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Chapter V: Special Degrees and Pre-Professional Studies

Several special degree programs are offered by the joint cooperation of LS&A and some other college or school within the University. Admission to some of these programs is highly competitive. Because many of these programs require specific courses for admission, it is important for students to identify program interests early in their undergraduate careers, and often at the freshman level. Although the basic requirements are summarized in this chapter, students should consult academic advisors associated with the various programs.

Many LS&A students are interested in applying for admission to a professional school either after two years of liberal arts studies or after completing an LS&A degree. The second half of this chapter describes several pre-professional courses of study. Pre-professional advising is available at both the Academic Advising Center and the Office of Career Planning and Placement.

Special Joint Degree Programs

Architecture (Joint Program in Liberal Arts and Architecture)

Students enrolled in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts wishing to consider joint degree programs, in which the B.S. or M.Arch. degree is awarded by the College of Architecture and Urban Planning and a second degree is awarded by the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, are advised to contact the architecture program chairman in A&UP and the concentration advisor in LS&A. (This program is distinct from the Pre-Professional Program in Architecture described later in this chapter.)

Dentistry and Medicine (Joint Program in Liberal Arts and Dentistry or Liberal Arts and Medicine)

The joint degree program in liberal arts and either medicine or dentistry is designed to enable students admitted to the Medical School or the School of Dentistry at the University of Michigan to complete the requirements for a bachelor's degree from LS&A. Students may apply up to 15 credits of courses elected during the first two years of medical or dental school toward a degree. To be eligible for the bachelor's degree under this joint program, a student must have been admitted to either the Medical School or the School of Dentistry at the University of Michigan and have completed 105 credits toward an LS&A degree with a GPA of at least 3.0. For the A.B. or B.S. degree the 105 credits must include all but 6 credits of a concentration plan. For a B.G.S. degree the 105 credits must include at least 50 upper-level credits, of which 40 must be LS&A. All other requirements for graduation from LS&A must be met, and at least 45 of the 105 credits must be earned in residence in the College. A student's program must have the approval of the pre-professional advisor, the concentration advisor, and the Director of Academic Advising. In addition, a student must complete all of the required courses for the Medical School or the School of Dentistry with at least a "C" average.

When the above requirements have been met, the College grants a bachelor's degree by accepting up to 15 credits from first-year and second-year Medical School or School of Dentistry courses as approved by the Committee on the Joint Program in Liberal Arts and Medicine/Dentistry.

Only students attending Medical School or the School of Dentistry at the University of Michigan are eligible for this program. Applications for admission to the joint program may be obtained in the Academic Advising Center.

Engineering (Joint Program in Liberal Arts and Engineering)

This program is designed to enable students to develop a course of study which offers broader academic opportunities than those offered by either college. The program is intended for students who wish to develop a depth of understanding in the technical studies associated with the College of Engineering and in the physical and natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. This integration of technical studies with the liberal arts is the primary strength of the program. It is open to students enrolled in Engineering or LS&A and leads to concurrent bachelor's degrees from both colleges. It is intended primarily for students who enroll as freshmen in one of the two colleges.

The variety of courses which can be elected by students in the joint program makes it impractical to list specific requirements. Instead, each student should consult faculty members and academic advisors in each college to develop the best plan of study. Primary responsibility for planning the academic program and continuing contact with academic advisors in the two fields is assumed by the student, who also is responsible for becoming familiar with the academic policies and procedures of both colleges and the academic requirements and courses in both fields of concentration as described in the Bulletins of the two colleges.

It is usually possible for students carrying 16 credits a term to meet all requirements in 10 or 11 terms.

Joint Degree Program Structure

Candidates for the combined Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E.) and liberal arts degree (A.B., B.S., or B.G.S.) must:

  1. complete one of the degree programs in the College of Engineering;
  2. complete a minimum of 90 credits of LS&A courses;
  3. have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0.

