100% Placement for Pre-Med and Pre-PT

STEM studies

Choose Ohio First Grant

Grants of $3,000 are available to students who are Ohio residents and a female or ethnic minority in STEM, or a male in nursing. Must be accepted to Bluffton University by Dec. 1.


solving problems creatively

Are you always asking “Why?” “How does that work?” “Would it work better if…?”

At Bluffton, your professors will encourage you to ask questions. And to discover answers. Bluffton’s science programs feature hands-on curriculum, active student organizations and one-on-one assistance obtaining relevant research experiences.

Why Bluffton?
  • Knowlton Science Center renderingThe Knowlton Science Center, featuring teaching labs for chemistry, biology, nutrition and dietetics opened fall 2023.
  • Science students pursue widely varying interests and activities including athletics and music.
  • Be challenged in an intimate yet intense learning environment.
  • Bluffton students have interned at the Cleveland Clinic and the National Institute of Health. 

Majors and Minors

With dedicated Ph.D. professors personally invested in the individual success of each student. Bluffton science majors are prepared for advanced study and a variety of career paths.

Bluffton also offers majors in the health sciences of nursing, dietetics and speech-language pathology and audiology.

Biology major/minor

Take a broad range of courses focusing on cellular and molecular biology, genetics, microbes, invertebrates, plants and humans. Independent study/research opportunities exist at the Bluffton University Nature Preserve and the Little Riley Creek which flows through campus.

A major in biology will serve as a basis for entering fields such as teaching, environmental biologist, medical professions and agriculture. 

Brooke Barnes

Brooke Barnes ’24 has always wanted to help people, and that means pursuing a career in health care. 

“I’ve learned a million and one things and feel very prepared for the graduate school interviews I have coming up.”

Setting sights on optometry school >



Chemistry major/minor

Green Chemistry CommitmentRequirements for Bluffton’s chemistry major closely follows the guidelines set by the American Chemical Society. A strong emphasis in the core areas of chemistry: analytical, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry are required. 

Bluffton signed Beyond Benign’s Green Chemistry Commitment in 2019. Green chemistry is a technique high in demand by the chemical industry. The goal is to minimize toxicity of materials and reduce waste in chemical processes.

Work with a faculty member to gain hands-on experience. Former students have worked on several ongoing environmental-chemistry projects and analytical/instrumentation projects.

A Bluffton chemistry degree is a good foundation for graduate work leading to a career in chemical engineering. 


Medical Laboratory Science

Medical laboratory sciencePrepare for a career as a scientist who conducts and reads medical tests in hematology, microbiology, immunology, pathology and blood/urine/body fluid chemistry.

The Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) program is offered in coordination with the West Central Ohio Medical Laboratory Science Program. From 2018-2021 WCOMLS program had a 100 percent graduation rate and 100 percent placement rate. 

Medical Laboratory Science is a growing field. Occupational outlook >

Grant Klinger

“Processing is not a super glorious job but being in the lab and seeing what the techs do is awesome.” - Grant Klinger

Klinger gains experience

The Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) program is offered in coordination with the West Central Ohio Medical Laboratory Science Program. The only National Accrediting Agency of Clinical Laboratory Sciences-accredited program run by a private school in the state of Ohio.

First three years of the MLS curriculum, as required by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences, include prerequisite courses in biological sciences, chemistry and mathematics that provide the foundation for course work required in the laboratory science program. These courses are taken on Bluffton’s campus.

Senior year coursework is held on the Ohio Northern University campus. Classes will ends by 3 p.m. each weekday, allowing Bluffton students to continue participation on Bluffton sports teams their senior year.

After four years (plus one summer semester) students graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Bluffton and are eligible to sit for the American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification) exam, which allows them to become a certified medical laboratory scientist

Bluffton’s MLS four-year plan recommends students take Anatomy and Physiology I and II their first year. To ensure success in these courses MSL students must have completed high school chemistry and high school biology with a B or better (or college equivalent courses with C or better.) Rare exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

For admission to senior year coursework, students must complete all prerequisite courses with a minimum of a C in each course. A minimum 2.80 cumulative GPA with a minimum 3.0 GPA in science courses (biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics) on a 4.0 scale. Admission will also be based on professionalism and an interview.

Those not accepted into the senior year program could complete a biology major at Bluffton.

Major in medical laboratory science

Complete a major in medical laboratory science in four years with the following guidelines.



