Pre-Professional Studies at Purdue
Want to help understand cancer? Develop safer football helmets? Develop more shelf-stable foods to help combat hunger around the world?
Undergraduate students can be involved in the kinds of projects that have real-world impacts while at Purdue.
As one of the top universities in the country, Purdue University is an amazing place to begin your journey to professional school. With nearly two hundred majors to choose from and close to one thousand student organizations, you can tailor your education to your interests.
This section of the Learning Center helps you discover more about Purdue, Pre-Professional Advising, and some of your options at Purdue.
Our Office of Admissions is awesome and ready to help you with learning all about Purdue University and helping you plan a visit to campus. Give them a call if you need to at 765-494-1776.
Planning to visit on a prospective student visit day (Introducing Purdue, for example)? Our office will be there! No need to schedule a separate visit with us.
Want to visit Purdue outside of a scheduled recruiting day? See what a regular day at Purdue looks like? Schedule a Daily Visit through Admissions. Once you schedule your day you can move on to Admissions' Customize Your Daily Visit tool to set up time to meet with someone to talk about the major you are interested in and set up a time to meet with Pre-Professional Advising.
If you want to meet with Pre-Professional Advising as part of that visit, we are happy to do so if time allows. To schedule a meeting with us, please call in advance 765-494-3981.
Professional programs DO NOT have a preference when it comes to undergraduate major. You can be a German major and still go to medical school or veterinary school! Choose something that interests you, that you will be successful in, and that provides what we call parallel plan--another plan should you decide not to go to professional school.
Explore your many major/minor options at Purdue.
Think about what you most enjoy studying--you tend to do better in these classes and grades matter.
Consider what might be a solid parallel plan/plan B/pivot plan for you. Most websites for Purdue majors tell you what their students have gone on to do with that major.
Remember to keep exploring. Just because you liked/disliked something in high school does not mean you will feel the same in college. Try new things. Your career goal as a child may not really be the best thing for you as you come to know yourself as an adult. Be open to new experiences and new thinking about your goals. It is ok to change your path.
Really don't know what you want to major in? Purdue has a number of places where you can start as you figure things out.
Can't decide? Don't know where to start? Exploratory Studies is for you. They do an exceptional job of helping you learn more about yourself, your interests, and your opportunities at Purdue. If you are pre-professional, their advisors will help you start on your pre-professional courses so that you do not get behind until you choose your major.
If you are interested in veterinary medicine, you could also consider the Pre-Veterinary Program in the College of Agriculture. Their advisors will help you explore your options of majors while starting you in your pre-vet courses then help you move into your chosen major.
You can also be an undecided student in the College of Liberal Arts.
How many Purdue students get into medical school? Or dental school? Law school? That will tell me my chance of getting in. Right?
It seems like these statistics should be useful. They have a logical appeal. In reality they are not helpful. Besides being so difficult to collect that they are so spotty they are unreliable, they only tell us what happened to those students. They are not predictive in any way.
Think of it this way...imagine we have a group of 5 students and we gave them a list of things to do to help them be competitive applicants.
- Aim for a 3.6 GPA and above average scores on aptitude tests
- Do volunteer work--show a service orientation
- Get to know your field--shadow professionals
- Be involved in student organizations--show some leadership potential
- Cultivate relationships with faculty so that you have strong letters of recommendations
- Take part in undergraduate research
Now let's assume that none of our 5 students did any of those things. Will they be admitted into professional school? Probably not. Purdue's acceptance rate? 0%. So Purdue provided information on what the students needed to do and provided opportunities, but we failed to "get the students in." Right?
Now, let's assume that 5 other students did all of those things and they are successful in being admitted. Purdue now has a 100% acceptance rate. Did Purdue "get them in?" No. The students did that. They put in all the work. Purdue did the same thing for both sets of students.
Read more about Acceptance Rates on our handout. In reality, national admission rates can be somewhat informative, but school rates really don't tell you much. We encourage you to focus on whether you feel comfortable at a school, whether it provides you the advising support you need, and whether you have opportunities to be involved in research and the other things you look forward to taking part in while in college.
Tours of the Veterinary Medical School are not always available, (it is a working hospital, afterall), but they do try to accommodate requests when they can. Contact them as far in advance as you can.