Pre-Engineering and Pre-Law Advising
DePauw has formal agreements with two engineering schools--Columbia University and Washington University (St. Louis). These agreements enable students to earn both the B.A. from DePauw and the B.S. in engineering after a five-year course of study. Normally, this includes three years at DePauw and two years at the engineering school. However, due to the intensive character of engineering education, some students in some fields may require two and one-half to three years beyond the DePauw phase.
Other options, including the 4-2 program leading to either a bachelor's or a master's degree in engineering, are available. Prospects for transfer to other engineering schools with which DePauw does not have a formal agreement should be discussed with the pre-engineering advisor.
The pre-engineering student should plan four or four and one-half courses each semester, and never less than three and one-half. This course load allows for the fullest benefit of science electives and as insurance against schedule conflicts or need for a course withdrawal.
In addition to DePauw's requirements, students must satisfy the requirements of the chosen engineering school. All students must complete a course in differential equations, one year of physics, one year of chemistry and a two-course concentration outside the sciences and mathematics. Additional science course requirements vary with the chosen engineering field. The standard minimum GPA for transfer to one of the three engineering colleges is 3.0, but variations from 2.5 to 3.5 may occur.
Contact: Howard Brooks, Professor of Physics and Astronomy.
As a prerequisite to admission, most law schools expect a student to have acquired a sound liberal arts education, without regard to any set of prescribed courses or any particular course of study (e.g. majors and minors). The quality of the student's undergraduate preparation, in other words, far outweighs its particular subject matter or choice of major. All law schools do require, however, the completion of the bachelor's degree for admission.
Successful legal study requires well developed speaking, writing and analytical skills. For the pre-law students, DePauw's W, S, and Q competency requirements address these expectations. In addition, such academic skills ought to develop from the student's work in any number of courses and in a wide range of disciplines as an integral part of the liberal arts experience.
Along with the GPA, the Law School Aptitude Test (LSAT) provides the most important statistical data for admissions consideration. The LSAT, taken during the summer after the student's junior year, seeks to measure the candidate's verbal abilities and logical and analytical skills. Extracurricular activities, leadership positions, internships of various kinds, summer employment, off-campus experiences and a demonstrated sense of purpose are additional qualities valued by law admissions committees, but they should not be seen as substitutes for a good GPA or LSAT result.
At DePauw, students thinking of law school, whatever their undergraduate major, are counseled on an individual basis by their faculty advisor or by the pre-law advisor.
Students are encouraged to research the schools that they are interested in so they are familiar with the specific requirements at the respective schools. This research enables potential candidates to take a more directed approach to the application process, making adjustments to their schedules when necessary.
Contact: Steve Langerud, Director of Professional Opportunities