Applying to Pre-Professional Programs at the U


Kiffer Creveling

The Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building, one of the David Eccles School of Business buildings at the U. Chronicle archives.

By Alison McCowin


The University of Utah offers more than 200 majors, promising a successful and unique academic experience. Psychology, nursing and business just so happen to be three top-ranked majors at the U.

Psychology, the study of human and animal behavior, is focused on teaching students how to understand and predict behavioral problems. The U provides each psychology student with skills in communication, teamwork, critical thinking, writing and problem-solving.

The U offers the School Psychology Program, which includes both educational specialists and doctoral programs.

To prepare for the School Psychology Program, each student must take a GRE test one month before the program application is due. The GRE test measures primarily verbal, quantitative and analytical skills.

The U offers a GRE prep course. Students practice test-taking and focus on building confidence.

Like the psychology program, the U also offers a nursing program. Nursing students complete coursework in general health, public health, medical practice and systems and populations.

Students currently enrolled as nursing majors are required to take five specific courses receiving a C or higher in order to apply for the nursing program. The five classes include general biology, human anatomy, human physiology, elementary chemistry and statistics.

The nursing program application has three phases. All phases must be completed by the application deadline.

Samantha Estupinan, a junior and nursing major at the U, is getting ready to submit her application before the deadline of Feb. 1.

“The application asks you to provide transcripts, like what grades you received in specific classes, what experience you’ve had that helps others and two professional references,” she said.

In addition to the transcript, references and experience, the nursing program application consists of phase three. Phase three is the “scoring of two written responses and two video responses.”

According to Estupinan, to prepare for the nursing program, it is important to prepare a good resume.

“You have to get work hours in a healthcare environment,” Estupinan said. “I am able to put that on my application as experience, and I am able to put a few colleagues as my references.”

Although the nursing application does not require a test score, it requires experience working in an environment that benefits people. Hours, according to Estupinan, is “probably the most essential part.”

Like the nursing program, the Business Scholars program requires an additional application. The program only allows incoming freshman and transfer students to apply.

Unlike the business major, the Business Scholars program allows students to visit companies nationwide, network with alumni and experience a more experimental environment.

The Business Scholars program houses a number of specific majors, including business administration, accounting, marketing, operations and supply chain, among a few others. Interested students must apply to both the U and the Business Scholars program.

In order to be considered, the Business Scholars program, unlike the regular admissions application, asks for students to respond to an essay prompt.

Zac Paul, a senior in the Business Scholars program, applied to the program in 2018.

“I think that the Business Scholars program is more prestigious than being a business major,” he said.

Paul is on his way to graduating with his degree in operations and supply chain. He knows the essay prompt is the most important part of the application and is the primary reason he got into the program.

“My essay was really good,” Paul said. “It is so important to read your essay over and over again, edit it and then figure out what the program is really looking for.”

Paul reiterated that knowing how to solve a problem is the most essential skill to write about in the essay prompt.

The U offers extra programs to allow students to gain knowledge for a successful future. Exploring these programs may help students build confidence and feel ready for their post-graduation plans.

“You have to really work hard and prepare for what’s next,” Paul said. “I feel like the U really offers the right preparation courses and opportunities.”


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