Catalogue: Traditional Program: Pre-Professional Programs


The courses offered at Belhaven University enable students to pursue specific preparatory programs for the ministry, law, medicine, dentistry, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and engineering. Requirements for professional schools vary. Some programs at The University of Mississippi Medical Center are open to residents of Mississippi only. Students should check with the department chairman for this information.

Pre-Health Professional Programs

All students who wish to be recommended by Belhaven University for pre-professional programs in the medical sciences or for graduate school, or for fellowships, assistantships, etc. must make an appointment and meet with the pre-professional committee. That committee is chaired by Dr. Waltzer (premedical advisor) and Dr. Bishop. It is recommended that students meet with the committee twice: (1) during their first semester at Belhaven University, and (2) during the semester when they will ask for recommendations. The committee will include: Dr. Rob Waltzer, Dr. Reid Bishop, Dr. Phillip Carlson and Dr. Leslie Walker.

Pre-nursing Program: Early Entry Option and Dual Degree Program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center

All undergraduate students entering The University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) School of Nursing will be admitted into the Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) program. This is a four-year degree consisting of prescribed courses of pre-professional education followed by two years of professional courses culminating in the baccalaureate degree.

Admission into this degree program can occur in the fall of the freshman year through early entry or through regular entry after completion of the pre-nursing curriculum at Belhaven University. The deadline for consideration for early entry is November 15.

The Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) early entry program is a joint offering of Belhaven University and The University of Mississippi School of Nursing at the Medical Center. The early entry program offers two options: the pre-nursing and the dual degree option. Under the pre-nursing option, a student earns approximately 65 credit hours at Belhaven University and then transfers to the School of Nursing for approximately two years to complete a degree in nursing.

Under the dual degree option, a student earns approximately 90 credit hours at Belhaven University and then transfers to the School of Nursing for approximately two years to complete a degree in nursing. Under this option, after a student is awarded a nursing degree from The University of Mississippi School of Nursing at the Medical Center, he/she will also receive a B.S. degree in biology or psychology from Belhaven University. The appropriate department chair should be contacted for approval and details of the plan of study.

Both options prepare the student to sit for the licensure examination for nursing practice, after completion of the degree in nursing.

Applicants who wish to be considered for early entry status must meet the following minimum criteria:

  • An ACT score of 24
  • A cumulative high school GPA of 3.5

Final consideration for early entry candidates will involve a review of additional criteria that may include a personal interview, a written essay, pre-nursing testing, and scholastic and non-scholastic extracurricular and service activities.

To be considered for early entry, a student must submit an application and an original transcript of all high school work completed through the fall semester of the senior year to the office of admission, Belhaven University, 1500 Peachtree Street, Box 153, Jackson, MS 39202. The student's ACT or SAT score must also be submitted along with an academic reference. The application should indicate that the chosen major is nursing. A nonrefundable application fee of $25 must accompany each application.

Information for nursing at the University of Mississippi Medical Center can be found at . From the UMMC nursing home page go to the traditional nursing BSN requirements.

The prerequisite courses for BSN requirements include:
Required natural sciences and mathematics courses: A minimum of eight courses (27 hours)
Chemistry I with lab - four hours; either Biology with lab or Chemistry II with lab - four hours; microbiology with lab - four hours; human anatomy and physiology - six to eight hours (two courses in sequence); college algebra - three hours; and statistics - 3 hours; introduction to Computer - 3 hours. Science survey courses or courses for non-science majors are not acceptable for transfer credit. Some Belhaven courses require prerequisites.

Psychosocial science courses: A minimum of six courses (18 hours)
Required courses: general psychology - three hours; introductory sociology - three hours; the family - three hours, human growth and development through the life cycle - three hours, nutrition - three hours.
Suggested courses: abnormal psychology, geography, anthropology, political science, social problems, history, economics - three hours

Humanities and fine arts courses: A minimum of six courses (18 hours)
Required courses: English composition - six hours; speech - three hours; fine arts - a minimum of three hours. The additional two courses in this area may be from either the humanities or the fine arts.
Suggested courses: art, literature, theatre, music, foreign language, philosophy, history, survey of religion, journalism.

All required courses must have a college grade; therefore, advanced placement credit cannot be used to meet these requirements. If an applicant has advanced placement credit for any of the requirements, he/she can take higher level classes for a grade in any of these areas and this will fulfill requirements.

