Let’s talk pre-professional programs

vet students work with a mini horse in the teaching hospital

At CSU, we’ve got hundreds of majors and concentrations to choose from on your journey toward your career or graduate school. And we’ll be the first to admit it: The road is not always straight. Some students know exactly where they want to be in five years, and others like to weigh their options. Some start out in their major, and others come in exploring majors before choosing one. Some students double major, and some students choose a major based on their professional goals.

If you are considering professions in the health industry, law, veterinary field, or teaching, CSU’s pre-professional programs are right up your alley.

What are pre-professional tracks?

You’ll notice in our list of majors that we don’t include a pre-med major, pre-vet major, pre-law major, or a degree in teaching. Instead, we offer pre-professional advising, which allows you to pursue your interests alongside courses that will prepare you for your career goals. You’ll meet with your advisor regularly to make sure you’re meeting the prerequisites in your pre-professional area, and you’ll get time to talk about your career path after CSU, your graduate school options, and even meet other students on the same path as you.

For example, say you want to be a science teacher. Instead of majoring in teaching or education, you’ll major in the scientific area you enjoy (chemistry, biology, zoology, etc.) and you’ll get a teaching advisor who will help guide you to education prep courses. This way, you’ll come out with a science degree and be prepared to teach. Similarly, pre-med, pre-vet, and pre-law students will be academically ready to enter graduate/professional school, and have the added bonus of a degree in the field of their choice. So, pre-law advising students might get a degree in social work or ethnic studies, knowing they want to be a legal advocate for underserved and underrepresented communities. Students in the pre-vet advising program might get a zoology degree, and students in the pre-health advising program might want a biomedical science degree.

Of course, the great thing about pre-professional advising is that we also have pre-law students who major in English or communications; we have pre-health students who study poetry and art. One of the best things about pre-professional advising is that it allows students to both pursue their professional dreams and their personal passions. And oftentimes, their careers are all the more enhanced for it.

Why aren’t pre-professional tracks majors?

Most law schools, vet schools, med schools, and education licensure programs do not require certain undergraduate majors in order to attend. They admit students from a variety of academic disciplines, majors, and minors, and only ask that students have fulfilled their prerequisite courses and have demonstrated a level of academic achievement and rigor throughout their undergraduate education. We like to think this is a perfect fit; CSU has a design-your-own academic experience that allows you to pursue your passions, mix and match your interests, and come out with skills in multiple areas.

I’m interested in a CSU pre-professional program. How do I get started?

If you’re considering going into a pre-professional program, we encourage you to explore them a bit, discover the communities and clubs that can support you in those programs, and start thinking about which major will suit you and your goals best.

Explore Pre-Law


Explore Pre-Health


Explore Teacher Licensure


Explore Pre-Veterinary


Still considering? Reach out to a counselor!

If you’re still wondering if a pre-professional advising track is for you, we’re here to help! Your admissions counselor is here to help you sort through the info, direct you to an advisor, and make sure you hit the ground running when you come to CSU.


Prairie Smallwood

Prairie Smallwood is a writer and content creator for the Office of Admissions at Colorado State University. She is passionate about education and exploration, and knows that going to college can be both an adventure and an overwhelming experience. She aims to create content that helps students through that journey — the wonderful, the scary, and everything in between.