The path to becoming an attorney is challenging, yet exciting. Students who plan to become attorneys must excel academically and score well on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). They need to gain admittance to law school and master their legal studies. Finally, to practice law, they need to pass the bar examination.
Law schools seek able, motivated students regardless of their undergraduate major. Students have graduated in a wide variety of majors at Waynesburg and have gone on to law school. What matters most in a student’s undergraduate studies is enrolling in challenging courses to develop intellectual skills. Students should learn to read carefully and precisely, to analyze critically, to reason logically, and to write and speak clearly.
To aid the student the University provides a Pre-Law Advisor. The Pre-Law Advisor does not substitute for the major advisor but aims to complement the work of the major advisor. The Pre-Law Advisor advises students regarding course selection with an eye to developing the skills law schools seek. The advisor helps the student prepare for the LSAT and guides the student through the process of deciding which law schools to apply to for admission, and which once admitted, would be best to attend.
Students considering attending law school should register with the Pre-Law Advisor as early in their college career as possible.
Suggested Major and Courses for Pre-Law Students
The Pre-Law Committee of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, working together with colleges and universities, has suggested that students interested in law school earn an undergraduate degree that challenges them and interests them, while developing their ability to research and write. Specifically, they recommend that students prepare themselves in the areas of:
- Analytic/Problem Solving Skills
- Critical Reading
- Writing Skills
- Oral Communication/Listening Abilities
- General Research Skills
- Task Organization/Management Skills
- Public Service and Promotion of Justice
The Pre-Law Advisor will help students select the specific Waynesburg University courses that will help students to prepare themselves for law school study, including challenging courses in business, communications, criminal justice administration, economics, English, history, mathematics, philosophy, political science, psychology and sociology.
Pre-medical, Pre-dental, Pre-veterinary Programs
Bryan R. Hamilton, Ph.D., Professor of Biology
Because most professional schools now require four years of pre-professional work, the University strongly recommends that a student contemplating the study of medicine, dentistry or veterinary medicine choose a major and work toward a baccalaureate degree.
A student may do major work in any department of the University as long as the student completes the basic science courses required by all of the professional schools: a year of biology or zoology, a year of organic chemistry and a year of physics. Most students interested in this program, however, pursue a Bachelor of Science degree by majoring in either biology or chemistry.
Because professional schools vary somewhat in admissions requirements, a student should become acquainted with the specific requirements of the school of his/her choice and must complete any special courses required in addition to the basic admission requirements.
Prior to applying to any medical school, a student is required to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). This test should be taken during the student’s junior year. Information about the MCAT is available through the American Association of Medical Colleges website at: www.aamc.org.
Most dental schools require that students take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT). Information about the DAT is available through the American Dental Association website at: www.ada.org.
Applicants to schools of Veterinary medicine should check each individual institution’s admissions requirements to determine which exam is required (VCAT, MCAT or GRE).
The pre-medical and pre-dental programs are under the direction of a Faculty Pre-Health Professions Committee, composed of one faculty member each from biology, chemistry, and physics. The committee makes recommendations for admission to dental and medical schools.
Any student interested in a health professions career should register with the Faculty Pre-Health Professions Committee sometime within the first semester of his or her freshman year. Students deciding on such careers after their freshman year should register with the committee as soon as possible.
Pre-physical Therapy Programs
Andrew S. Palko, Ed.D., Director of Graduate Programs in Athletic Training
Physical Therapy is a fast-growing and highly-competitive field. The pre-physical therapy option of the Biology major is tailored to serve the pre-professional needs of students looking toward specialization in physical therapy and is designed to fulfill the prerequisites needed for admission into a master’s degree program in Physical Therapy. The curriculum provides a strong general liberal arts education with a sound foundation in biological, chemical, physical, and social sciences. In addition, 200 hours of practical experience through internship in a variety of clinical settings are required prior to graduation.