Premedical Program

Requirements vary among medical schools.  You should check requirements of medical schools in your state of residence and any out-of-state schools to which you would consider applying.

The University of Mississippi Medical Center Requirements:
Biochemistry – 1 semester
Physics – 2nd semester
Life Science: 2 semesters of any combination of the following:

  • Zoology
  • Cellular Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology
  • Anatomy

Recommended Courses:

  • Algebra
  • Statistics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

For many other medical schools some or all of the following courses are required: one academic year each of biological science, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, English, mathematics, physics, and behavioral science.  In addition, medical schools frequently require one semester of Biochemistry. All semester hours of advanced science must be taken in a senior college. The total of 90 semester hours will be completed by approved electives.

Required science courses - In each of the required science courses, other than mathematics, laboratory work must be included.

Mathematics - A minimum of three semester hours of college algebra and three semester hours of trigonometry is required. A two-semester course including algebra, trigonometry, analytical geometry, and calculus is also acceptable. Students who qualify by placement tests to enter Calculus I directly upon college entry can satisfy the mathematics requirement with a three- or four-hour Calculus I course; the other two or three required hours may be met by an approved elective course.

English - The usual freshman college courses of six semester hours in English composition or literature are required. The applicant is urged to take an advanced course in English composition.

Approved elective courses - A partial list of recommended elective courses includes advanced English, sociology, psychology, philosophy, history, geography, foreign language, computer science, fine arts, (up to six semester hours) and selected advanced courses in mathematics, chemistry, physics, and biology. Certain professional courses may be unacceptable.

Unacceptable courses - None of the 90 semester hours of minimum collegiate requirements listed or described or recommended above may be met by the following courses: correspondence courses, courses in physical training, military science, or dogmatic religion; courses in mathematics or science designed for non-science majors; course credit granted without college level testing.

Pre-Physical Therapy Program (Doctorate in Physical Therapy: School of Health Related Professions: The University of Mississippi Medical Center)

For candidates seeking admission into the DPT Class the successful completion (a grade of C or better) of the prerequisite courses below is required, and candidates must provide evidence of 40 hours of observation in at least two physical therapy clinical departments. A minimum of 5 of the 8 courses specified below must be completed (with grades) to be eligible to apply. All prerequisite courses must be successfully completed for a student to be admitted.

Candidates seeking admission into the class may elect to complete either ALL of the current prerequisite list (UMMC website) or the revised prerequisite list below.

Pre-requisite Courses* Number of Courses Estimated Credit Hours
Statistics (mathematics, psychology, or education )** 1 3
Biology (lab required) 2 8
Chemistry (lab required) 2 8
Physics (lab required) 2 6-8
Advanced physical or biological science*** 1 3-5
8 28-32

*Science survey courses for non-science majors are not acceptable for a required course. Normally required science courses must have been taken within the last ten years. All physical or biological sciences listed at a particular college or university do not necessarily satisfy the prerequisite requirements; please consult with the physical therapy pre-admissions counselor for clarification.
** must be taken at a senior college
*** must be 300 level or above and taken at a senior college. Specified prerequisites for courses taken and associated lab, whether incorporated or offered separately, must also be completed.

To be eligible for admission, candidates must: (1) submit a completed application by December 3; (2) provide evidence of observation in a minimum of two physical therapy clinical departments or practices for a total of 40 hours (additional hours and sites are recommended), hours earned through employment will not be accepted, all observation hours must be in the current year of application; (3) have a baccalaureate degree from an approved institution of higher learning; (4) have a minimum grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale (all grades, including failing grades and grades on repeated courses are used to calculate pre-admission grade point averages); (5) submit an official GRE report that includes verbal, quantitative, and analytical scores; (6) submit an autobiographical essay; (7) submit a resume; (8) be proficient in the use of computers for word processing, spreadsheet, library database searching, and be able to perform internet searches; (9) have current first aid certification that will remain current through clinical internship in the last academic semester; (10) complete the prerequisite courses (numbers in parenthesis indicate number of courses needed):

Physiology, human and mammalian (1 or a combined anatomy and physiology course for two semesters); comparative anatomy (1); social studies, including general introductory sociology (2); statistics - mathematics, psychology, sociology, or education (1); advanced science, 300 level or above (2); general and abnormal psychology (2); English composition (2); humanities (2); fine arts (1); chemistry (2); physics (2); college algebra or higher level mathematics course (1); zoology or biology (2); speech (1). All required courses must be completed with a grade of C or better.

