Western Illinois University offers 13 pre-professional programs designed to prepare students for professional study at other universities at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Each pre-professional program consists of a series of WIU courses which students are advised to take to gain the knowledge and skills required for professional study in a specific field. An academic adviser is assigned to each of the pre-professional programs. Students should consult with the adviser for information on the entrance requirements of professional schools, recommended WIU courses for professional preparation, and degree completion requirements and options.
Students who wish to pursue studies in pre-agricultural engineering should contact the academic adviser in the Department of Agriculture. The student in pre-agricultural engineering may elect one of two options leading to the Bachelor of Science degree: (1) Agricultural Engineering Degree through a College of Engineering, a four-year program (two years at WIU). (2) Agricultural Engineering Degree and Agriculture Degree, a five-year program (three years at WIU).
Students who wish to pursue studies in pre-architecture should contact an academic adviser in the Department of Physics. The suggested transfer curriculum is listed below. This is a one-year (freshman) program, since the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign and many schools of architecture require students to complete a six-semester program in residence. Three years of one foreign language at the high school level or two semesters at the college level is required for admission to this program. If this work is taken or repeated at the college level, it will not count towards the degree. Admission for transfer students to the architecture program at the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign and other schools of architecture is competitive. To be considered for admission to an architecture program, a student should maintain a grade point average of 3.00 (A = 4.00) or higher. Transfer students will not be admitted to the University of Illinois (U/C) unless they have completed 30 s.h. of acceptable credit, excluding credit earned in basic kinesiology courses.
*Phys 114 or Phys 124 may be taken instead of Math 133, and Math 133 instead of Math 134.
**The social sciences sequence must be selected from the University of Illinois-U/C approved list, in consultation with the pre-architecture adviser. Subjects in this category include political science, psychology, sociology, and communication arts and sciences.
***CS 211 and 212, or equivalent, is prerequisite.
Students who wish to pursue studies in pre-chemical engineering should contact an academic adviser in the Department of Chemistry.
Pre- Chemical Engineering students should maintain at least a 3.00 (A=4.00) grade point average. Isolated D grades are accepted under certain conditions and may count toward graduation. Transfer students will not be admitted to the University of Illinois unless they have completed 60 s.h. of acceptable credit, excluding credit earned in basic kinesiology courses. Credits earned in college to remove high school deficiencies in mathematics will count as part of the 60 s.h.
Although most schools specify two years of pre-professional education as a minimum requirement for admission, dental schools generally prefer students with three or four years of pre-professional training. In recent years over 80 percent of students entering dental schools had earned at least a baccalaureate degree. Over 90 percent had completed four years of college. Less than one percent had completed only the minimally required two years of pre-professional education.
Students who plan to study dentistry should write:
Council on Dental Education
American Dental Association
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611
and request information about the Dental Aptitude Test, a list of dental schools, and other related materials concerning the dental profession.
There are certain basic pre-dental education courses which must be completed prior to enrollment in dental school. Since dental schools vary as to pre-dental education requirements, and since a four-year program at WIU should be planned, it is essential that the applicant contact the pre-dental adviser in the Department of Biological Sciences for assistance. Most students pursuing a four-year program major in biology and minor in chemistry or major in chemistry and minor in biology.
Students who wish to transfer to a college of engineering after two years of pre-professional study should complete the program below which is designed to meet the requirements at the University of Illinois School of Engineering-Urbana/Champaign. Any student planning to attend a school of engineering other than at Urbana/Champaign should inform his or her adviser of this fact, so that changes in the program can be suggested. Those who start this curriculum and subsequently decide to remain at WIU usually transfer to related programs without loss of credit.
Students interested in this program should contact the pre-engineering adviser in the Department of Physics. Chemical engineers take a slightly different program and should contact the Department of Chemistry.
*Engr 105 is not required of electrical or computer engineering majors. Take an elective in social sciences or the humanities instead, or CS 225.
**Engineering students planning to attend the University of Illinois should keep in mind that any course below the level of Math 133 will not count toward the engineering degree. However, several pre-calculus courses are available for students unable to take four years of college preparatory mathematics in high school.
***Phys 197 has Math 133 or the equivalent as a co-requisite.
* Phys 312 is not required of students going into electrical computer engineering.