As a physics major, you will receive core preparation in physics. With complementary training in mathematics, chemistry and computer science. Physics, mathematics and computer science students often work closely together for research, classroom projects and outreach opportunities.

A Bluffton physics degree is a good foundation for graduate work leading to a career in engineering 
>>>career opportunities in physics

April Horton

April Horton, traveled to Hawaii for a summer internship at the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii. 

Research in Hawaii

a physics major

Complete a major in physics in four year with the following guidelines.


Pre-engineeringGain the skills to creatively solve real-world problems. Pre-engineering majors at Bluffton will take a blend of courses from the mathematics and physics departments. Students can opt for a second major or minor to prepare for an engineering specialization such as chemical, biomechanical, computer, etc.
>>> Engineering new opportunities -  students build ROV 

Graduate from Bluffton prepared to enroll in an accredited engineering program.

Following completion of a bachelor’s degree at Bluffton students have pursued a master’s or Ph.D. at an engineering school. We endorse this because we believe a liberal arts education is a good foundation for all fields, including engineering.

Although the total program is typically six years (four years at Bluffton followed by two years for a master’s degree). It is common to obtain an assistantship for graduate school. This means tuition, room and board during graduate school is covered by the assistantship. In other words, students “pay” for the master’s degree by working for the engineering school. 

Transfer to an accredited baccalaureate engineering program  after two or three years at Bluffton.

Bluffton students complete a 3-2 program, they spend three years at Bluffton followed by two years at an engineering school. They complete two degrees: a bachelor’s from Bluffton and a bachelor’s in engineering from the other school. This is not an automatic program. Any student interested in this format must work out the details with both schools.

  • Students who want to explore the fields of engineering and strengthen the math and science skill sets that they may not have been exposed to in high school
  • Students who want to double major in the sciences to have a broader academic profile to prepare for graduate school
  • Student-athletes who want to prepare for the engineering profession while still being a college athlete


A pre-medicine major will prepare you for medical school with a combination of chemistry, biology and physics courses. However, medical schools do not require a pre-medicine major. Most Bluffton graduates who have entered health professions have majored in biology, chemistry or both.

Ethan Ly

Ethan Ly gained experience as a scribe at Lima Memorial Health System and Joint Township District Memorial Hospital. While entry-level work, he got to work inside patients’ rooms and alongside doctors in the ER. 

A medical scribe

Pre-physical therapy

Physical therapists help people maintain or regain the ability to move and perform daily functional activities. A pre-physical therapy major is a combination of biology, chemistry, math, physics and psychology courses. Physical therapists must earn a doctorate degree and pass a licensure exam to practice.


  Major in pre-physical therapy 

Complete a pre-physical therapy major in four years with the following guidelines.

Physical therapists must earn a doctorate degree and pass a licensure exam before they can practice. A bachelors degree in pre-physical therapy can prepare you for post-graduate education opportunities.

While admission requirements to physical therapy postgraduate programs differ, Bluffton’s pre-physical therapy major, with 56 credit hours in biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, social sciences and health fitness and sport science, will be a good start. Your advisor will work closely with you to meet all prerequisites for the physical therapy program you choose.

You will also work with the Center for Career and Vocation to obtain 40-60 hours of hands-on experience through volunteer work or observation with a licensed PT. Most doctoral programs require experience and a letter of recommendation from a licensed PT.


Science teacher education

Excite the next generation of scientists as middle or high school science teacher. You may select a science concentration as a middle childhood education major. To teach in the high school, you would complete a degree in the sciences with an education studies minor.


The middle childhood license with a science concentration is for teaching any science subject in grades 4-9.

The middle childhood license requires concentration in two areas. Many students choose a science and math combination because there is some overlap in requirements, but science can also be combined with language arts or social studies.

Middle childhood teachers are not required to complete a science major. Rather, they complete a middle childhood education degree from the education department 

Alternative Pathway to Education Licensure

Teach science in grades 7-12

In addition to a major in the sciences, complete an education studies minor. With this minor, you will have completed requirements for the Intensive Pedagogical Program and be eligible to teach for four years. You must then complete the Professional Development Institute to earn a professional licensure. 

More about the alternative pathway to licensure

Dietetics majors


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100% Placement for Pre-Med and Pre-PT

STEM studies

Choose Ohio First Grant

Grants of $3,000 are available to students who are Ohio residents and a female or ethnic minority in STEM, or a male in nursing. Must be accepted to Bluffton University by Dec. 1.