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The College of Health Sciences

FAQ for Advisees

How do I change my major or adviser? How do I add a minor? A preprofessional option?
All such changes must go through the Registrar's Office. This form will need to be signed by your old department, your new (or additional) department, and taken to the Registrar's Office for processing. The form is available at
Office of the Registrar/Online Forms and Petitions.

Can I major in premedicine? (or predentisitry, etc.)?
No, not at UW. While some schools will have majors in preprofessional areas, we at the University of Wyoming believe that our students will be more successful in a major of their choosing. We also like to prepare our graduates to do something in addition to their preprofessional goals. Many students change their minds about professional school, or some decide to pursue a graduate degree or work for a period of time before applying to professional schools. A degree in a regular major gives them many more opportunities. So any preprofessional student will have an adviser in the major as well as one in the preprofessional advising office.

What does it mean to be a preprofessional student?
It can mean a lot of things, but in this case, it means that you're a student who desires a professional education beyond the bachelor's degree and is actively working to attain those goals. It also means that you're involved in the activities of your occupational  choice and you play a leadership role in those chosen activities.

What does the Preprofessional advising office do?
We help those students who want to attend a health professions school understand the field, how to get there, and what they need to do to be a competitive candidate. We help them navigate confusing admissions processes, sponsor visits from professional schools, and can refer them to various other kinds of opportunities that will help them become the best applicants they can be. Check out our website at Sign up for our email list or make an appointment.

How do I find out my midterm and final grades?
WyoWeb  has a wealth of tools, including midterm and final grade check. Paper copies are not mailed out, so be sure to check grades online and avoid unpleasant surprises later. You can also view your degree evaluation (CAPP), look at your transcript, change your address, check your financial aid award notifications, and more.

How do I figure my GPA? What's a BCPM GPA?
A 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) is required for graduation from the university. However, some bachelor's degrees require a higher GPA, including those within the College of Health Sciences. Professional schools require high GPAs from their applicants.

  • Each letter grade carries a grade point value computed as the total credit hours earned in the course times the point value of the letter grade earned. For example, a student earning an A (point value of 4) in a 3-credit class would earn 12 grade points for the course.
  • The semester GPA is the sum of all grade points earned in a semester or term divided by credit hours earned.
  • Credit hours in courses with marks of X, W, S, or U are excluded from the GPA.
  • The average of all grades earned by a student is termed the cumulative grade point average.
  • For more information, see the UW Catalog or consult your adviser.
  • Example: Let's calculate the GPA for the following report card.

Step 1:                                                            Step 2:

3 (cr) X 4 (point value for an A) = 12        Divide 34 points by total # of
4 (cr) X 3 (point value for a B ) = 12         credit hours (34/14 = 2.4 GPA).
3 (cr) X 2 (point value for a C) =   6
4 (cr) X 1 (point value for a D) =   4

Step 3: Change some of the lower grades and see how it changes the GPA.
BCPM refers to your science GPA (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math).

What majors are available in the College of Health Sciences? Visit Here.

How can I find out who my adviser is?
Check WyoWeb, and if not listed contact your program's main office. Or contact the Undergraduate Preprofessional Advising Office using the information on this page.

What clubs and organizations are there in the College of Health Sciences?
Most majors have very active organizations for their students. Ask your adviser or someone listed above. Or check out

I'm not doing so well in a class. What can I do?
First and foremost: Go see your instructor or professor at the very first sign of trouble. Don't wait for the problem to become so big it can't be fixed. Find out office hours or make an appointment. Go in and express your concern, ask where you went wrong and what you can do to fix it. Then follow through. Be aware of the tutoring opportunities on campus (in the Residence Halls, through
LeaRN Student Educational Opportunity, and be sure to check out Better Grades.

What are the GPA expectations in the College of Health Sciences?
Any program in health care will have high expectations for its students and practitioners. While a program may state that 2.5 is the minimum required GPA, in fact, due to the competitive nature of the admissions process, you will need a significantly higher GPA to be considered. All programs within the College of Health Sciences require a minimum of two years of prerequisites followed by formal application to the program (except Communication Disorders). Those accepted to Nursing generally have around a 3.4 and Pharmacy is usually around a 3.7 or 3.8. Consult your program for specifics.

