicine, shadowing, and personal & pre-professional growth. We have designed websites that outline the foundations to building a future dentist, physician, veterinarian, and other health care professionals.

Students interested in pursuing a career in the health professions will invest a substantive amount of time in clinical & medical environments as well as volunteering among the underserved to begin appropriate the language, mindsets, and resources required to succeed as a PPHS student. The program includes scholars interested in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, physical therapy, optometry, pharmacy.

From the beginning, PPHS students will start with building relationships with their colleagues, faculty, community-based nonprofits, and healthcare providers. SPU’s vocational initiative will further help each student recognize his or her unique calling and to take the next steps in a life-long journey of pursuing that call. Club involvement will facilitate their inclusion to the PPHS community. Our service motto is incremental, not immersive. We require PPHS students to make long-term service investments among the underserved in the United States. This ethos aligns with graduate and professional school expectations.

The Bioethics and Humanities minor program has been created for students aspiring toward careers in the health sciences and the health professions. Students interested in academic inquiry at the intersection of applied philosophy (ethics), medicine, medical anthropology, social determinants of health, social justice, and theology will benefit from the minor as well. Courses address ethical issues in the practice of health care and the conduct of health sciences research and provide students with an appreciation of the history, philosophy, and culture of medicine and the health sciences.

Please read these testimonials from PPHS students and mentors.

Questions about the PPHS program may be directed to

PPHS Scholarships

The Biology department sponsors four scholarships for PPHS students. These include: the Cynthia Fitch-Steenson Memorial Scholarship, the Matthew Kelley Scholarship, the A. Kenneth Moore Scholarship, and the Joy Rusher and Lois Samuelson Scholarship. The scholarships are open to any eligible PPHS student, not just Biology majors. Applications are typically solicited by the PPHS Director in early spring.