Pre-Professional Tracks

Accounting is a challenging and rewarding profession, and Virginia Wesleyan University offers a number of pathways to a career. The university offers all of the courses required to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Certified Management Accountant (CMA) Examinations on graduation as part of the program in business. These classes can be supplemented with an externship or internship to develop applied accounting skills. Interested students are encouraged to contact a member of the business faculty early in their program to create a four-year plan that will achieve their career goals.

Art Therapy and Counseling
Art therapists use the creative process to help people of all ages improve their health and emotional well-being. They are qualified to work as counselors in hospitals, school and community clinics, vocational schools, rehabilitation centers, universities, military installations, and other health care and educational settings. Art therapists may serve as mental health, substance abuse, or behavioral disorder counselors. Students wishing to apply to accredited graduate programs in art therapy and counseling must meet the minimum standards of the American Art Therapy Association. These include the completion of a B.A. degree with specific coursework in studio art and psychology. The Studio Art major at Virginia Wesleyan, coupled with a minimum of 16 semester hours in psychology, meets these criteria. Students must complete coursework in drawing, painting, ceramics and sculpture, as well as abnormal and developmental psychology and theories of personality. A minor in psychology is strongly recommended. Interested students should work with faculty advisors in both art and psychology to plan an appropriate course of study.

Business Administration
Through its undergraduate and graduate programs, the Management, Business, and Economics department develops leaders committed to creating sustainable social, environmental, and economic value through effective and responsible business practices. The business major combines a practical business education with a commitment to the Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) as developed by the United Nations in support of its Global Compact, a framework of universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment, and anti-corruption. The MBE Department is firmly committed to the interdisciplinary nature of successful management education; thus the business major integrates its core curriculum with allied coursework in a variety of disciplines while providing opportunities for career-based specialization through coursework and internships. It prepares graduates with the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to manage society’s rapidly changing institutions both efficiently and humanely. VWU offers all of the courses required to sit for the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and for the CMA (Certified Management Accountant) examinations on graduation. Moreover, the interdisciplinary nature of the undergraduate program provides solid preparation for a wide variety of graduate degree programs, including VWU’s own Master of Business Administration program.

Church-Related Vocations
Ministry in today’s world takes many forms: pastoral ministry, music ministry, religious education, hospital and military chaplaincies, teaching in church-related colleges, and counseling. A broad program of studies in the liberal arts is required for admission to the seminaries and graduate schools that prepare individuals for these ministries. Students interested in these vocations may choose to major in religious studies, music, or some other area of the humanities or the social sciences. The university chaplain is available as a vocational advisor for students contemplating a future in the ministry.Virginia Wesleyan has early admission or priority decision programs with Duke University Divinity School and Candler School of Theology at Emory University, and has an Accelerated Degree option with United Theological Seminary.

Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, and Allied Health Professions
Students who wish to pursue careers in these fields must meet the admissions requirements for the professional school of their choice. Those standards include interest in grades, relevant co-curricular activities and appropriate internships, externships, and research. Virginia Wesleyan’s Pre-Professional Committee guides students through the application and interview process. In addition, the student-run Pre-Professional Club sponsors a variety of activities, including seminars by professionals from various fields, campus visits and meetings with admissions officials from pre-professional programs, and student volunteer activities. The club meets at least twice each semester.

  • Dental School
    Students applying to dental school are expected to achieve a satisfactory score on the dental school admissions test (DAT) and to complete the following courses: General Biology, two semesters (BIO 132, BIO 200); Introductory and Inorganic Chemistry, two semesters (CHEM 120, CHEM 200); Organic Chemistry, two semesters (CHEM 221, CHEM 222); and Physics, two semesters (PHYS 221 and PHYS 222). Some dental schools may also require additional courses in biochemistry, psychology, and English.
  • Medical School
    Students applying to medical school are expected to have gained broad exposure to the medical profession prior to submitting the application. They are expected to achieve a satisfactory score on the medical school admissions test (MCAT) and complete the following courses: General Biology, two semesters (BIO 132, BIO 200); Introductory and Inorganic Chemistry, two semesters (CHEM 120, CHEM 200); Organic Chemistry, two semesters (CHEM 221, CHEM 222); and Physics, two semesters (PHYS 221 and PHYS 222). It is also strongly recommended that students complete the following courses: Anatomy and Physiology (BIO 221 and BIO 222); Comparative Anatomy (BIO 372); Histology (BIO 371); Biochemistry (CHEM 330); and Ethics and Health Care (PHIL 221/321).
  • Schools of Veterinary Medicine
    Students applying to veterinary programs are expected to have gained significant experience working with animals and to have attained a satisfactory score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Specific course requirements vary among schools, and students are expected to contact the schools about their specific requirements prior to submitting an application. In general, students should complete the following courses: General Biology, two semesters (BIO 132, BIO 200); Introductory and Inorganic Chemistry, two semesters (CHEM 120, CHEM 200); Organic Chemistry, two semesters (CHEM 221, CHEM 222); Biochemistry, one semester, (CHEM 330); Physics, two semesters (PHYS 221 and PHYS 222); English, two semesters; Mathematics, two semesters (college algebra or higher); and Social Science, two semesters. It is also strongly recommended that students complete Comparative Anatomy (BIO 372) and Histology (BIO 371).
  • Allied Health Professions
    Students wishing to enter health professions such as dental hygiene, pharmacy, nursing, health care management, medical technology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, or radiological technology need to complete at least two years—and may want to complete four years—of preparatory studies at Virginia Wesleyan before applying to a professional school. Students interested in Nursing may wish to consider our partnership program with Sentara College of Health Sciences. Please note that VWU does not offer specialized courses in the above referenced professions, only the prerequisites required by many of these programs.
  • Joint Bachelor of Science in Nursing with Sentara College of Health Sciences
    Virginia Wesleyan has a joint Bachelor of Science in Nursing program with Sentara College of Health Sciences.  Students complete their General Education and prerequisite classes at Virginia Wesleyan and then complete the BSN requirements at Sentara College of Health Sciences.
    Founded as the first nursing program in Norfolk, Sentara College of Health Science has grown and advanced over its 130-year history to bring students the best in healthcare education.  The College’s connection to Sentara Health allows students to learn from expert clinicians in world-class healthcare centers.  Sentara College of Health Sciences is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education and is approved by the Virginia Board of Nursing. 
    Virginia Wesleyan University (VWU) is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Sentara College of Health Sciences (SCOHS) is not accredited by SACSCOC and the accreditation of VWU does not extend to or include SCOHS or its students. Although VWU agrees to accept certain course work from SCOHS to be applied toward an award from VWU, that course work may not be accepted by other colleges or universities in transfer, even if it appears on a transcript from VWU. The decision to accept course work in transfer from any institution is made by the institution considering the acceptance of credits or course work. SCOHS is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES), and is certified by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). The baccalaureate degree in nursing at Sentara College of Health Sciences is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ( and is approved by the Virginia Board of Nursing.

