2004-2005 Preprofessional Programs

2004 - 2005 PreDental, PreMedical, and PreLaw Programs

PreDental and PreMedical | PreLaw

PreDental and PreMedical

The challenges of contemporary society, along with the growth of technology and scientific knowledge, have compelled professional schools in medicine and dentistry to seek candidates with considerable intellectual versatility. Applicants with a broad liberal arts education and a science emphasis are preferred. In general, professional schools require applicants to have completed course work in the basic sciences but not in areas that duplicate medical or dental school courses, and they seriously encourage study in the social sciences, the humanities, and mathematics. Each student's program is designed so that by the end of the junior year he or she will have completed the basic requirements for application to professional schools. These requirements are usually stated as follows:

At least 90 credit hours (three years) of college work in an accredited institution, excluding military science and physical education courses but including 6 hours of English and one-year courses with laboratory in principles of biology, principles of chemistry, organic chemistry, and principles of physics. In addition, some schools require one year of mathematics and additional course work in biology.

Most students accepted to medical or dental schools have majored in one of the sciences, frequently in an area of biology or chemistry. Majoring in science provides some advantages because undergraduate degree requirements may coincide with courses required for admission. Intensive preparation in one of the sciences, therefore, should form a strong foundation for basic professional school courses. While it is understandable that a majority of those who plan to seek careers in the science-oriented field of medicine and dentistry will want to choose such a major field of study, any major is acceptable as long as the science prerequisites are fulfilled.

Applicants are strongly urged to confer with their preprofessional advisor concerning (1) selection of a college major and specific courses, and (2) the early preparation for alternate careers in the event that one either decides not to apply to professional schools or is not admitted.

All premedical and predental students are advised to plan their undergraduate programs with sufficient flexibility to allow career options if desired and/or necessary.

Although a few students are admitted to medical school after three years of pre-professional training, over 95 percent of the students admitted have a bachelor's degree. Pre-professional training for dentistry is basically a three-year program, although 60 to 70 percent of the students being admitted to dental schools have a bachelor's degree. It is advisable, therefore, to complete the requirements for admission to professional schools in conjunction with fulfilling requirements for a bachelor's degree. Students must know the specific requirements for admission to each of the professional schools to which they plan to apply. These requirements are listed in publications available from the following sources:

Admission Requirements of the U.S. and Canadian Dental Schools, published by the American Association of Dental Schools, 1625 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036-2212.

Medical School Admission Requirements, published by the Association of American Medical Colleges, Dept. 66, Washington, D.C. 20055.

Students ordinarily take the national admissions examinations, the DAT (Dental Admission Test), or the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) at the end of the junior year or the beginning of the senior year. During the senior year, professional school admission committees review the student applications. Decisions are usually announced during the spring semester of the senior year.

Both the Dental and Medical Associations provide a centralized application service, AADSAS or AMCAS, where one application can be submitted to several schools. The Westminster PreMedical Society and the Career Resource Center provide additional support and information for pre-health students.

Because of the strong sequential nature of some programs, appropriate course selections should be made in the first year of study at the college if a sound program is to be achieved. Consultation and advisement in premedicine and predentistry studies is offered through Westminster's Biology Program. Early consultation (first semester of freshman year) is strongly recommended. Freshman students should begin course work with BIOL 105-106, MATH 141, and CHEM 111-112.

PreLaw Emphasis

The term "PreLaw" does not designate a specific major or preferred undergraduate program at Westminster College as law schools do not favor one major over another. While it is possible to prepare for law school while fulfilling the requirements for any academic major, it is important to take courses that are intellectually demanding and substantive.

Students planning to enter the legal profession should obtain a broad liberal arts foundation. Law schools today are adopting entrance requirements which emphasize the ability to think and write clearly and to read and speak the English language proficiently. Students also need to develop the capacity to think analytically and creatively as well as to understand human values and institutions.

Most students are best advised to pursue a rigorous program that will be challenging and demanding as well as interesting. A double major or a major and minor are recommended. The career plans of some students can affect their choice of major and minor. Preparation for tax law, for example, would be facilitated by an accounting background. Students planning to practice in criminal or family law should concentrate on class work in the social sciences. International law students should master one or more foreign languages. Those interested in corporate law could major in business or management.

During the first semester after admission to Westminster, prelaw students are responsible for requesting from the law school(s) of their choice a list of courses required for admission so they may plan their programs accordingly with the prelaw director in the Social Science Program.

Students who intend to apply for admission to law school should consider the courses listed below to develop skills in areas important for law school success.

Education for Comprehension and Expression in Words

Credit Hours

I.

Recommended Courses

The purpose here is to gain both perception and skill in the English language. Language is the lawyer's working tool. In the drafting of legal instruments, students must be able to convey meaning clearly and effectively.

In oral and written advocacy, students must also be capable of communicating ideas convincingly and concisely. In reception no less than in expression, language is fundamental as the lawyer's medium of communication.

ENGL

230

Introduction to Creative Writing

3

ENGL

320

Creative Writing: Fiction

3

ENGL

371

Advanced Expository Writing

3

COMM

310

Professional Writing

4

PSYC

330

Interpersonal Communication Skills

3

SPCH

111

Public Presentations, LE

2

SPCH

205

Business and Professional Communication

2

*Especially recommended for PreLaw majors.


Education for Critical Understanding of Human Institutions and Values

Credit Hours

I.

Recommended Courses

The purpose here is to develop insight into, rather than merely provide information about, the institutions and values with which man is concerned. Students pursuing a legal career encounter all sorts of these institutions under circumstances in which their conduct necessarily affects the conduct of others in their value choices.

MGMT

325

Business and Employment Law

4

PHIL

206

Introduction to Ethics, LE

3

PLSC

121

American National Government, LE

4

PLSC 303 Public Administration and Bureaucracy 4

PLSC

327

Environmental Politics and Policy

4

PLSC

355

Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties

4

PSYC

105

Introduction to Psychology, LE

4

PSYC

316

Social Psychology

4

SOC

105

Introduction to Sociology, LE

4

SOC

313

Introduction to Social Theory

4

SOC

371

Social Problems

4

SOC

372

Race and Ethnicity

4


Education for Clear and Creative Thinking

Credit Hours

I.

Recommended Courses

The purpose here is to develop a power to think clearly, carefully, and independently. A large part of the work law-trained people are called upon to do calls for problem solving and sound judgment. This is true regardless of whether they devote their lives to the practice of law, to governmental administration, or to some other endeavor.

ACCT

213

Accounting Principles

4

ACCT

313

Managerial Accounting

4

MATH

120

Quantitative Reasoning, LE

4

MATH

150

Elementary Statistics, LE

4

PHIL

102

Critical Thinking, LE

4

PHIL

303

Formal Logic

3

PSYC

390

Research Methods

4