Are you a high school student who's thinking about pre-medical or pre-professional health studies? Here are a few suggestions for preparing yourself -- in high school and college -- for a professional health program.
What can I do in high school to prepare for pre-medical studies?
What should I major in?
What are the prerequisite courses?
What do professional schools look for in applicants?
How competitive is medical/dental/vet school?
How do I choose professional schools to apply to?
How much does medical (or other professional) school cost, and how much financial aid is available?
I am not sure I want to go to professional school, but I know I want to continue my studies. What are my options?
You do not have to major in biology. Learn more about choosing a major as a pre-professional health student.
In college, you will follow the pre-professional health curriculum, a prescribed series of courses that students must take.
The courses you need to take before applying to professional school include general biology I and II, general chemistry I and II, organic chemistry I and II, physics I and II, upper division biology, calculus I, statistics, psychology, sociology, and English composition. Check with individual schools for specific requirements.
Medical school is very competitive. For example, SLU School of Medicine receives more than 8,000 applications for 175 seats. Other medical schools vary, and all schools report their entrance statistics in the MSAR book, available online and in our office.
Veterinary Medical school is extremely competitive, as there are only 30 schools in the country.
Osteopathic, Dental, Podiatric and Optometry schools are also competitive, but with somewhat different entrance requirements compared to Medical school.
Choose schools that you have the most competitive application to based on your GPA and standardized test scores. Also consider location, state of residence and cost.
Cost varies depending on the school and whether you are attending as a resident or non-resident of that state. Expect to have debt of more than $170,000 after four years of professional school, beyond any undergraduate debt.
There are limited opportunities for scholarships. The armed services provide medical school tuition assistance, asking for years of service upon the completion of your educational training. There are also various opportunities for underserved community members. Typically, these opportunities require a form of public service in a particular field in response to the receipt of the financial assistance. The most common form of financial aid for medical students is student loans.
There are many opportunities within the health field and other professional sectors, including law school and graduate programs in the sciences and health-related fields. Talk to your major advisors and Pre-Professional Health Studies advisors for specific suggestions.
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