Pre-Professional Programs at SOU

Southern Oregon University offers a number of programs, which are designed to be ideal for professional schools both in and out of Oregon. These programs are meant to serve the student by providing necessary prerequisite coursework for their desired professional or vocational goals, but offer the flexibility to change some coursework to suite a preferred professional or vocational schools. In some cases, it is advisable for a student to complete a full baccalaureate degree prior to transferring to a professional school, such as in medicine, pharmaceutical, dentistry and veterinary medicine programs. However, some programs will not require a completed baccalaureate prior to transferring to a professional or vocational program in fields such as dental hygiene. 

Though pre-professional programs represent a core set of recommended coursework, they are not academic majors themselves. These programs are meant be completed in addition to standard degree programs, or simply as a standalone for programs like dental hygiene and nursing. Some programs, such as Biology and Chemistry naturally incorporate many of these courses into the major program requirements, and serve as a common path for students, but are not the only paths. Professional schools generally accept a wide array of academic majors, but keep common prerequisite standards to allow students to major in area(s) of their choice (such as a Psychology/Pre-Medicine student). Students may complete courses for pre-professional programs in partnership with any degree program offered at SOU, and if a student intends on pursuing a degree program outside of the STEM Divison (Biology/Chemistry/Math/Computer Science), they should work with the major advisor in their respective department(s) in addition to the STEM Division Student Success Coordinator. 

How is the coursework for Pre-Professional Programs Determined?

Each category of pre-professional study typically has a variety of different schools which administer the professional programs, such as medical schools, dental schools, and more. Each one of these schools will have slightly different requirements, so when designing a curriculum, our faculty ensure rigor in all areas in order to create the most admissible student. Our programs, are designed to create a challenging experience which allows a student to transition naturally from the end of their tenure at Southern Oregon University, into their graduate school of choice, without experiencing a shocking change in academic expectations. 

Along with our faculty, the STEM Division does extensive research into the newest sets of admissions requirements for each discipline, to allow students to remain competitive every year. Students should keep in mind that our programs are generalized, to the best of our ability, to satisfy most every graduate program requirement; however, whenever a student actually begins to determine their undergraduate or graduate programs of interest, they should speak with an advisor immediately. We usually encourage students to consider more than one school, to maximize their chances for admission into their area of choice. 

Many graduate programs, such as medicine and dentistry, will require a separate graduate exam for admittance to academic programs. Here are some examples of common tests:

ADA - Dental Admissions Test (DAT) - 2017 Program Guide 

AAMC - Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) 2017 Essentials Guide

ASCO - Optometry Admissions Test (OAT) 2017 Program Guide

AACP - Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) Information Booklet 


Chiropractic Medicine - Though there is a test for this area (CCAT), it is not commonly used.

Veterinary Medicine - There used to be a test, VCAT, for graduate programs, but schools have began using the GRE or MCAT scores instead.

Physician's Assistant - Typically uses either the GRE or MCAT, though some schools will specify which.

Physical and Occupational Therapy - Traditionally uses the GRE exam for graduate admissions.


Pre-Professional Programs offered by SOU

SOU offers several programs for students interested in pursuing professional fields. SOU's STEM Division is dedicated to student success, and remains up-to-date on new requirements for professional schools, and for information on new requirements, or requirements for a specific professional school, students should see the Student Success Coordinator for information.

Below are the catalog recommendations for some of the common programs which are offered through the STEM Division.

Pre-Professional General Coursework and Information:

Chiropractic Medicine (advising guide)

Dental Hygiene 

Medical Technology 

Medicine and Dentistry (Pre-Medicine advising guide) (Pre-Dentistry advising guide)

Nursing (Operated in conjunction with OHSU) (advising guide)

Occupational Therapy 


Pharmacy (advising guide)

Physical Therapy (Operated by the Division of Education, Health & Leadership) (advising guide)

Physician's Assistant 

Veterinary Medicine (advising guide)


Department Specific Pre-Professional Program Information

Many students inside of SOU's pre-professional programs favor specific programs, and to assist in supporting those programs, we have the following links to departments offering specific information on pre-professional programs:

Pre-Medicine (Chemistry)    

Pre-Medicine (Biology)

Pre-Dentistry (Biology and Chemistry)

Pre-Veterinary Medicine (Biology)

Pre-Optometry (Biology)


Know what Graduate Program you are interested in? Let us know!

In the STEM Division, we want to ensure our students have the best academic curriculum to pursue their post-baccalaureate goals. If a student knows which graduate program they are interested in, make an appointment with the Student Success Coordinator to work 1-on-1 on customizing your academic schedule. Many graduate schools, especially professional schools, have some shared requirements, but there are usually a few courses that discern one school from another, such as additional Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, or Human Anatomy and Physiology. Most programs will have a "Recommended Courses/Electives" selection to assist with students who want to have a competitive edge over their peers.