Undergraduate Catalog

Pre-Professional and Dual Programs

Pre-Professional Programs

Western Illinois University offers six pre-professional programs designed to prepare students for professional study at other universities at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Each pre-professional program consists of a series of WIU courses which students are advised to take to gain the knowledge and skills required for professional study in a specific field. An academic advisor is assigned to each of the pre-professional programs. Students should consult with the advisor for information on the entrance requirements of professional schools, recommended WIU courses for professional preparation, and degree completion requirements and options.


Students who wish to transfer to a college of Engineering after two years of pre-professional study should complete the program below, which is designed to meet the requirements from the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign (UIUC). The engineering school requirements often change and vary across disciplines. It is important for students to maintain ongoing communication with their advisor or the department chair to remain on track to meet all requirements in a timely manner. Any student planning to attend an Engineering school other than UIUC should inform his or her advisor of this fact, so that changes in the program can be suggested. Those who start this curriculum and subsequently decide to remain at WIU usually transfer to related programs without loss of credit.

Students interested in this program should contact the Pre-Engineering advisor in the Department of Physics. Please also see the Dual Programs section of this catalog for a detailed description of the dual program in Arts and Sciences and Engineering.

Freshman Year

Fall Semester

  • ENG 180; ET 105; MATH 133*; PHYS 211**

Spring Semester

  • CS 225; MATH 134; PHYS 212; Elective

* Engineering students planning to attend the University of Illinois should keep in mind that any course below the level of MATH 133 will not count toward the Engineering degree. However, several pre-calculus courses are available for students unable to take four years of college preparatory Mathematics in high school.

** PHYS 211 has MATH 133 or the equivalent as a corequisite.

Sophomore Year

Fall Semester

  • CHEM 201; MATH 231, 311; PHYS 213, 271

Spring Semester

  • CHEM 202; ENG 280; MATH 333; PHYS 214; PHYS 310

Students may select electives in the Social Sciences and Humanities from a list of transferable electives which can be obtained from a Pre-Engineering advisor; a partial list appears below. Transfer credit for foreign languages courses at the University of Illinois will be approved only after a review of the student’s high school foreign languages background. All transfer students entering the college of Engineering are required to have completed two college/university semesters of a foreign language or three years of a foreign language in high school.

Technical courses are available at WIU which may also be taken as electives. For example, civil engineers may take a course in surveying or Geology. Mathematical Statistics is recommended for some other fields of Engineering.


  • AAS 281, 282, 283
  • ARTH 180, 282, 283, 394, 395
  • ENG 195, 200, 201, 202, 205, 290, 300, 301, 328, 338
  • Foreign Languages: FR/GER/SPAN 121, 122, 223, 224, 325, 326 (Review of high school  preparation required by University of Illinois.)
  • HIST 105, 106, 115, 116, 300
  • MUS 190, 195, 393, 397
  • Philosophy: all courses except PHIL 140 and 340
  • Religious Studies: all courses
  • THEA 110, 390, 391

Social Sciences

  • AAS 100, 145, 251, 290, 300
  • ANTH 110, 111
  • ECON 231, 232; Note : ECON 231 is a required course in some Engineering curricula.
  • GEOG 100, 110
  • POLS 122, 284
  • PSY 100, 250, 251
  • SOC 100, 200, 250

Pre-Engineering students should maintain at least a 3.00 (A=4.00) grade point average. Isolated D grades are accepted under certain conditions and may count toward graduation.


Students who wish to pursue studies in Pre-Forestry should contact the academic advisor in the School of Agriculture. This two-year curriculum is designed to prepare students to enter a School of Professional Forestry with advanced standing.

The following is presented as a general outline which will be modified to meet the demands of the school to which the student expects to transfer.

