Special Requirements for Engineering, Nursing or Physician’s Assistant majors

Understanding Direct Admission Requirements

Most often, programs such as these require more than the general high school graduation requirements for admission. If you are considering one of these three majors, challenge yourself in high school, skip the extra PE class or teacher’s aide senior year. Sometimes, students are not made aware of this until it is too late.

I advise students who are serious about pursuing one of these majors, and to be competitive for admission, especially schools with direct admit programs, to take four years of math and lab science in high school. This usually means Pre-Calculus or sometimes even Calculus, as well as Physics and Anatomy. Don’t short-change yourself by taking a “lighter” or “easier” course load your senior year if you are at all interested in these majors.

What does direct admit mean exactly? It means, there is no secondary application process to complete after your freshman year at that school. Your application is being reviewed for that particular major, which typically means the admission requirements are different and most likely stricter than general admission criteria.

Outside of your course work in high school, there are higher expectations for grade point average and ACT/SAT scores. I encourage students to be sure to ask for the minimum requirements at each school they are considering, so they can best be prepared. It is important to know which high school courses you should be taking, the test scores you need to have as well as the grade point average you must have in order to be an appropriate candidate for admission.

When a student enrolls in a direct admit program, it also means they are starting those courses for that major their freshman year of college.

What about dual-enrolled credits? My advice is to stick to the general education courses. Steer clear of Engineering or Nursing classes, because it is more difficult for them to transfer from school to school, because of different accreditations.

So, why should you consider direct admit programs? It is attractive for obvious reasons:
1. Students graduate in four years (parents like this).
2. Internship and research opportunities
3. Placement rates are often more competitive.

Written by Nicole Martinez. Nicole is an associate director of undergraduate admission at Valparaiso University. Read more from Nicole at theadmissioncounselornextdoor.blogspot.com

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