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FAQ — Current Students

What services are available to pre-professional students at Purdue University?

Pre-Professional Advising works with all Purdue students who are considering a professional career path. Our services include individual advising, workshops, assistance with the application process, and a professional file service that stores and distributes letters of recommendation you will need for applying to medical, dental or podiatry programs. We are also happy to come speak at your club meetings about applying to professional school, writing personal statements, interviews, etc.

What should I major in?

Being a pre-professional student at Purdue is a career interest, not a major. You should choose a major based on your academic interests. There is no "correct" or "best" major. However, most professional programs do have required prerequisite courses. Majoring in something that you find interesting can provide you with an alternate career in case you don’t gain immediate entrance into the professional program of your choice.

What courses do I need to prepare me for professional school?

Professional schools are looking for students with broad interests and a strong academic background. The prerequisite courses differ by careers and by school. Regardless of which field you choose, for health care careers you will need a strong background in the sciences including biology, chemistry, physics and math. In addition, professional schools often expect courses in psychology and other social sciences as well as English. Law schools value courses that foster critical thinking, logical reasoning and effective writing.

If I graduate in three years, will that impress medical schools and make it more likely that they will accept me?

Not necessarily. The personal, social and academic growth you experience in four years may be just as valuable as trying to fit four years of courses into three years. On the flip side, they will not hold it against you if you do graduate early.

Should I repeat a course if my grade was so-so?

Not necessarily. If it was a prerequisite course for your professional school program, you must repeat it if you have below a C. Repeating it and getting a better grade can prove that you have mastered the subject, but having too many repeated courses on your transcript will not look good. Also, most professional schools calculate every grade into your overall GPA, not just the most recent grade. Your time may be better served taking an additional class and doing well in it, to show mastery of a subject. To discuss your specific situation come see us.

Can I enter a health care field without an undergraduate degree?

That depends. Some fields, such as working as a radiological technician, dental hygienist or physical therapy assistant, require an associate degree. But most fields require a bachelor’s degree (nursing or dietetics, for example) or graduate-level work, such as medicine, dentistry, chiropractic medicine and audiology. Some professional schools only require 90 credit hours to be completed before beginning a professional program. Technically, to enter dental, medical, or veterinary school you only 90 credit hours. Very few students, however, are admitted this way and you can run into licensure restrictions in a few states if you do not have your bachelor's degree. For more specific information come see us.

What are Purdue’s acceptance rates to professional school?

Overall acceptance rates are much less important than an individual student’s academic preparedness for the program, such as grades, aptitude tests, experience with research or in a medical field, and being active with campus and community groups and organizations. We have data on national statistics which can be helpful and we would be happy to share these with you.

Can I count my AP, IB and dual-enrollment credits for some of the pre-professional courses?

Often these do provide Purdue credit, but some professional programs — especially medical schools — will not accept AP credits for pre-requisite courses. Most medical schools want to see how you perform in these classes at college by earning a grade. Since dual-enrollment does provide a college transcript, these courses are generally acceptable. You can read more about the issue on our AP/IB Credit Handout.

Click here for more information on Purdue's policies

Have questions? Come see us. We’ll be happy to answer them!