How do I know what's going on in the College of Health Sciences?
We try to keep our main website up to date with the latest events and news. Visit

We also have an email distribution list for emailing all of our students. Join us!

Things are going wrong. What can I do?
If you're having trouble in class, consult your professor right away. If there are problems in a class, consult your division director or dean right away. If you're not sure how to do that, please contact us using the information on this page and we'll help you find the right place.

If you're having emotional difficulties, are stressed out, or are just in need of someone to talk to, please check out the
Counseling Center. They are warm and welcoming and will help you start sorting out your life. This is a free service for UW students. The Dean of Students Office helps with some issues as well.

What are Freshman Interest Groups (FIGs)? Are they a good thing to do?
FIGS are living and learning communities that are designed to help students make an easy and successful start to their life at UW. They are based on a theme (Interest), so you pick the FIG that best matches your interest. You will take about three classes with the other students in your FIG and live on the same floor of the residence halls. This means that you will meet people who share your goals and interests from the very first moment you arrive on campus. Since you have classes together, you will also have someone to go to class with and to study with. In addition, FIGs often will have activities that are designed to get you involved in your area of interest sooner than you would otherwise--or just to have fun. But you still have other people on your floor so you will be able to meet people with varying interests. You will still have additional classes to sign up for, so you will have some freedom there. One of the other benefits of the FIG is that the FIG classes are preregistered for you, so you're automatically guaranteed a seat in those classes. After you're admitted to UW, you will receive a packet from Residence Life and the FIG information will be included. Or you can check out the
FIG Web site. We currently offer four FIGs in the College of Health Sciences:

• Exploring Health Sciences
• Preprofessional Health Sciences
• Focus on Nursing
• Focus on Pharmacy

FIGs can truly be beneficial for students. We've had students make life-long friends through their FIGs. And the study groups really help, too.

What scholarships are available in the College of Health Sciences? What scholarships are available for preprofessional students?
Most of the scholarships are awarded through our academic programs. Check with your division or school. The Undergraduate and Preprofessional Advising Office has a few but most are for students who've been accepted to professional school. The application is available in January and due the end of January. It's emailed to everyone on the preprofessional distribution list. If you're not on that list, please contact
Craig Vaske at Also check out the Admissions Scholarship Page and the Student Financial Aid Scholarship Page.

I'd love to study abroad. Where do I get more information?
Studying abroad, whether it's for a summer, short course, semester, or year, can be a wonderful, enriching experience as are national student exchanges and we encourage both. Check the opportunities out at the
Study Abroad office or the Dean of Students office for national exchanges.If you are a preprofessional student, please notify your adviser right away that you have an interest in studying abroad. With careful planning, we can help you structure an experience that won't cost you additional time to graduation.

What's a background check and why do I have to have one?
A background check is just that: it's a comprehensive report that checks out your background, specifically looking for criminal history. It also may include your institutional citizenship file.

In 2005, the College of Health Sciences instituted a college-wide policy stating that any student applying for admission to any of the college's programs would need to provide at least one background check. This policy was created in response to many educational and clinical settings that require a background check for anyone interning or working at their facilities. You may be required to obtain more than one background check as you progress through your education. Please consult your program for specific information. Plan on drug screening as well.

I'm interested in doing research. What resources are there for me?
Visit the
Research button on our main advising website, visit with your professors, lab TAs, or classmates.

How do I drop or withdraw from a class?
Check with your adviser and instructor first! This is a vital step.
Within the first two weeks of a class you can drop it. This will not show on your transcript. You perform this action through WyoWeb. After that date, you can withdraw from a class using a withdrawal form. Additional information is available online at the
Office of the Registrar or you can get a paper form from the Registrar's Office in Knight Hall. Withdrawals are due close to midterms and no withdrawals are normally permitted after that date. Be familiar with the academic calendar and the class schedule also available at the Office of the Registrar.

