Table of Contents

Wheaton in Profile

Undergraduate Student Life

Undergraduate Admissions

Undergraduate Academic Policies and Information

Special Programs

Arts and Sciences Programs

Conservatory of Music

Graduate Academic Policies and Information

Graduate Programs

Financial Information


College Calendar








Science Area Programs

Preparation for Health Professions

Medicine and Dentistry

Allied Health Professions

Liberal Arts/Nursing

Summer Courses and Science Stations

Science Area Course Descriptions


Natural science departments aim to provide the background and experience necessary for professional work in the natural sciences, for continuation of the study of natural science in graduate school, and to stimulate and interrelate scientific thinking with other disciplines. A belief in the God of the Bible as the Creator and Sustainer of the universe is a basic presupposition.

Courses of study are offered in applied health science, biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental studies, geology, mathematics, and physics, with cooperative programs in engineering and nursing. Assistance is provided for all students to help them make appropriate educational plans and career choices. This aid is given by the student's faculty advisor, by department chairs, and by the Director of Health Professions, who maintains files of resource materials for student use.

Preparation for Health Professions

Visit Program Website


The Health Professions Program provides a comprehensive program of profession-driven training and support services that prepare students for diverse fields in the health professions and for service in helping build the church and benefit society worldwide. The Health Professions Program will work to promote the development of whole and effective Christians through excellence in acquainting students with the wide array of health professions careers, guiding their pre-professional formation and development, providing strategies and perspective to shape their pathway to the health profession of choice, and guiding them in thinking Christianly about how they may serve in the chosen health professions field.

Students planning on a career in medicine or one of the related health fields may major in any subject area but must meet the specific admission requirements of the professional schools to which they expect to apply. The Director of the Health Professions works closely with students who are interested in any of the health fields. Career information and counseling are provided to help students in selecting courses, preparing for required admissions tests, and applying for admission to professional schools in their chosen fields. These activities are coordinated through the Health Professions Office.

Medicine and Dentistry

Training in medicine and dentistry is given in professional schools and is based on a broad and strong preparation in the liberal arts. This is true for podiatry and veterinary medicine as well. Critical analysis and reasoning skills, clear speaking, and writing are necessary skills in these professions. Experiences such as clinical exposure, patient contact, volunteer service, and research are important. Both interpersonal and intrapersonal attributes are valued. Personal attributes such as integrity, concern for the well-being of others, unselfishness, professionalism, compassion, personal maturity, and a deep commitment to a life of service are highly sought by leaders in the health professions.

The new competency-based MCAT 2015 was first administered in April 2015. Some changes occurred in the DAT in 2015 as well. School-specific changes in medical school admissions requirements may align with courses required to sit MCAT 2015. In addition to course pre-requisites, school-specific admissions requirements may include competencies (both academic and personal, interpersonal and intrapersonal) and foundational concepts in science and social and behavioral science. The four sections of MCAT 2015 are (1) Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems, (2) Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills, (3) Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems, and (4) Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior. Therefore to prepare for MCAT 2015 students should take Introductory Biology (BIOL 241, 242), General Chemistry (CHEM 236, 237, Organic Chemistry (CHEM 341,342), Biochemistry (CHEM 461), Introductory Physics (PHYS 221-222), Introductory Psychology (PSYC 101) Introductory Sociology (SOC 115), and Statistics (MATH 263, PSYCH 268). Regardless of the major selected at Wheaton, students planning on these careers must take courses to prepare for the national admissions exams and the pre-professional courses which meet the minimal entrance requirements for most medical and dental schools. Beyond the courses listed as preparation for MCAT 2015, school-specific admissions may require other courses such as Math 231, 232, BIOL 362. Additional courses, such as ANTH 116, 353, 361; BIOL 317, 331, 332, 336, 356, 358, 362, 364, 374, 381; CHEM 355; COMM 221, 362; CSCI 135, 231; AHS 351, 368, 369, 378, 381, 452; PHYS 311; PSYC 268, 317, 348, and SOC 228, 238, 364, 383 may be helpful toward the student's preparation for professional training. SCI 229 (Internship/Seminar in the Health Professions) is highly recommended and provides an opportunity for an approved internship in a health profession, to study the issues affecting the quality and form of health care in America, and to make an informed choice of a vocation in the health professions.

Because competition for entry into medical schools is significant, strong performance in academic course work and national admissions tests (MCAT) is essential. In 2014 there were 49,480 applicants nationwide. Of these applicants, 20,740, or 44.2% were offered acceptance to at least one medical school and 20,343 accepted applicants matriculated. Applicants who were accepted in 2014 nationally had an average GPA of 3.55. For competency-based admissions, a holistic review of applicants includes evaluation of their experiences, attributes, and academic metrics. Good planning and careful preparation by Wheaton students and a comprehensive advising and counseling program provided by the Health Professions Office combine to enhance the possibilities of acceptance into medical school.

Allied Health Professions

Students can receive basic preparation for many allied health careers such as optometry, nutrition and dietetics, health systems management, pharmacy, audiology, speech-language pathology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, health information management, physician assistant, and public health. Students generally pursue a major, receive a B.S. degree, and continue their studies in clinical or graduate programs, although some choose to transfer prior to completing requirements for a degree from Wheaton College. The Health Professions Office maintains catalogs and information concerning health careers, and is available for advice and counsel concerning course selection, types of programs, and the application process.

