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Pre-Professional Education



  • “The Professions” include a wide variety of occupations such as engineering, law, many aspects of human health care, counseling/clinical psychology, military/aerospace, and veterinary medicine. “The Professions” uniformly require either highly technical education within the Bachelor’s degree or, more commonly, two to four years of graduate education after a Bachelor’s degree.
  • In most cases, Professional (graduate) schools require a Bachelor’s degree for admission to their programs. One exception is in Engineering, in which a “Pre-Engineering” student might study at UW Oshkosh for one to three years and then transfer to a School of Engineering, such as UW Madison, UW Milwaukee, or UW Platteville. 
  • “Pre-Professional” education prepares the college student for advanced work at a Professional school, often entailing a move to a different campus. For example, a UW Oshkosh “Pre-Med” might go on to study medicine at UW Madison, while a “Pre-Law” student might go on to study law at Marquette University.
  • In general, the Pre-Professional student has dual educational goals in college:
    • To earn a Bachelor’s degree in a declared major (exception: Pre-Engineering students, see above). UW Oshkosh is responsible for setting the policies for earning the Bachelor’s degree.
    • To gain admission to the Professional school(s) of his or her choice. Each Professional school is responsible for setting its own policies for admission.
  • In general, the Pre-Professional student is free to choose any major because the vast majority of Professional schools have no preference. Often, one particular major provides the “path of least resistance” for satisfying Professional school admissions requirements. However, that should not be the only reason a student declares that particular major. Students may achieve more academic success in programs that truly interest them. For example, Psychology majors have gone on to medical school, law school and master’s and doctoral programs in clinical or counseling psychology.
  • Professional schools can, and do, change their admissions requirements at will, and are under no obligation to notify Pre-Professional advisers of their actions. Vigilance is required. Pre-Professional students are encouraged to communicate directly with admissions recruiters at Professional schools to remain current in their policies. In the end, careful planning by the student, with the assistance of advisers at UW Oshkosh and at the Professional school(s), will result in a Bachelor’s degree plan that earns both a degree and eligibility for admission.
  • At UW Oshkosh, when a student decides to declare a major, s/he also has the option of self-identifying as a particular type of Pre-Professional, such as “Pre-Med” or “Pre-Law”. Identifying as Pre-Professional is secondary to declaring a major. Pre-Prof is just a flag on the student’s record that alerts anyone viewing the student’s academic plan to a hoped-for career outcome. Identifying, or not identifying, does not change the student’s access to advisers or choice of career; it’s a convenience only. Common UW Oshkosh major/Pre-Profession combinations are:
    • Biology/Pre-Med (but Med Schools admit any major)
    • Chemistry/Pre-Pharmacy (but Pharm Schools admit any major)
    • Political Science/Pre-Law (but Law Schools admit any major)
    • Physics/Pre-Engineering
    • Engineering Technology/Pre-Engineering
  • The following emerging trends in Professional education should be noted:
    • Some Professional schools outside of Engineering do admit a tiny fraction of students without the Bachelor’s degree, i.e. with only one to three years of college. However, outside of Engineering, this policy is disappearing, in view of the value of a well-rounded education and of maturity.
    • Professions that used to be trained at the Bachelor’s degree level are now moving toward the Master’s degree level (typically, two years of Professional school after the Bachelor’s degree).  Professions that used to be Master’s level are now moving toward the Doctoral degree level (typically, four years of Professional school after the Bachelor’s degree).
    • Non-academic factors contribute substantially to how competitive a student is for Professional school admission. Students must plan for things like entrance exams, apprenticeship-like experiences in the Profession and criminal background checks. Even if not actually required, non-academic factors give students the advantage in the competition for admission.
  • Based on these trends, Pre-Professional students at UW Oshkosh are routinely advised to:
    • Plan a full Bachelor’s degree completion, with the exception of Pre-Engineering students.
    • Plan for the possibility that their chosen profession will “go doctoral” by the time they apply.
    • Plan to accommodate required and recommended non-academic factors.
  • As Professions change, so do the admissions requirements of Professional schools. Therefore, the options for Pre-Professional education at UW Oshkosh change, too. Only the most general information is provided in this Bulletin, so that it does not rapidly go out-of-date.  Please consult the UW Oshkosh web pages and advisers listed below for the most current information.