In addition, candidates for the joint Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) degree must complete the LS&A degree requirements (Introductory Composition, the Junior/Senior Writing requirement, the Race & Ethnicity requirement, the Quantitative Reasoning requirement, the language requirement, and an approved area distribution plan) and an approved LS&A concentration plan. Candidates for the joint Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E.) and Bachelor in General Studies (B.G.S.) degree must complete the LS&A Introductory Composition, the Junior/Senior Writing requirement, the Race & Ethnicity requirement, the Quantitative Reasoning requirement, and a minimum 40 credits of LS&A courses 300-level or above with a GPA of at least 2.0. No more than 15 of these credits may be elected from any one division. (A division means a division number in the Time Schedule.)

Administrative Regulations

  1. Students may initially enroll in either the College of Engineering or the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.
  2. To be qualified for admission to the joint degree program, students are usually expected to have completed 30 credits of courses with an overall grade point average of at least 2.7. Entry of LS&A students to some programs in Engineering may require a substantially higher grade point average.
  3. Students considering this program should discuss their plans with the program advisor associated with the college in which they are enrolled. Usually this contact should be made early in the sophomore year.
  4. Students must complete an application form indicating their program in each college. Applications are available from Chalmers Knight (Academic Advising Center, 1255 Angell Hall, 764-0332), or Assistant Dean Gene Smith (College of Engineering, Engineering Advising Center, 1009 Lurie Engineering Center, 647-7106), and from the web at:
  5. Once admitted to the program, each student continues to register in the college of initial enrollment. That college maintains the primary academic record.
  6. Students should consult the academic advisor for each concentration and secure approval for their class schedule according to the academic policies and procedures of each college.
  7. Students must maintain good academic standing in both colleges to continue in the joint degree program.
  8. Students in good academic standing who wish to withdraw from the program may complete a degree in the college in which they are enrolled. Students not in good academic standing are subject to the academic discipline policies of that college.
  9. Upon completion of the requirements of both colleges, students are granted concurrent degrees. By the beginning of the term in which graduation is anticipated, a Diploma Application must be filed with each college, and the academic advisor for each concentration (specialization) must provide appropriate notification that departmental requirements are satisfied.

Individualized Joint Degree Programs

A student may be interested in a joint degree program with one other school or college, even though it has not been officially established by the College. Such joint degree programs are planned through the Academic Standards Board. The student is expected to present a written statement of the educational purpose of the joint degree. At least 150 credits are required for a joint degree, including at least 100 credits of LS&A courses. For a B.G.S. degree the 100 credits would have to include at least 40 upper-level credits.

A minimum of 30 hours of credit must have been completed on the Ann Arbor campus before a student may apply for a joint degree program, and the cumulative grade point average for work completed on the Ann Arbor campus must be 3.0 or better. Any exception to these requirements must be approved by the Academic Standards Board.

Joint degree programs with the School of Business Administration cannot be arranged.

Public Policy (Bachelor of Arts and Master of Public Policy)

The School of Public Policy offers an accelerated program in public policy for exceptional undergraduates at the University of Michigan. The program enables students in political science, or economics, or the B.G.S. degree program to complete both a bachelor's degree and the two-year Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) degree in five years of study. Candidates for this program are selected by the School of Public Policy during the junior year. In the senior year, students elect the full sequence of Public Policy core courses, most of which simultaneously satisfy concentration or cognate requirements for the bachelor's degree while counting towards the M.P.P. degree. The A.B. or B.G.S. degree is awarded at the end of the senior year, and the M.P.P. degree after one additional year of study.

For this accelerated program, students need to complete a minimum 100 LS&A credits in the 120 necessary for the undergraduate degree. In calculating LS&A credits, LS&A will count all elections that are listed in the LS&A Bulletin and the Public Policy courses that are cross-listed with Economics and Political Science.

The eligibility requirements for the accelerated joint program include completion of at least 100 credits toward the undergraduate degree which must include one calculus (or higher level mathematics/statistics) course. At least twenty-four of the 100 credits must be in economics or political science, with no fewer than six credits in either department. These credit requirements must be completed by the time of the first enrollment in Public Policy; courses may be taken in the Spring or Summer half-terms if necessary. In addition, applicants for the accelerated program must show an academic record that is demonstrably superior to that of students entering on the regular track. This means that the student record must meet or exceed the median scores for the entering class: a cumulative GPA of 3.4 and a Quantitative Graduate Records Examination (GRE) score of 660.

