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Preprofessional Programs of Study

‘Programs’ rather than ‘majors’

UW-Green Bay provides excellent preparation for professional study in a variety of specialized fields.

This being the case, it is worth noting there are no separate listings in the majors-and-minors section of this catalog for pre-professional programs.

That is because UW-Green Bay avoids the designations pre-law, pre-med or “pre-anything” for specific undergraduate majors and minors. Instead, the institution encourages students to tailor their own pre-professional courses of study with the aid of knowledgeable academic advisers.

This puts the University in the higher education mainstream which holds that the best approach to pre-professional study involves flexibility.

For instance, while it is common to hear college students identify themselves as “pre-law,” it typically means only that they plan to apply to a law school. Few universities anywhere offer an actual undergraduate major titled “pre-law.” At those that do, the prescribed course of study represents only an opinion as to the most favored path; those most knowledgeable of law-school admission practices maintain there is no such advantage.

Preparation for medical school admission is another example. A rigid menu of recommended courses might actually interfere with a student’s ability to discover a special interest, excel and achieve academic distinction that otherwise would have enhanced his or her application for admission. In addition, most medical schools accept candidates from a relatively wide range of undergraduate majors. Preferred academic preparation will vary from school to school, and admissions board to admissions board.

In select fields of study, students may — through careful planning with the help of a knowledgeable adviser — develop a one-, two- or three-year course of study in preparation for transfer into a professional program. In many fields, however, the typical path involves choice of an appropriate undergraduate major and supporting courses, completion of a bachelor’s degree, and pursuit of graduate-level studies.

It is important to remember that completion of any undergraduate program does not guarantee later admission to a professional school.

Admission to professional schools is competitive and typically based upon a combination of requirements that includes grade point average, program-specific admission tests, letters of recommendations and, in some cases, related experience outside the classroom. It is a student’s responsibility to contact the professional school for current information regarding requirements and application deadlines.

For more information about preprofessional programs of study at UW-Green Bay, contact the Academic Advising Office at 920-465-2362 or advising@uwgb.edu.

Dietetics

UW-Green Bay offers attractive options for those interested in becoming dietetic professionals and practicing the science of nutritional services with a focus on health promotion and disease prevention.

UW-Green Bay students have made a habit of winning the annual state award for outstanding undergraduate dietetic student as presented by the Wisconsin Dietetic Association. Through its Human Biology academic program, the University offers what is known as a “didactic” program in dietetics (DPD) and a dietetic internship (DI).

To become a registered dietitian, a student must complete a minimum of a bachelor’s degree including coursework accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE) of the American Dietetic Association. The accredited coursework in dietetics is what is known as the didactic program, or DPD. After a student completes the DPD, he or she needs to complete a CADE-accredited supervised practice experience or, in other words, a dietetic internship, or DI. A supervised practice program is typically between six to twelve months in length. Completion of the practice program makes a student eligible to take the National Registration Examination for Dietitians administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.

Students who wish to participate in a dietetic internship program must apply to that program upon completion of the DPD. Students who graduate from the DPD program at UW-Green Bay are eligible to apply to the DI program at UW-Green Bay or accredited, supervised practice programs offered elsewhere. It is the student’s responsibility to contact each dietetic internship program for current requirements and application procedures. Most internship applications are due in February each year.

Course requirements for the DPD at UW-Green Bay are located in this catalog under the Human Biology major.

Dentistry, Medicine, Optometry, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, Chiropractics

With a reputation for strength in the natural sciences dating to the institution’s founding, along with experienced faculty members and exceptional new classroom and laboratory facilities, UW-Green Bay places a good number of students and alumni into professional schools in the health sciences each year.

Students seeking admission to these schools typically complete a bachelor’s degree at UW-Green Bay with a major in Human Biology (health science emphasis) or a major in Biology or Chemistry with a minor in Human Biology. Other combinations are possible, however, as most professional schools in health sciences will consider a range of undergraduate majors.

Competition for admission to schools of medicine and allied fields is often intense; typically, the number of applicants exceeds the number of positions for professional-school openings. Given these circumstances, students should plan undergraduate programs that provide maximum flexibility for pursuing post-baccalaureate opportunities.

Those pursuing a career in medicine will typically follow their UW-Green Bay bachelor’s degree with four years of medical school and at least three but as many as eight additional years of internship and residency, depending on the specialty. Some undergraduates will volunteer at local hospitals or clinics to gain practical experience in the health professions.

Most dental-school applicants have at least a bachelor’s degree, although a few are accepted to dental school after two or three years of college and complete their bachelor’s while attending dental school. Dental school usually lasts four academic years.

The doctor of optometry degree requires the completion of a four-year program at an accredited optometry school. As with dental school, most students hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, but a small number of applicants will be admitted following at least three years of focused pre-optometric study.

Education programs for physician assistants are typically two-year programs, most often at the master’s degree level, but bachelor’s and associate degrees are available. Admission requirements vary, but many programs require at least two years of college and some work experience in the healthcare field.