  • UW Oshkosh Faculty Advisors:
    • Dr. Barton Pritzl,, Dept of Physics and Astronomy
    • Dr. Dennis Rioux,, Dept of Engineering Technology
    • All areas of engineering
  • UARC Academic Advisor:
    • Ann Kunkle-Jones,
  • General Guidance         
    • The greater the number of fundamental math and science courses you can complete at UW Oshkosh before transferring, the quicker you will be able to take the specialized upper level classes offered only at the engineering schools. If your expectation is to graduate in four or four-and-a-half years, you will need to enroll in the calculus and physics sequences in your first semester. This “hit the ground running” advice also applies to the chemistry sequence if your interest lies with biomedical or chemical engineering. The entry-level math, physics and chemistry sequences are prerequisites for most of the 200-level classes that you will take in your second year. A willingness to spend more time at UW Oshkosh gives you greater flexibility with your schedule and a chance to pick up additional classes that interest you, but it will almost always take longer to graduate.
    • Entry level math preparation is the most common reason for having to extend your time as a pre-engineering student. First semester calculus (MATH 171 Calculus I) is a concurrent enrollment requirement for first semester physics (PHYS 191 General Physics I), and second semester calculus (MATH 172 Calculus II) is a concurrent enrollment requirement for second semester physics (PHYS 192 General Physics II). Of course, if you come to UW Oshkosh having completed one or more calculus courses, you are strongly encouraged to continue with the next class in the sequence.


      The general chemistry sequence (CHEM 105/106 General Chemistry I/II) is required for all engineering sub-disciplines by UW Madison, UW Milwaukee and UW Platteville. As noted above, biomedical and chemical pre-engineering students are encouraged to complete that sequence in their first year, so they can take upper level courses that fulfill additional program requirements. Students in other engineering fields have more flexibility, but should plan to take both courses before they transfer.

      EGRT 105 Fundamentals of Drawing & EGRT 207 Parametric Modeling are engineering graphics courses that deal with computer aided design (CAD) and solid modeling techniques that are useful in many engineering disciplines.

      Sample Schedules

      The following are examples of schedules of math and science classes that well-prepared pre-engineering students would have in two years of study at UW Oshkosh. Students who have already completed some calculus courses are encouraged to advance to the next class in the Calculus I–Calculus II–Calculus III–Differential Equations sequence. Probability & Statistics and Linear Mathematics are taught in both Fall and Spring semesters and make excellent additions to the required math curriculum. Your advisor in the Office of Academic Advising will help you select appropriate University Studies Program (general education) courses to fill the remainder of your schedule.


              First Year                 Biomedical Engineering          Second Year

      Fall                  Spring                             Fall                              Spring

      MATH 171         MATH 172               MATH 273                    MATH 371

      CHEM 105        CHEM 106              CHEM 234/235           CHEM 334/335

      PHYS 191          PHYS 192                                                         EGR 201


              First Year                  Chemical Engineering           Second Year

      Fall                   Spring                               Fall                             Spring

      MATH 171          MATH 172                  MATH 273                  MATH 371

      CHEM 105         CHEM 106                 CHEM 234/235         CHEM 334/335

      PHYS 191           PHYS 110                    CHEM 311


              First Year                  Electrical Engineering            Second Year

      Fall                    Spring                              Fall                             Spring

      MATH 171         MATH 172                  MATH 273                 MATH 371

      PHYS 191          PHYS 192                    CHEM 105                 CHEM 106


              First Year                Mechanical Engineering          Second Year

      Fall                       Spring                            Fall                            Spring

