Preparing for Professional School

DENTISTRY, Preparatory

Dentistry is the branch of the healing arts and sciences devoted to maintaining the health of the teeth, gums, and other hard and soft tissues of the oral cavity. Contrary to popular notions, dentists engage in far more than the limited concept of "treating teeth." The care dentists give contributes to the quality of their patients' lives by preventing tooth decay, periodontal disease, malocclusion and oral-facial anomalies. Furthermore, dentists are instrumental in early detection of oral cancer and systemic infectious conditions of the body that manifest themselves in the mouth.

Although most dental schools require a minimum of three years of pre-dental course work, 85 percent of entering dental students have completed four years of college and 75 percent have completed at least a baccalaureate degree. It is wise to work toward a degree in any area which would serve as an attractive alternative in the event you were deterred from your goal in dentistry.

Required Pre-dental Course Work

Pre-dentistry is not a major, but a set of courses required by dental schools for admission. Any major is appropriate as long as the student fulfills all pre-dental requirements, be it through required or electives courses. All required pre-dental courses should be taken for a letter grade. Choose a major according to your strengths and interests.

The basic course requirements of the majority of the dental schools are listed below. Most of this course work is also covered on the Dental Admission Test (DAT). You should take the examination approximately one year before you plan to enter dental school. It is the applicant's responsibility to determine the requirements of the school(s) of his/her choice and to fulfill these requirements before the projected date of entrance. High school students are advised to gain a strong foundation in math and sciences.

The basic course requirements of most dental schools are:

Chemistry

General CHEM 121 , CHEM 122 or CHEM 201 , CHEM 202

Organic  CHEM 241 , CHEM 242 , CHEM 345 ; or CHEM 341 , CHEM 342 , CHEM 345

Physics General PHYS 151R , PHYS 152R
Biology

12 semester credits--some schools specify one year of biology with lab.

Courses that can be used to fulfill this requirement include BIOL 190 , BIOL 191 , BIOL 192 , BIOL 223 , BIOL 224 , BIOL 251--with additional course work in biochemistry recommended.

English

Composition ENG 101 , ENG 102

Psychology

Introductory PSY 101

In addition, other courses such as calculus, genetics, cell biology, and course work in humanities, arts and social sciences are recommended or required by some schools. Check the requirements of each school to which you are going to apply. The Advising Center, Edmund J. Cain Hall, Suite 102, has a pre-health careers resource library, which includes the American Association of Dental School Admission Requirements.

Application Process

Most dental schools belong to a centralized application service (AADSAS) that allows students to apply through one initial application. AADSAS applications are submitted in the summer one year prior to entering dental school. All schools require applicants to take the DAT, which consists of test sections in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, reading comprehension, quantitative ability (math), and perceptual ability (spatial judgment).

Letters of Recommendation: All dental schools require letters of recommendation, usually one to two from science faculty and one from a dentist. The time to submit the letters will vary, so it is best to check the instructions of each school to which you are applying. AADSAS provides a Letter of Recommendation Service for Dental School applicants.  For more information go to http://www.adea.org/pages/default.aspx

Beyond the satisfactory completion of minimum requirements, selection for admission is based on many factors, including undergraduate grade point average, DAT scores, letters of recommendation, an interview, personal statement, extracurricular activities, and awareness of and experiences in health related fields.  One should plan to apply to dental school the summer before his/her senior year - one year in advance of the intended date of enrollment. 

LAW, Preparatory

Lawyers are central figures in the life of a democratic country. They may deal with major courtroom cases or minor traffic disputes, complex corporate mergers or straightforward real estate transactions. Lawyers may work for giant industries, small businesses, government agencies, international organizations, public interest groups, legal aid offices and universities - or they may work for themselves. They represent both the impoverished and the wealthy, the helpless and the powerful. Lawyers may work solo, in a small group or in a large law firm.

