Preprofessional Office





Application Portals




Welcome preprofessional students! Our office is designed to help students complete their undergraduate education at The University of Southern Mississippi and gain admission to both local and private professional schools in the field of their choice. Currently we offer the following programs*:

If you do not see your desired program listed, or if you are unsure how your desired career fits into our programs, please contact one of our preprofessional advisors: Dr. Jeffrey Evans and Destiny DeLancey.

Our offices are located at TEC 100 and LAB 212A. If you would like to meet with one of our preprofessional advisors to discuss your professional journey, please reach out to us to schedule an appointment.

Schedule Appointment

*These are supplemental programs, not degree programs.


Stay Informed

Program Curricula

How Can We Help?

If you are a current or prospective USM student seeking preprofessional education*, please fill out our contact form. By signing up for our email list, you can stay informed of current preprofessional events around campus, including:

  • Presentations on admissions and recruitment from local professional schools
  • Student group meetings
  • Scholarship and financial aid opportunities
  • Shadowing opportunities

Sign Up Now


 *Students pursuing law school should speak to Sam Bruton or William Newman.

*Students interested in nursing should visit the College of Nursing and Health Professions

While most undergraduate universities do not have specific preprofessional majors, the majority of professional schools have specific course prerequisites for admission consideration. For more information on the required courses, please choose your preprofessional plan from the programs list above.


Please note that you must still declare an academic major while attending USM; suggested majors are listed in each program’s plan, though most schools accept any major.

Our preprofessional advisors can assist you in preparing for admission by arranging shadowing opportunities, providing mock interview sessions, and directing you to resources across campus for both academic and emotional support. Our staff is dedicated to the success of our students, and they are always willing to lend a helping hand.

Our preprofessional office also provides the following resources:

  • Advisement for course selection, scheduling, and success strategies
  • Preprofessional webpages with updated information on admission requirements and deadlines for a variety of professional schools
  • Application assistance for professional schools
  • Regular speakers from professional schools and scholarship organizations
  • Preprofessional organizations such as AMSA and AED

Frequently Asked Questions

What does “preprofessional” mean?

Preprofessional is another way of saying that, as a student, you are pursuing education beyond your undergraduate studies to become a healthcare, legal, or other specialized professional. In other words, as a preprofessional student you are aiming to supplement your degree with courses designed to help you pursue a career in a specialized field.

Why is there no pre-___ major?

Preprofessional programs are not a series of majors like degree programs; rather, they are a set of courses varied by program to prepare you for entrance into professional schools. These courses can be taken regardless of what your traditional academic major may be.

What should I major in?

The best major is one that interests and engages you. Your major should be in a field you would enjoy working in should you decide against professional school; it should be something that motivates you to get your undergraduate degree.

Most professional schools will accept any major, but do be mindful of their course prerequisites outlined in the above program links. Consider how those required courses would fit into your major education.

What are professional schools looking for?

Admission into professional school is determined by many factors, including:

  • High grade point averages in core and prerequisite curriculum
  • Admissions test scores (varied by program)
  • Interview scores
  • Observation or shadowing established professionals in practice
  • Demonstration of care for others (i.e. community service)
  • Leadership ability (i.e. student organization officer, event organizer)
  • Motivation to succeed
  • Personal characteristics (i.e. integrity, critical thinking, empathy)

Our preprofessional advisors can assist you in preparing for admission by arranging shadowing opportunities, providing mock interview sessions, and directing you to resources across campus for both academic and emotional support. Our staff is dedicated to the success of our students, and they are always willing to lend a helping hand.

What else should I be doing?

A “well-rounded” student is an ideal professional school applicant. While at USM, try to make the most of your time: join student groups, engage in community service, explore career opportunities, meet established professionals. It is also important to consider your next steps and explore potential professional schools and their communities; consider where you want to attend and why those schools stand out to you.

What comes next?

Preparation for a healthcare career has two phases:

  1. Course work at Southern Miss (the "preprofessional" phase)
  2. Four or less years in a professional school

For many fields, such as medicine, dentistry, and physical therapy, “preprofessional preparation” typically means a baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree from Southern Miss followed by four or fewer years at a professional school. Some programs, such as pharmacy, dental hygiene, and occupational therapy, may consist of two to three years of courses at Southern Miss followed by up to four years in a professional school.

Admission to professional programs is very competitive and the application process must be initiated anywhere from several months to almost a year before the expected date of entry.


Important Healthcare Preprofessional Links


Legal Considerations for Healthcare Preprofessional Students

Effective July 1, 2004, Section 37-29-232 of the Mississippi Code requires that students enrolled in a healthcare professional academic program undergo fingerprinting and a criminal background check before any clinical rotation in a licensed health care facility may occur. The background check typically occurs after the student completes an interview at the professional school. Some students are denied entrance into healthcare professional programs because of criminal incidents from their past or failing to report those incidents on applications.


Preprofessional Contact Information

For more information about health care careers in any of the preprofessional areas, contact:

Jeffrey Evans, Ph.D., Healthcare Preprofessional Advisor

Phone: 601-266-6848

Office location: Bobby Chain Technology Center (TEC 100)

Destiny DeLancey, Healthcare Preprofessional Advisor

Phone: 601-266-4636

Office location: Liberal Arts Building (LAB 212A)

For more information about careers in law, contact:

Samuel Bruton, Ph.D., Associate Professor (Philosophy and Religion)

Phone: 601-266-6756

Office location: Liberal Arts Building (LAB 345A)

William Newman, J.D., Assistant Teaching Professor (Legal Studies and Political Science)

Phone: 601-266-5924

Office Location: Liberal Arts Building (LAB 411)