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Individual pre-professional advising appointments are available through Handshake. To prepare for your pre-professional advising appointment read all the information provided on our website for your specific program of interest prior to your advising appointment.
- List of required prerequisite courses for respective professional schools in the United States
- Help planning the schedule of pre-professional courses in addition to the requirements of your major
- Suggestions for additional courses outside the prerequisites
- Connections to the student organizations, volunteer work, and professional-related experiences
- Information on preparation for admission tests
- Help and information regarding the application process
The Competitive Applicant
Competition for admission to professional schools is very intense. Currently, only about one-third of those who apply gain admission--even though the majority of those rejected would, by common agreement, be able to successfully complete professional school, and could make competent and dedicated professionals.
Professional school admissions committees certainly consider grades and admission test scores, but they also give serious consideration to many other factors. Every school is different, but they do consider your average GPA, science GPA (chemistry, biology, physics, etc.) and corresponding entrance exam score (MCAT, DAT, OAT, etc). Please visit the websites of schools you are interested in the gauge the general expectations of applicants or speak with your pre-professional advisor.
Other factors considered by admission committees:
- Demonstrated leadership
- Exposure to the profession in patient-care settings
- Involvement in service work to benefit the community
- Independent study or research
- Strong, well-written letters of evaluation from faculty
- A clear, authentic answer to why the student wants to pursue the profession
- Strong interpersonal communication skills evident in the interview
The Pre-Professional Advisors and the Career Center can help provide guidance and support as you work to achieve your goal. Remember that it is your academic performance, your admission test scores, and your overall credentials that will determine your success.
It is very important that you gain exposure in your intended career field to confirm your desire to enter the profession. Gaining this experience assures professional school admission committees that you do understand the pressure and demands of the work. Without this first-hand experience, how can you be sure that this is the career for you?
Pre-professional students should be regularly and consistently involved in health care or the field of law. This is not something a student puts off until junior year! Use some of your semester and spring breaks to augment your experience. Consistent involvement over a period of years demonstrates the commitment to the goal of becoming a professional in that field.
UK has numerous pre-professional student organizations. For a complete list including contact information visit the Center for Student Involvement. Getting involved in student organizations on campus can be of great benefit to you by forming connections with other students with similar interests and goals, upperclassmen who can guide you as you prepare for professional school and several guest speakers who can provide you with useful information and important considerations of the field. Involvement in pre-professional organizations can also help you develop your leadership skills.
Community and Service
Health care and public service fields such as law are people-oriented and their professionals are community leaders. Therefore, it is important to develop your leadership skills in areas of service to others. You may involve yourself in student organizations where service work is a component, and/or you may choose to commit to a cause or project on your own.
Many of the pre-professional student organizations on campus have a component of service work. You may choose to involve yourself as an individual in the service work of some sort. This is an area where "if it feels good, do it!" Some ideas are tutoring children, becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister, providing transportation for cancer patients to and from their treatments, adopting a "grandparent" in a nursing home, serving regularly at the Hope Center, volunteering at God's Pantry, becoming involved in DanceBlue, etc. For a list of areas of need, contact the Center for Community Outreach.