Course Work

Pre-law students are encouraged to challenge their thinking and reasoning skills by pursuing a rigorous and diverse undergraduate program. There are no specific course requirements or recommended majors. Students are urged to choose a major in which they are truly interested and will do well in academically, since the grade point average plays a significant role in the admission process. Suggested courses are those that help develop analytical and logical reasoning skills, composition skills, public speaking ability, understanding of human nature, knowledge of business and the economy, and an understanding of historical contexts.

Pre-law students should develop a foundation of basic skills and values through educational and life experiences which will prepare them to become competent law students and legal professionals. Those seeking to prepare for legal education should develop a command of the English language, and acquire the ability to read with understanding, to think logically and critically, and to perform research and analysis competently.

The Advising Center, Edmund J. Cain Hall, Suite 102, offers a pre-law careers resource library including the Law School Admission Council Official Guide to U.S. Law Schools.

Application Process

Most law schools require that you subscribe to the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). The CAS prepares and provides a report for each law school to which you apply. Information contained in the report includes: an undergraduate academic summary; copies of all undergraduate, graduate, and law school/professional school transcripts; LSAT scores and a writing sample.  CAS also provides a Letter of Recommendation Service.  For more information visit: http://www.lsas.org .

All accredited law schools in the U.S. require their applicants submit scores from the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The examination is given four times a year and ideally should be taken no later than the fall when submitting one's application.

Law schools evaluate applicants according to many criteria, including academic performance, LSAT scores, the personal statement, extracurricular activities, overall accomplishments, and letters of recommendation. One should plan to apply to law school in the fall, one year in advance of the intended date of enrollment.

In assessing applicants, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas --Boyd School of Law looks to:

  1. Academic Accomplishments: To assess an applicant's academic accomplishments, the committee considers such factors as undergraduate GPA, trend of college grades, difficulty of the student's course of study, the quality and grading pattern of the student's undergraduate institution, the extent of work or other activities engaged in while in college, the date of the undergraduate degree, graduate studies, and performance on the LSAT.
  2. Nonacademic Accomplishments: The committee will consider evidence of significant accomplishments in extracurricular activities, employment, military service, and community service.
  3. Individual Background: The committee will consider the applicant's state of residency; cultural, ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic background; and evidence of significant handicaps overcome by the applicant. The committee will also consider any past history of criminality or academic misconduct.

MEDICINE, Preparatory

Medicine is the science and art of diagnosing, treating, curing and preventing disease. Physicians practice in many medical specialties using a full range of health-care techniques aimed at preserving and improving health.

Pre-medicine is not a major, but a set of courses required by medical schools for admission. Any major is appropriate as long as the student fulfills all premedical requirements, be it through required courses or elective courses.

It is wise to work toward a degree in any area which would serve as an attractive alternative in the event you were deterred from your goal in medicine.

The Advising Center, Edmund J. Cain Hall, Suite 102, has a health careers resource library which includes the Association of American Medical College Medical School Admission Requirements.

Required Premedical Course Work

The basic course requirements of the majority of medical schools are listed below. This is also the course work covered on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) which must be taken at least one year prior to anticipated admission to medical school. All required course work must be taken for a letter grade. High school students are advised to gain a strong foundation in math and sciences. It is the applicant's responsibility to determine the requirements of the school(s) of his/her choice and to fulfill these requirements before the projected date of entrance.

More information on all medical school requirements and admissions procedures can be found at Medical School Admissions Requirements, available online at http://www.aamc.org/msar . Students can learn more about requirements for the University fo Nevada School of Medicine online at http://www.medicine.nevada.edu .