Science survey courses designed for non-science majors are not acceptable for prerequisite requirements. Physical and biological science courses must include laboratory experiences. Students enrolled in a quarter academic calendar must complete the required sequence of courses which are equivalent to University of Mississippi courses. Normally required science courses must have be taken in the last ten years.

Pre-Occupational Therapy Program (Master of Occupational Therapy: The University of Mississippi Medical Center)

To be eligible for admission, candidates must: (1) provide evidence of 16 hours observation in at least two occupational therapy clinical departments; (2) have a minimum grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale; (3) have a minimum of 64 semester hours of academic credit (exclusive of physical education, military science, dogmatic religion and vocational courses) from an accredited institution of higher learning; and (4) complete the following prerequisite courses (numbers in parentheses indicate number of courses needed):

English composition (2); humanities (2); general psychology (1) abnormal, child, or adolescent psychology (1); sociology (1); college algebra (1); chemistry with laboratory (1); physics with laboratory (1); general biology with laboratory or zoology with laboratory (2); human anatomy, comparative anatomy, or morphology with laboratory (1) or a combined science in anatomy and physiology may be a substitute if it is taken one full academic year; fine arts (1); speech (1), developmental psychology or human growth (1), social sciences (1).

Science survey courses designed for non-science majors are not acceptable for transfer credit.

Electives should be sufficient to bring the total semester hours of transfer credit to 64. Suggested electives include first aid, human anatomy and physiology, and statistics.

Pre-Dental Program (The University of Mississippi Medical Center)

Dental schools require applicants to have completed at least three years of college and 90 hours of acceptable credit. A baccalaureate degree is recommended.

Required courses:
English - Two semesters, one semester of which must be in composition.
General psychology - One semester
Physical sciences and mathematics - inorganic chemistry - two semesters; organic chemistry - two semesters; advanced chemistry or biology - two semesters at a senior college; physics - two semesters; biology or zoology - two semesters; mathematics - two semesters.

Suggested courses include quantitative analysis, physical chemistry, embryology, histology, immunology, biostatistics, microbiology, biochemistry, bacteriology, cell biology, cell physiology, comparative anatomy, and speech. In mathematics, algebra or trigonometry.

All required science courses must include regularly scheduled laboratory periods. In addition to required coursework, courses in the humanities area are highly recommended.

Pre-Pharmacy Program: Belhaven University works most closely with the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy.

For the Pharmacy catalogue and pre-pharmacy requirements go to: The application deadlines after completion of pre-requirements are Regular Entry: November 1; Early Entry: February 1.

Other Pre-Professional Programs

Students in these programs should consult with their advisors for requirements for professional schools.

Pre-Ministerial Program

Theological seminaries require for entrance the B.A. or B.S. degree from an accredited four-year college. The Association of Theological Schools encourages students to receive a broad liberal arts education in preparation for seminary work.

Belhaven University has a pre-ministerial program to give students this kind of education. The department of biblical studies and ministries offers a submajor that, along with biblical studies, gives a broad liberal arts basis where critical thinking skills are developed and sharpened.

Pre-Law Program

Most law schools require that applicants hold an undergraduate degree. Generally, they do not prescribe any particular major or sequence of courses, but do recommend precision and effectiveness in speaking and writing and a critical understanding of the political and economic institutions with which the law deals. Belhaven recommends that a student interested in law school consider majoring in political science, and take the law track, which requires completing six hours in constitutional law. The political science major also includes, among other things, Christian political thought to ground the student in biblical concepts of law and politics as considered by great Christian thinkers; judicial process, a study of courts and the legal process; and legislative process, which examines the process by which legislation is developed and considers the biblical basis for a just law code. The student should also consider taking constitutional history, business law, ethics, economics, logic, and perhaps other law courses available at Belhaven, including communications law and sports law. Writing classes would also be helpful. The student who does not choose to major in political science should consider taking several of the classes noted above.

Pre-Engineering Program

The pre-engineering program is designed for the student whose ultimate goal is to earn a degree in engineering. Belhaven's program offers the general education courses and mathematics courses required in an ABET-accredited engineering school (such as Mississippi State University and The University of Mississippi). The student studies for two or three years at Belhaven to gain knowledge, applied competencies in mathematics, and effective communication skills. The student then transfers from Belhaven to a college of engineering to complete the engineering coursework for the degree. The student should coordinate their curriculum through the department of mathematics.