Requirements for admission to most professional academic programs can be met by study at
Students who have not declared a major upon entry should enter as preprofessional students, i.e., premedical, prelaw, PHP (preprofessional health programs), or GENPV (General Undergraduate Studies Pre Vet), until they choose a major or transfer to a professional school. All students, whether they have selected a major or not, are encouraged to identify their interest in a professional career by designating it on their application or by completing a preprofessional interest form during registration.
Information about preprofessional program admissions requirements and career opportunities in human health or law may be obtained in the Liberal Arts and
Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology
Clinical laboratory scientists, still commonly referred to as medical technologists, are important members of health-care teams. They perform the chemical, microscopic, radio-assay, and microbiological tests that are necessary in disease diagnosis, and they type and cross-match blood samples to facilitate blood transfusions. They usually work under the supervision of a physician in a hospital or clinic laboratory, but may also be employed by a pharmaceutical company or by manufacturers of analytical instruments. The professional training requires 12 months in a hospital-based CLS/MT program following at least 3 years of college study that emphasizes chemistry and the biological sciences. Students may earn a bachelor’s degree by completing the admissions requirements of the CLS/MT program and most of the degree requirements in 3 years on campus, then spending their fourth year in one of the hospital programs that are affiliated with
The following CLS/MT programs are affiliated with
A cytotechnologist works in a medical laboratory preparing, staining, mounting, and evaluating specimens of human body tissues in order to find those cells that are abnormal. The abnormal specimens are then submitted to the pathologist supervising the laboratory for confirmation and interpretation. The training requires 12 months in a school of cytotechnology after at least 3 years of college study that includes a minimum of 20 semester credits in biological sciences, 8 semester credits in chemistry, and 3 semester credits in math. Certification as a cytotechnologist requires a baccalaureate degree. Students may enter the professional school after earning a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Alternatively, they may use up to 32 semester credits from an affiliated cytotechnology school in partial fulfillment of requirements for a B.S. degree.
An Interdisciplinary Studies major must earn 94.5 credits before off-campus study; the most recent 32 credits must have been earned in residence at ISU.
A dental hygienist screens dental patients for oral defects, performs clinical procedures such as cleaning teeth, and may participate in oral health education programs. Most work with dentists in private practice, but some have positions in public health centers and schools. Certification as a dental hygienist requires 2 years in a professional program of study. Admissions requirements for these programs vary. A student may study for 2 years at
Dentists diagnose, treat, and try to prevent diseases and injuries of the teeth, jaws, and mouth. Usually a general practitioner will have spent 3 or 4 years taking preprofessional courses at the undergraduate level and 4 years in dental school earning the degree of doctor of dental surgery (D.D.S.) or doctor of dental medicine (D.M.D.). Learning a specialty requires at least 2 more years. The courses necessary for admission to most dental schools include English, biology, general and organic chemistry, and physics. Students may earn a degree in any major that
Health Information Management
Health information managers serve as supervisors of medical records departments in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other healthcare institutions. To be certified as registered record administrators (R.R.A.) they must have completed a program leading to a bachelor’s degree in medical record administration. Most professional programs are 2 years in length and follow 2 years of college study in chemistry, biology, the humanities, social sciences, languages, and philosophy. Students may take the preprofessional courses at
Hospital and Health Administration
Administrators of health care organizations manage and guide the varied activities in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and mental health facilities. The professional requirement may be for a master’s degree or a bachelor’s degree, depending upon the size of the institution and whether an upper or middle entry-level position is desired. Students at
Physicians study, diagnose, and treat illness and injury. They may work in offices, clinics, hospitals, or laboratories, in private practice or for government or industry. Their professional training usually consists of 4 years of study in a college of medicine to earn the doctor of medicine (M.D.) degree, and then 3 or more years in hospital residency learning a specialty such as family medicine, pediatrics, surgery, obstetrics, or psychiatry. A degree of doctor of osteopathy (D.O.) is awarded to those students who complete 4 years in a college of osteopathic medicine before their residency. All medical schools recommend a broad preprofessional education that includes courses in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, English, the social sciences, arts and humanities. The degree of a premedical student can be from any college and in any curriculum or major offered by the university. The major should reflect the student’s interests and provide appropriate preparation for an alternative career.
A lawyer assists the legal, peaceful resolution of conflicts in many different ways. Most lawyers are engaged in private practice, but many are employed by government agencies and private business. At least 3 years are needed to complete a law school program leading to a doctor of jurisprudence (J.D.) or a bachelor of laws (LL.B.) degree, and a bachelor’s degree is required for admission to nearly all law schools. A student planning to enter law school may major in any field. The courses taken should develop skill in critical thinking, comprehension and expression of ideas, and understanding of human institutions and values. Perhaps most valuable are courses in English language and literature, government, economics, history, mathematics, Latin, logic and scientific method, and philosophy.