The basic course requirements of the majority of medical schools are:

Chemistry

General CHEM 121 , CHEM 122 or CHEM 201 , CHEM 202

Organic  CHEM 241 , CHEM 242 , CHEM 345 ; or CHEM 341 , CHEM 342 , CHEM 345

Physics General PHYS 151R , PHYS 152R
Biology Most medical schools require a minimum of 12 credits of biology, with at least one lab. Courses that can be used to fulfill this requirement include BIOL 190 , BIOL 191 , BIOL 192 , BIOL 223 , BIOL 224 , BIOL 251--with additional course work in genetics, biochemistry, virology, parasitology and molecular biology recommended. Beginning in 2011, the University of Nevada School of Medicine will require 15 biology credits; a minimum of 6 credits must be upper division.
Mathematics 1 year of calculus for about 25% of medical schools: MATH 181 , MATH 182
English ENG 101 , ENG 102
Social Sciences & Humanities A well-rounded background is important and course work outside of science is strongly encouraged. (The University of Nevada School of Medicine requires 3 credits behavioral sciences that deal with psychological stages of the life cycle.) See School of Medicine, Admission Information.

Application Process

Most medical schools belong to a centralized application service (AMCAS) that allows students to apply through one initial application. AMCAS applications are submitted in the summer one year prior to entering medical school. Nearly all medical schools require applicants to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). The four sections of the exam are Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning and a Writing Sample. Actual test time is approximately 6 hours.

Letters of Recommendation: All medical schools require letters of recommendation, usually three to five at the time of the secondary application. It is advisable that one to two letters be from the science faculty and one be from someone in health care with whom you have worked or volunteered. AMCAS offers a Letters of Recommendation Service.  For more information go to http://www.aamc.org/students/amcas/faq/amcaslettersfaq.htm

Beyond the satisfactory completion of minimum requirements, selection for admission is based on many factors including undergraduate grade point average, MCAT scores, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, an interview, personal statement, and awareness of, and experiences in health-related fields.

Advising is also provided for students interested in podiatry, osteopathic medicine, chiropractic, and optometry. Course requirements are very similar to the premedicine requirements. For more information on the University of Nevada, School of Medicine, see the School of Medicine section of this catalog or visit http://www.medicine.nevada.edu

PHARMACY, Preparatory

The pharmacist is a professional specializing in the science of drugs. Although the role of the pharmacist has traditionally been linked to the dispensing of prescriptions, increased technology and improved health care delivery has opened up new careers in addition to retail pharmacy for the licensed pharmacist. Other pharmacy career options available to the licensed pharmacist include industrial pharmacy, governmental pharmacy (working in appropriate agencies throughout the federal government), quality control, research, teaching, administration and product development.

The university offers courses that satisfy requirements for admission to pharmacy schools throughout the country. A Pharm.D. degree requires at least four years of professional study.

Required Pre-Pharmacy Course Work

Pre-Pharmacy is not a major, but a set of courses required by pharmacy programs for admission. Any major is appropriate as long as the student fulfills all pre-pharmacy requirements, be it through required or elective courses. It is wise to work toward a degree in any area which would serve as an attractive alternative in the event you were deterred from your goal in pharmacy. High school students are advised to gain a strong foundation in math and sciences.

Admission requirements for the various pharmacy schools differ. It is the applicant's responsibility to determine the requirements of the school(s) of his/her choice and to fulfill these requirements before the projected date of entrance. The Advising Center, Edmund J. Cain Hall, Suite 102, has a pre-health careers resource library where the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy--Pharmacy School Admission Requirements can be found. All required course work must be taken for a letter grade. In general, courses at UNR that fulfill basic requirements for entry into pharmacy school are:

Chemistry

General CHEM 121 , CHEM 122 or CHEM 201 , CHEM 202

Organic  CHEM 241 , CHEM 242 , CHEM 345 ; or CHEM 341 , CHEM 342 , CHEM 345

Biological Sciences General BIOL 190 , BIOL 191 , BIOL 192 , BIOL 223 , BIOL 224
Physics General PHYS 151R , PHYS 152R
Math Calculus MATH 181
English Composition ENG 101 , ENG 102

In addition, other courses such as psychology, speech, economics, statistics and biochemistry are required by some schools. Check the requirements of each school to which you are going to apply.

