Guidelines for Pre-Professional Students
Many different professional careers are available to UCCS students. Below are some guidelines to help you explore and determine the best option for you as well as offer you a headstart in maintaining your competitive edge.
Options include choices in health care, law, architecture and many more. Some specific information is included here but please feel free to contact the Career Center at 719-255-3340 if you have more questions.
Choosing a Major
One of the most common questions is "'What should I choose for a major?" Generally, a student should choose what interests you as that will show up in your GPA and your motivation to do well in your courses. Of course, pre-reqs for each professional option need to be met, but the degree you choose is entirely up to you. Keep in mind the way your major might relate to your chosen profession and the foundation of knowledge you'll need to be competitive. For example, if you are going to pursue a health care profession and are completing a philosophy degree be sure to take extra science courses to strengthen your basis of scientific knowledge. For a list of major options at UCCS see the Student Success Center website at www.uccs.edu/ssc. Please note that a pre-professional "major" (pre-med, pre-law, etc.) will not result in a degree; it just indicates a "direction of interest."
Because your academic record is an indicator of your ability to handle a rigorous professional program, a strong cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) is usually one of the determining factors in acceptance into your professional program of choice. Cumulative GPA is the calculation of the average of all grades from every college course taken from any collegiate institution you received college credit from, whether you took the course while in high school or during your college years, including courses taken from EVERY collegiate institution, not just the one from which you graduated. If a course is repeated, most professional programs will count both grades into your cumulative GPA when considering your application. While A's and B's are your academic goals, some C's are acceptable. Be cautious in having multiple W's on your transcript, especially in the same course, as it might indicate some trouble with the material or lack of time management or planning.
National Admission Tests and Centralized Application Systems
Most all professional programs require particular admission tests as well as application through a centralized application system. The type of test required as well as specific information will be listed under each professional career option below.
Letters of Recommendations: 3 letters is standard (check on law school), usually a couple from professors from related academic subjects and another from a professional in the field.
Experience in the Field: It's very strongly recommended that you demonstrate some experience working, shadowing or volunteering in your area of interest.
Leadership: These skills are highly desirable and can be developed through a job, through involvement in clubs or through volunteer activities.
Research: Some professions, such as medicine, really value some research experience. Work with your faculty during your upper division coursework to perform research through independent studies.
Professional Career Options