Professional Fields of Study

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Pre-Professional Program Preparation while in CLA

UMD Swenson College of Science & Engineering recommendations for pre-professional preparation.

Math placement requirement based on ACT score and how students are placed into the appropriate course.


Students may declare themselves as pre-law to inform CLA of their intention to pursue law school and be advised appropriately. When students reach 45 credits they will declare their major. The pre-law program at UMD is housed within the Political Science Department.

Admission to law school requires a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree or its equivalent. Well-balanced Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Business Administration programs are accepted as the equivalent of the B.A. degree by most law schools.

Although law schools do not recommend any particular major any current CLA major will provide potential pre-law students with a well-rounded education. Students are advised to plan a broad undergraduate degree. Electives should be chosen in areas outside the major field to develop and demonstrate multiple competencies in varying subjects and methods.

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Whatever the specialty, a professional career in law requires the communication of ideas and information through words. Success in law school, as well as in subsequent professional practice, depends to a great extent on the capacity for effective writing and speaking. Therefore, students are encouraged to take courses that require considerable reading, writing, and independent thinking, and they should develop through coursework or activities their capacity for expressing themselves verbally.



Preparation for medical, pharmacy, dental, optometry, or veterinary medicine school begins with your undergraduate education. Terms such as pre-medicine or pre-dental are only descriptive labels. Student may choose a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in any area of study and also complete the prerequisite courses required for professional school.

Professional and health science graduate programs/schools usually require a set of prerequisite courses for admission.  The prerequisite course requirements vary from profession to profession and from school to school, but most professional schools of medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, optometry, physical therapy, occupational therapy, public health, and dentistry require or recommend a combination of the following courses:

Does a health career fit you? Visit the U of MN Twin Cities Health Careers Center for online exploratory course options.

Professional School Prerequisite

Possible Courses at UMD

One year of Biology with lab

General Biology I & II (BIOL 1011, BIOL 1012)

One year of General Chemistry with lab

General Chemistry I & II (CHEM 1153/1154 or 1155/1156) or (CHEM 1173/1174 or 1175/1176)

One semester or year of Organic Chemistry with lab

Organic Chemistry I & II  (CHEM 2541/2543) and (CHEM 2542/2544)

Four semesters Life Sciences (biology, botany, biochemistry, chemistry, genetics, parasitology, physics & zoology)

Also recommended: (two courses upper division) Biochemistry, ethics, genetics, microbiology/immunology, physics, psychology, seminar-type courses/small group discourse

College level Math and Statistics

Calculus I (MATH 1290 or 1296)

Statistics (STAT 1411, 2411, 3411, 3611, ECON 2030, PSY 2020, or 3020)

One year of English

College Writing (WRIT 1120), Advanced Writing: Science (WRIT 3150) or English courses

Behavioral Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Courses from anthropology, arts, history, philosophy, psychology, sociology, etc.

Often recommended courses depending upon professional school

Anatomy, Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Genetics, Microbiology, Physiology