Pre-Law, Business, Engineering

Pre-Professional Planning

Bates does not prescribe pre-professional curricula. Students are encouraged to view their undergraduate courses as significant in and of themselves — not mere means to professional ends. Your first consideration should be to take full advantage of the variety of curricular offerings at Bates.

Students planning graduate study in the established disciplines are urged to consult with faculty members of the departments on course selections.  In addition, the Center for Purposeful Work offers information sessions and recruiter visits, workshops and individual counseling for students considering graduate school.  Every October, Bates, along with Colby and Bowdoin, hosts a Graduate and Professional School Fair attended by admissions representatives from numerous graduate schools.


Students who may be interested in attending law school should be aware that there is no specific major that is required.  Admissions committees consider a variety of factors in applicants’ academic records to attempt to predict law school performance.  Taking an array of challenging, upper level courses, and cultivating the ability to express oneself orally and in writing is important as is evidence of logical reasoning, critical thinking and analytical skills. The Center for Purposeful Work offers Information sessions, panel discussions and law-related events throughout the year.  In addition, students may meet Bates’ prelaw advisor individually at any stage of their academic career.  For more information visit this site.


Regardless of major, Bates prepares students for analytical, strategic and communication roles in all sizes and types of businesses.  In a dynamic and ever changing economy, employers are looking for employees with critical thinking, communications skills, adaptability and a strong work ethic – all hallmarks of a Bates education.  A survey of employers by the American Association of Colleges and Universities released in April 2013 reported that an overwhelming majority (93%) of the 318 employers surveyed agreed that “a candidate’s demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than their undergraduate major.”

The Center for Purposeful Work helps students starting in their first year to develop a plan to explore a variety of fields.  Through Career Discovery in Practice, students have the opportunity beginning their first semester on campus to job shadow alumni and parents working in a range of industries.  Bates offers a variety of funded internship opportunities, and maintains an engaged network of alumni who help recruit students for internship and job opportunities in all sizes of companies throughout the country and internationally.  Companies that hire Bates students  include consulting firms, arts organizations, academic institutions, hospitals and research labs, investment banks, marketing firms, technology companies and many more.


For students interested in careers in engineering, the College offers joint degree programs with a number of prestigious engineering schools.  Students spend three years at Bates taking general education requirements and basic courses in mathematics, physics, and other relevant sciences, preparatory to matriculation to the engineering school for concentration in the area of interest for two years. This three/two liberal arts/engineering program results in two baccalaureate degrees — one from Bates and one from the school of engineering. The engineering schools affiliated with Bates in this program are: Columbia, Case Western Reserve, Dartmouth, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Washington University in St. Louis.

For more information, please contact Nathan Lundblad, Associate Professor of Physics at nlundbla@bates, or Hong Lin, Professor of Physics at  For information about graduate programs in Engineering, please contact Nancy Gibson at the Center for Purposeful Work at


The Center for Purposeful Work at 146 Wood Street provides graduate and professional school advising and maintains current information on a variety of postgraduate professional and graduate programs. We encourage students to attend information sessions and make individual appointments at any point during their time at Bates. Contact Karen Daigler at for Pre-Health or Graduate School Advising and Nancy Gibson at for Pre-Law or Graduate School Advising.

The best preparation for postgraduate education of any kind is a rewarding and enriching undergraduate experience. Again, that is best achieved by following your interests and the advice of your teachers in the selection of courses.