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Prospective Students, Parents & High School Counselors

Is Purdue the right place for my pre-professional studies?

Yes! Purdue is one of the top-ranked universities in the country with faculty and cutting-edge research that will challenge you academically and help prepare you for the rigors of a professional program.

What does it mean to be a pre-professional student?

Being a pre-professional student is a career interest, not a major. For instance, you can be a history major and also a pre-professional student pursuing a medical or law career. Professional programs are looking for well-rounded students with broad academic interests. Major in whatever interests you most. There is no "correct" or "best" major. Majoring in something you find interesting can provide you with an alternate career option in case you don’t gain immediate entrance into a competitive program of your choice.

What pre-professional services are available at Purdue?

Pre-Professional Advising serves as a centralized source for information on professional careers from choosing a good career fit to applying to a program. We advise students, offer workshops, and interact regularly with professional programs to stay informed about changes in applications and what professional programs seek in applicants. We also offer a professional file service for medical and dental school applicants that stores and distributes letters of recommendation. Each spring we host a Health Programs Expo that brings over 60 schools to campus representing well over 100 different graduate level healthcare programs allowing students to interact with school representatives and learn about programs.

What should I do to prepare for being a pre-professional student?

Begin by learning all you can about the field in a broad sense -- don't limit yourself with tunnel vision to one restricted field of study. It is much to soon to decide to be a pediatric neurosurgeon (just as an example). Explore professional fields online, volunteer in a healthcare facility or legal setting, job shadow professionals in the field to see what a typical day is like. Finally, those interested in demanding professional careers should always be reading — anything from books and magazines to newspapers. Reading not only helps you learn but it can help with preparing for the verbal reasoning sections of aptitude tests.

Will it help me to have Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or Dual Enrollment credits?

Many students do come to Purdue with AP, IB and dual enrollment credits. Often these provide Purdue credits. You should be aware, however, that some professional programs do not accept these credits. The problem is that most professional programs want to see how you perform in the classes they require so they need a college grade for that course. Thus, you should plan to take at least one more course in each field in which you are using AP credit if that class is required by your professional field. Dual enrollment generally works better as a college transcript is available with credit for that course. Read more about this on our handout on AP/IB Credits for Pre-Health Students.

How many Purdue applicants are accepted in medical, dental, optometry, law and other programs each year?

The answer to this question is, surprisingly, not very helpful. Ultimately, it is the student who gains acceptance to a professional program — not the undergraduate institution. By keeping your grades up (ideally in the 3.6 or better range), preparing well for any required aptitude tests, following the advice of your academic advisor and the staff in Pre-Professional Advising, getting to know faculty, gaining practical experience, being active on campus, and participating in research, your chances of being accepted are very good. And, in fact, Purdue's students who have done these things are quite successful in gaining acceptance into professional programs.

Because there is no consistent method for gathering and reporting data on applicant success rates and these numbers can be very misleading, Purdue does not publish this information as a recruiting tool. Read our Admission Statistics handout for more information.

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