Students may select electives in the social sciences and humanities from a list of transferable electives which can be obtained from a pre-engineering adviser; a partial list appears below. Transfer credit for foreign languages courses at the University of Illinois will be approved only after a review of the student's high school foreign languages background. All transfer students entering the College of Engineering are required to have completed two college/university semesters of a foreign language or three years of a foreign language in high school.
Technical courses are available at WIU which may also be taken as electives. For example, civil engineers may take a course in surveying or geology. Mathematical statistics is recommended for some other fields of engineering.
Pre-engineering students should maintain at least a 3.00 (A=4.00) grade point average. Isolated D grades are accepted under certain conditions and may count toward graduation.
Students who wish to pursue studies in pre-forestry should contact an academic adviser in the Department of Agriculture. This two-year curriculum is designed to prepare students to enter a school of professional forestry with advanced standing.
The following is presented as a general outline which will be modified to meet the demands of the school to which the student expects to transfer.
Law schools do not require any particular undergraduate major. Students are encouraged to pursue a course of study in line with their intellectual interests, although are cautioned against narrow specialization directed too pointedly toward later professional training and practice. Many of the goals of legal education are also goals of a broad liberal education. It is advisable for students to select intellectually challenging courses which promote the development of skills of comprehension and expression in words, which enhance creative thinking, and which foster a critical understanding of the human institutions and values with which the law addresses.
Admission to law school is highly competitive. The two major criteria for admission are the undergraduate grade point average and the score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The LSAT is a standardized examination given four times a year. Students intending to apply to law school should plan to take this test no later than December of their senior year.
Members of the Western Illinois University faculty are available for advising students interested in a legal career: Dr. Richard Hardy, Department of Political Science, and Jill Myers, School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration. Students considering entering law school are urged to seek pre-law advice as early as possible in their undergraduate career.
The pre-law honors minor option is a unique interdisciplinary minor for students who are enrolled in the Centennial Honors College and who plan careers in law. The curriculum for this option is designed to provide students with skills and knowledge important as a foundation for the study of law. Emphasis is given to the development of effective written and oral communication, analytical and critical reasoning, and an understanding of institutions, social processes, and human values important to legal studies. Students from all majors are eligible for this honors option and upon completion of the requirements listed below will graduate as Honors Scholars.
Category A (complete all with or without honors credit)
Acct 200 or 201; Comm 247; Phil 120, 140
Category B (complete 9 s.h. with or without honors credit)
BL 230; Econ 232; Hist 303; Jour 417; LEJA 212, 312; Phil 420; PolS 319, 402, 411; Soc 355
Students who wish to pursue studies in pre-medicine should contact an academic adviser in the Department of Biological Sciences or the Department of Chemistry. Medical schools require at least three and usually recommend four years of pre-medical study before students begin their professional studies. The following information also applies to schools of allopathic, osteopathic, veterinary, and podiatric medicine.
Entrance to medical school is dependent upon the following:
Students planning to enter medical school may major in any department. The following are common prerequisites for entry to a medical school: two years of chemistry, one year of biology, and one year of physics.
Additional courses in biology (genetics and physiology) are desirable for the MCAT. These courses and others (comparative anatomy, embryology, histology, biochemistry) also improve a student's background for medical school. The student should refer to specific recommendations of individual medical schools.
The sample four-year program shown below provides excellent preparation for students wishing to enter medical school after obtaining the Bachelor of Science in Biology (Zoology option) with a minor in Chemistry.
Students wishing to enter medical school after obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a minor in Zoology are advised to follow the sample program outlined below.
Students who wish to pursue studies in pre-nursing should contact an academic adviser in the Department of Biological Sciences. Many schools of nursing recommend the baccalaureate program for students interested in nursing as a profession. Such a program usually requires four academic years plus one or two summer sessions depending on the particular school of nursing attended. The four-year program qualifies graduates for positions of greater responsibility and for graduate work in areas of specialization and nursing education.
The first two years of the baccalaureate program are offered by Western Illinois University. Students who complete the program below may be eligible for transfer to schools of nursing. Acceptance into these schools is contingent upon the attainment of a C plus average or better, the evaluation of the student's personal interview, scores on the entrance examination, health, and references.
