Preparing for professional school
Successful admission to a professional healthcare program requires an attention to many factors over a carefully planned period of time. The main areas of consideration for most professional programs are:
- Strong academic performance in prerequisite courses and in an applicant's overall undergraduate record.
- A competitive score on the required admissions test (MCAT, DAT, PCAT, OAT, GRE)
- A strong commitment to healthcare related activities and service with an emphasis placed on patient care experiences (paid or unpaid).
- A record of community service and extracurricular activities (healthcare and non-healthcare related)
- Strong and insightful letters of recommendation from college instructors and other professionals.
While most professional schools generally require similar coursework and admission requirements, some variation can arise within particular schools and programs. While Pre-Med and Health Science advisors are well-versed in the admissions requirements for a large number of programs, it is ultimately the student's responsibility to aware of the requirements for all programs for which they plan to apply. For this purpose, in addition to individual schools' websites, we recommend the following resources:
Medical School (MD) – Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR)
Medical School (DO) – Osteopathic Medical College Information Book
Dental School – ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools
Optometry School - Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry
Physician Assistant - Physician Assistant Education Association Program Directory
Veterinary School - Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges
Pharmacy School - American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
Pathologists' Assistant - American Association of Pathologists' Assistants