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Important: See the Student Success and Advising office for pre-professional studies information. These requirements change often, and you are responsible to check them yourself. Within the WOU hub of webpages, any information about pre-professional programs cannot be considered authoritative.

Please Note: Pre-Professional programs are NOT Bachelor Degrees or Certificates. The Pre-Professional coursework is designed to provide you courses which apply towards the prerequisites of a given program, but you will not be awarded any degree from Western Oregon University based upon this coursework.

Please refer all questions regarding any Pre-Professional program to the listed advisors below. WOU does not post the Pre-Professional requirements into their catalog due to the ever changing nature of program requirements. WOU is not affiliated with these programs, thus has no control over their requirements.

Pre-Professional Studies in the Health Sciences


Prepares students for entry into professional programs in many of the health sciences. Students will develop skills, gain knowledge, and complete pre-requisite coursework for admission into a professional program of their choosing. Students may also use these courses toward the requirements for a Bachelors of Art or a Bachelors of Science degree. All pre-professional health science students are assigned to specific advisors.

Learning outcomes:

  1. Develop deductive reasoning, analytical, and problem solving skills related to their professional goals.
  2. Learn broad concepts from many different disciplines for entry into their profession of choice.
  3. Acquire a liberal arts education while pursuing a professional education.

WOU currently offers Health Sciences pre-professional studies in the following areas:

One-to-two year programs


The Pre-nursing program at Western Oregon University (WOU) provides students with the opportunity to complete prerequisite coursework necessary for entrance into a Bachelor of Science degree program in nursing. The WOU Pre-nursing program is a two-year program (90 credit hours) with students applying to nursing schools during their second year. Our program is designed to complete the requirements necessary for entry into 3 Oregon programs: OHSU, Linfiled and the University of Portland. However, you are not limited to those programs. We encourage students to research and seek entry into programs from across the country and we are happy to help you navigate the prerequisites necessary for admission to those programs.

Pre-Nursing: Student Success and Advising office 503-838-8428

Pre-Dental Hygiene

WOU does not offer a program in pre-dental hygiene but some of the pre-dental hygiene prerequisites may be taken at WOU. Admission to  pre-dental hygiene programs is highly competitive. Students are encouraged to research the application requirements for their desired pre-dental hygiene program to determine what classes to take. For general advising questions, students may contact Student Success and Advising at or 503-838-8428.

Three-to-four year programs


Pre-Medicine (Allopathic, Osteopathic, Chiropractic, Podiatric, Optometric)

Pre-Clinical Lab Science

Pre-Occupational Therapy


Pre-Physician Assistant

Pre-Physical Therapy

Pre-Veterinary Medicine

Admission to the above programs is highly competitive. In general, admission depends on grades, a written personal statement, professional experience, the completion of specific coursework and/or proficiency exams (e.g., DAT, MCAT), and interpersonal/ interviewing skills. Although specific admissions requirements vary somewhat from program to program, all require extensive coursework in biology, chemistry, and physics. Consequently, a biology degree with a pre-professional emphasis facilitates well the admission requirements for most programs.

Additional coursework is required to complete a bachelor’s degree at WOU, all of which are required or strongly recommended for admission to a majority of these programs. More information about preparatory materials is available from the following program advisors:

Pre-Dentistry: Dr. Sarah Boomer 503-838-8209,

Pre-Medicine: Dr. Bryan Dutton 503-838-8452,

Pre-Clinical Lab Science: Dr. Michael LeMaster 503-838-8136,

Pre-Occupational Therapy: Dr. Chehalis Strapp 503-838-8316,

Pre-Pharmacy: Dr. Michael LeMaster 503-838-8136,

Pre-Physician Assistant: Dr. Bryan Dutton 503-838-8452,

Pre-Physical Therapy: Dr. Jennifer Taylor-Winney 503-838-8923

Pre-Veterinary Medicine: Dr. Karen Haberman 503-838-8478


Four-Year Preparation


The minimum requirement for admission to a recognized law school is a bachelor’s degree. Most law schools value intellectual maturity and a broad educational background, such as is provided by majors in the social sciences, natural sciences or humanities, rather than narrow specialization. Well-developed research, analysis, oral and written communication skills are considered desirable.

It is suggested that students take the legal studies minor with additional course work in the following areas: accounting, economics, history, political science, philosophy, psychology, sociology, communication studies and writing. For more specific information on an appropriate course of study, see the pre-law advisor, who is assigned by the Social Science Division.

Admission to law schools is highly competitive. Applicants are usually expected to achieve an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.00 and perform well on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), although strength in one of these areas may compensate for weakness in the other. The LSAT should be taken early in the senior year. More information about preparatory materials is available from the pre-law advisor. Contact the Social Science Division for more information.