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Pre-Professional Opportunities

Preparation for Professions in the Health and Medical Fields

Often, students are seeking to prepare for a professional graduate program through the proper undergraduate major and/or curriculum. To assist these students, LR provides advising to ensure students select an appropriate major and the right courses to be fully prepared for their graduate program-of-choice.

Pre-Physical Therapy

Students interested in applying to a Physical Therapy (PT) School often major in Biology or pre-medical science, while others major in Exercise Science. Whatever major is selected, more importantly, one needs to complete the necessary minimum requirements for the Physical Therapy schools in which s/he is interested. Much of this prerequisite work is in the natural sciences, and it is critical for anyone considering PT School to excel in these courses to ensure a strong admissions application. Additionally, undergraduate students need to demonstrate appropriate experience, leadership and communication skills necessary to be a successful physical therapist. These requirements will surely include substantial exposure to the practice of physical therapy by means of working with a licensed therapist. A variety of clinical experiences such as in-patient, out-patient, rehabilitation, long-term care, geriatrics, and pediatrics is suggested.

The necessary minimum requirement for most PT schools usually includes eight semester hours each in General Chemistry and Physics, and twelve semester hours in Biology, including general biology and physiology. Prospective PT students should also take two courses in mathematics (one in statistics) and a course in psychology. Accordingly, given the substantial science requirements, students often will major in a natural science (Biology, particularly) to prepare for PT school. A strong G.P.A. (overall and in these pre-requisites) is essential.

Pre-Dentistry

Dentistry offers stimulating career options. In addition to private practice, excellent opportunities exist in teaching and research, careers with government agencies or in industry.

Students interested in applying to Dental School sometimes major in Biology or Pre-Medical Science. It is important to realize, however, that one may major in any college subject, so long as s/he satisfies the necessary minimum requirements for the dental schools to which application is to be made.

The necessary minimum requirement for most dental schools is usually eight semester hours each in General Biology (including an Anatomy course which includes dissection), General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Physics as well as one semester of Biochemistry. Prospective dental students should consider also courses in Molecular Biology, Math, Statistics, Business, Writing, Computer Science, Sculpture and Art. Students are encouraged to take as many courses as possible in Social Science, History, Literature, Economics, Philosophy and Psychology. As specific requirements may differ from school to school, students should specifically check for the prerequisite requirements for the dental schools in which they are interested.

Each applicant to dental school must take the Dental Admission Test (DAT) sponsored by the Association of American Dental Universities. Most dental schools participate in the Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS). For a fee, students can subscribe to this service and complete a single application to apply to multiple dental schools.

Applicants to dental schools may be expected demonstrate the following skills, experiences or potentials:

  • Satisfactory academic abilities, as evidenced by having successfully completed the required pre-dental courses and the Dental Admission Test (DAT) at an acceptable level of performance.
  • Psychomotor skills sufficient to perform the necessary technical tasks in dentistry, as shown by an acceptable performance on the perceptual ability exam of the DAT, and by enrollment in drawing or sculpting courses or participation in hobbies that require psychomotor activity outside the normal college curriculum.
  • A demonstrated service commitment and a desire to help others, shown by participation in extracurricular and volunteer activities, and activities that demonstrate social sensitivity.
  • The potential to be a self-directed, lifelong learner. The dental profession requires practitioners to learn continually in order to provide the highest level of patient care, so strong applicants may be engaged in appropriate self-learning activities and other experiences that indicate a high level of independent, intellectual curiosity.
  • A knowledge of the dental profession through talking with/observing dentists and reading appropriate dental literature. Strong applicants should have a firm grasp of what the dental profession is and the important issues facing the profession.

Pre-Veterinary

Students interested in applying to a school of Veterinary Medicine often major in Biology or Pre-Medical Science. It is important to realize, however, that one may major in any college subject, so long as s/he satisfies the necessary minimum requirements for the veterinarian schools to which application is to be made. One does not need to be a pre-veterinary major to get into or excel in veterinary school; the key is ensuring the right prerequisite coursework is completed and done well. Students also need to be able to demonstrate they have the experience, leadership and communication skills necessary to be a successful veterinarian.

The necessary minimum requirement for most vet schools usually includes eight semester hours each in General Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Physics. Prospective veterinary students should also take a course in Genetics, Biochemistry, Calculus or Logic, and Statistics. LR’s B.S. in Biology is viewed as the most direct route to obtaining these prerequisite courses.

A course in Animal Nutrition is also a requirement at many veterinary schools. Since this course is not offered at LR, students should consider taking one via distance learning, offered by an accredited college or university. Students may also expect to complete a substantial number of hours of clinical, medical, agribusiness, health science or medically related scientific research experience by the time of application. As programs may vary, it is essential that students carefully review the specific prerequisite requirements for the vet schools in which they are interested.

Each applicant to vet school must take a standardized test. Most veterinary schools require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and some also require the Biology GRE. Some schools, in place of the GRE, also accept the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) is a centralized application program for participating Veterinary Medical Colleges.

Pre-Medical

Students interested in applying to medical school often major in Biology or Pre-Medical Science. It is important to realize, however, that one may major in any college subject, so long as s/he satisfies the necessary minimum requirements for the medical schools to which application is to be made.

