Chemistry Department

Pre-Med Advising Tips


Required for application to medical school
Most schools have the following requirements:

• one year of laboratory based college level biology, some schools prefer junior/senior level
• one year of Inorganic Chemistry (CHEM 1110 & 1120)
• one year of Organic Chemistry (CHEM 3010 & 3020)
• one year of college level Physics (PHYS 2010,2011 & 2020, 2021)
• one year of college level English (ENGL 1010 & 1020)
• MATH up to Calculus (MATH 1730 or MATH 1910)
• at least 90 total semester hours

Most schools will not seriously consider you for admission until you are done with your bachelor's degree or would be done prior to beginning medical school.

Application to most medical schools in the United States is made via the American Medical College Application System (AMCAS) in the summer one full year before you expect to start with a fall medical school class. This is done after taking the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). Overall GPA, and Science & Math GPA will be calculated by AMCAS. They will include all grades on all science and math courses in their calculations (taking a class over does not replace the grade in their calculation). Overall GPA, Science & Math GPA and MCAT scores along with an application essay and additional elements stipulated below determine whether or not you will be invited for an interview. Currently, average GPAs for entering medical school classes are approximately 3.5- 3.6, and average MCAT scores are approximately 27 - 30 out of a possible 45. If you are applying to out of state or private medical schools, GPA and MCAT scores will need to be higher.

Additional Courses to Help Improve MCAT Score
Very Helpful: strongly recommend prior to taking MCAT
• BIOL 3250
• CHEM 3530
• BIOL 4210
• BIOL 4110 & BIOL 3020 or BIOL 2010 & 2020 (Medical Schools prefer 4110 & 3020)
• BIOL 4130
Helpful, for taking or retaking MCAT
• Take courses that will challenge your critical thinking and logic skills
• Take courses that require much reading and writing

Medical Schools Like to See the Following in Your Schoolwork
• full course loads of 16 - 18 hrs/semester unless you are also working 10+ hrs/week
• 2 - 3 lab classes most semesters
• BIOL 3010, 3020, 4110, 4130, 4300, 4170, 4560; CHEM 2230, 3530, 4330, 4340 [many of these are courses or information that will be covered during the first year of medical school; familiarity with the subject (or deeper grounding in chemistry) increases retention in medical school and improves your grades - key to getting in a good residency training program]

Medical Schools Need to See Clinical Experiences

• Before applying to medical school, you need 50 - 200 hours of direct observation of doctors in medical settings.
• Medical schools will look for a record of clinical experience over several years in multiple settings
• Begin getting clinical experience early so you will find out quickly if you really want to be around sick people and insurance company paperwork for a career.
• How to get experiences - Call physicians you know, and ask if you can watch them at work for a day (called "shadowing"). Other ways you can gain clinical experience include volunteering or working in emergency rooms, clinics, nursing homes, or hospice. You can also gain valuable experiences through volunteering in support organizations for the chronically ill (muscular dystrophy or multiple sclerosis associations for example).

Medical Schools Like Proof of Community Involvement & Leadership
• You need to demonstrate an ability to make good grades, carry a full course and/or work load, while doing more than just studying.
• You need to demonstrate leadership qualities, concern for others, and an ability to work well in groups.
• How to demonstrate community involvement & leadership - There are many different way to demonstrate these. For example, be an active church member; or volunteer for the Special Olympics, Heart Walk, Memory Walk or MS walk. Join clubs, and become an officer. Volunteer for charitable organizations or service organizations.