Preparation for Graduate and Professional Study

Students interested in pursuing professional programs after their bachelor's degree can begin to plan for future study while at John Carroll. The following sections include information on how to plan for future study or certification:

Graduate Study and College Teaching

The academic qualification for most positions in college teaching is possession of the master’s or doctor’s degree. Teacher certification is not required. The doctorate often is also the avenue to a career in research, education, or industry as well as to various executive responsibilities in management.

Usually the master’s degree requires at least one year of full-time study beyond the bachelor’s degree. The doctorate requires at least three additional years. Graduate study presupposes fundamental preparation in a special field as well as supplementary skills in foreign or computer language or statistics that should be acquired in the undergraduate program.

Students contemplating graduate study should become familiar with conventional procedures, the comparative merits of various institutions, and the availability of financial assistance. Faculties and graduate schools tend to have particular strengths in special fields, with corresponding prestige for their graduates. Fellowships, assistantships, and other types of appointments often are available to students who require financial assistance. Information is available at the University or public library, on the Internet, in graduate school bulletins, the annual Directory of Graduate Programs published by the Educational Testing Service, and the annual Peterson’s Guide to Graduate and Professional Programs. Early in senior year, students should contact selected graduate schools to obtain applications for admission, financial aid, and other information. Most graduate schools now have online applications.

Early and sustained consultation with John Carroll faculty will be most helpful in planning graduate study. Faculty may assist in submitting applications for admission to graduate study or graduate appointments. Credentials commonly must be submitted in the late fall and early spring, and selections are usually announced in mid-spring.

Undergraduate preparation generally requires a full major in the chosen field. Quality of achievement as evidenced by grades is an important index to probable success in graduate study. Undergraduate transcripts are required and examined by the graduate school for both admission and appointments. Another common expectation is good performance on an examination, which should be taken as early in the senior year as necessary to submit test scores by the date designated by each graduate school. Students must determine whether a particular graduate school requires the Graduate Record Examination General (Aptitude) Test or Subject (Advanced) Test or both. Other tests such as the GMAT or the Miller Analogies Test may also be required.

Students must take the initiative in seeking advice and obtaining application forms, meeting requirements, and enlisting recommendations. The dean and the faculty of the major department, however, are ready to assist in any reasonable way to provide endorsements warranted by the student’s ability and achievement.

Professional Programs

Professions such as law, medicine, dentistry, and engineering ordinarily have two phases of schooling: pre-professional and professional. John Carroll cooperates with the students’ pre-professional schooling by offering programs of two, three, or four years’ length. Although there is increasing preference within professions for candidates who have completed baccalaureate programs, students with exceptional academic records and personal development may enter some professional schools such as dentistry or optometry after three years of pre-professional education. Students are urged in most cases to pursue programs leading to a bachelor’s degree.

Engineering Programs

John Carroll University students interested in pursuing a career in engineering have a number of options. Students wishing to obtain a focused engineering degree in a particular field may participate in the Dual Degree 3-2 Program with Case Western Reserve University. The Case School of Engineering offers degrees in Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Polymer Science and Engineering, and Systems and Control Engineering. John Carroll University has an articulation agreement with Case Western Reserve University that ensures a smooth transition between the two schools. In this program, students attend JCU for three years and then transfer to CWRU for two years; they receive a bachelor’s degree (either B.A. or B. S.) from John Carroll and a engineering from CWRU. The program is open to any student who completes the prerequisite courses (in mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science) and maintains an overall 3.0 GPA and a 3.0 GPA in science and mathematics courses. Students who are interested in this program should contact the Department of Chemistry or the Department of Physics as early as possible.

Another option is to complete a B.S. at John Carroll in program and then pursue further specialization by entering an engineering school for a master’s degree in a particular field of engineering.

Students who are interested in either option may start taking engineering courses while at John Carroll through the Northeast Ohio Commission on Higher Education Cross-Registration Program.

Health Professions

Students pursuing full four-year degree programs such as premedical, predental, or allied health program preparation normally earn the bachelor of science degree with a major in either program, program, or program with a biochemistry concentration. Students are free to follow any degree program provided they complete the specific course pre-requirements for their intended healthcare professional program.