Further information can be found under the departmental program statements of Economics and Political Science in Chapter VI, or by visiting the School of Public Policy in 440 Lorch Hall. Interested undergraduates should begin consultation in the sophomore year; application is made in the junior year.

The Concurrent Undergraduate-Graduate Studies (CUGS) Program

The Concurrent Undergraduate-Graduate Studies (CUGS) Program enables a few students each year to enroll simultaneously in LS&A and the Rackham Graduate School and to apply a maximum of 15 credits toward both an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree. To be considered, a student must have at least 90 credits toward an undergraduate degree, must have satisfied the distribution requirements, and must have an overall grade point average of at least 3.7. Admission to CUGS is limited and depends heavily on the student's having exhausted the undergraduate resources of his or her department so that graduate study is the appropriate and logical next step in the student's program. The admissions process begins with encouragement to proceed from the graduate admissions committee of the department in which the student wishes to do graduate work. The student must then receive the recommendation of the chairperson of the undergraduate department/program, as well as the Assistant Dean for Student Academic Affairs for regular LS&A Students, or one of the Directors of the Honors Program for Honors students, or the Director (Director's representative) in the Residential College for RC students. An admission application is completed and submitted to the Graduate School for approval of both the graduate admission committee and Rackham Associate Dean of Admissions.

Liberal Arts Study for Professional Undergraduate Programs

Several schools, colleges, and programs (e.g., Architecture and Urban Planning, Business Administration, Dental Hygiene, Education, and Pharmacy) within the University admit only students who have completed two years of liberal arts study. The following information is for students interested in planning the freshman and sophomore years in LS&A and then applying to one of the schools below.

Architecture (Pre-Professional Program in Architecture)

With the increasing application of the behavioral and environmental sciences to architecture, it is important that prospective students acquire a liberal arts background. Students are not admitted to the College of Architecture and Urban Planning until they have completed at least 60 credits. A number of introductory architecture courses are open to all freshmen and sophomores. The College of Architecture and Urban Planning looks for evidence of interest and strong commitment, preferably demonstrated by work experience related to architecture or urban planning, and expects students to be familiar with the field's professional literature. For additional information, contact Christina Wylie (Office of Undergraduate Admissions).

The pre-professional program consists of a minimum 60 credits. Students are urged to obtain and read the Architecture leaflet - available at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions (1220 Student Activities Building), the Academic Advising Center (1255 Angell Hall), or the College of Architecture and Urban Planning (2150 Art and Architecture Building) for specific requirements.

Since admission to the College of Architecture and Urban Planning is competitive, students are urged to develop program alternatives within LS&A.

Business Administration

Students who wish to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) degree should transfer to the Business School after completion of the sophomore year. Junior standing (at least 55 transferable credits) is a requirement for admission and students should apply at the beginning of the second term of the sophomore year.

Students may enter in the Fall Term only. The Admissions Committee begins to consider applications in January for the Fall Term entering class. The deadline for application is February 15. Applications are considered only after completed application forms and official transcripts have been received. LS&A students should obtain their transcript in a sealed envelope from the Transcript Office. This envelope must be submitted together with the application forms to the Business School.

Admission is highly competitive. Most students admitted have an overall GPA above 3.0. Particular attention is paid to grades in economics, English composition, first-term accounting, and mathematics. Strength of the overall academic program, leadership activities after high school and required essays (a part of the application) play an important role in choosing among applicants with similar academic credentials.

Consideration for admission requires evidence that a minimum of 55 transferable credits will be completed by the proposed date of entrance and that the required courses in economics, English composition, first-term accounting, and mathematics have been completed with grades of at least "C." Students may choose from among Calculus 115 and Honors or Engineering calculus to meet the math requirement. Students unprepared for calculus should elect Mathematics 105. Economics 101 and 102 meet the economics requirement. The requirement in composition may be completed by English 124, 125 or equivalent, or by presenting evidence that the student has been exempted from this course. Honors students may substitute Great Books 191 or 192. Students are encouraged to complete as many of the prerequisites as possible before applying.

