Preprofessional advising resources have been developed at CU-Boulder to help undergraduate students and previously graduated students prepare for later study at professional schools. Except for prejournalism, CU-Boulder does not offer preprofessional undergraduate majors or degrees. Completion of preprofessional prerequisites does not guarantee later admission to a professional school. However, preprofessional advisors are well-equipped to provide information about professional schools within Colorado and beyond, and can help students to prepare well for later professional study.
Students can prepare to enter the undergraduate professional health science program at the Anschutz Medical Campus of University of Colorado Denver in the area of nursing by taking courses on the Boulder campus.
Students whose goals include entering the medical, dentistry, physical therapy, physician assistant, pharmacy, or public health programs and schools at the University of Colorado Denver, or the veterinary medicine or occupational therapy programs at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, can complete any undergraduate major at CU-Boulder. In most cases, these students are required to complete a baccalaureate degree before entering professional school. In fact, a baccalaureate degree is recommended for most health professions.
At the time of application to a professional school, students are judged on several factors, including performance in undergraduate courses. For this reason, no required course may be taken on a pass/fail basis. Some fields require specific preprofessional examinations before application. For most fields, interviews are an essential part of the application process.
In all cases, admission committees are concerned with students’ compassion, coping, and decision-making abilities, intellectual capabilities, realistic self-appraisal, sensitivity in interpersonal relations, and staying power (physical and motivational). In addition to formal course work, students should have experience in people-related activities (especially those related to their field of choice), so they can be more certain of their motivation for health careers. Also, health-related activities expose premed and other health science hopefuls to various patients and illnesses. The health professions require, or strongly recommend, such experience.
Some of the professional programs at the Anschutz Medical Campus give preference to Colorado residents and residents of WICHE (Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education) states; interested students should check with individual programs for specific policies. Students from other states usually can obtain at CU-Boulder the preprofessional courses required by their state schools, but should check with those schools in advance. Students are encouraged to apply to their state school, as well as to other public and private professional schools, to increase their chances of gaining acceptance to the professional program of their choice.
During the preprofessional years, personal intellectual development leads many students to change professional goals. Since there are usually more applicants for these programs than there are spaces available, many students need to pursue alternative goals. Under these circumstances, students should plan college programs to give themselves the greatest flexibility in considering other vocations.
Advising for preprofessional study in the health sciences is conducted through the Preprofessional Advising Office in the University Club. Check the prehealth advising website at www.colorado.edu/aac/prehealth.html for information on prerequisite courses, events, volunteer opportunities, student prehealth organizations, applications, and many other useful resources. Students should attend a prehealth advising session at orientation and then schedule an appointment with a prehealth advisor (aac.colorado.edu) early in their undergraduate careers to help plan course work and extracurricular experience in preparation for applying to programs of their choice. CU-Boulder also offers an extensive array of workshops and informational meetings, practice interviews, a fall speaker series, and a spring Health Professions Information Day.
A specific prejournalism and mass communication option is offered at CU-Boulder in the College of Arts and Sciences. Students complete two prerequisite courses while working toward arts and sciences core curriculum requirements. See the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at journalism.colorado.edu for more information.
Students who plan to apply to law school upon completing their baccalaureate degree do not have to complete any specific requirements for admission to law school. Instead, they should major in the discipline that best suits their intellectual interests and talents. Prelaw students should seek a rigorous and broad-based education that will ensure them a fundamental understanding of American society and its institutions. Students should become familiar with mathematical analysis and scientific reasoning, and develop excellent oral and written communication skills.
Prelaw advising is available in the Preprofessional Advising Center. In addition, there are faculty members who have special interest and expertise in the theoretical and practical aspects of the law and judicial systems. These faculty advisors are available for consultation with students on the CU-Boulder campus. Contact the Preprofessional Advising Center in Old Main 1B-90 for more information.