Students should familiarize themselves with the general admission requirements of the profession which they aspire to enter in addition to those specific to the schools of their choice. The director of the Pre-Health Professions Program, Dr. Kathy Lee ( is available for individual advising. In addition, meetings are usually held each year to provide information for each class level. Faculty advisors in the biological and physical sciences are also available to act in an education and advising capacity. Students are encouraged to avail themselves of these resources and to consult the Pre-Health Professions Program website ( for more information.

In addition to medicine and dentistry, a number of other careers are available in healthcare. Students are encouraged to explore such fields as anesthesiology assistant, podiatry, physical assistant, and pharmacy. Most of these occupations require a baccalaureate degree with additional education at the graduate level. Information and advising are available from the director of Pre-Health Professions Studies.

The Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC) is the University mechanism that provides letters of recommendation to medical, dental, and other healthcare professional schools that require or prefer recommendation letters from a committee rather than individual faculty members. The committee’s letters are based on academic performance, individual and committee interviews, and factors such as integrity, industry, maturity, commitment to social responsibility, and judgment.

Post-baccalaureate students who have not received their undergraduate degree from John Carroll may use the Health Professions Advisory Committee as the source of their letter of recommendation if they so choose. Normally such students should have completed 24 credit hours of course work at John Carroll, which may include the semester in which they interview before the committee.

Current admission practices of health professional schools indicate student qualifications considerably higher than the minimum C average are required for matriculation. Therefore, normally a letter of evaluation will be written to these schools only for applicants who have attained a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 overall and 3.0 in science courses (biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics).

John Carroll also offers a program designed for students who want to fulfill the requirements for admission to medical school, dental school, and other health professional schools. This program is appropriate for students 1) who possess a bachelor’s degree in a discipline other than biology or chemistry and wish to pursue a health professions career; 2) who majored in chemistry or biology but struggled with the course work as a traditional undergraduate; or 3) who have not been enrolled in courses in these disciplines for over five years. More details are available at


The requirements of medical schools are summarized on the Medical School Admission requirements (MSAR) website, revised annually by the Association of American Medical Colleges. A bachelor’s degree is almost invariably required. Additional information can be found at the Association of American Medical Colleges website ( Applicants for medical school must take the Medical College Admission Test. Since this test is usually given in late spring of the junior year, premedical students should have completed or be completing the basic requirements for medical school by that time. Those requirements are generally one year each of general chemistry (CH 141-144), organic chemistry (CH 221-224), physics (PH 125, 125L, 126, and 126L), and biology, with labs (BL 155-158), one year of college-level math (MT 135 and MT 228), and at least one semester of Biochemistry (either CH 431 or CH 435 and 436). Genetics (BL 213) is also highly recommended.  In order to be prepared for the MCAT, students should also complete one semester each of sociology (SC 101), and psychology (PS 101 or PS 100).


The Council on Dental Education of the American Dental Association lists the minimum educational requirements for admission to a dental school as follows: 1) Students must successfully complete two full years of study in an accredited liberal arts college. 2) In most states, the basic requirements of predental education are the same as those of premedical education noted above. Those requirements are typically one year each of general chemistry (CH 141-144), organic chemistry CH 221-224), physics (PH 125, 125L, 126, 126L), biology (BL 155-158), and math (MT 135 and MT 228) .  Many schools also require Anatomy and Physiology (BL 230-231, with labs) and Microbiology (BL 310/310L). 3) Students must complete a minimum of 64 credit hours from liberal or general education courses, such as English, communications, behavioral sciences, philosophy, and theology and religious studies, which give breadth to their educational background. Applicants must take the Dental Aptitude Test. This test is usually administered in late spring of the junior year, by which time the basic predental requirements should be completed. Admission to schools of dentistry with only two or three years of undergraduate education is the rare exception rather than the rule.

John Carroll University has an affiliation agreement with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine’s School of Dental Medicine in Bradenton, Florida, whereby five seats are reserved for qualified John Carroll Students. More information is available through John Carroll’s website ( or from the director of the Pre-Health Professions Program.


A pre-pharmacy advisor is available to assist students interested in applying to pharmacy graduate programs. For further information, please see Dr. David Mascotti, Department of Chemistry ( He can help guide curriculum choices, graduate program selections, and career opportunities in pharmacy.

John Carroll University has an affiliation agreement with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine’s School of Pharmacy in Erie, Pennsylvania, and in Bradenton, Florida, whereby five seats are reserved for qualified John Carroll students. More information is available through John Carroll’s website ( or from the director of the Pre-Health Professions Program.

