Category Archives: Graduate School

Career Spotlight: Pharmacologist

A true scientist, the pharmacologist has a critical role to play in the field of medicine, as well as other health professions.  According to the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), “pharmacology is the science of drug action on biological systems.”  You might most commonly think of this in terms of the development of new drugs for medical treatment.  The most appropriate undergraduate majors are chemistry and biology.  A PhD in pharmacological sciences is also required.  Some students enroll in joint MD/PhD programs, so they will also have the ability to work with patients.  For more information on this career, please see ASPET’s brochure, entitled, “Explore Pharmacology.”

Career Spotlight: Physical Therapist

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook,

Physical Therapists, sometimes referred to as simply PTs, are healthcare professionals who diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to the very oldest, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions, illnesses, or injuries that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities as well as they would like in their daily lives. Physical therapists examine each individual and develop a plan using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.

Physical therapists practice in hospitals, outpatient clinics, schools, and private offices that have specially equipped facilities. These jobs can be physically demanding, because therapists may have to stoop, kneel, crouch, lift, and stand for long periods. In addition, physical therapists move heavy equipment and lift patients or help them turn, stand, or walk.

Entrants to this profession need a post-baccalaureate degree from an accredited physical therapy program. The American Physical Therapy Association’s accrediting body, called the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), accredits entry-level academic programs in physical therapy. In 2009, there were 212 physical therapist education programs. Of these accredited programs, 12 awarded master’s degrees; and 200 awarded doctoral degrees.

Among the undergraduate courses that are useful when one applies to a physical therapist education program are anatomy, biology, chemistry, physics, social science, mathematics, and statistics. Before granting admission, many programs require volunteer experience in the physical therapy department of a hospital or clinic.

Physical therapists should have strong interpersonal and communication skills, so they can educate patients about their condition and physical therapy treatments and communicate with patients’ families. Physical therapists also should be compassionate and possess a desire to help patients.

Job opportunities are projected to be good.

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)

Career Spotlight: Rehabilitation Counselor

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook,

“Rehabilitation Counselors help people deal with the personal, social, and vocational effects of disabilities. They counsel people with both physical and emotional disabilities resulting from birth defects, illness or disease, accidents, or other causes. They evaluate the strengths and limitations of individuals, provide personal and vocational counseling, offer case management support, and arrange for medical care, vocational training, and job placement. Rehabilitation counselors interview both individuals with disabilities and their families, evaluate school and medical reports, and confer with physicians, psychologists, employers, and physical, occupational, and speech therapists to determine the capabilities and skills of the individual. They develop individual rehabilitation programs by conferring with the client. These programs often include training to help individuals develop job skills, become employed, and provide opportunities for community integration. Rehabilitation counselors are trained to recognize and to help lessen environmental and attitudinal barriers. Such help may include providing education, and advocacy services to individuals, families, employers, and others in the community. Rehabilitation counselors work toward increasing the person’s capacity to live independently by facilitating and coordinating with other service providers.”

Rehabilitation counselors can be found in private practice, in rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, universities, schools, government agencies, insurance companies, and other organizations where people are being treated with the goal of going to or returning to work.

Entry level positions require a Master’s degree in Counseling. The Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) accredits qualifying graduate programs.

Common undergraduate majors include psychology, sociology, or other human services-related fields.

Job opportunities are projected to be good.

 A helpful link is:

For Students Considering Law School

I wanted to draw your attention to a couple of resources from Baylor Law School that are designed to help prospective law students decide if law school is right for them.  Aptly named Is Law School Right for You?, the first article poses some basic questions to help you make this significant decision.  Students who wish to go a bit deeper might enjoy reading the Day in the Life profiles of current students at Baylor Law.

If those articles leave you feeling inspired, visit Baylor’s Pre-law website to help you craft your path to law school.  Keep in mind that law schools do not have specific prerequisite courses, nor do they prefer specific majors.  For assistance with major selection, please contact Career Counseling.


Majoring in Statistics

The career counselors were recently paid a visit by Dr. Jane Harvill, Associate Professor of Statistical Science at Baylor.  She wowed us with stories of six figure salaries, telecommuting, and a broad range of employers where statisticians can work.  Here are some things to keep in mind if you are interested in applying your mathematical skills to help people make decisions.

First of all, the undergraduate major in statistics is appropriate for those who are strong in math.  That does not simply mean that you prefer math over English.  Statistics majors must take three calculus courses and linear algebra.  This major might especially appeal to students who enjoyed AP Statistics in high school.

Second, the list of fields in which statistics are used is endless, and many students choose to double major.  There is also a statistics minor available.  Dr. Harvill told us that statisticians work in government, quality control, market research, the pharmaceutical industry, academics, law, and the insurance and credit card industries…just to name a few.  Students majoring in biology, chemistry, astrophysics, sociology, and economics might find a statistics major or minor to be a nice complement to their studies.

Students with a bachelor’s degree in statistics can apply for jobs as technicians, but students are encouraged to pursue a master’s degree in statistics.  Two more years of school can lead to significantly higher salaries.  As an example, Dr. Harvill told us that technicians may earn a starting salary of $50,000 per year.  However, statisticians with master’s degrees may have six figure salaries.

Interested in learning more?  You can visit the Department of Statistical Science on the web.

Grad School Workshop Tonight!

Are you bound for grad school?  Do you want to increase your odds of getting in?  The Career Services office is presenting a workshop TONIGHT, October 24, for those students who would like to learn more about graduate school admissions.

Dos and Don’ts:  Getting into Graduate/Professional School will be from 5-6 p.m. in the Baylor Sciences Building, Room E125.  Learn how to succeed in the grad school application process, review the graduate school admissions process, and get some application tips.  Maria Pate, Manager with Kaplan, will be the presenter.  RSVP in your HireABear account.