Academic Advising

Lori Manson, Director
541-346-6048 fax
101 Oregon Hall

The Office of Academic Advising assists students in making a smooth transition to the university, understanding general-education requirements, class scheduling, solving academic problems, and understanding academic sanctions and petitioning processes. The office supports students seeking guidance to achieve academic success, working closely with students in academic distress who may need particular assistance in navigating campus resources. 

See Preparatory Programs in this section of the catalog for information about advising in preprofessional areas of study.

Academic Standing

Academic standing at the University of Oregon is determined by the grade point average (GPA) a student earns in university courses. Good academic standing means that the student has a cumulative UO GPA of 2.00 or better.

Academic sanctions are explained in the Registration and Academic Policies section of this catalog. Advisors in the Office of Academic Advising are available to assist students who want to discuss their academic standing.

Preparatory Programs

Students may begin preparing for the following professional or graduate programs at the University of Oregon. Some of the programs simply require a bachelor’s degree for admission, while others require specific undergraduate courses, standardized examinations, and field experience. Students who are interested in the preparatory programs should consult appropriate university advisors as listed below.

Forensic Science, Preparatory

Deborah B. Exton, Head Advisor

Forensic science is the application of scientific principles and technological practices to the study and resolution of criminal, civil, and regulatory issues. The role of the forensic scientist is twofold: to analyze physical evidence and to provide expert testimony in a court of law. This information is helpful in determining the innocence or guilt of the suspect. The University of Oregon provides advising and course work for students interested in pursuing a career or graduate study in the forensic science field, but does not offer a degree in forensic science. The majority of positions in crime laboratories require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a physical science. The choice of major depends on your interests and the area of forensic science in which you plan to seek employment. Advanced degrees are useful for career advancement and may be required for certain positions. Employment opportunities exist in law enforcement agencies at the local, state, and national level as well as in the private sector. Employment can also be found within such agencies as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, Fish and Wildlife Service, and Drug Enforcement Administration.

Minimum Requirements
  • Bachelor’s degree in any discipline, although biology, chemistry, computer science, general science, or physics are most appropriate
  • For graduate programs, scores from Graduate Record Examinations; a few schools will accept Medical College Admission Test scores instead
  • Letters of recommendation from science faculty members
Suggested Science Courses
  • A yearlong biology sequence is recommended. Check with the preforensic science advisor for the option that is best for you
  • General Chemistry (CH 221, 222, 223) with laboratories (CH 227, 228, 229) or Honors General Chemistry (CH 224H, 225H, 226H) with laboratories (CH 237, 238, 239); Organic Chemistry (CH 331, 335, 336) with laboratories (CH 337, 338)
  • Instrumental Analysis (CH 429) is strongly recommended
  • Calculus I,II (MATH 251, 252) and a course in statistics
  • General Physics (PHYS 201, 202, 203) with laboratories (PHYS 204, 205, 206)

Additional recommended course subjects are photography and public speaking.

Students are urged to contact the graduate programs of their choice for information about application procedures.

Law, Preparatory Advising

Willie and Donald Tykeson Hall

Law schools require that applicants for admission have a Bachelor’s degree. They do not, however, require specific undergraduate majors or prescribe a specific prelegal curriculum. Law schools suggest that prospective students choose majors that provide education in broad cultural fields, which orient students to the general societal framework within which our legal system has developed.

Whatever the undergraduate major, prelaw students should place considerable emphasis on the development of skills in problem solving, critical reading, writing and editing, oral communication and listening, and research. Many law schools advise against a large concentration of courses in vocational training.

The following courses are an example, but not a comprehensive list of what would be appropriate. While these courses are not required for law school admission (but may be required within the undergraduate UO core education curriculum), these courses can serve to make you a more competitive law school applicant.

  • College Composition I (WR 121)College Composition II (WR 122)College Composition III (WR 123)Advanced Composition (WR 423)
  • Introduction to Economic Analysis: Microeconomics (EC 201)Introduction to Economic Analysis: Macroeconomics (EC 202)
  • Inventing America (HIST 201)Building the United States (HIST 202)American Century (HIST 203)
  • Introduction to Accounting I (ACTG 211)Introduction to Accounting II (ACTG 213), or Accounting: Language of Business Decisions (BA 215)
  • Critical Reasoning (PHIL 103)Social and Political Philosophy (PHIL 307)Social and Political Philosophy (PHIL 308)Logic, Inquiry, and Argumentation (PHIL 325)Introduction to Philosophy of Law (PHIL 344)
  • Legal Process (PS 275)Constitutional Law (PS 470)United States Supreme Court (PS 484)
  • Public Speaking as a Liberal Art (ENG 200) or Oral Controversy and Advocacy (ENG 330
  • Literature and additional expository writing courses
  • Undergraduate legal studies courses (LAW) or conflict resolution courses (CRES)
  • Journalism -- Media and Society (J201), Communication Law (J385)
  • Courses in psychology and sociology are recommended

Accredited American Bar Association (ABA) law schools in the United States require their applicants to submit scores from the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The examination is given multiple times a year. Consult the Law School Admission Council's website,, for online registration and additional information. Registration must be completed at least a month before the testing date. For those planning to attend law school immediately upon graduation, it is recommended that the examination be taken in the spring of the junior year or at the earliest possible date in the senior year.

Each law school has its own admission criteria. The primary predictors of admission are LSAT scores and student undergraduate GPA from all undergraduate institutions attended. Various subjective factors are also considered. Students should use the pass/no pass option with restraint. They should expect to provide letters of recommendation and statement(s) of purpose.

Additional information about pre-law advising and law school admission is available from the Law School Admission Council's website and the UO Pre-Law Advising Blog. Students who want more information or assistance should speak with a Pre-Law Advisor in Tykeson Hall.