St. Thomas offers several pre-professional programs to prepare students for a wide range of fields

Our academic programs prepare you with required coursework for admission to specialty schools such as dentistry, engineering, law, medicine and more. To see specific pre-professional courses, check out our catalog.

Pre-Chiropractic

Many courses are offered at St. Thomas to prepare students for admission to chiropractic school. Students are encouraged to seek the guidance of a representative from the Office of Academic Counseling.

Pre-Dentistry

Dentistry requires diagnostic ability and manual skills. Since most dentists work in private practice, good business sense and communication skills are also helpful.

Course preparation varies by dental school. It is the responsibility of each student to confirm requirements for the specific schools to which they may be applying.

Pre-Engineering

St. Thomas offers a choice of pre-engineering programs to provide the student with a broad range of engineering fields. The program prepares for a wide variety of engineering fields including aeronautical, aerospace, biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, environmental, geological, industrial, materials science, mechanical and systems engineering.

The programs of study are arranged so that a student may transfer to an engineering school with a maximum number of acceptable credits and yet, if a change in major is made while at the university, a maximum number of credits will be applicable to the St. Thomas requirements for graduation. In addition to the liberal arts, courses pre-requisite to an engineering school program are available in areas of mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer programming, and engineering. There are few significant differences in courses taken in the first two years of undergraduate study toward any type of engineering field. All pre-engineering students take mathematics, physics, and chemistry courses, along with a seminar introducing them to the various fields of engineering and to the work of engineers.

A Liberal Arts-Engineering (3-2) program is offered formally in cooperation with the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Minnesota. The student will normally spend three years at St. Thomas and, upon approval of St. Thomas and acceptance by the engineering school, two additional years at the engineering school in an engineering field. Upon satisfying the requirements for graduation of both institutions, the student will receive a bachelor of arts (B.A.) degree from the University of St. Thomas and a bachelor of science degree in the selected field of engineering from the engineering school.

A two-year (2-2) program is offered in which the student normally spends two years at St. Thomas (although transfer may be initiated at any time) and two years in a selected engineering field at an engineering school. No St. Thomas degree is awarded.

Pre-Law

The best preparation for the study of law is a rigorous undergraduate program that combines depth of study in a major field with breadth of study in the liberal arts. The only true criterion for choice of a major is that it challenge the student's intellectual capabilities.
Regardless of major, pre-law students should include as wide a selection of courses as their degree program allows.

Pre-Medicine

“Pre-med” is not a major. Pre-medicine is a set of course requirements that prepares you for success on the MCAT and as a medical student.

You do not have to major in the sciences in order to gain admission to medical school. In fact, statistics show that humanities/social science majors are admitted at a slightly higher rate.

The health professions advisor is available to help students choose the specific coursework necessary to meet admissions requirements, explain admissions procedures, provide information to students about career alternatives, etc. Students interested in a career in medicine should seek guidance from an advisor in Academic Counseling and Support early in their freshman year to plan an appropriate four-year program.

Pre-Occupational Therapy

Many courses are offered at St. Thomas to prepare students for admission to an occupational therapy program. Students are encouraged to research programs at each professional school and to seek the guidance from an advisor in Academic Counseling and Support.

Medically oriented professional schools recognize the desirability of a broad liberal education that includes a strong foundation in the natural sciences, well developed communication skills and a background in the social sciences and humanities. The common curriculum of St. Thomas’ liberal arts and sciences program incorporates courses that provide all of these perspectives. Students interested in health-related careers will need to declare a major as well as take specific courses required for admission to the professional graduate programs of their choice.

Pre-Optometry

Medically oriented professional schools recognize the desirability of a broad liberal arts education that includes a strong foundation in the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics), well-developed communication skills, and a background in the social sciences and humanities.

Students interested in health-related careers will need to declare a major as well as take specific courses required for admission to the professional graduate programs of their choice. The Office of Academic Counseling provides resources and support to students in choosing specific coursework necessary to meet professional school admission requirements and understanding procedures.

Pre-Pharmacy

Pharmacists are an increasingly important piece of the health care puzzle, as more pharmacists are counseling patients in planning therapy regiments. According to the Department of Labor, the job outlook for pharmacists is excellent.

Course preparation varies by pharmacy school. It is the responsibility of each student to confirm requirements for the specific schools to which they may be applying. 

Pre-Physical Therapy

Physical therapists provide care to people of all ages who have functional problems resulting from back and neck injuries, sprains/strains and fractures, and injuries related to work and sports. Physical therapists examine each individual and develop a plan using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability.


Course preparation varies by physical therapy school. It is the responsibility of each student to confirm requirements for the specific schools to which they may be applying. 

Pre-Physician Assistant

Interest and application to physician assistant programs has grown exponentially over the past few years. Physician assistants practice medicine under the supervision of a physician or surgeon, but have considerable job autonomy including the ability to write prescriptions. Job opportunities are good, especially in rural and inner-city areas that have a shortage of physicians.

Course preparation varies by school. It is the responsibility of each student to confirm requirements for the specific schools to which they may be applying.

Pre-Veterinary

If you enjoy science, working with animals, and interacting with people, becoming a veterinarian may be a good fit for you. Because there are fewer veterinary schools than medical schools, admission to vet school is highly competitive. Having prior formal or informal experience working with animals can be advantageous.

Course preparation varies by veterinary school. It is the responsibility of each student to confirm requirements for the specific schools to which they may be applying.