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, there are about 200 accredited physical therapist programs in the United States, split between programs offering master’s degrees and those awarding doctoral degrees. Specialized courses in biomechanics, neuro-anatomy, human growth and development, and therapeutic procedures are required, and students receive supervised clinical experience.

Most state boards overseeing chiropractics require at least two years of undergraduate education; an increasing number are requiring a four-year bachelor’s degree. All boards require the completion of a four-year program at an accredited chiropractic college leading to the doctor of chiropractic degree. Students interested in a career in chiropractics should note that UW-Green Bay has a dual degree program agreement with Palmer College of Chiropractic, which allows students majoring in Human Biology to complete their first three years of coursework at UW-Green Bay and then transfer for Palmer. The student's first year at Palmer will count toward the student's last year at UW-Green Bay, at which time the student will be awarded a B.S. in Human Biology.

Typically, health-profession schools express a preference for students who have a long record of consistently high-level performance and come highly recommended by the undergraduate school. Personal references are important. UW-Green Bay undergraduates interested in professional schools in the health sciences are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to assist faculty members with high-level research, and to pursue their own research projects. Historically, such experience has been extremely helpful to UW-Green Bay students who were successful professional-school candidates.

Admission committees — particularly for medical schools — tend to seek applicants who give evidence of having the ability to be critical thinkers, problem solvers and lifelong learners. A well-rounded record of campus and community involvement, and intellectual curiosity across multiple fields, are other positive factors. Also subject to evaluation are perceived personality traits including capacity for compassion, decision-making and coping skills, communication ability and personal determination, among other attributes.

The best advice for UW-Green Bay students is to seek preprofessional faculty advisers in their interest area early in their academic careers for help in selecting courses and, later, in studying for professional school admission tests and applying to professional schools.

A good starting point for new freshmen is to review the University’s Human Biology major which encompasses five areas of emphasis:

  • Health science emphasis — recommended for preparation for medical, dental or other health-related professional schools, or for graduate programs in biological or health sciences.
  • Exercise science emphasis — provides background for careers in exercise physiology/fitness, sports medicine, biomechanics, physical therapy or occupational therapy.
  • The cytotechnology emphasis — leads to professional certification as a registered cytotechnologist (specialist in the microscopic study of cells, primarily for the detection of cancer).
  • The nutritional sciences/dietetics emphasis — provides a focus on the biological and physical principles of nutrition. See the “Dietetics” listing on the previous page for additional information.
  • General emphasis — appropriate for sales, managerial and other positions in the health sciences including entry-level research positions with pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies.

Refer to the Human Biology, Biology and Chemistry majors described elsewhere in this catalog for additional information.

Engineering

UW-Green Bay provides solid preparation and numerous opportunities for those interested in beginning work toward an engineering degree.

The University has a cooperative program (the NEW Program) providing for direct, upper-level transfer into the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at UW-Milwaukee. The two institutions also collaborate on a 3+2 dual degree program in which a student can earn two bachelor’s degrees over five years of study: a bachelor’s in Environmental Science from UW-Green Bay and a bachelor’s in civil/environmental engineering from UW-Milwaukee. In addition to these options, a student at UW-Green Bay can also pursue pre-professional studies with the intent of transferring into an engineering program at an institution other than UW-Milwaukee. Several are listed below.

Required pre-engineering courses will vary, depending on the engineering program from which a student expects to earn the degree. Generally, a student spends a minimum of two years in pre-engineering studies at UW-Green Bay before transferring to the professional engineering school. Required coursework is typically drawn from mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering drawing, engineering mechanics and other related courses, as well as liberal arts coursework in the humanities, fine arts and social sciences.

Students should expect rigorous requirements and competitive entry for engineering programs. Pre-engineering students should seek early advice from the various engineering programs and UW-Green Bay’s Academic Advising Office.

UW-Milwaukee offers engineering degrees in civil/environmental engineering and mechanics, electrical, industrial and manufacturing, materials and mechanical engineering. Information on each of the majors can be found on the UW-Milwaukee web site at www.uwm.edu/CEAS/.

At least three other UW System institutions grant engineering degrees. They offer courses leading to the degrees both at their home campuses and several satellite sites. The universities are:

  • UW-Madison — degrees in agricultural, biomedical, biological systems, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, geological, industrial, materials science, mechanical and nuclear engineering, and engineering mechanics.
  • UW-Platteville — degrees in civil, electrical, environmental, mechanical, industrial, software engineering, general engineering and engineering physics.
  • UW-Stout offers a manufacturing engineering bachelor’s of science degree. The program is locally accessible to Northeastern Wisconsin students through a partnership involving UW-Green Bay and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

Advisers from engineering schools annually visit UW-Green Bay to answer questions and advise prospective students.  For additional information on the NEW Program and Dual Degree Program with UW-Milwaukee, refer to the Engineering listing in this catalog.

Law

Students attending UW-Green Bay with the intention of earning a bachelor’s degree and continuing on to law school receive excellent preparation.

The University’s commitment to broad-based liberal arts education, multiple perspectives and hands-on learning correlates directly with skills seen as valuable for those pursuing careers in law.  Those skills include intellectual curiosity, critical thinking and problem-solving ability.

