Pre-Professional Programs

Sterling strives to develop leaders

Pre-professional programs

Sterling College offers programs for undergraduate students interested in preparing for professional fields including: medicine, physical therapy, veterinary medicine, nursing and graduate study.  Students interested in these programs will enroll as Biology or Chemistry majors and take additional recommended coursework necessary for each program.

It is the obligation of each student to consult with the professional school to which they intend to apply for exact requirements. Nearly all programs will require the following courses: General Chemistry I & II, Organic Chemistry I & II, and Physics I & II. 

Pre-physical therapy program:

Pre-physical therapy is a popular option within the biology major and recent graduates have been accepted into top-50 physical therapy programs at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences center and other schools including Rockhurst University and Wichita State University.

Students in the program receive a top-quality liberal arts education in the biological sciences and are well prepared for physical therapy school and life after college.  In the words of recent graduate and current physical therapist, Ashley Engellend '09: "Sterling College doesn't just prepare you for work and graduate school situations, it prepares you for real life everyday situations. I'm thankful for my education, but I know a good education is easy to find. I'm most thankful Sterling has prepared me to live a wonderful life."

Course requirements:

In addition to courses required for the biology major, students are advised to select General Chemistry I (CH151) and General Chemistry II (CH152), Zoology (BI170), and an upper-level mathematics course during their freshman year.  As soon as possible following the freshman year, students should select Organic Chemistry I & II (CH261 & CH262), Genetics (BI260), and College Physics I & II (PH210 & PH211).

In the junior or senior year, students are encouraged to take: Comparative Anatomy (BI258), Human Physiology (BI280), Microbiology (BI344), Cellular, Molecular, and Developmental Biology (BI350), and Biochemistry (CH265).  Additional courses that may be useful for physical therapy include Kinesiology (ES370), Medical Terminology, and Exercise Physiology.


Students are strongly encouraged to gain experience by shadowing medical professionals, interning with a physical therapist, or working part-time in the health-care field.  Students are also encouraged to gain research experience by enrolling in Biological Research (BI441) or summer medical research programs.

Useful sites:

Physical Therapy programs:

Pre-veterinary medicine program

Students interested in veterinary medicine will find career opportunities as large or small animal veterinarians in a variety of settings.  Students interested in this field of study will need to complete pre-requisite coursework for veterinary programs, intern with local veterinarians, and successfully complete the GRE test prior to submitting applications for admission.

Course requirements:

Courses required for specific veterinary programs are listed below.  Additional recommended courses for pre-veterinary students include Comparative Anatomy (BI258), Organic Chemistry II, and additional upper-level science and mathematics courses.

Kansas State University Veterinary Medicine Program:

  • College Composition I & II
  • Public Speaking
  • General Chemistry I & II
  • Organic Chemistry I
  • Biochemistry
  • Physics I & II
  • Principles of Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Genetics

Please also consult KSU veterinary medicine program admissions requirements for the latest recommended courses for this program.


Students are strongly encouraged to gain experience by shadowing local veterinarians or working part-time as a veterinary technician.  Students are also encouraged to gain research experience by enrolling in Biological Research (BI441) or participating in summer research programs.

Useful sites:

Veterinary medicine programs:

Pre-Nursing Program

Students interested in nursing will find that science courses offered at Sterling will meet all of the pre-requisites for admission into most Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) programs. Sterling College students that have completed the pre-nursing program at Sterling College have been successfully accepted into nursing programs at a variety of institutions including Tarleton State University, New Mexico State University, and the University of Saint Mary.  The pre-nursing curriculum can typically be completed in 2 years at Sterling College in preparation for admission into a B.S.N. nursing program.  With all the pre-requisite courses completed at Sterling, students will generally need only 2 additional years to complete a nursing program.

Course requirements:
The following courses are recommended for students entering the pre-nursing program.

  • College Composition I & II
  • Public Speaking
  • General Psychology
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Introduction to Chemistry or General Chemistry I & II
  • Principles of Biology
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Principles of Nutrition
  • College Algebra
  • Elementary Statistics

Students should also consider specific pre-requisite courses that may be required for various nursing programs that they are interested in applying for. Faculty advisors will help work with students to ensure that the coursework sequence will meet any specific pre-requisites that may be required for a particular nursing program.