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Pre-professional programs

PSU offers courses which meet requirements of various professional schools. These programs are often based on the graduation requirements of other institutions. Therefore, if you decide to continue at PSU, rather than pursue a pre-professional transfer program, you should meet with an adviser to understand PSU graduation requirements. In some cases, these programs are merely the prerequisites or requirements for entrance into a program of graduate study (e.g., medicine or dentistry). In these situations, in order to receive a baccalaureate degree from PSU, you would also need to complete the University's graduation requirements.

These pre-professional programs are not majors. If you plan to graduate from PSU, you will need to choose a major appropriate to your pre-professional program of study. Popular majors selected by pre-health sciences students include biology, chemistry, general science, health studies, psychology, and social sciences. However, students can select any major, as long as they complete the prerequisite courses required by the professional program to which they plan to apply. Students should meet with advisers from their major department to ensure that they understand requirements for the major and with pre-health advisers in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Advising Center in M305 Smith Memorial Student Union (3rd floor mezzanine), 503-725-3822 for advising regarding preparation for professional health programs.

Pre-professional Programs Available at PSU


See PSU Bulletin for additional information.

Education (K-12 Teacher Preparation)

Teacher education at PSU requires 12 to 18 months of study beyond the bachelor's degree. Portland State University educates prospective teachers through the Graduate School of Education. Teacher licensing is part of the Master of Education degree and is achieved through the Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP) in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Please note: Additional programs in bilingual education, ESL, special education, library/media, counseling, post-secondary & adult education, and administration are also available in the Graduate School of Education; call 503-725-4619.

For pre-education undergraduate advising

The Graduate School of Education offers weekly information sessions for those interested in any of their graduate programs. Any interested student should plan to attend. Call the Graduate School of Education (503-725-4619) for their schedule for the term.

Early childhood and elementary education

Prospective elementary teachers should see an academic adviser in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, M305 Smith Memorial Student Union (3rd floor mezzanine), 503-725-3822.

Middle school education

Prospective middle school teachers who have a preference for teaching multiple subjects (as in elementary education) should see an adviser in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, (M305 Smith Memorial Student Union (3rd floor mezzanine), 503-725-3822. Those who prefer to get a content area specialization that may also apply to teaching at the secondary / high school level should contact the pre-education academic adviser in the academic department of choice.

Secondary/high school education

Prospective high school teachers should contact the pre-education academic adviser within their major department. Academic majors and their prospective secondary endorsements are as follows: biology (biology and general science); physical education (physical education); history, anthropology,sociology, philosophy, political science, geography, and economics (social studies); health (health); mathematics (mathematics); English (English language arts); art (art); foreign languages and literatures (French, German, Japanese,Russian, Spanish); music (music); chemistry (chemistry); physics (physics); business and economics (business); drama (drama); communications (speech). Note: A current list of advisers is available from the GTEP admissions secretary, 602 School of Education Building.


See PSU Bulletin for information.


Law schools in the United States generally do not require specific pre-law majors or particular courses of study in preparation for law school. They do recommend that the prospective law student acquire a broad liberal arts education providing a sound basic understanding and appreciation of arts and letters, science, and social science. Pre-law students are free to select their own undergraduate programs (there is no "pre-law" major as such), but they are advised to choose broad cultural fields in which they have keen intellectual interests, such as economics, history, literature, mathematics, philosophy, political science, science, or sociology. Business administration and administration of justice, when strongly supplemented with work in arts and letters, science, or social science, are also suitable. The importance of analytical skills, abstract ideas, complex facts, and communications skills cannot be overemphasized, for lawyers must be able to research, analyze, and communicate.

Students should plan to seek advising from one of the designated pre-law advisers (see below) during their junior year and prior to applying for law school admission in their senior year. PSU offers a Law and Legal Studies minorthat, while not required to prepare for law school, would be helpful for students considering law school. At the minimum, students should complete some undergraduate coursework that includes a review of the case law approach.

Tim Garrison
History - Liberal Arts & Sciences
(503) 725-3978

R. Kevin Hill
Associate Professor
Philosophy - Liberal Arts & Sciences
(503) 725-3594

Christopher Shortell
Assistant Professor
Political Science - Urban & Public Affairs
(503) 725-5139

Pre-Law/3+3 programs

Portland State University now offers students two options for accelerated bachelor's/JD programs.

The PSU 3+3 programs will enable qualified PSU students to earn a BA or BS degree and a law degree from either Lewis & Clark Law School or Willamette University College of Law in a total of six years. PSU students may be admitted to the 3+3 program anytime during their first two years of undergraduate study. For more information, please visit the PSU 3+3 program page or contact Pre-Law advisor Tim Garrison at

Pre-Health Transfer Programs

Clinical laboratory science, dental hygiene, nursing, and radiation therapy. In these programs, students complete a set of prerequisites at PSU with the intention of transferring to another institution to earn their bachelor's degree. See a health sciences adviser in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in M305 Smith Memorial Student Union (3rd floor mezzanine), 503-725-3822.

Pre-Health Bachelor's Programs

Allopathic and osteopathic medicine, chiropractic medicine, dentistry, naturopathic medicine, occupational therapy, optometry, physical therapy, physician assistant, podiatric medicine, and veterinary medicine. These programs are designed to prepare students for master's and doctoral programs in the health sciences that require or recommend a bachelor's degree prior to entry. These pre-health programs are not majors. Students must both select a major and complete prerequisites for the master's or doctoral programs for which they are preparing. See a health sciences adviser in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in M305 Smith Memorial Student Union (3rd floor mezzanine), 503-725-3822.