First Year

  • AGRI 120; FOR 200; BOT 200; ZOOL 200; CHEM 201, 202; ENG 180; HORT 180
  • Kinesiology
  • Mathematics (2 semesters)

Second Year

  • COMM 241; ECON 231; FOR 308; ENG 280
  • Humanities (2 semesters)
  • Social Science (2 semesters)
  • Physics (2 semesters)
Pre-Health Program (Medicine, Optometry, Dentistry, Physical/Occupational Therapy)

Western Illinois University provides excellent instruction to prepare students for a health-related professional degree in Medicine, Optometry, Dentistry, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy. Most students at Western who wish to pursue a professional degree in a health-related field major in Biological Sciences, but other majors may also be appropriate. View information about Western’s Medical Sciences option offered by the Department of Biological Sciences.


Law schools do not require any particular undergraduate major. Students are encouraged to pursue a course of study in line with their intellectual interests. They are cautioned against narrow specialization directed too pointedly toward later professional training and practice. Many of the goals of legal education are also goals of a broad liberal education. It is advisable for students to select intellectually challenging courses which promote the development of skills of comprehension and communication (written and verbal), which enhance creative thinking, and which foster a critical understanding of the human institutions and values with which the law addresses.

Admission to law school is highly competitive. The two major criteria for admission are the undergraduate grade point average and the score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The LSAT is a standardized examination given multiple times each year. Students intending to apply to law school should plan to take this test no later than December of their senior year.

Pre-Law Advising

All students, whatever their major, may request a Pre-Law advisor to supplement their major advising and assist them in their preparation for law school. Students considering law school are urged to seek Pre-Law advice as early as possible in their undergraduate career. Dr. Lorette S. Oden, Centennial Honors College, Dr. Jill Joline Myers, School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, and Victoria Smith, Student Legal Advocate, are available for advising students interested in a legal career.

Pre-Law Major Options

Some degree programs at Western Illinois University include a Pre-Law option. Pre-Law options allow students to prepare for success in law school within their major area of study. Brief descriptions of Western’s Pre-Law options are provided below.

The B.A. in History Pre-Law Option, offered by the Department of History, surveys the origins and evolution of American legal traditions—in Enlightenment thought, in the foundations of British, European, and American constitutionalism, and in the evolution of American federalism, civil rights, and commercial and criminal law. Students’ History courses will help them develop the analytical and problem-solving skills, critical reading ability, writing skills, and oral communication skills essential in law school and when practicing law. View more information about the History Pre-Law Option.

The B.A. in Political Science Pre-Law Option, offered by the Department of Political Science, provides students the opportunity to explore law-related topics by studying constitutional law directly. In addition, it emphasizes courses related to law making and interpreting institutions, including the courts, Congress, and state legislatures. This option helps students understand the role of law in society while providing a basis for them to gauge their interest in law school. By analyzing cases, as well as presenting and critiquing arguments, students will develop reading, writing, and presentation skills that foster success in a legal career. View more information about the Political Science Pre-Law Option.

Pre-Law Minors

The interdisciplinary Minor in Law and Society helps prepare students for careers in law and related fields, such as the administration of justice. Its interdisciplinary nature provides a solid background in the history and philosophy of law, as well as its current relevance for resolving social, political, and moral questions. In addition to helping students understand legal concepts and the role of law in contemporary society, the minor helps build skills in critical thinking and communication. View more information about the Minor in Law and Society.

The Minor in Legal Studies, offered by the School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, complements all majors and helps students prepare for law school, paralegal programs, or careers in court related services. The courses selected for the minor offer legal theory and applied knowledge. The minor will assist students in articulating the various processes by which different types of cases proceed within the American legal system, in understanding and analyzing legal conflicts through reading and discussing the practical and theoretical bases of case law, and in communicating effectively through classroom presentations and demonstrations of courtroom activities. View more information about the Minor in Legal Studies.

The Pre-Law Honors Minor is a unique interdisciplinary minor for students who 
are enrolled in the Centennial Honors College and who plan careers in law. The curriculum for this minor is designed to provide students with skills and knowledge important as a foundation for the study of law. Emphasis is given to the development of effective written and oral communication, analytical and critical reasoning, and an understanding of institutions, social processes, and human values important to legal studies. Students from all majors are eligible for this honors option, and upon completion of the requirements will graduate as Honors Scholars. View more information about the Pre-Law Honors Minor.