What is the University Studies Program?
The University Studies Program (USP) is a set of requirements that all graduates of the University of Wyoming must meet. It assures that each graduate has a broad understanding of important issues and concepts as well as skills. This program also allows our students to explore areas they might not otherwise. We currently have two versions of the program in use because of extensive revisions in 2003. So if you started at UW or a Wyoming community college prior to fall of 2003 and have been continuously enrolled since them, you will be under the original USP from 1991. If you started at UW or a Wyoming community college fall of 2003 or later, you'll be under the 2003 program. Make sure you use the correct classes approved for your program. Check it out at on the web:

If you earn an associate's of arts or science from a Wyoming Community college in the spring 2000 or later, your degree will meet your lower division USP requirements with the addition of a second math course (if you haven't already had one).

I'm a transfer student and some of my courses didn't transfer in to meet University Studies requirements and I think they should have. What can I do?
There are two reasons for this problem. One is that your course doesn't meet our requirement, and the second is that it's not on our database and we just don't know if it meets our requirements or not. If this is the case, you can petition to have your course meet our requirement using the USP petition at  (paper) or online at the Office of the Registrar.  Be sure to include documentation and write your explanation clearly.

I know I want to do something in health care, but I'm not sure what. How can I find out more?
Check out the
Careers link on our main advising page. Or come to our Resource Center, HS 116. Or do both! In addition, we'd love to visit with you about options and how to get where you want to go.

How do I know when my finals are? I have three finals in one day. Is there anything I can do?
A final exam schedule is located in the front of the Class Schedule published each semester or online at
the Office of the Registrar.
If you have more than two finals in one day or two finals scheduled at the same time, you can fill out a Final Exam Conflict form available at the Registrar's Office. This form has a due date prior to the end of the semester, so be sure to read the information.

Is there a calendar that tells me what's going on?

I'd like to shadow a health care professional to see if that profession is for me. How do I go about it? How do I get the most from my experience?
First, view this is an opportunity. This person is doing you a favor and he or she must have enough confidence in you to allow you into his or her practice. Go about it much as you would go about finding a job. Call and make an appointment. Go prepared. Dress professionally. Have a resume ready. Be sure you can articulately discuss your plans and goals as well as your objectives in the shadowing experience.

Shadowing Program.

The most difficult part can be finding someone to shadow. If you know someone in your area or have a personal practitioner, ask for ideas or if that person would be willing to have you or refer you to someone. Use your personal contacts. Volunteer in a health care environment and meet people there. Use the Yellow Pages. With any source, be prepared for rejection. The new HIPAA requirements (patient confidentiality) can make it difficult to obtain shadowing experiences.

Our colleagues at Macalester College have prepared a document detailing how to get the most from your shadowing experience. It's good advice! (
View document)

What's professionalism?
Now that's a hard concept to define! Essentially, it's looking and behaving the way the general population believes that a "professional" should appear in that field. Patients and clients have to have confidence in their practitioners and they won't if you don't look and act the part. Visible tattoos and facial piercings are definitely taboo and may keep you out of your chosen profession. Being clean and tidy is a definite must, as is acting confident in your abilities.

What are current health care issues?
Lots going on in health care today. Be aware of the world around you. Read the newspapers and news magazines, both local and national. Become familiar with multiple issues and be able to discuss them in depth.

What's the definition of academic dishonesty? What are the consequences?
Academic dishonesty is defined by a University Regulation Be aware of what constitutes academic dishonesty and avoid it. The consequences are severe and will probably become more so. You may have to give up your chosen career, especially in health care.

What minors are available in the College of Health Sciences?
There are three. We have a minor in Health Sciences
, Disability Studies, and in Aging Studies.

Weird things are happening in my class. What should I do?
While most instructors and professors at UW are terrific, there are those exceptions. If your prof is unprofessional, abandons class, or you are experiencing other difficulties including sexual harassment, you need to visit with the department or division head right away. An appointment works best, but you can also write a letter. It's his or her job to deal with these kinds of issues. You can also consult the Dean of Students or another trusted person on campus.

If you are unable to resolve the issue through discussions with the instructor and department, you may have the right of appeal via CHS Student Academic Appeals Guidelines.

I'd like to volunteer. How do I go about that?
Check out the
Opportunities link on the advising main web page.

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