      MATH 171          MATH 172                  MATH 273             MATH 371

      PHYS 191           PHYS 192                    CHEM 105             CHEM 106

      EGRT 105          EGR 201                      EGR 203                EGR 202




  • UW Oshkosh Faculty Advisor:
    • Dr. Jerry Thomas,
  • UARC Academic Advisor
    • Sylvia Dwyer,
  • General Guidance
    • A Bachelor’s degree is required for entrance to most American law schools, and the degree may be earned in any major a student chooses. There are no prescribed courses for admittance to law school, which is a three-year program. The undergraduate pre-law student is however encouraged to pursue an area of study which is interesting and challenging while taking advantage of opportunities to develop skills in research, writing and critical thinking. In Wisconsin, there are law schools at UW Madison and Marquette University. It is recommended that students contact those institutions for specifics about their programs.
    • A student planning to apply to law school should be aware of the following deadlines:
      • Most law schools require applicants to take the Law College Admissions Test (LSAT). The test is administered four times a year. A mock LSAT is available at our Testing Center. Information on test dates, registration procedures and sample tests are available at
      • Nearly all law schools require applicants to subscribe to the Law School Data Assembly Service (LSDAS). The LSDAS Report provides law schools with a copy of the undergraduate academic transcript summary, analysis, copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts, LSAT scores and a copy of the writing sample. Register at
      • Nearly all law schools require first year students to begin their studies in the fall term.
      • Some law schools make admission decisions as early as October of the year prior to student entry.
      • A student who plans to graduate in May and enter law school that same year (September) should plan to take the LSAT in June after the junior year and complete the law school application forms during that summer after receiving the results of the June exam.
    • Additional Information:
      • University of Wisconsin Law School Admissions and Financial Aid
        975 Bascom Hall
        Madison, WI 53706-1399
        Phone: (608) 262-5914
      • Marquette University Law School Office of Admissions
        Eckstein Hall 1215 West Michigan Street
        Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881
        Phone: (414) 288-6767
    • Additional Information: Professional
      • American Bar Association
        750 North Lake Shore Dr
        Chicago, IL 60611
        Phone: (312) 988-5000
        Web Site:
      • National Lawyers Association Information Services City Center Square
        PO Box 26005
        Kansas City, MO 64196
        Phone: 1 (800) 471-2994
        Web Site:



Pre-Veterinary Medicine

  • UW Oshkosh Faculty Advisor:
    • Colleen McDermott,
      Dr. McDermott is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.
  • General Guidance
    • Veterinarians work in small and/or large animal practices, public health agencies, research settings and a variety of other positions. While two years of pre-veterinary study (60 credits of course work) are the absolute minimum, some veterinary medical colleges give priority to applicants if they are a candidate for the baccalaureate degree.
    • Students may obtain excellent undergraduate preparation at UW Oshkosh by taking the appropriate coursework, which varies slightly depending upon the veterinary school in question. The pre-veterinary student must familiarize him or herself with each veterinary school’s program for best results.
    • Acceptance into one of the 30 veterinary medical schools in the United States is extremely competitive. The student will need very high grades and should score well on the admission test required by the school. Veterinary medical schools require four years of professional training in order to receive the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (D.V.M.). In Wisconsin, the veterinary medical school is located at the UW Madison. Wisconsin residents have a greater chance of being admitted to the UW Madison School of Veterinary Medicine than any other veterinary college.
    • The following are suggested courses at UW Oshkosh for a student in the pre-veterinary program who ultimately plans to attend the UW Madison.
      • Biology 105 
      • Biology 323 and 343
      • Chemistry 105 and 106
      • Chemistry 234, 235, 334, 335 and 303 (334 and 335 are not required by Madison but are prerequisites at Oshkosh for 303)
      • Physics 107 and 108
      • Mathematics 104 and 106 or 108 (begin math according to placement test results; Math 108 OR 104 AND 106 must be completed prior to physics)
      • Statistics: Math 201 or other approved statistic course
      • English 101 or WBIS 188, and an advanced Composition course
      • Social science electives
      • Humanities electives
  • Additional Information: Programs
    • University of Wisconsin Madison School of Veterinary Medicine
      Office of Academic Affairs
      2015 Linden Dr
      Madison, WI 53706-1102
      Phone: (608) 263-2525
      Web Site:
  • Additional Information: Professional 
    • American Veterinary Medical Association
      1931 N Mecham Rd Ste100
      Schaumberg, IL 60173
      Phone: (847) 925-8070
      Web Site:


Pre-Healthcare Professions

  • UW Oshkosh Faculty Advisor
    • Dr. Dana Merriman,
  • UARC Academic Advisors:
    • Denelle Helgeson,
    • Shane Hua,
    • Meredith Resop,
  • General Guidance
    • While we usually think of “Healthcare” as meaning the clinical care of patients, it also includes administration and management, research and development, and sales of pharmaceuticals and instrumentation.  New technologies, new policies and new treatments have greatly expanded the number of Healthcare careers in recent years.  Information about these careers may be found through the United States Government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the American Medical Association, and the Wisconsin Area Health Education Center
    • Undergraduate preparation for many of these Healthcare careers can be obtained at UW Oshkosh. Moreover, today’s high school seniors will probably have even more options by the time they are college seniors. UW Oshkosh has its eye on this future for our students.