The Pre-MBA minor is designed specifically for students majoring in areas outside the Bachelor of Business who are considering graduate level study in business. Through a set of core business courses, this minor provides students with the fundamentals 
of business administration and gives them a solid preparation for many entry level positions in business. The minor facilitates the undergraduate’s transition to the MBA at Western Illinois University.

The Pre-MBA curriculum has been created to include accelerated courses for the principles of Accounting and Economics. These are complemented by courses in Finance, Information Systems, Management, Marketing, and Statistics. A majority of these courses are at upper-division; this allows students to begin this minor late in their undergraduate programs and complete the requirements without delaying their graduation.

Completion of the Pre-MBA minor does not guarantee admission to an MBA program. Students seeking an MBA at WIU are required to complete the GMAT examination. Admission to the MBA program is based on a combination of undergraduate GPA and GMAT score. The MBA program also requires a minimum grade of “C” and a minimum GPA of 2.75 in the Pre-MBA core courses.

The Pre-MBA minor is not available to students seeking the Bachelor of Business degree.

For more information about the Pre-MBA minor, contact an advisor in the Business Advising Center in Stipes Hall 133 or (309) 298-1619 in Macomb or (309) 762-9481 at the WIU—Quad Cities Riverfront Campus.

Minor in Pre-MBA: 21–27 s.h.

Note: This minor is not open to students majoring in Accountancy, Business Analytics, Economics (B.B.), Finance, Human Resource Management, Management, Marketing, or Supply Chain Management.

  1. ACCT 307 (or ACCT 201 and 202): 3–6 s.h.
  2. ECON 408 (or ECON 231 and 232): 3–6 s.h.
  3. FIN 331: 3 s.h.
  4. IS 340: 3 s.h.
  5. MGT 349: 3 s.h.
  6. MKTG 327: 3 s.h.
  7. STAT 171: 3 s.h.
Pre-Veterinary Medicine

The WIU School of Agriculture offers a pre-professional program designed to meet the requirements for admission to a School of Veterinary Medicine. Students who wish to pursue studies in Pre-Veterinary Medicine should contact the academic advisor 
in the School of Agriculture. Due to intense competition for admission to Schools of Veterinary Medicine, most students complete a four-year bachelor’s degree program prior to admission. Those students considering a career in Veterinary Medicine should have a good foundation in Biological Sciences and Chemistry, including Biochemistry, as the minimum knowledge base for success in the curriculum. In addition, a course or courses concerning livestock production and animal ethology are highly desirable for all students. Those seeking a career in Veterinary Medicine related to Agriculture should consider additional background in nutrition, livestock management, and the economics of production by working toward a degree in Agriculture prior to admission to veterinary school. Students may also pursue other major fields of study. The 60-hour Pre-Veterinary requirement and the suggested WIU courses for admission to the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois are outlined below. Admission requirements for other schools of Veterinary Medicine are different but can be met with advisor consultation.


  • BIOL 330; BOT 200; CHEM 201, 202, 330, 421; ENG 180 and 280 or COMM 241; MICR 200; PHYS 114, 115 or 124, 125; ZOOL 200
  • Humanities or Social Science (12 s.h.)
  • Junior/Senior level approved Agriculture and science electives (12 s.h.)

Recommended, But Not Required

  • AGRI 376; ANSC 112, 314, 322, 424; BIOL 340; ZOOL 430
  • Mathematics—calculus, trigonometry, and statistics

Dual Programs

Western Illinois University has made arrangements with professional schools at other universities so that students can complete requirements for a bachelor’s degree in the College of Arts and Sciences while working toward a professional degree or certificate. This is done in cases where credits can be transferred from the professional school in work closely related to that offered in the college. Typically, students complete three years of work at WIU and transfer one year of work from the professional school in satisfaction of WIU degree requirements.