Library and Information Science
Librarians are essential in educational institutions, medical facilities, government agencies, industries, and public information centers. The professional preparation for library administration is provided by master’s degree programs. Admission requirements for the
Nuclear Medicine Technology
The use of radioactive chemicals in the diagnosis and treatment of disease is the distinguishing feature of nuclear medicine. Under the supervision of a physician in a hospital or clinic, the technologist prepares and administers these radiochemical tracers, uses sophisticated detectors and computers to trace the movement and localization of the tracers in the human body, and analyzes biological specimens to determine levels of hormones, drugs, and other chemicals in the body. One year in a training program such as that at the University of Iowa College of Medicine is required to become a certified nuclear medicine technologist (C.N.M.T.). Admission to this program requires at least 94 semester credits of preprofessional coursework in chemistry, physics, zoology, English, mathematics, computer science, statistics, the social sciences, and humanities. Students at
A professional nurse may do clinical nursing, teaching, or research, in hospitals, private practice, public health centers, schools, or industry. Although becoming a registered nurse (R.N.) does not require a bachelor’s degree, the student who completes the bachelor of science degree in nursing (B.S.N.) has college-level preparation for clinical nursing and an essential base for graduate study.
Occupational therapists provide purposeful activities to help those who have been disabled by physical illness or injury, birth defects, emotional disorder, aging, drug abuse, or other problems to learn to cope with everyday living. Therapists treat patients in hospitals, school systems, and rehabilitation centers. Students may complete a bachelor’s degree in a related area at Iowa State University, and then enter a certification, master’s or doctoral degree program at another university; or they may complete 1 or 2 years of preoccupational therapy courses at Iowa State and then transfer to another university to complete the requirements for a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy. The prerequisites for admission to an occupational therapy program usually include English, art, biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and statistics, but vary from one school to another.
Optometrists examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases of the visual system, the eye and associated structures. Treatment may include corrective glasses or contacts, vision therapy and therapeutic drugs. Optometrists usually set up their own offices or work in group practice. Professional study requires 4 years in a school or college of optometry and leads to the doctor of optometry (O.D.) degree. All optometry schools require at least 90 semester credits of preprofessional courses, including biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and English. Certain optometry schools require a bachelor’s degree. Students wishing to earn the bachelor’s degree from
Pharmacists prepare and dispense therapeutic drugs; educate health care professionals, patients and the general public about the appropriate use of drugs; conduct pharmaceutical research and work in industrial settings which involve the manufacture, marketing and advertising of pharmaceutical. Students may complete prepharmacy courses within two years at
Physical therapists work with people who have been disabled by injury, illness, or birth defects. They assist in evaluating the physical problems and administer therapeutic agents such as massage and exercise, heat, baths, ultrasonics, and electricity; they work in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, schools, rehabilitation centers, and private practice. Students may complete three years of undergraduate courses including prerequisites before transferring to a three-year professional curriculum such as the master’s degree program at
A physician assistant provides medical services under the supervision of a licensed physician. PAs conduct physical examinations, order and interpret laboratory tests, make diagnostic and treatment decisions, and are allowed to prescribe medication in most states. Certification as a physician assistant requires 2 years in a professional program at the master’s or bachelor’s degree level. Students applying to a bachelor’s degree program must have completed at least 60 semester credits of college work including general and organic chemistry, zoology, behavioral science, and humanities. Applicants who have had health-care experience with direct patient contact are preferred. Admission to a master’s degree program requires similar coursework and clinical experience in addition to a bachelor’s degree.
Podiatrists diagnose, and treat diseases and disorders of the human foot and ankle. They treat patients in private and group practice, hospitals, and, increasingly, in industrial and sports-related positions. Professional training requires 4 years in a college of podiatric medicine and leads to the degree of doctor of podiatric medicine (D.P.M.). This is usually followed by 1 to 3 years in a hospital residency. All podiatric colleges require at least 3 years of preprofessional study, including courses in biology, general and organic chemistry, physics, and English. Most entrants have a bachelor’s degree, which may be in any major. A few students may complete the admission requirements and most of the bachelor’s degree requirements in 3 years. If so, a maximum of 32 semester credits may be transferred to
Theology or Religious Studies
The professional education of a student of religion can follow one of two paths. The path to a profession as a pastor, priest, rabbi or other leadership position in a religious tradition usually requires 3 years in a program leading to the master of divinity (M.Div.) offered at a school of divinity or of theology. The path to a profession as a teacher of religious studies at the college level requires 4-7 years in a program leading to the Ph.D. at a graduate
About 75% of all veterinarians are engaged in private practice. In a mixed practice, they diagnose and treat health problems among a variety of animals. Others specialize in one species (e.g., feline, pet bird) and still others specialize in a specific discipline within veterinary medicine (e.g., cardiology, ophthalmology). Veterinarians may also choose public and corporate practice (e.g., public health, education, research, food safety, industry, laboratory animal medicine, aquatic animal medicine, poultry medicine, and military veterinary medicine).
The professional program requires four years at a college of veterinary medicine and leads to the doctor of veterinary medicine degree (D.V.M.). Admission to a veterinary college involves at least two years of preprofessional college education. Candidates must take courses in biology, chemistry, genetics, physics, English, humanities, social sciences, speech, anatomy and physiology, and biochemistry. (For
Students may pursue their preveterinary preparation in any college at
To assist students who have indicated interest in the preveterinary program for the