The necessary minimum requirement for most medical schools is usually eight semester hours each in General Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Physics. Some medical schools require one full year of Calculus (Duke, for example), and one full year of English. Some schools also require two semesters of Psychology. Please check the prerequisite requirements for the medical schools in which you are interested. Note also that Biochemistry is now a requirement at a majority of medical schools.

Applicants are urged not to enroll in undergraduate or graduate courses which are likely to be repeated in the medical school curriculum. For example, Human Anatomy and Physiology (Bio 281, 282) is not recommended since this is a non-majors course taken most often by health science undergraduates. Medical schools value a pattern of preparation for medicine that shows serious and mature use of the undergraduate years. Course work in the humanities and social sciences as well as advanced work in the sciences and mathematics is most often preferred, and students should plan college courses to achieve a broad educational background. Scholarly interest and achievement in both science and the humanities should be demonstrated. Many medical schools have decided that prerequisite course work from community colleges will not be accepted.

Each applicant to medical school must take the Medical University Admission Test (MCAT) sponsored by the Association of American Medical Universities—normally in the spring of her/his junior year. It is critical that applicants abide by the standard timelines established by AMCAS. Interviews for admission to Medical School will normally occur in the late fall or winter.

Pre-Medical Program Requirements

Association of American Medical Universities

Medical University Admission Test (MCAT)

Pre-Pharmacy

Students interested in attending pharmacy school have several options available to them at Lenoir-Rhyne. Students can either complete a B.S. degree in Chemistry, or meet the pharmacy school requirements in three years and apply directly without completing their undergraduate degree. Students may also complete the B.S. Biology degree if planning to attend pharmacy school. Faculty members recommend students majoring in Chemistry select the Biochemistry track if planning to pursue this pharmacy option. The degrees cited allow students to meet all of the prerequisites for pharmacy school, while increasing their chance of admission into pharmacy school, and affording students greater career flexibility.

Preparation for Professions in Natural Sciences Fields

Special “3+2” Science Programs
Lenoir-Rhyne University offers several special programs in the Natural Sciences in partnership with other institutions. Through these special opportunities students may complete the majority of their University experience on the LR campus before transferring to other universities in their senior year to complete specialized degrees. Upon completion of these dual programs, students will also receive their bachelor’s degree from LR.

Pre-Forestry

As demands for the world's forest resources continue to increase, so does the need for forestry and environmental professionals. LR’s Pre-Forestry program provides students with the opportunity to seamlessly articulate into a graduate level program. Lenoir-Rhyne University is part of the Cooperative College (3-2) Program with Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, which offers students the opportunity to proceed directly from three years of undergraduate study at Lenoir-Rhyne to two years of study at the Nicholas School’s Master of Forestry (MF) program. Students in the program typically earn their bachelor’s degree after their first year at Duke and their master’s degree after their second year at the Nicholas School, thus earning both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in a total of five years of study. Students interested in this program must be able to handle rigorous coursework at an accelerated pace, and be accepted into the Duke program during their junior year at Lenoir-Rhyne in order to continue in the program.

Students graduating with the Master of Forestry (MF) degree receive a broad, interdisciplinary approach to the study of environmental and conservation issues and processes, complemented by course work in the natural sciences. These graduates work in a variety of sectors: private/industrial forestry, state and federal agencies; nonprofits such as land trusts that steward working forests; and in private consulting. Students also have the option to complement their MF degree with a Master of Environmental Management also through Lenoir-Rhyne and the Cooperative College (3-2) Program, allowing them to become even more competitive in the job market.

Students who decide not to proceed directly to Duke after their junior year may decide to complete the Biology major or the Environmental Studies major in their senior year at Lenoir- Rhyne before continuing to the Masters level.

Pre-Forestry Program Requirements

Course Catalog

Pre-Environmental Management

In the continuous struggle to find a balance between human needs and the welfare of our planet, there remains a growing demand for strong leaders dedicated to the environmental and conservation issues. Pre-Environmental Management is a dual degree program offered at Lenoir-Rhyne University which teaches students how to analyze and manage natural environments for human benefit and ecosystem health. It provides a broad, interdisciplinary approach to the study of environmental and conservation issues and processes, complemented by course work in the natural sciences.

The Pre-Environmental Management program provides students with the opportunity to seamlessly articulate into a graduate level program. Lenoir-Rhyne University is part of the Cooperative College (3-2) Program with Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, which offers students the opportunity to proceed directly from three years of undergraduate study at Lenoir-Rhyne to two years of study at the Nicholas School’s Master of Environmental Management (MEM) program. Students in the program typically earn their bachelor’s degree after their first year and their master’s degree after their second year at the Nicholas School, thus earning both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in a total of five years of study. Students interested in this program must be able to handle rigorous coursework at an accelerated pace, and be accepted into the Duke program during their junior year at Lenoir-Rhyne in order to continue in the program. LR also offers a Pre-Forestry dual degree program also in conjunction with the Cooperative College (3-2) Program. Joint-degree students who complement the MEM with a Master of Forestry (MF) degree are especially competitive in the job market.

Students who decide not to proceed directly to Duke after their junior year may decide to complete the Biology major or the Environmental Studies major in their senior year at Lenoir- Rhyne before continuing to the Masters level.

Pre-Environmental Management Program Requirements