All students planning to enter the Business School in Fall 1999 and after must satisfy three of the following requirements:

  1. Nine credit hours in Natural Sciences (NS) and/or Mathematical and Symbolic Analysis (MSA), with the following restrictions:
    1. No more than one course in MSA may be used for this distribution requirement.
    2. Only one short (half-term) NS course from Geological Science 100-115 may be used for this distribution.
    3. Any math course numbered 200 and above may be used for MSA. No 100-level math courses can be used to meet this requirement.
  2. Nine credit hours in Humanities (includes all philosophy courses).
  3. Nine credit hours in Social Sciences (excludes all economics courses).
  4. Fourth term proficiency in a foreign language as determined by successful completion of a proficiency exam administered by UM-Ann Arbor's Office of Academic Advising or completion of fourth-term, college-level foreign language course.

Accounting 271 is required for admission. Although not required for admission, Accounting 272 is highly recommended as an elective for sophomores. A thoughtfully planned, balanced liberal arts program is acceptable preparation for admission.

Certain courses, some of which can be elected for LS&A degree credit, cannot be transferred to the Business School. These include internship courses, some experiential courses, dance, physical education activity courses, and first- and second-year ROTC courses. Residential College and Pilot courses transfer to the Business School. Pilot courses, which meet area distribution requirements in LS&A also meet area requirements in the Business School.

With the exception of Accounting 271 and 272, Business Administration courses cannot be elected until junior standing (at least 55 credits) has been earned.

Dental Hygiene

The School of Dentistry grants a B.S. degree in Dental Hygiene. This baccalaureate program consists of a year of prescribed college courses followed by three years enrollment in the School of Dentistry. The equivalent of 30 (semester) credits of college level work in liberal arts is a prerequisite to the three-year curriculum in dental hygiene. Prerequisites include: (1) Chemistry; (2) English Composition; (3) Speech; (4) Introductory Psychology; (5) Introductory Sociology; (6) Additional electives to total 30 credits.

Interested students should contact the Director of Dental Hygiene, Wendy Kerschbaum, in the School of Dentistry (3066 Dentistry, 763-3392) as soon as possible, preferably during the freshman year. Additional information about the dental hygiene program can be found in the School of Dentistry Bulletin and Dental Hygiene brochures.


Several paths are open to students who wish to obtain certification in elementary school teaching (kindergarten through the eighth grade) or secondary school teaching (grades seven through twelve).

Students can simultaneously satisfy degree requirements for an A.B., B.S., or B.G.S. degree and the requirements for a teaching certificate. Some students complete teaching certificate requirements by enrolling as special students in the School of Education after completing an undergraduate degree. Alternatively, students can transfer to the School of Education, usually at the beginning of the junior year, and complete requirements for an Education degree with a teaching certificate. Students interested in earning an elementary school teaching certificate usually transfer to the School of Education for both a bachelor's degree and certification in order to avoid complexities in program planning and to take full advantage of the variety of choices offered within elementary education.

Interested students should study the Teacher Certification Program in Chapter VI of this Bulletin and contact the School of Education Office of Student Services (1033 SEB) regarding current information and procedures for admission to the Teacher Certification Program.


Kinesiology is a professional school with a strong liberal arts background. Kinesiology offers Bachelor of Science (Movement Science, Physical Education, and Athletic Training) and Bachelor of Arts (Sports Management and Communication) degrees. Movement Science and Sports Management and Communication require 120 credits. Athletic Training requires 120 credits plus 1500 hours of practical experience under the supervision of a certified athletic trainer. Students must apply to and be accepted by the Athletic Training Program. Physical Education requires 130 credits and dual enrollment with the School of Education.

A complete description of each program is available from the Office of Student Services, 3745 Kinesiology Building.

General requirements: All students must satisfy a distribution plan of 36 credits - 12 credits in each of the following three disciplines: humanities, social science, and natural science. All Kinesiology students are required to take English 124/125, English 225, Psychology 111, SMC 101, SMC 111, and MVS 110.

General information for cross campus transfers: Students can transfer to Kinesiology after their freshman year. Students must have a minimum 2.8 gpa to be considered for admission. Interested students are advised to make an appointment with one of the advisors in the Office of Student Services at 764-4472.


Students accepted to the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree program transfer to the College of Pharmacy upon completion of at least 60 credits of pre-professional work as outlined below. The College accepts students only for the Fall Term, and the Pharm.D. curriculum requires an additional four years of study. Deadline for submission of applications is February 1.