Application Process

Applications to pharmacy schools are submitted during fall semester a year in advance of expected enrollment. Most pharmacy schools belong to a centralized application service (PharmCas) that allows students to apply through one initial application.  PharmCas applications are submitted approximately one year prior to entering pharmacy school.  Some pharmacy schools require students to take the Pharmacy Collage Admission Test (PCAT); check the literature carefully to see which schools require the exam. The PCAT is designed to measure general academic ability and scientific knowledge. The examination includes the following: verbal ability, quantitative ability, biology, chemistry, and reading comprehension. Most schools require a statement of purpose as well.

Letters of Recommendation: Most programs require that the applicant send two or three letters of recommendation. It is advisable that one letter be from a pharmacist, preferably one with whom you have worked. Also letters from science instructors and/or former employers may be required. PharmCas provides a Letter of Recommendation Service.  For more information go to http://www.pharmcas.org/applicants/eval.htm

PHYSICAL THERAPY, Preparatory

A physical therapist is a healthcare professional concerned with restoration and maintenance of function following disease or injury. Their patients include accident and stroke victims, injured athletes, children with disabilities and people with minor joint or muscle aches. The goal of therapy is to improve circulation, strengthen muscles, restore motion, correct deformities, relieve pain and expedite recovery. In addition to clinical work, physical therapists can advance into the areas of research, administration, supervision and teaching.

Personal qualifications important to physical therapists include patience, empathy and warmth, strong interpersonal skills, and the ability to instruct and motivate. Patients often are suffering emotional as well as physical stress, and treatment requires sensitivity in addition to technical proficiency on the part of the therapist.

Students obtain a bachelor's degree, while simultaneously fulfilling requirements for entrance into a physical therapy degree program. Practicum experience is required to help students clarify career goals and provide opportunities to consult practitioners who have current information about the profession. Most schools require 100 to 200 hours of actual work or volunteer experience prior to admission.

Required Pre-Physical Therapy Course Work

Pre-physical therapy is not a major, but a set of courses required by physical therapy programs for admission. Any major is appropriate as long as the student fulfills all pre-physical therapy requirements, be it through required courses or elective courses. Choose a major according to your strengths and interests. It is wise to work toward a degree in any area which would serve as an attractive alternative in the event you were deterred from your goal in physical therapy. High school students are advised to gain a strong foundation in math and sciences.

Due to the dynamic nature of physical therapy education, the prerequisite courses set by each program are subject to change. It is the applicant's responsibility to determine the requirements of the school(s) of his/her choice and to fulfill these requirements before the projected date of entrance.

All required course work must be taken for a letter grade. The basic course requirements of the majority of physical therapy programs are listed below.

Chemistry

General CHEM 121 , CHEM 122 or CHEM 201 , CHEM 202

Organic CHEM 220A , CHEM 220L ; or CHEM 241 , CHEM 242 , CHEM 345 ; or CHEM 341 , CHEM 342 , CHEM 345

Physics General PHYS 151R , PHYS 152R
Biological Sciences Biology BIOL 190 , BIOL 191 , BIOL 192 , BIOL 223 , BIOL 224
Psychology Psychology PSY 101 , PSY 441
Statistics There are several courses from which to choose, please refer to the Course Offerings section of this catalog.

In addition, other courses such as calculus, computer science, oral communication, microbiology, sociology and exercise physiology are required by some schools. Check the requirements of each school to which you are going to apply.

Application Process

Applications to physical therapy programs are made during fall semester a year in advance of expected enrollment. Most physical therapy schools belong to a centralized application service (PTCAS) that allows students to apply through one initial application.  PTCAS applications are submitted approximately one year prior to entering physical therapy school.  For more information go to http://www.ptcas.org .  Schools of physical therapy usually do not accept students with grade point averages below 3.0.  Most schools require a statement of purpose as well.   

Letters of Recommendation: Most programs require that the applicant send two or three letters of recommendation. It is advisable that one letter be from a physical therapist, preferably one with whom you have worked. Also letters from science instructors and/or former employers may be required.

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