Parallel Planning

What are parallel plans and why should you have one?

Begin by watching the video below, using the corresponding worksheet.

Parallel Planning Worksheet

Video Transcript


A parallel plan is an alternate plan of study that students work on concurrently with their primary plan of study.  In the event that you change your mind or things do not work out the way you had planned in regards to your primary plan, then you have your parallel plan to continue with and do not have to start all over from scratch or with a “plan B”. Your parallel plan should be researched in-depth just as much as your primary plan, especially for students pursuing highly competitive programs such as baccalaureate health programs.

Advantages of a parallel plan:

  • Students are not in panic-mode when they find out that they can no longer pursue their first choice and have already created a set plan.
  • Students learn more about themselves in the process of researching an alternative career path or major choice. They are able to see the “bigger picture” in regards to the major-career relationship.
  • Students are still often able to finish their degree in four years since they have been taking courses that will count towards multiple programs.
  • Students have more options and opportunities available to them during college and beyond!


Themes and similarities between Allied Health programs at VCU!


Major Exploration Resources

Major Maps at VCU

What Are You Going to do With That Degree?

What Can I Do With This Major?

Bulletin Programs A-Z

DegreeWorks (includes “What-if” tutorial)

Plans of Study for all Majors at VCU


Healthcare Career Exploration Resources

Explore Health Careers

Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority

Pre-Professional Health Advising at VCU (graduate/professional programs)

Pre-Health Advising at VCU (baccalaureate programs)

Career Options in Health Sciences


Career Exploration Resources


Occupational Outlook Handbook

Learn How to Become

VCU Career ServicesCareer Pathways

Have you met with a VCU Career Advisor to talk through your Career and Parallel Plans?

It’s never too early to start planning for your future.

Connect with a Healthcare Career Advisor and see Healthcare Career Pathways here:–industry-pathways-/healthcare/

Important Guides for Undergraduates:


More Self Exploration:

Holland Code Quiz

Skills Profiler

Skills Inventory

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