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Preprofessional Courses of Study in Law, Business, or Medicine

Students interested in legal, business, medical, dental, nursing or other health professions careers are encouraged to select undergraduate courses of study that comply with the specific program requirements of professional schools. Students planning to apply to graduate professional programs should consult UTSA faculty with experience in and knowledge of those professional fields. Students planning to apply to a health professions program should consult an advisor at the UTSA University Health Professions Office.

As a general guide, minimum requirements are set forth below. However, satisfactory completion of these minimums does not guarantee admission to any professional school or program. Specific professional schools may have more specialized requirements, and the selection process for admission to professional schools is highly competitive.

Preparation for Law School

Students interested in preparing for and gaining admission to law school should contact the UTSA Institute for Law and Public Affairs or one of UTSA’s pre-law faculty advisors. Most law schools do not recommend that pre-law students major in or concentrate on any particular area or discipline, although they do recommend that students acquire and develop certain skills as undergraduates, including strong analytical and writing skills. Most law schools say that a broad, diverse, liberal undergraduate education is preferable to one that is narrowly specialized or vocational. Many schools look for a showing of thorough, dedicated learning in a broad academic field. Student programs of study that approach subjects on a theoretical level, rather than concentrating exclusively on practical aspects, are often considered good preparatory training for law school. It is also advisable, however, for students to take some law-oriented courses at the undergraduate level to assess for themselves, and to demonstrate to law schools, their aptitude for legal studies and potential for success in law school.

To discover what a particular law school recommends, students should review that school’s catalog or Web site. Students will find a wealth of information on law school admissions and preparation at the Law School Admission Council’s Web site (http://lsac.org) and the UTSA Institute for Law and Public Affairs Web site (http://utsa.edu/ilpa/). The Institute offers a minor in Legal Studies (LGS) and an intensive Summer Law School Preparation Academy that pre-law students may consider. Students who wish to discuss pre-law curriculum or their law school plans should contact the Institute. To declare a Minor in Legal Studies, contact the College of Liberal and Fine Arts Undergraduate Advising Center.

Preparation for Graduate Study in Business

Nonbusiness majors interested in pursuing a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree are encouraged to take business courses as electives which may result in some M.B.A. required leveling courses being waived. For more information, contact the advising office for the M.B.A. program.

Preparation for Health Professions Programs

The University Health Professions Office (UHPO) provides advising and support to students interested in pursuing careers in the health professions. This includes academic preparation at the undergraduate level, as well as information about health careers, application procedures, and entrance exams. UTSA offers courses that fulfill entrance requirements to most health professions fields, including Medicine and Dentistry, Nursing, Dental Hygiene, Respiratory Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine, Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Cytogenetics, Podiatry, Chiropractic, and Optometry. Admission to professional schools is highly competitive and involves a separate application process. Admission to UTSA does not guarantee admission into health professions programs at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA).

Students are encouraged to seek advice and consult with the UHPO advising staff early in and throughout their college career. The UHPO is located at the Main Campus (Multidisciplinary Studies Building, Room 3.02.10). Advising is also available at the Downtown Campus on selected days and times throughout the academic year. For more information about the UHPO, including appointment schedules, call (210) 458-5185, or visit the Web site at http://utsa.edu/healthprofessions/.

Medical and Dental Schools. In general, medical and dental school admissions committees do not state a preference about an undergraduate major field, leaving the student free to choose a degree program suited to the student’s special abilities and interests. The vast majority of entrants have completed four years of college with a baccalaureate degree. In exceptional cases, students with outstanding records and a high degree of maturity are admitted to medical or dental school after completing 90 semester credit hours.

Admission requirements for Texas medical and dental schools are representative of admission requirements for most American medical schools. These requirements typically include one year of college English; two years of biology as required for college science majors (one year must include laboratory work); one year of physics as required for college science majors, including laboratory; one year of general chemistry and one year of organic chemistry as required for college science majors, including the corresponding laboratories; and one semester of college calculus or statistics (not required for dental school).

Applicants to medical school must take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). It is to a student’s advantage to take the test early—no later than June, preceding the senior year)—and to begin preparation for the exam at least six months in advance. Similarly, applicants to dental school should take the Dental Admission Test (DAT) early—no later than June, preceding the senior year. The application cycle for both medical and dental schools begins in May for admission in August of the following year.

Applications for all Texas medical and dental schools, with the exception of Baylor College of Medicine, are processed by the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service (TMDSAS), 702 Colorado Street, Suite 6.400, Austin, Texas 78701 (www.utsystem.edu/tmdsas/). Application services for other health professions schools as well as out-of-state medical and dental schools are: Osteopathic Medicine – American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS); Podiatric Medicine – American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine Application Service (AACPMAS); Dentistry – Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS); and Allopathic Medicine – American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS), which includes Baylor College of Medicine.

Nursing School. Admission requirements for The University of Texas Schools of Nursing are representative of admission requirements for most other American nursing schools. A minimum of 62 semester credit hours is required, including 6 semester credit hours of college English, 9 hours of behavioral sciences, 6 hours of history and government, 3 hours of college mathematics, 3 hours of statistics, 3 hours of humanities, 3 hours of visual and performing arts, and 23 hours of natural sciences which must include chemistry, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and nutrition. Students interested in nursing must seek information about these prerequisites on a regular basis because they are subject to change.

Additional information and advisement may be obtained at the UHPO.

Early Admission Programs


3–4 Dental Early Admission Program (DEAP). This is a joint program between The University of Texas at San Antonio and The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Dental School. This program offers students with an interest in dentistry the opportunity to receive early conditional acceptance to the dental school and to earn both a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at UTSA and a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at UTHSCSA within seven years. Students must complete no more than 30 semester credit hours of coursework to apply to the program. A list of the requirements for acceptance into the program and for its completion, as well as application forms and procedures, are available in the UHPO.

Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP). The Joint Admission Medical Program was created by the Texas Legislature (Texas Education Code, § 51.821 et seq.) to provide services to “highly qualified, economically disadvantaged students” who want to be physicians. If selected for JAMP, a student will receive numerous benefits throughout college and into medical school: a scholarship each semester of college (beginning in the spring of the sophomore year); a stipend each summer to attend two medical school enrichment (internship) programs; mentoring throughout college and into medical school; and admission into a Texas medical school (if all requirements are met). Students must apply by September 1 of their sophomore year by which time they must have completed 27 hours of undergraduate credit during their freshman year and earned no less than a 3.25 grade point average. Contact the UHPO for more information and advisement and visit the JAMP Web site at www.utsystem.edu/JAMP/ for additional details.


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