Catalog 2013-2014

Pre-Professional Studies


The Health Sciences Committee in the Division of Natural Sciences advises students aspiring to careers in the health sciences. Students having such interests are encouraged to obtain a health sciences advisor early in their program. Summarized below are pre-professional requirements for many health science areas; additional information is available through the Health Science Committee.

Dentistry, Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine

The overwhelming majority of students entering the professional schools for these careers have earned baccalaureate degrees, securing a broad educational background in the process. This background includes a thorough preparation in the sciences as well as study in the social sciences and the humanities. There are no pre-professional majors for medicine, dentistry or veterinary medicine at PLU; rather students should select the major which best matches their interests and which best prepares them for alternative careers. In addition to the general university requirements and the courses needed to complete the student’s major, the following are generally required for admission to the professional program:

  • BIOL 225, 226, 330
  • CHEM 115, 116, 331, and 332 (all with laboratories)
  • MATH 140
  • PHYS 125 and 126 or PHYS 153 and 154 (with appropriate laboratories)
  • Check with a health science advisor for exceptions or for additions suggested by specific professional schools.
Medical Technology

The university no longer offers a medical technology degree, but continues to provide academic preparation suitable for admission to medical technology, hematology, and clinical chemistry programs. Minimal requirements include:

  • BIOL 225, 226, 330, 342, 445, 448
  • CHEM 115, 116, 331 (with 333 lab), 332 (with 334 lab)
  • MATH 140
  • Recommended courses include: BIOL 348, 441; CHEM 403; PHYS 125, 126, 135, 136.

Although two years of pre-optometry study is the minimum required, most students accepted by a school of optometry have completed at least three years of undergraduate work. A large percentage of students accepted by schools of optometry have earned a baccalaureate degree. For those students who have not completed a baccalaureate degree, completion of such a degree must be done in conjunction with optometry professional studies.

The requirements for admission to the schools of optometry vary. However, the basic science and mathematics requirements are generally uniform and include:

  • BIOL 225, 226, 330
  • CHEM 115, 116, 331 (with 333 lab), 332 (with 334 lab)
  • One year of college mathematics, including calculus (at least through MATH 151)
  • PHYS 125 and 126 or PHYS 153 and 154 (with appropriate laboratories)

In addition, each school of optometry has its own specific requirements. Check with a health science advisor.


Although the pre-pharmacy requirements for individual schools vary (check with a health science advisor), the following courses are usually required: one year of general chemistry with laboratory; one year of organic chemistry with laboratory; college-level mathematics (often including calculus); one year of English composition. Other courses often required include microbiology, analytical chemistry, statistics and introductory courses in communication, economics, and political science. For example, the University of Washington School of Pharmacy has approved the following courses as being equivalent to the first two years of its program leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy degree:

  • BIOL 225, 226, 201 or 342
  • CHEM 115, 116, 331 (with 333 lab), 332 (with 334 or 336 lab)
  • MATH 128 or 151; STAT 231
  • WRIT 101

A second course in writing; electives from humanities and social sciences. Total credits should not be fewer than 60 semester hours.

Physical Therapy

Acceptance to schools of physical therapy has become increasingly competitive in recent years, and students interested in physical therapy are strongly encouraged to meet with a health science advisor as early as possible to determine prerequisites for specific schools. All physical therapy programs are doctoral programs. Therefore, potential applicants should plan on completing a baccalaureate degree in conjunction with satisfying admission requirements. The School of Physical Education offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education with a pre-physical therapy track.

The requirements for admission to schools of physical therapy vary. However the basic science and mathematics requirements are generally uniform and include:

  • BIOL 225, 226, 330
  • CHEM 115, 116, 331; MATH 140; PHYS 125 and 126 (with laboratories)

In addition to the introductory biology sequence, applicants must complete courses in anatomy and physiology. This admission requirement is often met by either the combination of BIOL 205 and 206 or the combination BIOL 352 and 453.

Biology majors should take BIOL 352 and 453, the clear preference of several schools of physical therapy. In addition to the science and mathematics requirements, the various schools have specific social science and humanities requirements.

Check with a health science advisor regarding these requirements.