The requirements for transfer to schools of nursing vary with each school and are subject to change. For this reason students should write to schools in which they may be interested to obtain present requirements and approval of their course of study at Western. This should be done during the fall semester of the freshman year. The following is recommended:
Three years of undergraduate study is the minimum required for admission to a school of optometry. However, most students earn a baccalaureate degree. Since the requirements for different optometry schools vary, the student should become familiar with the specific requirements of the school to which application will be made. Current advice in pre-optometry may be obtained in the Department of Biological Sciences where a four-year program suited to the student's needs may be planned. A beginning program should include:
Pharmacy schools offer either a bachelor's or doctor's degree in pharmacy. Students usually enter either program after two years of pre-professional study. The bachelor's program requires a total of five years of study while the doctoral program requires six years. Pharmacy schools appear to be increasing the emphasis on the doctoral programs.
Students should become familiar with the specific requirements of the pharmacy school they expect to attend. They should contact WIU's pre-pharmacy adviser in the Department of Chemistry at their earliest convenience to arrange their program of study. A typical two-year program of study consists of the courses listed below.
A course in Multicultural Studies should be included among the General Education courses.
Students who wish to pursue studies in pre-physical therapy should contact an academic adviser in the Department of Biological Sciences. Physical therapy schools generally recommend four years of undergraduate study before admission. The Universities of Iowa, Wisconsin, and Northwestern University accept only candidates who have completed a bachelor's degree. Candidates for physical therapy schools must complete a minimum of 120 s.h., earn a minimum grade point average of 3.00/4.00, and satisfy these additional requirements:
The sample four-year program shown below includes courses required by most schools of physical therapy. For those programs that require a degree, a major in almost any area will be satisfactory.
The WIU Department of Agriculture offers a pre-professional program designed to meet the requirements for admission to a school of veterinary medicine. Students who wish to pursue studies in pre-veterinary medicine should contact the academic adviser in the Department of Agriculture. Due to intense competition for admission to schools of veterinary medicine, most students complete a four-year bachelor's degree program prior to admission. Those students considering a career in veterinary medicine should have a good foundation in biological sciences and chemistry, including biochemistry, as the minimum knowledge base for success in the curriculum. In addition, a course or courses concerning livestock production and animal ethology are highly desirable for all students. Those seeking a career in veterinary medicine related to agriculture should consider additional background in nutrition, livestock management, and the economics of production by working toward a degree in agriculture prior to admission to veterinary school. Students may also pursue other major fields of study. The 60-hour pre-veterinary requirement and the suggested WIU courses for admission to the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois are outlined below. Admission requirements for other schools of veterinary medicine are different but can be met with adviser consultation.
Western Illinois University has made arrangements with professional schools at other universities so that students can complete requirements for a bachelor's degree in the College of Arts and Sciences while working toward a professional degree or certificate. This is done in cases where credits can be transferred from the professional school in work closely related to that offered in the college. Typically, students complete three years of work at WIU and transfer one year of work from the professional school in satisfaction of WIU degree requirements.
Western Illinois has an agreement with the College of Engineering, University of Illinois, whereby students may obtain the bachelor's degree in the College of Arts and Sciences at WIU and a degree from the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois. In general, students spend three years at WIU and two to two and one-half at the University of Illinois. The student becomes eligible for both degrees when the entire program is completed.
Students who wish to participate in the Arts and Sciences and Engineering dual program should contact an academic adviser in the Department of Physics. Students who enter the program must complete the Pre-engineering programs described in the Pre-Professional Programs section and the requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree in the College of Arts and Sciences. Since the granting of the two degrees depends on specified course requirements and not on the amount of time on each campus, care in planning a program of courses is essential for students to complete the dual program in five academic years.
Similar dual-degree programs are available with other engineering schools, including the binary program with Case Western Reserve University. Please consult your adviser to ensure successful completion of degree requirements.
Students who begin their pre-engineering program at a community college and wish to benefit from the WIU dual program must earn a minimum of 30 s.h. at WIU and satisfy all the requirements for the WIU Bachelor of Science degree, except those requirements dealing with majors and minors.
This dual program is four years in length and leads to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science. The first three years of the program are spent at WIU, followed by 12 months at an approved school of medical technology. The clinical year program requires a 2.75 grade point average. After completion of the four-year program, graduates take an examination for registration given by the Board of Registry of Medical Technology of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists. Upon successful completion of the total program, a student receives the Bachelor of Science degree at Western and the MT (ASCP) certificate from the Registry of Medical Technologists. Students enrolling in this program will be advised by the Department of Biological Sciences. The curriculum is given below.