HEALTH PRE-PROFESSIONAL PROGRAMS
The Health Pre-professional Program at the University of South Alabama offers several services to students interested in a variety of health careers, including dentistry, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine and physician assistant. Services include clinical observations course, workshops, admission test and interview preparation, as well as the critical one-on-one advising. The health pre-professions advisor will assist students in keeping up with deadlines and admission requirements. Students planning to follow pre-professional programs listed above should see the Director of Health Pre-Professional Program, Dr. Cindy Stanfield, Department of Biomedical Sciences.
Requirements for health professional schools vary not only between disciplines but also between schools within a discipline. Students need to be aware of the specific requirements, which include specific course work and admissions tests, letters of evaluation, and timely completion of the application. For many schools, a composite evaluation from the Director of Health Pre-Professional Program is required. Pre-professional students need to start the application process for most professional schools in the junior year, including completion of the admissions exam.
The Health Pre-Professional Advisor works directly with pre-professional students throughout their undergraduate studies, guiding each student toward completing all required course work for the professional schools and completing a successful application for professional school. An advisor within the department in which the student wishes to major will also guide the student in meeting requirements for graduation with a degree within that major.
The courses listed below are generally required for all health professional schools. However, the students should discuss specific requirements with the Health Pre-Professional Advisor.
One Year of General Chemistry with Lab:
CH 131, 131L, 132, and 132L
One Year Organic Chemistry with Lab:
CH 201, 201L, 202, and 202L
One Year General Biology with Lab:
BLY 121, 121L, 122, and 122L
One Year Algebra-based Physics with Lab (Calculus-based physics is acceptable):
PH 114, 114L, 115, and 115L
One Year Mathematics:
Calculus (MA 125) is recommended; some schools require calculus
Statistics (ST 210) is required by some schools
One Year Humanities:
Several courses meet requirements
One Year English Composition:
EH 101, EH 102
Program in Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Medicine, and Pre-Optometry
This program is designed to prepare students for the rigorous demands of dental, medical, and optometry schools. The program is demanding and requires high scholastic competence and performance. Students must maintain a better than “B” record to be competitive when applying to professional schools.
Most dental, medical and optometry schools require that a
bachelor degree be earned for admission. However, a few schools may accept outstanding
students prior to graduation.
Students should complete the appropriate admissions test (DAT – dental, MCAT – medicine, and OAT – optometry) by the end of their junior year (or at least one year before expected matriculation into the professional school). Students should complete the application process for admission to the professional schools about a year in advance of the expected date of matriculation (usually the summer between the junior and senior year).
The pre-optometry student should write for an official bulletin from the professional schools of interest during the freshman year and discuss with the Health Pre-Professional Advisor any special requirements for those schools. For information on requirements for admissions to the University of South Alabama College of Medicine
, visit the web site at http://www.usahealthsystem.com/com
Program for Pre-Pharmacy
Requirements for admission to pharmacy school vary considerably between schools, with schools requiring anywhere from two years of prerequisite course work to having completed a bachelor
degree. Although a bachelor degree is not required by most pharmacy schools, students should select a program of courses that not only include pre-pharmacy requirements, but also work toward a degree. Most pharmacy schools require the PCAT (pharmacy college admission test). Complete information about professional curricula in pharmacy may be obtained by writing for an official bulletin from professional schools of choice.
To matriculate in pharmacy school the student must be accepted for admission by the Admissions Committee of the School of Pharmacy. The student should apply for admission to the pharmacy schools of choice approximately one year in advance of the date the student plans to enter pharmacy school. Specific requirements for several pharmacy schools are available in the office of the Pre-Professional Advisor.
Requirements for veterinary schools vary considerably between schools, with some schools requiring three years of coursework and others requiring a bachelor degree. Most veterinary schools require the GRE. Students interested in the pre-veterinary medicine program at the University of South Alabama should see the Director of the Health Pre-Professions Program.
Students wishing to enter a physician assistant program will be required to take many of the same courses as other health pre-professional students, although specific courses vary between programs. The admission test for most physician assistant programs is the GRE; some schools accept the MCAT. For information about the Physician Assistant program at the University of South Alabama, go to Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health section of this Bulletin or visit the web site at http://www.southalabama.edu/alliedhealth/pa/
Director, Health Pre-Professional Program
Dr. Cindy Stanfield
Health Pre-Professional Web Site: http://www.southalabama.edu/healthprofessions/
PREPARATION FOR LAW SCHOOL
Students interested in preparing for a career in law will find outstanding opportunities at the University of South Alabama. The finest pre-law education is considered by many to be a four-year liberal arts curriculum, but law schools will accept bachelor’s degrees in other areas also.
Law schools generally do not prescribe a particular major or course of undergraduate study to qualify for admission. They all stress, however, the importance of excellence in whatever course of study is pursued. Specifically, the Association of American Law Schools emphasizes excellence in attaining the following three objectives in pre-law studies:
1. Comprehension and expression in words.
2. Critical understanding of human institutions and values with which the law deals.
3. Creative power in thinking.
“Shortly stated, what the law schools seek in their entering students is not accomplishment in mere memorization but accomplishment in understanding, the capacity to think for themselves, and the ability to express their thoughts with clarity and force” (from Association of American Law Schools, Statement of Policy).
To help the student develop the best possible course of study to prepare for law school in the light of particular needs, the University of South Alabama provides a pre-Law Advisor in the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice. Pre-Law students are urged to consult with the Advisor for detailed information concerning how best to prepare for law school and for information concerning the Law School Admission Test, now required by practically all law schools.