Are you a competitive applicant?
Selecting applicants for our program is not an easy task. We realize how much time our applicants have put into completing their applicant file, writing their personal statement and recruiting folks to write recommendation letters. Many times prospective students ask what their chances are for being selected to interview and to be accepted. There's several factors that come into play when considering an applicant.
Keep in mind that this is a competitive program with limited spots and Assured Admission for its students. Applicants must realize that if they are lacking in any of the criteria, that can hinder them from being selected. If you are lacking in the criteria, strongly consider whether or not to invest the time to apply to our program. There are numerous post-bac pre-med programs with various requirements. You are encouraged to apply to more than one program and should pick one that you are most qualified for.
THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
Each applicant is unique and can bring a diverse experience to our program. We are seeking well rounded, mature individuals who have made a conscious choice to pursue medicine. We are seeking candidates with a genuine interest in becoming a physician and want to make a positive impact in the lives of others through medicine. We are seeking candidates who have served others through volunteering and community service. We are seeking candidates who have performed well academically (meet or surpass our minimum GPA requirement), scored well on their standardized test (ACT, SAT, GRE, GMAT, etc.) and are ready for the challenge to successfully complete the pre-med journey. Getting into medical school is a rigorous process and completing medical school takes even more work.
The further you are from our criteria, the less competitive you are for selection and the less likely you will be interviewed or accepted. It is a good idea to seek out various programs to see which one you're most competitive for and which program will be the most beneficial. There are programs for academic record enhancement and other career changer programs. Our ultimate goal is to help students become the physician they always wanted to be.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE APPLYING
Your academic performance in undergraduate and/or graduate school
The required minimum GPA for our program is a 3.3 either in undergraduate or graduate school. If your GPA is slightly lower than our minimum requirement (e.g., 3.2) consider taking some pre-med level courses prior to applying and earn A's to prove that you can handle the pre-med science in spite of your previous undergraduate work.If your cumulative GPA is significantly lower than our minimum GPA (3.1 or less), keep in mind that the further your GPA is from our minimum requirement, the less competitive you will be for consideration and the less likely you will be selected to interview or be accepted.
When you apply to medical school your cumulative GPA which includes every class you've taken, including the repeated grades will be calculated and then your bcpm GPA (biology, chemistry, physics and math) will be calculated separately. If you've had a roller coaster transcript it can negatively impact your overall GPA. Successfully completely your post-bac pre-med work with strong grades can help, but you may have to also consider a Masters degree in a science area (e.g., Biophysics & Physiology). Any course work completed after earning your bachelors degree will be calculated separately.
Your standardized test score
We accept ACT, SAT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, etc. If you tested significantly low on the ACT, SAT, GRE, LSAT, GMAT, etc., that makes us question how well you'll do on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) and decreases your competitiveness for our program.
If your standardized test score is low, there's not much that can be done about that unless you retake it. However, most students don't due to the length of time its been since they've taken the ACT or SAT. However, retaking the GRE with preparation is a possibility. The required minimum ACT composite score is 24 and the required minimum SAT score is either a 1200/1600 or 1750/2400. In regards to the GRE or other advanced test, we require the 50th percentile in each area for the GRE and the 50th percentile for composite scores for the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, etc. The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is not a standardized test we count.
Your exposure or knowledge of the medical field
Choosing to change your career to clinical medicine shouldn't be a whim or an exploratory choice. We are seeking applicants who have at least researched about what medical schools require and the role of physicians in health care. It also helps if you've done some volunteering in a clinical setting (e.g., a hospital, nursing home, clinic, medical missions, etc.) or shadowed a physician. However, shadowing and volunteering is not required prior to applying to our program, but can be helpful and make you more competitive.
Remember, if you're not accepted into our program, that doesn't stop your pre-med journey. It just requires you to seek a different path to get to where you want to be. Check out http://services.aamc.org/postbac/ to find the right program for you or seek a pre-med advisor at your local four year college to gain insight on how to prepare for medical school. The Association of American Medical Colleges also provides helpful information about preparing for medical school, the MCAT and beyond, https://www.aamc.org/.
Don't forget that their are other health fields to consider that may require less time and still benefit others; nursing, nurse practitioner, physican assistant, physical therapist, dietician, medical assistant, dentist, dental hygienist, dental assistant and much more!