Dual Program in Arts and Sciences and Clinical Laboratory Science

This dual program is four years in length and leads to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science. The first three years of the program are spent at WIU, followed by 12 months at an approved School of Medical Technology. The clinical year program requires a 2.75 grade point average. After completion of the four-year program, graduates take an examination for registration given by the Board of Registry of Medical Technology of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists. Upon successful completion of the total program, a student receives the Bachelor of Science degree at Western and the MT (ASCP) certificate from the Registry of Medical Technologists. Students enrolling in this program will be advised by the Department of Biological Sciences. The curriculum is given below.

First Year

  • BIOL 170; BOT 200; CHEM 201, 202; ENG 180; MATH 128, 129 or 133 or equivalent (see advisor); ZOOL 200
  • Social Science elective (FYE)
  • Humanities elective
  • Human Well-Being elective (UNIV 100)

Second Year

  • CHEM 330 or 331 and 421 (or 332); ENG 280; F L 121, 122 or equivalent (see advisor); MICR 200, 434
  • Social Science elective
  • Social Science elective

Third Year

  • COMM 241; PHYS (see advisor) 124, 125 or 114, 115; STAT 171; ZOOL 430 2 Electives—BIOL 330 or 340; MICR 400 or 463 or 464 or 460
  • Humanities elective
  • Multicultural Studies elective

Fourth Year

  • Taken at an approved School of Medical Technology (approximately 32 s.h.)
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Clinical Chemistry
  • Clinical Hematology
  • Clinical Microbiology (bacteriology, parasitology, mycology)
  • Clinical Serology and Immunology
  • Blood Bank
Dual Program in Arts and Sciences and Engineering

Western Illinois University has an agreement with the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois, whereby students may obtain the bachelor’s degree from the College of Arts and Sciences at WIU and a degree from the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois. In general, students spend three years at WIU and two to two and one-half at the University of Illinois or the University of Iowa. The student becomes eligible for both degrees when the entire program is completed.

Students who wish to participate in the Arts and Sciences and Engineering dual program should contact an academic advisor in the Department of Physics. Students who enter the program must complete the Pre-Engineering programs described in the Pre-Professional Programs section and the requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree in the College of Arts and Sciences. Since the granting of the two degrees depends on specified course requirements and not the amount of time on each campus, care in planning a program of courses is essential for students to complete the dual program in five academic years. For students interested in pursuing the dual degree option in Physics along with a bachelor’s in Engineering, the Engineering Physics curriculum is recommended.

Similar dual-degree programs are available with other Engineering Schools, including the Binary Program with Case Western Reserve University. Please consult your advisor to ensure successful completion of degree requirements.

Students who begin their Pre-Engineering program at a community college and wish to benefit from the WIU dual program must earn a minimum of 30 s.h. at WIU and satisfy all the requirements for the WIU Bachelor of Science degree, except those requirements dealing with majors and minors.

Dual Program in Arts and Sciences and Law

Exceptionally well-qualified students majoring in English, History, or Political Science at Western Illinois University are eligible to pursue an accelerated admission program at University of Illinois at Chicago Law School following the completion of their junior year of undergraduate study at Western. Students must have earned at least 90 WIU semester hours, with the additional 30 hours required for a WIU B.A. in the three stipulated majors (120 semester hours total) completed during two full semesters at UIC Law School. Program participants will receive a baccalaureate degree from WIU following successful completion of the first year of law school at UIC Law School, and the law degree (J.D.) from UIC Law School after successfully completing the required law school curriculum, allowing for the fulfillment of requirements for both degrees in a shorter period.

Students interested in this opportunity must work with the academic advisor in their major to ensure successful compliance with all program requirements.

Note : Participants are required to meet the WIU graduation requirement of completion of a minor.

Dual Program in General Studies and Chiropractic

Western Illinois University has an agreement with Palmer College of Chiropractic, Davenport, Iowa, whereby students can earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer and a Bachelor of Arts in General Studies degree from Western. The dual degree program requires admission into WIU’s Bachelor of Arts in General Studies degree program and 90 semester hours of credit in approved prerequisite courses prior to enrolling at Palmer. A minimum of 30 semester hours of academic credit from Palmer may be transferred back to WIU to complete the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies degree.