Liberal Arts/Nursing

Students completing the 3/2 Liberal Arts/Nursing program will receive two degrees—a Bachelor of Arts or Sciences from Wheaton and the appropriate professional nursing degree from the nursing school (B.S.N., M.S.N.). Three years are spent at Wheaton in the pursuit of general education and basic science courses. The Liberal Arts Nursing major then may continue in one of two tracks. The first option is to transfer to a CCNE or NLNAC-accredited baccalaureate nursing program and complete the B.S.N. in an additional two years. Wheaton is affiliated with Emory University (BSN Transfer Option) for students who wish to follow this option. The second possibility is to transfer to an entry-level graduate program. Wheaton currently has a formalized arrangement with Vanderbilt University that permits students to enroll in an entry-level master's program. Vanderbilt University requires two years but includes clinician/specialist/practitioner certification. At the end of this program, the student receives an M.S.N. in addition to the Wheaton degree. More highly educated nurses are desirable in the nursing profession. Wheaton's nursing program must remain dynamic and reflect changes at the nursing schools and in the nursing profession. Thus, students may also complete a major of their choice while completing admissions requirements for nursing school. Rush University offers the Generalist Entry Master of Science in Nursing (GEM) which has a B.S. or B.A. degree for an admission requirement. Johns Hopkins University also requires a baccalaureate degree for admission to the Master's Entry into Nursing program. All graduate programs require the G.R.E. aptitude test or M.A.T. as part of the application process. In collaboration with Case Western Reserve University students may pursue programs leading towards the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree (MN/MSN/DNP). Emory, Vanderbilt, Rush, and Johns Hopkins also offer the DNP.

Since prerequisites vary somewhat with nursing schools, students are strongly encouraged to contact the Director of the Health Professions early in their freshman year. This permits assistance and planning in course selection and with fulfilling other admissions requirements.

In addition to general education courses, basic natural and social science courses required by Wheaton (and by most professional nursing programs) include the following: CHEM 221, 222, 241; AHS 351 and AHS 361 or BIOL 321; BIOL 241, and at least four semester hours of upper division natural science courses (BIOL 364 strongly recommended); PSYC 101, 268 (or other statistics course), and PSYCH 317; SOC 115, and SCI 229 or BIOL 317. Additional affiliate-specific courses may be required by the nursing schools (BIOL 381, AHS 368). The Bible general education requirement for students in the 3/2 nursing program is BITH 111, 211, 213, and 316 for a total of 12 hours. A required number of hours at the nursing school are necessary to fulfill and complete the requirements for the LA/N major. A student applying to the LA/N major should have at least three years of high school mathematics, one year of high school chemistry and biology, and at least two years of foreign language.

Summer Courses at Science Stations

The Science Division offers students the opportunity to take courses at affiliated science stations during the summer. Information on Wheaton's own Black Hills Science Station in South Dakota and information about the Au Sable Institute in Michigan can be found in the Special Programs section of this catalog.

Science Area Courses (SCI)

SCI 211. Natural Systems of the Northwoods. An integrative science course centering on natural history and systems with an exploration of abiotic and biotic factors. Offered exclusively during the summer for education students only (preservice teachers) at HoneyRock. Su only. (2)

SCI 229. Internship/Seminar in the Health Professions. Economic, political, sociological, psychological, and ethical problems facing health professionals and some biblical responses to these problems. Designed for students with a definite interest in one of the health professions, this course provides opportunity to observe the field first hand through a required shadowing internship, and to study the scope of health care in the U.S. Prerequisites: sophomore standing, registration with the Health Professions Program, one year of college biology or chemistry, consent of instructor. Does not apply toward the general education science requirement. (2, lin)

SCI 301. Natural Science: Foundations, Methods, Challenges. A historical introduction to methodological and foundational issues in the natural sciences focusing principally on physics, astronomy, biology, and challenges the natural sciences present to culture. Prerequisite: a lab course in the Studies in Nature cluster. Nature cluster non-lab general education course.

SCI 311. Theories of Origins. An examination of scientific theories of origins and developments, such as Big Bang cosmology, Earth's formation and early history, origin of life, origin of species, history of life, and human origins. Relationships between biblical and scientific explanations are explored for each topic. Team taught. Field Museum visit. Prerequisite: a lab course in the Studies in Nature cluster. Nature cluster non-lab general education course. $30 course fee. Offered every Spring

SCI 321. Science for Middle and High School Teachers. Required for science majors who plan to teach high school. Survey of science curricula, computer applications in science teaching, laboratory theory and evaluation processes, management of laboratories, and field trips. Prerequisites: ten hours of education courses and ten hours of courses in teaching area major. (2)

SCI 322. Elementary and Middle Grade Education Science Curriculum. Required for elementary education majors. Survey of elementary science curricula and resources; consideration of perspective, process, content, and application of science in teaching. Concurrent with EDUC 305L, 311, 311L, 312, 315, 317, 321 or consent of instructor. Prerequisites: ten hours of education courses and at least one science laboratory course. (2)

SCI 393. Interdisciplinary Studies in Science. Seminar. Interdisciplinary study of topics in the natural sciences. Prerequisite: a lab course in the Studies in Nature cluster. Does not satisfy the Nature cluster non-lab general education credit. (2-4)

Revision Date: July 1, 2015



About Wheaton        Admissions        Academic        Faculty        Student Life        Alumni

Wheaton College

501 College Ave.

Wheaton, IL 60187


(630) 752-5000