Southwestern University

Pre-Professional Pathways

Engineering

If you are interested in engineering, you may pursue our dual degree program, which consists of three years of course work at Southwestern followed by approximately two years at an engineering school. You complete the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts, with the exception of the major requirement, and basic sciences and mathematics here. Southwestern awards the Bachelor of Arts degree after the completion of all of the requirements for the engineering degree.

You will receive the technical training of the engineer within the broader perspective of the liberal arts. Engineers must be aware of the social responsibilities of the profession and be able to assess and articulate the implications of new technologies. In fact, many engineering schools are adding more humanities courses, which are especially relevant as you move, in the course of a technical career, into decision-making positions.

Law

Any course of rigorous study will prepare you well for admission to law school. Law schools are receptive to any major in the social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, and fine arts. A liberal arts education at Southwestern with broad exposure to a range of disciplines provides a strong background for law school. While there is no Pre-Law major here, there is an active Pre-Law Society, a faculty Pre-Law Advisor (Dr. David Gaines) and pre-law advising and resources through the Center for Career & Professional Development to help students decide whether law school and the practice of law are something they wish to pursue.

Law schools seek applicants who can write well, think cogently, and handle and synthesize extensive reading assignments. Pre-law students should take courses that emphasize written and oral analysis, class discussion, and independent research. Students who take courses where these skills are developed and demonstrated become strong candidates for admission to law school.

Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine

Medical, dental and veterinary schools have specific educational requirements that you must complete. Though not designated majors, pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, and pre-veterinary students at Southwestern are offered assistance through faculty pre-med advisor Dr. Kerry Bruns (who leads the the Premedical Advisory Committee) and the Center for Career & Professional Development in planning their studies to match the courses required for admission to the professional school of their choice.  For students who have worked with the committee to apply to professional programs in the past fifteen years, about 70% have been successful the first time they applied for admission.

While the majority of our pre-medical and pre-dental students have majored within the natural sciences, the requirements for medical professional school admission are equally qualitative and quantitative. Professional schools are looking for bright, highly motivated students who care about people, not simply for students with a specific major.

Students may also consider careers in allied health professions, for example Pharmacy, Optometry, Physical Therapy, or Physician Assistant.