Students interested in a career in teaching have several options and are encouraged to contact the VWU Education department for advising. The Comprehensive Liberal Studies – Curricular Emphasis major is intended for students seeking to pursue a certification for teaching elementary (preK-6) or special education (K-12). VWU also offers a Master of Arts in Education (M.A.Ed.) degree which leads to teaching certification in thirteen different content areas. Students seeking certification at the graduate level will complete an undergraduate major in a specific field, apply for admission into the M.A.Ed. during their junior year, and begin the one-year M.A.Ed. directly after obtaining a bachelor’s degree. Careful advising is essential for students seeking teacher licensure, so these students are strongly recommended to seek an adviser from the Education department as soon as possible during their academic career.

The Old Dominion University Pre-Engineering Program (Master of Science in Engineering) offers students the opportunity to earn both a Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia Wesleyan University and a Master of Civil, Environmental, Mechanical, Electrical, Computer, Biomedical, or Aerospace Engineering from Old Dominion University in five years. Students attend Virginia Wesleyan for four years and ODU for one year. Starting their junior year, students take one or two engineering courses each semester at ODU while enrolled at VWU. After graduating from VWU, students are automatically admitted to the one-year Master of Engineering graduate program at ODU. Students are also eligible for the longer Master of Science in Engineering program.

Environmental Studies
Students interested in the environment can major (or minor) in either earth and environmental science or environmental studies.  Those interested primarily in science should major in Earth and Environmental Sciences or another natural science to prepare for graduate work and careers in areas including environmental science, ecology, or toxicology. A dual degree program is also available in which students complete a bachelor’s degree in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Virginia Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from Old Dominion University.

Students interested in a more interdisciplinary path may also choose the Environmental Studies or Sustainability Management majors, whose flexibility and breadth of curricular options can meet a diversity of student interests and needs in the environmental field.

Law School
Many Virginia Wesleyan students have been accepted into law school. No single major is recommended for students interested in pursuing a legal career. It is important to note, however, that law schools emphasize the importance of a broad liberal arts education in which the student has excelled.

Social Work
The Social Work Program embraces the values of the social work profession in its mission to “improve human well-being” and “help meet human needs,” appreciate and build on individual and collective strengths, and advocate for the vulnerable and disempowered. As the University strives to prepare students to participate in civil society and to respond creatively to a “rapidly changing world,” social work education promotes critical thinking about issues from the micro, mezzo, and macro levels, grounded in a broadly based liberal arts foundation. Social Work’s emphasis on social justice parallels the University’s commitment to social responsibility. Social Work education blends didactic and experiential learning with its strong emphasis on field education, a corollary to Virginia Wesleyan University’s emphasis on civic engagement and community-based learning.

Sport and Recreation Professions
All students completing either the Sport and Recreation Management or Recreational Therapy major are eligible to take the national examination to be recognized as a Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP). Students completing the Recreational Therapy Major and designated coursework are also eligible to take the national examination to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS).

Sustainability Management
The Sustainability Management major prepares students to utilize their knowledge of the functional areas of business and management to help organizations both adopt and achieve the goals of environmental sustainability and social responsibility. The major employs a multi-disciplinary approach whereby students will learn not only the scientific principles undergirding sustainable business practices but also the philosophical underpinnings of the global need for sustainability and the various regulatory approaches for achieving it. In addition to significant coursework in a variety of academic disciplines, students will synthesize their studies through a senior-level experience entailing either further coursework with an internship or a sustainability-focused Study Away experience.