What should my major be?
Medical schools do not have a preference for any specific majors. Therefore, you may major in almost anything. You should consider a major which you enjoy, in which you perform well, or which might serve as a basis for further graduate work or for employment in the event you do not go to medical school. Many applicants majoring in non-science areas are successful applicants to medical school. Nevertheless, you must meet the specific requirements for the medical schools you are considering, regardless of your major.
What are the minimal admission requirements of medical schools?
Most medical schools require one year each of general chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, and physics. All courses must have laboratory components. Beginning in 2015, courses in biochemistry, introductory psychology and introductory sociology also help students prepare for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). At Marquette, these requirements are typically met by completing:
- Chemistry 1001, 1002/1014, 2111/2113 and 2112/2114
- Biology 1001, 1002, 2001 and 4101
- Physics 1001 and 1002 or Physics 1003 and 1004
- Psychology 1001
- Sociology 1001
Admission committees of some schools also require or recommend additional courses as well. You should consult Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR), published by the Association of American Medical Colleges, for the specific requirements for each school. If you are interested in a particular school, you should learn as much as possible about that school as early as you can.
What if I have Advanced Placement, IB or college credit?
Medical schools look very closely at your college transcript, especially at your science coursework. They prefer to see coursework taken at the college level, even if you show proficiency in that area of study through AP or IB credit. It's best to weigh your options with the Pre-Health Professions Advisor before making any decisions about accepting these credits. You don't want to find out too late that taking credits (instead of taking the courses) may negatively impact your medical school application.
What is the MCAT?
The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a standardized test that measures aptitude and achievement in science and other areas related to the study of medicine. We strongly urge students to review the MCAT content/topics as early as freshman year. Understanding what topics and skills the test measures might affect the way you study/learn in your course work. The four sections of the test are: Verbal Reasoning; Physical Sciences; Writing Sample; and Biological Sciences. The Verbal Reasoning section of the test measures your ability to understand, evaluate, and apply information found in prose texts. The science portions of the test cover topics addressed in general biology, general chemistry and organic chemistry and general physics.
Beginning in April 2015, the MCAT will include four sections.
When should I take the MCAT?
You are strongly urged to take the MCAT in the spring prior to the year of application to medical school (usually in late May or June after your junior year).
What factors do medical schools consider when evaluating applicants?
A number of factors may be considered by medical school admission committees. Factors vary by school, but will probably include academic credentials, MCAT scores, a personal interview, and letters of recommendation. Demonstrated knowledge of and commitment to the profession are also essential. Some schools interview only those applicants meeting certain initial requirements such as residency, GPA, and MCAT standards.
Are extracurricular activities important?
In addition to high levels of academic achievement, medical schools look for many traits in applicants. These include motivation, evidence of a commitment to serve others, responsibility, maturity, leadership, breadth of interest, good judgment, and the ability to manage multiple tasks. These attributes may well be developed in activities beyond the classroom. Students are encouraged to participate actively, but not to substitute activities for academic excellence. There are many volunteer opportunities available at Marquette. Community activities which relate to social concerns or health issues might be of particular interest to those who profess an interest in a health care career. When you apply to medical school, you will be asked about achievements during your undergraduate years, and that question will relate to attainments inside and outside the classroom.
Do I need letters of recommendation?
Yes. Letters of recommendation, which indicate personal knowledge of your abilities, are extremely important. Most medical schools require at least three academic letters (usually two from science professors and one from a non-science professor). In addition, some schools also request one or two non-academic letters. Students should review specific medical schools' admissions requirements regarding which type of letters are preferred. The College of Arts and Sciences provides a Letters of Recommendation service.
What is AMCAS?
The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) is a non-profit, centralized application processing service that is only available to applicants to the first-year entering classes at participating U.S. medical schools. Most medical schools use AMCAS as the primary application method. Regardless of the number of medical schools to which you apply, you submit just one online application to AMCAS. AMCAS does not render any admission decisions and does not advise applicants where to apply.
Is financial aid available for medical schools?
Amounts and types of financial aid vary widely from school to school. You should investigate the costs of medical school during your undergraduate career, as well as the types of loans and scholarships typically available.
How do I make an appointment with an advisor?
Contact us at:
College of Arts and Sciences Advising Center
Pre-health Professions Advisor
Sensenbrenner Hall, 005