- Advising For Your Future
Health Professions Schools require applicants to have completed the premedical curriculum prior to application. The premedical curriculum at Saint Louis University meets the entrance requirements for most health professions schools in the United States. Each medical school may have their own course requirements in addition to the courses listed below. The common courses required for admission to medical, dental, optometry, podiatry and veterinary schools, with few exceptions, include the following:
- Principles of Biology I and II (lectures and laboratory)
- General Chemistry I and II (lectures and laboratory)
- Principles of Organic Chemistry I and II (lectures and laboratory)
- Physics I and II (lectures and laboratory)
- Calculus I
For the student who expects to complete a degree in four years and go directly into medical school, the premedical curriculum must be completed by the end of the junior year of college. The premedical curriculum given above should be considered the minimum science preparation for a health professions school. You should strive to take additional upper division biology and chemistry courses to strengthen your background in the sciences, especially if you select a major in the humanities or social sciences. Consider taking courses in development and reproduction, cellular and molecular biology, evolutionary biology, physiology, organ systems, analytical chemistry and physical chemistry.
Medical and other health professions schools are stressing a broad general training at the undergraduate level. The CORE requirements of the College of Arts & Sciences at Saint Louis University include courses which satisfy non-science requirements. These courses include general psychology, composition and other courses which develop communication skills.
General Academic Preparation
Medical school admissions committees recognize the importance of a liberal arts education which includes a strong foundation in the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and development of excellent communication skills.
Although the completion of a college degree may not be specifically required by a medical school, there is an expectation that the applicant has pursued some discipline in depth. The successful applicant is a student who has developed the skills to "develop and maintain effective relationships with patients, work collaboratively with other team members, act ethically and compassionately..."* These skills are developed through many avenues of study, such as in the natural sciences, in the humanities, and in the social and behavioral sciences. Development of effective written and oral communication skills are especially important for medical school applicants.
Selection of a Major
Professional schools do not select students based on the undergraduate major. The process of selecting a major should include consideration of interest and you individual strengths and weaknesses. The most important aspect of major selection is a consideration of what careers, other than a medical career, the major prepares you to enter. Think of the major as a backup plan.
Successful Saint Louis University premedical students have completed majors in many disciplines such as psychology, modern and classical languages, English, and theological studies as well as the more traditional majors in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. "Starting in 2015, when aspiring doctors take the MCAT® examination, they will not only need a solid foundation in science, they also will need an understanding of the psychology, sociology, and biology that reflect the human and social components of health under changes approved today by the AAMC."*
The Successful Applicant
Diversity within an entering class is considered highly desirable by medical schools. Avoid the common misperception that admissions committees seek some ideal combination of characteristics in the applicants they select for admission. Important aspects of the admission process include:
- High level of scholastic and intellectual potential measured by overall and math/science GPAs, the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) score and a Pre-Health Committee on Evaluations letter.
- Personal qualities including leadership skills, motivation, perseverance, social maturity, curiosity, and sense of commitment deemed important in a physician.
- Knowledge of the medical profession, demonstrated by experience in a health care setting, awareness of current events related to the medical profession, and interaction with health care professionals. A great to obtain this is through working or volunteering in a clinical setting and shadowing physicians.
- Demonstration of a commitment to helping people particularly underserved populations.
Applicants to allopathic or osteopathic medical schools are required to complete an application through various online services.
Over 200 allopathic medical schools utilize the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). For schools not using AMCAS, the applicant will need to contact the schools directly regarding their application procedures. For schools utilizing AMCAS, the applicant can obtain information about the application process at: http://www.aamc.org/students/applying/.
Applicants to public Texas medical schools must apply through the Texas Medical and Dental Application Service (TMDSAS). For schools utilizing TMDSAS, the applicant can obtain information about the application process at: http://www.utsystem.edu/tmdsas/.
All of the osteopathic medical schools utilize the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS). To obtain information about this application service, visit: http://www.aacom.org/.
AMCAS Early Decision is available at selected medical schools. Students who elect to apply to an early decision program can only apply to one medical school. Deadlines for early decision are earlier than for standard admission applications.
*Association of American Medical Colleges, (2012) New medical college admission test approved. Retrieved from https://www.aamc.org/newsroom/newsreleases/273712/120216.html
Verhaegen Hall Room 105 * 3634 Lindell * St. Louis, MO 63108 * 314-977-2840