Commonly chosen majors at UW-Green Bay include History, Political Science, Public Administration, Business Administration, Social Change and Development, Urban and Regional Studies, English and Humanistic Studies, but there are no limitations. Art, Education and Nursing also are possible choices. Unlike some professional schools, law schools do not recommend a specific undergraduate major.

The American Bar Association advises pre-law candidates that the law is “too multi-faceted” to be limited to one particular major or a narrow list of courses in preparation for law school. The ABA maintains an excellent pre-law advising page at http://www.abanet.org/legaled/prelaw/prep.html.

Most law schools tell potential students that the best preparation is a solid liberal arts education. Essential core skills and values include analytic and problem-solving skills, critical reading abilities, writing skills, oral communication and listening abilities, general research skills, task organization and management skills, and the values of serving faithfully the interests of others while also promoting justice.

In general, law schools assume their students will have a basic knowledge of American politics and history, as well as extensive experience in writing, reading and interpreting difficult texts. Polished communication skills — in particular the ability to excel in oral discussion — are imperative.

In conclusion, the ABA recommends, “Taking difficult courses from demanding instructors is the best generic preparation for legal education.”

Admission to law school is competitive. Law schools consider college record, grade point average, honors or awards, faculty recommendations, and scores on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). Students are advised to take the LSAT in the junior year or early in the senior year; most law schools group their entering cohorts for fall-only starts. The Law Society, a UW-Green Bay student organization, organizes an LSAT preparatory course and offers various pre-law events such as guest speakers and field trips to law schools.

Nursing

UW-Green Bay provides an ‘RN to BSN’ program in Nursing for registered nurses (RNs) who hold associate degrees or diplomas in nursing and want to complete their bachelor’s degree in nursing. Students are required to have a current RN license before being formally accepted into UW-Green Bay’s program.

UW-Green Bay does not offer nursing education for new freshmen or other newcomers to the field of nursing.  Some students do, however, begin their studies with one or two years at UW-Green Bay before transferring to another nursing program. Students are advised to consult with their transfer school of choice regarding requirements, transfer information, and advising assistance before beginning course work at UW-Green Bay.

Newcomers to the field of nursing should consider other UW System programs at Oshkosh, Milwaukee, Madison, and Eau Claire. (Consult the UW System HELP web site, www.uwhelp.wisconsin.edu, for details). Additionally, a number of private institutions in Wisconsin offer programs leading to a baccalaureate degree in nursing. Locally, for example, students of Bellin College in Green Bay can complete their general education requirements at UW-Green Bay through a dual-enrollment arrangement.

Pharmacy

UW-Green Bay offers courses satisfying requirements for the first two years of study for pharmacy and pharmacy-related careers. The only school of pharmacy in Wisconsin is at UW-Madison and that institution advises the UW-Green Bay pre-pharmacy program.

The practice of pharmacy is regulated by law and requires that a candidate be a graduate of an accredited professional school, complete an internship and pass a licensure examination. Pharmacy programs grant the degree of doctor of pharmacy, which requires a minimum of six years of postsecondary study. National statistics show most students have at least three years of undergraduate experience prior to entering the four-year course of study.

Advisers from UW-Madison usually visit UW-Green Bay each year to help pre-pharmacy students plan their programs. Admission to the School of Pharmacy is based on completion of prerequisite courses, grade point average, recommendations, and Pharmaceutical College Admissions Test (PCAT) scores. Grade point averages in mathematics and science courses are particularly important.

Licensure involves rigorous requirements, including completion of 1,500 hours of internship to qualify for licensure. Following completion of the internship requirement, prospective pharmacists must pass an examination administered by the Wisconsin Pharmacy Examining Board. Graduates of the UW program pursue careers in community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, and home care, assisted-living, extended care, and long-term care pharmacy. Other career opportunities include research and discovery in the pharmaceutical industry or education. In addition, studies in pharmacology (concerned with the properties, effects, and mechanisms of the action of drugs, and with the interactions between chemical agents and biological systems) and toxicology, the science of poisons, are available.

For more information about pre-pharmacy studies, contact the Academic Advising Office at advising@uwgb.edu.

Veterinary Medicine

Each school of veterinary medicine establishes its own requirements; therefore, students pursuing careers as veterinarians need to plan both pre-professional coursework and practical experiences to enhance their chances of acceptance. Veterinary schools value experience in working with animals as well as evidence of academic ability in pre-professional courses.

Wisconsin has a college of Veterinary Medicine at UW-Madison. The School of Veterinary Medicine does not offer a bachelor’s degree program. However, the school does offer a number of courses that are available to undergraduates, and it offers residency, master’s, Ph.D., and doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) degrees. Scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) must be submitted at the time of application. In addition to grade point average and GRE scores, evidence of motivation, promise of effective performance, communication skills, and breadth of experience, particularly that relate to veterinary practice, are taken into consideration.

At UW-Green Bay, most students pursuing this career path major in Biology with a Human Biology or Environmental Science minor.  For more information about pre-veterinary medicine studies, contact the Academic Advising Office at advising@uwgb.edu.

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