2013-14 Pomona College Catalog 
    Jun 29, 2022  
2013-14 Pomona College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG] Use the dropdown above to select the current 2020-21 catalog.

Special Programs and Opportunities

Pre-Professional Education


Pre-Professional Advisor for Business: Professor James Likens

While students may apply successfully to graduate programs in business administration with any major, it is advisable to complete courses in economics, statistics, accounting, mathematics through calculus and have a good command of oral and written communication. Professional schools of business administration also view favorably any business-related work experience, including summer, part-time or full-time employment and volunteer work. Students interested in business should discuss their graduate plans with the pre-business advisor or members of the Economics faculty, visiting graduate-school representatives and the Career Development Office. Most schools require applicants to take the Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT), applications for which are available in the Career Development Office or from the Educational Testing Service.


Pre-Engineering Advisor: Professor Alma Zook
Pre-Chemical Engineering Advisor: Associate Professor Alfred Kwok

Students who plan to enter a professional engineering school, or who are thinking of a career in engineering or applied science, should arrange a program of study emphasizing the physical sciences and mathematics. When planning such a program, students are strongly urged to consult early in their first year with the engineering advisor; those specifically interested in chemical engineering should consult the chemical engineering advisor. For students who are prepared to commit to engineering early in their college careers, Pomona College offers a combined plan of study with either the California Institute of Technology or Washington University in St. Louis (described earlier in this section).

Law School

Prelaw Advisor: Susanne Mahoney Filback

Law schools do not require any particular undergraduate concentration; they are interested in breadth of background, quality of work and the ability to write and speak with clarity and precision. Generally, most students find some work in politics, economics and history helpful. Students and alumni interested in law school should contact the Career Development Office or email the prelaw advisor directly at susanne.filback@pomona.edu to schedule an appointment.

Medicine and Allied Fields

Pre-Health Sciences Advisor: Professor Mathew Sazinsky

Pre-professional preparation for human and veterinary medicine, dentistry and other allied health professions does not require a student to major in any particular area, but only that certain requirements be met. No particular major confers an advantage for admission. Students should major in the area of study that most appeals to them and would prepare them for alternate future plans in case they decide not to pursue a career in healthcare or are not accepted by a professional school. Students majoring in areas outside the natural sciences should take more science courses than the minimum required by the professional schools. All potential applicants should have substantial volunteer, internship or paid experience in a health or human services setting by the time of application.

The majority of applicants to health professions schools have already graduated from college, and have therefore had an opportunity to pursue additional academic, research, or service experiences that makes them stronger applicants.

The following suggested minimum list of courses is designed for students preparing for a career in allopathic (MD) or osteopathic (DO) human medicine but is also generally applicable to other healthscience professional schools. Remember that these are minimum requirements. Therefore, it is always advantageous to consider taking additional course work in the sciences.

Chemistry (two years): CHEM 001A PO , CHEM 001B PO  or CHEM 051 PO ; CHEM 110A PO , CHEM 110B PO ;

Physics (one year): PHYS 041 PO ; PHYS 042 PO  (Calculus I, II are prerequisites);

Biology (one year): BIOL 040 PO , BIOL 041C PO .

Mathematics: The amount of college mathematics required varies widely. Some schools require no mathematics while others require or recommend some math and math-related courses such as calculus, statistics or computer science. Physics at Pomona College requires preparation at the level of MATH 030 PO  and MATH 031 PO ).

English: Most medical schools require one or two courses in English for admission. ID 001 PO  can serve as one semester of this requirement. If a medical school of interest requires two semesters, it’s best to take at least one English course, although some schools will accept writing-intensive courses in other fields for this requirement.

Behavioral and Social Sciences: Preparation in the behavioral and social sciences is increasingly important in healthcare today and necessary preparation for the 2015 Medical College Admission Test (MCAT):

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In addition to taking the required and recommended courses, students are encouraged to study in a variety of areas. Professional schools look for broadly educated individuals, so students should avail themselves of the liberal education opportunities of Pomona College, studying in a variety of areas in which they have an interest.

Students should familiarize themselves as early as possible with the specific requirements for their pre-professional areas. The requirements for each allopathic (MD) medical school, along with other useful information, are described in the Medical School Admission Requirements, which may be purchased from the Association of American Medical Colleges (www.aamc.org). Requirements for each osteopathic (DO) medical school are described in the Osteopathic College Information Book, available as a free download from the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, www.aacom.org. Loan copies of these and other helpful materials are available in the Career Development Library. All medical schools have websites that are updated regularly.

Although many factors are taken into account in the admission process, grades from college are usually the single most important evaluation factor. Because admission to medical school is very competitive, applicants with a low B average upon graduation from Pomona have significantly diminished prospects and should consider a year of post-baccalaureate study to strengthen their application. Students should avoid excessive use of the Pass/No Credit option; all required courses should be taken for letter grades.

Almost all medical schools require applicants to take the MCAT. The MCAT is administered on computers at testing centers on various dates throughout the year. The Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) is required by dental schools, and certain other health professions require similar tests.

The Health Sciences Committee, in cooperation with academic advisors, helps students plan their undergraduate programs. When students are ready to apply to medical schools and other health-science professional schools, the Committee advises them on procedures, mutual responsibilities and etiquette; writes letters of evaluation; and counsels and supports them during the process. For further information, visit the Health Sciences Office, located within the Career Development Office or consult the Pre-Health Sciences Advisor. Also see www.medsci.pomona.edu.


Pre-professional Advisor for Education/Public School Teaching: Professor Victor Silverman

Pomona College does not recommend candidates for teaching credentials, though undergraduate classes that may meet certain credential requirements are available to Pomona students through Claremont Graduate University (see Teacher Education Courses ). In California, a year of post-bachelor’s degree course work is required for the credential.