The 60 credits of pre-pharmacy study include:

  1. Anatomy 401;
  2. Biology 162 or 195;
  3. Chemistry 125 and 130 (or exemption per LS&A policy), 210/211, 215/216, and either 230 or 260, 241, and 242;
  4. Mathematics 115 or 185.
  5. Microbiology 301 and 350.
  6. Physics 125/127 and 126/128 or 140/141 and 240/241;
  7. Satisfaction of the LS&A Introductory Composition requirement;
  8. Electives, including two social science courses and two courses in foreign language or the humanities.

Honors alternatives to these courses are acceptable.

Students interested in transferring to the College of Pharmacy should discuss their plans and curriculum with a pharmacy advisor. Advisors are available in the College of Pharmacy.

Since spaces in the College of Pharmacy are limited and admission is competitive, students are encouraged to develop program alternatives in LS&A and to inform themselves of LS&A degree requirements. Application to the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy is made through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

In addition to the Pharm.D. program, the College of Pharmacy offers Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Bachelor of Science in Medicinal Chemistry programs. Neither baccalaureate program leads to a professional degree or pharmacy licensure. Students interested in these programs should consult a Pharmacy advisor.

Pre-Legal Studies and Pre-Medicine

Pre-Law Studies

A strong liberal arts education is an ideal way to prepare for the professional study of law. LS&A students should acquire the skills that enable critical thinking, logical reasoning, and effective writing by pursuing a balanced and challenging undergraduate program.

Two serious shortcomings hamper many students who come to the study of law. The first is inability to write or speak clearly and correctly. The second is difficulty in thinking for themselves, attaining exactness of thought, and making valid analytical comparisons and differentiations. LS&A students should try to avoid these shortcomings by (1) studying and mastering English prose composition and exposition, and the use of English in speaking; and (2) taking courses which demand precise thinking and close reading.

There are no prerequisite courses and there is no required concentration for entering law school. A prospective law student, above all, should take courses in any subject which will be personally interesting, intellectually challenging, and which will help provide an understanding of the nature and aspirations of American society.

Interested students should obtain a copy of the University of Michigan information circular "Academic Preparation for Law School" and schedule an appointment with a pre-professional advisor in the Academic Advising Center and visit the Office of Career Planning and Placement for information about the legal profession.


LS&A students who wish to prepare for a career in medicine should elect courses which lead to completion of degree requirements and simultaneously fulfill the pre-medical requirements of the medical schools of their choice. Pre-medicine is not a concentration. A balanced and challenging liberal arts education is strongly recommended as an ideal way to prepare for the professional study of medicine.

Interested students should obtain a copy of the University of Michigan information circular "Academic Preparation for Medical School" and schedule an appointment with a pre-professional advisor in the Academic Advising Center and visit the Office of Career Planning and Placement for information about the medical profession.

Pre-medical course requirements are:

  1. Chemistry. Usually four terms: Chemistry 130, 210, 211, 215, 216, followed by 230 or 260 is the recommended introductory course sequence.

    Note: Medical schools differ in the number of chemistry credits required. Some require a minimum of two terms, some require a minimum of four terms. All, however, require chemistry with laboratory. It is always advisable to check with the medical school you are interested in if you have a question about requirements.

  2. Biochemistry. Many medical schools recommend biochemistry (the University of Michigan Medical School requires it). Students may select from Biology 310, Biology 311, Biological Chemistry 415, or Chemistry 451.
  3. Biology. Two terms, including lab work. Biology 162 is the recommended five-credit introductory course. Students also will want to complete at least one advanced course in biology or zoology (with lab).
  4. Physics. Two terms, including lab work. Students may select from Physics 125/ 127 and 126/128, or Physics 140/141 and 240/241.
  5. English. Two terms of English are required. Introductory Composition satisfies one term of this requirement.
  6. Mathematics. Some medical schools require a mathematics course (college level calculus in most cases). Statistics and computer science are also recommended courses.

The above courses account for approximately one third of the course work for an A.B., B.S., or B.G.S. degree. Medical schools require demonstrated proficiency in the sciences, but it is not necessary to concentrate in the sciences.

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