Preprofessional Programs

Pre-engineering. Students planning a successful career in engineering often choose physics as their major at Susquehanna and carefully select courses to prepare them for graduate school or employment in an engineering specialty: bioengineering, chemical, civil, computer, electrical and mechanical.

Prelaw. Susquehanna students have an excellent acceptance and achievement record at a wide variety of law schools across the country. To prepare for law school, the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) and the American Bar Association (ABA) do not recommend any one course of undergraduate study. Students from any major are accepted by and succeed in law school. The LSAC and ABA do recommend that students successfully complete a curriculum that will help them to develop their skills in oral and written communication, as well as their analytical reasoning ability. The prelaw program works with interested students to obtain internships in the law to provide them with experience that will help them to determine if the law is the right field of graduate study for them. A student's undergraduate GPA and LSAT score are important criteria in the law school admission process. To assist students preparing for postgraduate study in the law, Susquehanna University has an innovative program that reimburses students for half the cost of taking an LSAT-preparation course to assist them in putting together the best possible law school application. Susquehanna University has a general articulation agreement with Capital University Law School that guarantees admittance to Susquehanna graduates who meet certain requirements. For information on this and other aspects of the prelaw program, contact the prelaw adviser, Associate Professor of Political Science Michele DeMary.

Prehealth Professions Including Premedicine, Predental, Preveterinary and Others. Susquehanna graduates successfully pursue advanced degrees in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, chiropractic medicine, podiatry, physician assistant, doctor of physical therapy and doctor of pharmacy programs. In addition, Susquehanna graduates pursue advanced training in allied health fields, including occupational therapy and accelerated nursing programs. The Health Professions Advising Committee, chaired by Associate Professor of Health Care Studies and Biology Jan Reichard-Brown, coordinates the preparation of students for professional schools in these areas. Students receive career-specific advising, as well as assistance with arranging internship opportunities, professional test preparation, application preparation and school selection.

Demonstration of a strong level of competence in the natural sciences remains a uniform requirement for successful admission to medical school, dental school and other health professions programs. Most students pursue science majors such as biology, biomedical sciences, chemistry, biochemistry and psychology. However, students can pursue any major, provided they complete the science prerequisites, which commonly include at least two semesters of biology and one year each of general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics and, occasionally, one year of biochemistry or higher level math. Students should be cognizant that some health professional programs may require additional coursework, such as human anatomy and human physiology. Students need to consult the catalog descriptions pertaining to major or intended major to determine the recommended sequence of courses and how the required prehealth professions courses may fit into their program. Students are strongly encouraged to work with their academic adviser from within their department and to consult with the health professions adviser as they plan schedules and progress through their major. Candidates for professional schools must maintain high grade point averages and score well on profession-specific standardized tests. Susquehanna students most often take the MCAT, DAT, OAT and PCAT after they have completed the course work pertinent to the specific exam. Additional test-specific preparation and practice exams are highly recommended. A formal test preparation course is one method students choose to prepare for the MCAT and DAT, since these computer-based standardized examinations encompass content areas from the sciences, social science, mathematics and English language skills. In response to the intense nature of these exams and the level of preparation that is required, Susquehanna University developed an innovative program to reimburse students for half the cost of taking an MCAT or DAT preparation course as part of their preparation for the application process. Students wishing to take advantage of this program should complete all prerequisite courses by the end of the academic year in which they are preparing for and taking the MCAT or DAT.

The third component of a successful application to a program in the health professions entails experience in the field and community service. Susquehanna students are encouraged to experience internships and volunteer opportunities during the academic year, as well as during vacations and breaks. Most students design their own experience by working jointly with the health professions adviser and the Career Development Center, or they take advantage of service-learning and travel options focusing on medicine offered through the university or other programs that have been screened by the health professions adviser. Sophomore and junior years are the ideal times for these internship experiences.

Preministry and Church Occupations. Susquehanna has a special interest in preparing students for service in the church. This service can include the ordained ministry, parish work, diaconal ministry, social ministry and ministry in music. These career goals typically require graduate study.

Preparation for graduate theological study, ministry and church occupations includes academic instruction, spiritual maturation and experiential learning. Although students may major in any field, they are encouraged to emphasize the broadening aspects of the liberal arts. In addition, preministerial students are advised to study a language likely to be spoken by those whom they may be called to serve (e.g., Spanish for those with an interest in ministry areas with significant Latino/Hispanic populations).

Susquehanna's historic relationship with the Lutheran Church (ELCA) attracts many students to its service, but graduates have also entered service in many other denominations. The university chaplain can give advice on the many options available in this area.