Advisor: Kaitlyn Sill

Preparation for law school at PLU is an advising system rather than a curriculum of prescribed major/minor or otherwise organized courses. The primary reason for such an approach is that the admissions committees of U.S. law schools generally recommend that applicants be well and broadly educated. They tend to seek applicants who are literate and numerate, who are critical thinkers and articulate communicators. In essence, they value exactly what a sound liberal arts education provides— indeed, requires.

Therefore, regardless of their declared majors and minors, students considering law school are encouraged to demonstrate proficiency in courses selected from across the disciplines and schools while undergraduates at PLU. An appropriate curricular program should be structured from a mix of the students’ personal academic interests, their professional inclinations, and coursework aimed at developing intellectual skills and resources apt to generate success in legal study and practice.

Recent successful PLU applicants to law schools have taken such diverse courses as those in the anthropology of contemporary America, social science research methods, American popular culture, English Renaissance literature, news writing and argumentation, recent political thought, international relations, free-lance writing, intermediate German, animal behavior, neuropsychology, public finance, logic, and moral philosophy. Diversity and challenge are crucial to preparation for the study of law.

However, pre-law students are also advised to take courses, chosen in consultation with the pre-law advisor, that will help them to identify, develop, and explore perspectives on the character of U.S. law. Courses in U.S. government and history, judicial and legislative processes, research materials and methods, and internships may be particularly useful in this regard. Finally, students with an interest in the law are encouraged to participate in the activities of PLU’s chapter of Phi Alpha Delta Fraternity International, a professional service organization composed of law and pre-law students, legal educators, attorneys, judges, and government officials. Students interested in pre-law advising and activities are invited to contact the pre-law advisor in the Department of Political Science.



The objective of the military science instruction within Army ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) is to prepare academically and physically qualified college women and men for the rigor and challenge of serving as an officer in the United States Army-Active, National Guard, or Reserve. To that end, the program stresses service to country and community through the development and enhancement of leadership competencies which support and build on the concept of service leadership.

Army ROTC is offered to PLU students on campus. The l ower-division courses are open to all students and are an excellent source of leadership and ethics training for any career. They do not require a military commitment for non- scholarship students. The upper-division courses are open to qualified students. ROTC is traditionally a four-year program; however, an individual may complete the program in two or three years. Contact the PLU Military Science Department for details.

Participation in the introductory Military Science courses at PLU is open to all students. Students may choose to continue in the advanced courses with the goal of receiving a commission after successful completion of the program and receiving a university degree. Students seeking a commission are often recipients of an ROTC scholarship. Being commissioned in the military and/or receiving a scholarship involves meeting requirements established by the United States military. For specific requirements in contracting or scholarship eligibility, students may contact the Military Science Department.

Financial assistance in the form of two-, three-, and four-year scholarships is available to qualified applicants. Scholarships awarded pay full tuition and fees, plus a book allowance of $1,200 per year and a monthly stipend of $300-$500. Students in upper-division courses not on scholarship also receive a $450-$500 stipend. To be commissioned an officer in the United States Army, a graduate must complete the military science curriculum, including successful completion of a four- week advanced camp during the summer before the senior year. Additional information on the Army ROTC program may be obtained by writing Army ROTC, Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA 98447.

The basic course consists of two hours of academic instruction and military training per week each semester of the first and second years. Students beginning the course as sophomores can compress the basic course by attending additional academic instruction. There is no military commitment for non- scholarship students in the basic course.

The advanced course consists of additional academic instruction and physical conditioning plus a four-week advanced summer training at the Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC) at Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM), Washington. Students are furnished with uniforms and selected textbooks for military science courses.

Note: A maximum of 24 semester hours earned in ROTC programs may be applied toward a baccalaureate degree at PLU.

Advance course students must take or have taken a Professional Military Education history course that includes one of the following:

  • HIST 329: Europe and the World Wars, 1914-1945 (4)
  • HIST 352: The American Revolution (4)
  • HIST 381: The Vietnam War and American Society (4)
  • PHIL 224: Military Ethics (4)
  • POLS 331: International Relations (4)
  • POLS 332: International Conflict Resolution (4)
  • POLS 401: Special Topics: Politics and War - Iraq (4)