I. Terminal Bachelor’s Degree Programs
UW Oshkosh offers several Healthcare-related degree programs requiring only a Bachelor’s degree as the “terminal” degree. These include:

  • Environmental Health major (faculty advisor-Sabrina Mueller-Spitz)
  • Kinesiology major, Exercise & Fitness Emphasis
  • Kinesiology major, Strength & Conditioning Emphasis
  • Medical Technology major-(faculty advisor-Mallory Janquart)
  • Nursing major (traditional program)
  • Radiologic Science (faculty advisor-Dana Merriman)

Each of the above majors takes about eight semesters (four years) to complete. Degree completion is generally followed by passing a licensure exam, leading to eligibility for clinical care employment directly after college. Consult the Bulletin index or program web sites (found at for more details.

Our College of Nursing also offers an Accelerated Nursing degree for students who have already earned a different Bachelor’s degree and have completed certain course prerequisites.  See for more details.

In recent years, UW Oshkosh instituted an additional (terminal) Bachelor’s degree programs designed (in consultation with leading Healthcare employers in the Fox Valley region) to make students highly competitive for employment after college in Healthcare administration, management and sales. The program:

  • Business Administration major, Healthcare Emphasis

II. Bachelor’s Degree Programs preparatory for Graduate Education

Traditional Pre-Professional Bachelor’s degree programs are not terminal; instead, they prepare students for further Professional education at the Master’s or Doctoral level, culminating in professional clinical care or research and development careers. Typically, Pre-Professional students at UW Oshkosh select a suitable major and then apply to the Professional school(s) of their choice in the junior year. What constitutes a “suitable major” is really up to the student because the graduate programs specify certain courses, but not certain majors. Often, UW Oshkosh students choose traditional majors offered through our departments of Biology, Chemistry, Kinesiology or Psychology. Then they go on to graduate schools and careers, such as the following:

  • Anesthesia assistant (Master’s degree) (faculty advisor-Dana Merriman)
  • Chiropractor (Doctoral degree)
  • Clinical psychologist (Doctoral degree)
  • Dentist (Doctoral degree) (faculty advisor-Dana Merriman)
  • Medical doctor (allopathic or osteopathic) (Doctoral degree) (faculty advisor-Dana Merriman)
  • Occupational therapist (Master’s degree or higher) (faculty advisor-Dana Merriman)
  • Optometrist (Doctoral degree) (faculty advisor-Dana Merriman)
  • Pharmacist (Doctoral degree) (faculty advisor-Dana Merriman)
  • Physical Therapist (Doctoral degree) (faculty advisor-Lace Luedk)
  • Physician Assistant (Master’s degree) (faculty advisor-Dana Merriman)
  • Podiatrist (Doctoral degree) (faculty advisor-Dana Merriman)

In recent years, UW Oshkosh’s College of Letters & Sciences instituted new Healthcare-Science Emphases within selected majors designed specifically for Pre-Health students. These Bachelor’s degree programs take some of the guesswork out of preparing for Professional school because they include most of the courses required for admission to most of the Professional schools. They also prepare students well for several different entrance exams (e.g. MCAT, DAT, OAT, PCAT, GRE). They are a good option for the student interested in a clinical career, but unsure of which one. It is possible (with careful planning) to construct a Healthcare-Science degree so that the student’s final decision about which career can be made as late as the senior year. Because of the many lab classes and research experiences that count toward these majors, they are also excellent preparation for the student interested in biomedical research and development, or even in sales of pharmaceuticals and instrumentation.

The Healthcare Science Emphases are:

  • Biology major, Healthcare-Science Emphasis
  • Biomolecular Science major, through the Chemistry Department
  • Kinesiology major, Healthcare-Science Emphasis

The College of Letters & Sciences also offers several minors that may interest Pre-Health Professions students who have declared any major, including:

  • Biology minor
  • Chemistry minor
  • Microbiology minor
  • Neuroscience minor
  • Psychology minor

Students wishing up-to-date information on these degree programs should consult the Bulletin index for the sponsoring department or the campus web site for more details on each of those programs.

III. Special Programs Our School of Graduate Studies offers a Graduate Certificate in Health Care Management to students who already hold Bachelor’s degrees. This certificate is a “post-baccalaureate study that provides an historical perspective, familiarizes students with important policy issues and disciplinary approaches, provides theoretical grounding and conveys the tools and framework for resolving complex problems in health care management”.
See for more information.
Our College of Nursing offers a Master of Science in Nursing, a Doctor of Nursing Practice, and Graduate Certificates. See for more information.