The university offers students a wide range of programs and curricula providing pre-professional education to prepare for graduate programs in professional schools.
No single undergraduate program meets the requirements for admission to all graduate programs. Most professional programs give preference to applicants with a broad general education at an accredited undergraduate institution. Students should demonstrate outstanding aptitude and ability, thorough preparation in fields basic to the chosen profession, and high levels of achievement.
Each student has the responsibility to determine whether or not a particular undergraduate program meets the entrance requirements of the professional program selected. To help students fulfill this responsibility, pre-professional faculty advisers and advisory committees provide academic and career counseling, updated information on requirements, and a composite evaluation to serve as part of a student’s application to the professional school of choice. Students should register with the appropriate committee or adviser as early as possible, preferably before the end of the sophomore year.
Students must realize that undergraduate studies do not guarantee admission to any professional school, nor do they directly prepare students to score successfully on any of the various admissions tests (e.g. MCAT, LSAT, DAT, GRE, VAT, OAT).
Dr. Anne Roberts, Department of Chemistry, and Dr. Paula Secondo, Department of Chemistry, are the pre-health professions advisers at Western. Working with a faculty committee drawn from several departments, they help students prepare for graduate study in a number of health-related professional fields:
There is no prescribed curriculum for pre-medical students. The biology major or the chemistry major with a biology minor or biochemistry option are programs whose requirements include many, if not all, of the courses needed for admission to medical school. Pre-medical students in these programs are advised by faculty in their major program. Students who seek pre-medical preparation but prefer another major may, in consultation with the chief health professions adviser, complete any liberal arts degree program, provided they include the prerequisite coursework for medical school.
Dental school admissions requirements, based on recommendations of the American Dental Association, are similar to those of medical schools. Pre-dental students with majors other than biology, chemistry, or biochemistry should consult with one of the Pre-Health Professions Advisers.
Schools of veterinary science often specify courses which undergraduates must complete before admission to professional programs. Schools of optometry expect undergraduate concentrations in mathematics and/or the sciences (biology, chemistry, physics). Requirements for admission to schools of pharmacy, podiatry, and chiropractic and to physicians’ assistant programs resemble pre-med requirements in many respects, yet show differences. Students interested in any of these programs should consult with one of the Pre-Health Professions Advisers.
The Pre-Law Advisory Committee includes in its membership Dr. Averell Manes, Department of Social Sciences, Dr. Kevin Gutzman, Department of History, and Dr. Charles Mullaney and Dr. Terrence Dwyer of the Division of Justice and Law Administration, Ancell School of Business.
A broad education in the liberal arts is considered to be better preparation for the study of law than a rigid, specialized program of study. Pre-law studies should include the social sciences, the humanities, and basic courses (at least) in the natural sciences. Facility in written and oral expression is essential to the successful study and practice of law.
Acceptance into law school depends upon the requirements specified by individual institutions and aptitude for legal study as measured by the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). It is important for students to realize that undergraduate studies do not guarantee admission to law school, nor do they directly prepare students to score successfully on the LSAT.
Pre-law students should consult with faculty members of the Pre-Law Advisory Committee, who are knowledgeable about professional programs and admissions requirements in schools of law.
*Please note that the Pre-Law program is an option and not an academic major. Students must select an academic major in conjunction with the Pre-Law Program option.
Requirements for admission to schools of engineering vary widely depending upon the type of engineering program sought. Generally, preparation should include substantial work in mathematics and the natural sciences. Students should consult with the pre-engineering adviser, Dr. Alice Chance, Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Meteorology.
Programs in the humanities (philosophy, ethics, literature, history) are appropriate for admission to divinity school, although any undergraduate concentration may be accepted. Students should consult with faculty in their field of interest.