Nationwide, biology is the most popular major for premedical arts students, followed by chemistry. At Valparaiso University, students have the unusual opportunity to select a double major that consists of 25 hours of biology and 27 hours of chemistry. This is a popular option for our premedical arts students because it allows them to choose those biology and chemistry courses that will best prepare them for their chosen profession.
Listed below are the four courses required for all premedical arts students, along with the major pieces of equipment that our students use in the laboratory portions of these courses. What sets Valparaiso University apart from other colleges and universities is not that this equipment is on campus but that beginning undergraduate students actually get a chance to use it.General Biology:
Gifted students, regardless of their major, have the opportunity to fulfill their general education requirements by enrolling in Christ College, the honors college at Valparaiso University. Each fall, approximately 85 incoming freshmen are invited to join Christ College based on a superior high school academic record, high SAT or ACT scores and proven leadership in extra-curricular activities. The Christ College Freshman Program emphasizes the great traditions of humankind with readings in history, literature, philosophy and religion from the earliest recorded thought to the present day. The entire Christ College freshman class works as a group to write and produce their own play during the fall semester and then during the spring semester engages in a series of formal debates. Many premedical students choose to complete the Christ College honors program and find the experience enjoyable and enriching.
The Department of Philosophy offers a biomedical ethics course (PHIL 341 / THEO 341) that is popular with our premedical arts students. This course deals with such topics as abortion, euthanasia, genetic engineering and medical resource allocation. The goal is to examine the many different ways that people seek to achieve rational agreement about such difficult questions. This course is taught by Professor Gilbert Meilaender. Students interested in further study of bioethics may work under faculty supervision to complete a senior honors project that focuses on one or more bioethical issue(s) that the student wishes to investigate in greater depth.
Valparaiso University encourages students to experience and appreciate life in places beyond the borders of the United States, and therefore offers a variety of international learning opportunities. Of particular interest to pre-medical students are spring break medical service trips to Central America. Some research opportunities also exist at overseas locations. More information about international opportunities is available in the VU general catalog, through VU’s International Studies office (www.valpo.edu/international/studyabroad.html or Tel. 219-464-5333) and from faculty members.
The Department of Theology offers a medical missions course (THEO 358 / CC 300) that many premedical arts students take. This course deals with topics including the history of medical missions and the theological foundations on which such missions have been based. This course is taught by Professor Christoffer Grundmann.
Valparaiso University does not have a medical school or research hospital. Therefore, we encourage interested students to participate in medical research at other facilities during the summer, many of which are located in northwest Indiana, Chicago, and Indianapolis. Many students also find it convenient to join research groups at institutions near their homes. Some Valparaiso University faculty members also have medically-related research in which VU students participate.