Being prepared for Graduate and professional programs

A Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry can be an important stepping stone for many advanced and professional degree programs.  This includes Professional Programs in Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Optometry,  and Clinical Lab Technician, as well as graduate programs in chemistry-related disciplines such as Toxicology, Forensics, Drug Development and Design, Chemical Engineering, Analytical Chemistry, Nanotechnology, Environmental and Green Chemistry, to name a few.

All of these programs have special requirements and entrance exams that need to be completed to even be eligible to apply for the programs.  Below, we have attempted to clarify some of the hurdles that you will face when preparing for different professional and graduate programs.  Please use these as a guide to help you in your academic planning. The earlier in your academic career that you start to plan for these hurdles, the easier they will be for you to manage.  So what should do?

General Guidance for All Programs:

  • Be proactive in your own education! Make appointments with Advisers in your Department and don’t be afraid to ask questions!
  • Declare your major and minor at the Registrar’s Office so that it will show up in your DegreeWorks
  • Print out a copy of your WOU Degree Plan for your major and minor to keep track of your classes
  • Build a four year degree plan that includes your academic coursework, as well as extracurricular activities that will strengthen your resume
  • Tailor your general education course selections to help you prepare for graduate and professional program exams and requirements.
  • Use the internet to research programs that you are interested in and find out what their requirements are to apply for their programs. Build in those course requirements into your educational program.
  • Find out what other students have done to build strong resumes to be successful in the application process.
  • Study hard and commit yourself to keeping a strong GPA. 
    • Find a study partner or group within your difficult classes to help ease the studying burden and keep up with course materials.
    • Use college resources like Tutoring, the Writing Center, and Faculty office hours.  Don’t be afraid to come in for help!

Guidance for Pre-Professional Health Tracks:

  • The Pre-Professional Health degree track in Chemistry is the Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacology Emphasis Track.  As early as possible select this emphasis major and it’s associated minor at the Registrars Office to link the requirements in your DegreeWorks.
  • Certain LACC courses are recommended to help you prepare for completing entrance requirements for Medical School, Pharmacy School, or other professional programs, including the MCAT or PCAT.  Currently, we recommend that students take:
    • An ethics course (PHL251 or other ethics offerings)
    • SOC223 Introduction to Sociology: Theory (3), SOC224 Introduction to Sociology: Research (3),  PSY201 General Psychology (4) and either ECON201 Intro to Microeconomics (4) or ECON202  Intro to Macroeconomics (4) 
    • Other useful coursework includes GERO360D Cognitive and Physical Changes in Aging, GERO430D Pallative Care and Chronic Illness, HE465D International Health or HST484D Health, Medicine and Gender in Historical Perspective.
  • The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has a great website to help pre-professional students prepare for the rigors of Medical School and information about the MCAT can be found here.
  • Oregon State University – College of Pharmacy has a great website to help students prepare for entry into Pharmacy Programs and information about the PCAT can be found here.
  • Information about Dental School can be found at the website of the American Dental Association and entrance exam requirements for the DAT can be found here.

Department of Chemistry

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