Pre-professional Programs


Pre-law students at UMSL come from a variety of majors, including Art History, Criminal Justice, Economics, English, History, Philosophy, Political Science, and many more. Many of these majors offer pre-law tracks or minors, and you can identify yourself as a pre-law student at any time during your career at UMSL. The Pre-Law Committee of the American Bar Association (ABA) advises that a wide range of undergraduate majors can serve as a path to law school:

The ABA does not recommend any undergraduate majors or group of courses to prepare for a legal education. Students are admitted to law school from almost every academic discipline. You may choose to major in subjects that are considered to be traditional preparation for law school, such as history, English, philosophy, political science, economics or business, or you may focus your undergraduate studies in areas as diverse as art, music, science and mathematics, computer science, engineering, nursing or education. Whatever major you select, you are encouraged to pursue an area of study that interests and challenges you, while taking advantage of opportunities to develop your research and writing skills. Taking a broad range of difficult courses from demanding instructors is excellent preparation for legal education. (Source: the American Bar Association (

After graduating from UMSL, students have gone on to attend law school locally at Saint Louis University, Washington University in St Louis, as well as at the University of Missouri-Columbia and University of Missouri-Kansas City. Graduates attend prestigious law schools outside the St Louis area as well.

There are hundreds of UMSL graduates who have gone to law school and now work as lawyers, judges, or in other careers in the legal profession. Many of them remain in the St Louis area, and the pre-law program at UMSL regularly brings them to campus to interact and share advice with students. By declaring yourself to be pre-law, you will receive updates about upcoming events and opportunities to meet and connect with alumni in the legal profession.

The pre-law advisor can assist you in selecting courses that will best meet your interests while also allowing you to develop the skills that are important for a successful law school application.  For more information, please refer to the UMSL pre-law advising website

Pre-Health Sciences

The University of Missouri - St. Louis provides advising for students planning to continue their studies to become healthcare professionals. While there are no pre-health majors, the prerequisite classes necessary for entry into health professions schools are offered in both the Fall and Spring Semesters with some being offered in the Summer as well. This allows students to choose any major offered by UMSL to be completed while pursuing their desired pre-health track. While some professional programs might not require a baccalaureate degree, it is strongly recommended to complete one in order to be as competitive as possible when applying.

There are no requirements to declaring a pre-health track, but students that have attended UMSL for two semesters and whose GPA is below a 2.7 will no longer be considered on a pre-health track. Students are able to appeal to be reinstated on a pre-health track after one semester.

Programs that are covered by UMSL's pre-health advising include but are not limited to: medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, veterinary science, physician assistant, occupational therapy, physical therapy, chiropractic, and clinical lab science. For pre-health advising please contact 314-516-5501 for an appointment.

In addition to the courses listed below, students should actively seek out extracurricular opportunities. Such activities can include volunteering, shadowing, research, and organizational leadership. Students are encouraged to join some of the many on-campus organizations including one of the pre-health societies. Information about student organizations can be found at the Office of Student Life.

Since admission requirements may vary between schools, students should consult the catalogs1 of the programs to which they intend to apply. Updated information may be found on the pre-health website:


Suggested Courses

Many health professions schools require or recommend the following undergraduate courses2:

BIOL 1831Introductory Biology: From Molecules to Organisms (MOTR BIOL 150L)5
BIOL 1821Introductory Biology: Organisms and the Environment (MOTR BIOL 150L)5
BIOL 2012Genetics3
BIOL 2482Microbiology3
BIOL 3622Cell Biology3
BIOL 1131Human Physiology and Anatomy I4
BIOL 1141Human Physiology and Anatomy II4
CHEM 1111Introductory Chemistry I (MOTR CHEM 150L)5
CHEM 1121Introductory Chemistry II5
CHEM 2612Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 2622Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 2633Organic Chemistry Laboratory2
CHEM 4712Biochemistry3
Select courses at least through calculus, as appropriate for the major degree. 2
MATH 1100Basic Calculus3-5
or MATH 1800 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I
MATH 1320Introduction to Probability and Statistics3
As appropriate for the degree chosen: 28-10
PHYSICS 1011, PHYSICS 1011L, PHYSICS 1012 and PHYSICS 1012L8
Physics: Mechanics and Heat
and Physics: Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics

Since students are not confirmed for admission to professional schools until the science requirements for admission are fulfilled, students should meet the science requirements before the end of the junior year. To complete these requirements in time, BIOL 1831 and BIOL 1821, Introductory Biology I and II as well as CHEM 1111 and CHEM 1121, Introductory Chemistry I and II should be taken during their first three semesters.

Successful completion of these recommended courses also helps students prepare for required standardized exams.

Students should take the required national standardized examination early in their junior year as is appropriate for the exam: The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) for Pre-Med students; the Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) for Pre-Dental students; the Optometry Admission Test (OAT) for Pre-Optometry students; and the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT), (if required) for Pre-Pharmacy students; and the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is generally sufficient for other professional healthcare school. (Students should consult with their intended professional school for appropriate test information.)

Each year the number of applicants to health profession schools exceeds the number of available places. Students should meet with Career Services and the various campus advising resources are available to students to explore alternative plans should they not be accepted.


The University of Missouri-St. Louis offers a four-year program of study leading to the Doctor of Optometry degree; this professional degree is administered by the College of Optometry. It is one of only 20 schools or colleges of optometry in the United States and the only one in the state of Missouri. This program, as a result, makes UMSL an ideal institution for Pre-Optometry education. Various programs are available for Pre-Optometry students as noted below.

Students may pursue a traditional 4 + 4 program, which is a bachelor’s degree followed by the four-year graduate optometry program. In this case, students may pursue any bachelor’s degree, as long as the pre-optometry requirements are met in biology, chemistry, math, physics, psychology and English. 

Alternatively, the College of Arts & Sciences sponsors a 3+4 program in which the undergraduate degree is granted when the student satisfactorily completes the first semester of the professional program and has met all of the conditions for the specific undergraduate degree for which the student has applied. Most commonly, the degree awarded will be a Bachelors of Interdisciplinary Studies or a B.S. in Biology.

Students interested in this program must apply with the campus pre-health advisor and maintain a G.P.A. of 3.2. Some summer classes may be expected, and the student should be prepared to take the OAT by the end of their sophomore year.

For more information on admission requirements for the College of Optometry, please refer to the Optometry section of this Bulletin.

The recommend course schedule can be found below, any changes would need to be approved of by both the Pre-Health Advisor, and the College of Optometry:

ENGL 11003CHEM 11115BIOL 11314
MATH 10303BIOL 18215BIOL 11414
MATH 10352MATH 18005 
PSYCH 10033  
General Education: Humanities3  
INTDSC 10031  
 15 15 8
PHYSICS 10113PHYSICS 10123Take the OAT 
PHYSICS 1011L1PHYSICS 1012L1Apply through OptomCAS 
BIOL 18315CHEM 26123 
CHEM 11215PSYCH 22014 
American History or Government Requirement3General Education: Cultural Diversity/Humanities3 
 17 14 0
CHEM 26332BIOL 4732 BIOL 36223
BIOL 20123BIOL 24823PHIL 22563
PSYCH 22113BIOL 24832 
ENGL 3100 (Or Equivalent)3BIOL 460223 
PSYCH 3390 (Must be Neuroscience Related)13General Education: Social and Behavioral Sciences3 
 14 11 6
OPTOM 80103  
OPTOM 80204  
OPTOM 80301  
OPTOM 80404  
OPTOM 80602  
OPTOM 80901  
OPTOM 83502  
Total Hours: 117