Planning For Professional School
The pre-professional program at Indiana University Northwest has historically been very strong. Our students are well prepared for the professional schools. Small class sizes, excellent instruction and advising, availability of support services such as tutoring and accessible faculty enable IUN's Pre-Professional students to achieve their goal. Many health professionals, now practicing in northwest Indiana, had their start as undergraduates at IUN. They include doctors, dentists, optometrists, pharmacists, chiropractors and others. The past twenty-five years or so, acceptance rate into professional schools has been virtually 100% which is much better than the national average. The IUN campus is also home to the Northwest Center for Medical Education . The Center is one of eight regional campuses of the Indiana University School of Medicine. Students may opt to attend the medical school here for three of the four years.
Professional schools recognize the importance of a broad education. This includes a strong foundation in the natural sciences (biology, chemistry and physics), highly developed communication skills and a solid background in the social sciences and humanities.
It is critical that a pre-professional student develop a thorough understanding of the principles of biology, chemistry and physics as part of their academic preparation, as the study and practice of medicine is based on these disciplines. Students interested in pursuing professional school must complete coursework in these areas in order to
- confirm their interest in and capacity for proceeding further in these fields
- enable professional schools to evaluate their achievement and potential in these areas
- prepare for admission tests
- meet the requirements of state laws governing licensure
Selecting An Undergraduate Academic Major
The selection of an undergraduate major should be a well thought out and informed decision. When choosing a major, carefully consider your interest, aptitude and alternate career goals. It is well documented that the applicant pool for all areas of the health care field remains very large and extremely competitive. Therefore, pre-professional students should select a major that not only interests them, but will also provide them with an education that enables the pursuit of several career alternatives, should professional school not work out immediately following graduation. It is wise to have a degree in a major you can be comfortable with and one you can fall back on for a career with plentiful employment opportunities.
While a Pre-Professional student can elect to major in most areas that are of interest, the majority of Pre-Professional students are biology or chemistry majors. Majoring in one of the natural sciences does provide some advantages in terms of the Pre-Professional course requirements fitting more easily into degree requirements, such as BS in biology or chemistry(recently approved BS in psychology as well). Overall, professional schools are most concerned with the quality and scope of an applicant's undergraduate work, particularly with regards to the required prerequisites. Students need to demonstrate strong academic performance in the required Pre-Professional coursework in order to ensure adequate preparation and favorable consideration by the admissions committee.