Primary Application FAQs
What courses count as science courses?
For most application services, your science courses are any biology/biomedical sciences, chemistry or physics courses. Your science GPA is also known as the “BCP” GPA for this reason. AMCAS is a bit different because they calculate a “BCPM GPA” for their science GPA. This is biology/biomedical science, chemistry, physics and math courses. When classifying your courses, you should go by the content of the course, not necessarily the department in which the course is offered. For example, most BISC courses count as science since they are biology-based. However, BISC 4930: Comparative Politics of Health, though offered through the Biomedical Sciences Department, is not a biology-based course and should not be classified as a science course. Each application service has a course classification guide, and you can check the link on each application service for more information.
Does Marquette have a committee letter?
Marquette does not have a committee letter. We use a letter packet service instead. We feel this gives the student the opportunity to put together the best possible combination of letters to advocate for the student’s acceptance to health professions programs.
Do I need a letter from the pre-health adviser?
Usually not. When a health professions program indicates it wants a letter from the pre-health professions adviser, that usually means that if the pre-health office has a letter service, it wants you to use that service instead of compiling the packet yourself. Health professions programs often prefer you use our service.
How many and to which schools should I apply?
This varies depending on what type of program you are applying to and what state you are from. Our pre-med students usually apply to 10-15 schools, pre-dental students usually apply to eight-12 schools and for other programs it really depends on a student’s overall GPA, experience, etc. Students should always apply to their in-state schools, because most programs hold spots for in-state residents, and it can be much more difficult to gain acceptance to an out-of-state school, especially for pre-med, pre-dent and pre-veterinary students. Feel free to schedule an appointment with our pre-health professions adviser, Laurie Goll, if you need any help with school selection.
What should I include in my personal statement?
In the simplest terms, your personal statement should describe why you want to be a doctor, dentist, physician assistant, etc. and why you would be a good one. Your motivation for medicine is a very important element in gaining acceptance to your health professions program of choice. We encourage students to think about what qualities they think make a great doctor, dentist, etc. and then reflecting on how they have tried to refine and develop those qualities. For help with your personal statement, you can visit the Writing Center in the Raynor Memorial Libraries, room 240. See individual application websites (AMCAS, AADSAS, AACOMAS, et.c) for specific character limits.
What if I took courses at other institutions?
If you took courses at other institutions for credit, you must contact that school and request a transcript be sent from those institutions directly to the application service. This includes summer courses, as well as high school courses for which you received college credit. This does not include AP credit. Separate transcripts are not required for AP credit. Some application services have a transcript matching form that you should include with your request. Feel free to contact Laurie Goll, CHS pre-health professions adviser, if you have any questions about this.
What if I have other questions about the application?
We encourage you to first look at the instruction guide for your application service. Most questions can be easily answered by looking there. If you still cannot find the answer to your question, please contact the CHS pre-health professions adviser, Laurie Goll, or contact the application service directly.
Should I address any weak areas (grades, MCAT, etc.) in my personal statement?
No! Personal statements should address why you want to be a health professional and why you will be a good one. Personal statements are not the time to address weak semesters, poor performance, lack of clinical exposure, etc. There are often parts of the application where you can address any weak areas, but it should never be in the personal statement.