Pre-Professional Programs

Pre-Health Professions Program

Allegheny students preparing for health professions schools-in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine-use their major and elective courses to create precisely the programmatic balance that professional schools seek out, and that leads to success in professional school itself. Elements of such a program include: a strong foundation in the natural sciences (in or outside the selected major), highly developed communication skills, a solid background in the humanities and social sciences, study in depth (in any major field that is personally stimulating), and independent study and research (including the Senior Project).

Guidance in considering career options and preparing for professional school is just as important to undergraduates as the strength of the courses available. Consequently, Allegheny maintains an active Health Professions Advisory Committee, headed by the Health Professions Advisor. Each health professions student has two committee advisors-a faculty member and another student-in addition to his or her regular academic advisor. Advising begins in the first year to assure that students are taking the appropriate courses in a timely fashion and are maintaining appropriate grades.

The committee assists students with applying to professional schools and preparing for the Medical College Admission Test and interviews. A Committee Letter of Recommendation supplements the recommendations received from individual faculty members, and it carries special weight. Other committee services include assistance in exploring the health professions through internships, externships, and guest lectures, and the bringing to campus of representatives of health professions schools.

Further information about the pre-health professions program is available from the Health Professions Advisor’s Office in Reis Hall.

The Jefferson Program

Under the Physicians Shortage Area Program (PSAP), certain Allegheny students who intend to practice family medicine may qualify for preferential admission to Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, as well as special premedical advising from Jefferson faculty. Qualifying students have rural or small-town backgrounds or family ties, and they intend to practice in non-metropolitan areas, preferably in Pennsylvania. Allegheny is one of six Pennsylvania colleges and universities whose students are afforded special consideration as PSAP applicants, of whom a maximum of 24 are admitted to the program each year.

Linkage Program with Drexel University College of Medicine

Each year up to two Allegheny students are offered early assurance of admission to Drexel University College of Medicine if they meet certain criteria. These criteria include a GPA of 3.45 or better with no grade less than a “C,” MCAT scores of 9 or higher in each section of the test and the recommendation of the Health Professions Advisory Committee. Students should have SAT scores of 1350 or an ACT Composite score of 30 or higher. Candidates who qualify will interview at the College of Medicine in June and gain early acceptance. Qualified students are encouraged to have early contact with the medical school and should see the Health Professions Advisor in Reis Hall for further details.

Pre-Legal Studies

Allegheny students preparing for law school receive advice, information, and guidance from the Pre-Legal Committee, which comprises two Pre-Legal Advisors (one a faculty member, the other a counseling professional), elected student members, and a student chair. The committee sponsors programs, speakers and newsletters pertaining to legal careers and graduate study, and it assists in arranging internships and externships. It also provides an information session on the Law School Admission Test (administered on campus three times per year) and help with the law school application process.

Allegheny’s curriculum is especially well suited to preparation for law school. Students may design the sort of broad-based program recommended by law schools themselves, with these crucial outcomes: ability to handle abstract ideas; strong analytic and reasoning skills; writing and speaking ability; and appreciation of the values of civilization. Especially important are the breadth of understanding and thinking skills developed in the First-Year/ Sophomore Seminars, the skills for in-depth study developed in the major of the student’s choice, and the capacities developed by the Senior Project, such as reasoning and expository skills and ability to work independently.

Approximately two-thirds of Allegheny’s pre-law students major in one of three disciplines: Political Science, History or Economics. Next in popularity are Psychology and English, with other majors distributed evenly among the natural and social sciences and the humanities. Law school admissions committees encourage undergraduates to major in a discipline that interests and excites them.

Further information about the pre-law program is available from the Pre-Legal Advisors: Kristin Black, Assistant Director of the Career Education Office or Professor Brian Harward, Robert G. Seddig Chair in Political Science.