Preparation for Careers and Graduate and Professional Schools

Medicine and Other Health Professions

Medicine is the most popular health-career area at Centre, but our graduates also choose specialized study in fields such as dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, nursing, physical therapy, and veterinary medicine, among others. Biology, biochemistry and molecular biology, and chemistry are the most popular pre-med majors at Centre, but students from every academic major are accepted to medical school. Diversity is, in fact, not only possible, but encouraged by many medical schools, which have come to realize that students who pursue interests in art, music, philosophy, history, literature, and other areas of liberal study tend to become well-rounded, highly effective physicians. In fact, the only science background generally required for admission to medical school is two years of chemistry and one year each of biology and physics. However, the MCAT exam, required of all applicants to medical schools, does require a strong understanding of biology, physics, and chemistry, as well as some study of sociology, psychology, and statistics. Centre has established a Health Professions Advisory Group comprised of seven faculty members. Each faculty member is in charge of advising for a different health profession. Each advisor is available to students throughout their four years at Centre (and beyond) to help them plan their courses of study and to assist them in exploring the many health-related professions. They maintain close contact with the medical and other pre-health schools to which Centre students apply most frequently. Advisors play an active role in making sure that the schools to which our students have applied process their materials in a timely manner. This continuing level of personal attention and concern is an important element in the success of Centre graduates in gaining acceptance to medical and other pre-health schools. Another important resource that helps Centre students prepare for careers in medicine is the Pre-Health Society. This organization of students who are aiming toward careers in medicine and other health-related fields engages in a variety of activities. These include taking field trips to pre-health schools and bringing their representatives on campus to speak with interested students, inviting recent graduates back to campus to talk about their experiences in medical or other pre-health school and in practice, and arranging for local health professionals to meet and talk with students. Centre College has partnered with Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center to support an internship program that enables students to work regularly in the hospital’s different departments to become familiar with hospital procedures in general and the roles of different health care professionals.


Law schools are interested in students from every academic major, and a liberal arts education equips every student with the skills and aptitude necessary to succeed in law school. English, politics, history, international studies, and economics and finance are the majors most often selected by Centre students who pursue law, but there is no set pre-law major. Graduates across the many majors at Centre have a solid record of success in gaining admission to law schools and performing very ably once in law school. The broad-based skills that law schools emphasize—effective writing and speaking, analytical ability, and familiarity with the social sciences—are essential goals of Centre’s liberal arts curriculum.

At Centre, faculty pre-law advisors work with students from their first year on to help them explore law as a profession and to assist them in the application process during their junior and senior years. The pre-law advisors host a range of workshops throughout the academic year, with topics that include a broad overview of careers related to the law and LSAT studying strategies and resources. There is also an email list and a LSAT resources page that prelaw students can join. To help students get the most out of their Centre education, the prelaw advisors provide a list of recommended courses that aid in LSAT skill-building and general law school preparedness. Advisors also counsel interested students on related internship and volunteer opportunities that provide insight into the law field and help students identify and demonstrate their interest in pursuing a legal career.

In addition, the Centre for Career and Professional Development hosts several law-related events, including a law school fair and talks with legal professionals. Centre also has the John Marshall Harlan Law Society composed of students interested in law, many of whom go on to legal careers. This organization meets regularly, sponsors field trips to places such as courtrooms and law schools, and brings experts in the legal profession as well as representatives from law schools on campus to speak with students.


Students interested in pursuing a career in education can choose from a wide range of post-graduate options. Those who wish to earn a master's or teaching certification may choose to enroll at one of our partner universities (, the University of Louisville and the Peabody College of Education at Vanderbilt. Currently, our partnerships allow Centre students to count course hours from the education minor towards a master's degree in education. Students who complete an education minor are also well prepared to progress to any graduate school for teaching certification or to alternative programs such as Teach for America, Teach Kentucky, or teaching residency programs ( Students are encouraged to talk with education program faculty about how to match their goals with an appropriate graduate program or alternative track. In addition, while at Centre, students interested in education are encouraged to participate in an internship or research opportunity with a focus in the discipline.