Congratulations on raising a child who wants to give back to others by entering a professional field. Their success is in no small part due to your support, persistence and caring. As a student, your child is now in charge of making decisions that affect his/her education and future. Some information will help you understand a bit more about what it takes to be admitted in a professional program after graduation from Purdue so that you can support your student in their efforts.
Choosing A Major
A major should be chosen based on the interests of the student. Pre-professional is a vocational interest, not a major. Professional schools have no preference for major but do generally identify key classes (prerequisites) that students must have.
- Good grades will be required. For most professional programs a 3.0 is the minimum. Realistically though, to be competitive in many programs you need a 3.6 to a 3.8 GPA.
- Students need to shadow someone in their chosen profession. You may be able to help with this by putting them in contact with people you know in those fields.
- Students need to be involved in campus activities and community volunteering to gain leadership experience and to show that they are service oriented.
- Summer research and study abroad are great opportunities, but they may also have financial aspects that you will need to plan for.
- Encourage your student to get to know faculty, seek help with classes and generally make the most of their time at Purdue.
- Depending on the field your son or daughter wishes to pursue, he/she may need to take a standardized aptitude test. These are: MCAT for medical and podiatric schools, DAT for dental schools, OAT for optometry programs, the PCAT for pharmacy, and the GRE for many other health fields. These are intense exams and students are often under a lot of pressure before taking them.
Pre-Professional Resources at Purdue
At Purdue, your student has both an academic advisor to help with choosing classes and picking careers as well as the Center for Pre-Professional Advising and the Center for Career Opportunities. Encourage them to make use of these resources.
The process of preparing for and applying to professional schools can be difficult. Your student will appreciate your support as they learn to take responsibility for this process and their future.