Most pre-pharmacy students will follow a course of study that begins with fundamentals of chemistry and biology. Most graduate programs also require students to take the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT). Admission requirements differ for various graduate programs; therefore, specific advanced courses will be determined based on the graduate program to which the student intends to apply. These programs are very competitive and rigorous in nature, and thus require a high academic standing and PCAT score for consideration.


A pre-law advisor is available to students interested in pursuing the study of law upon graduation. For further information, please see Dr. Elizabeth Stiles, Department of Political Science (

Any major can be suitable preparation for a career in law, especially when combined with carefully chosen courses outside the major field. Students interested in law school are especially urged to consider a second major, minor, or concentration that complements the major field of study.

A broad background of knowledge, which is obtained through the University Core Curriculum, plus a major in a specific field are required for the study of law. In addition, certain skills are important in learning and practicing law. These skills include the ability to speak and write effectively, to organize and absorb large amounts of information, to read carefully and critically, to analyze and evaluate complex issues, and to deal with problems creatively. Also important is knowledge of the social, political, and economic structure of society and an understanding of the human values underlying this structure.

The pre-law advisor also can give advice on admission to law schools, the choice of a career in the legal profession, and the construction and content of a personal statement. In addition to the undergraduate degree, law schools require students to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and to apply through the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Forms for both of these are available at

Admission to law school is based on high academic standing, a correspondingly high LSAT score, and recommendations from faculty and others familiar with the applicant’s character, academic preparation, and aptitude for legal study. Extracurricular activities, work experience, and special achievements also play a role.

Ohio CPA Certificate

Certified public accountants should have a broad background of both liberal and professional education. The experience of Boler College alumni indicates that the major in program provides excellent preparation for the Ohio CPA examination.

The certificate is granted by the State Board of Accountancy in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code. The current educational requirement for the CPA certificate is graduation with a baccalaureate or higher degree that includes successful completion of 150 credit hours of college-level credit or the satisfaction of alternate prequalification options. In addition to 30 hours of accountancy, candidates must complete course work in such areas as ethics, business communications, economics, finance, marketing, quantitative applications, and business law. Students should discuss the available options with a member of the Kramer School of Accountancy.

In addition to this educational requirement, candidates for the CPA certificate must 1) pass a written examination in accounting, auditing, and other related subjects; and 2) have public accounting experiences satisfactory to the board.

Students who wish to prepare for CPA certificates awarded by states other than Ohio should discuss academic programs with faculty in the accountancy department.

Teacher Education

Students who seek to obtain a teaching license after graduating with a baccalaureate degree will find that many colleges and universities, including John Carroll University, offer teacher licensure programs at the graduate level either as post-baccalaureate licensure-only programs or as masters of education licensure programs. Four licenses are available in the state of Ohio: Early Childhood, Middle Childhood, Adolescent Young Adult, and Multi-Age. To earn these licenses, students take a professional education sequence of courses which includes a student teaching experience. For the Middle Childhood, Adolescent Young Adult, and Multi-Age licenses, there may also be additional course work in the teaching fields depending on the baccalaureate degree. (See description of requirements in this Bulletin.)

John Carroll offers three graduate-level options for earning teacher licensure: the School-Based M.Ed. Program, the Professional Teacher/Initial Licensure Program, and the Post-Baccalaureate Program. The program program is an eleven-month full-time accelerated program that results in a master’s degree and licensure. The program program also results in a master’s degree and licensure, and can be completed either on a full-time or part-time basis.

Graduate programs are also offered in the fields of program and program. These programs lead to a master’s degree and licensure. All of John Carroll University’s licensure programs are accredited by CAEP (formerly NCATE) and CACREP and conform to current Ohio licensure standards.

The detailed organization of the graduate licensure programs and information on licensure requirements can be found  under the Department of Education and the Department of Counseling.

Theology and Ministry Programs

The John Carroll University undergraduate major in program prepares students for advanced studies in theology and religion and for careers in various forms of non-ordained ministry, including work in social service agencies, parish youth ministry, and high school teaching of theology. It also can serve as preparation for Catholic major seminary programs and programs of ministerial formation in other religious denominations.

John Carroll also houses the minor seminary program for the Cleveland diocese, the program. It prepares students for entrance into a major seminary program of priestly formation in the Roman Catholic Church.