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Pre-Medical Information

Office of Special Programs

Pre-Medical

ADVISING

The College of Science and Engineering has academic advisors who maintain the official records of students and certify that students have fulfilled all requirements for graduation. The School of Engineering and Computing Sciences, the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, and the Department of Life Sciences have academic advisors, whose offices are in the Faculty Center. Students should visit with their advisors at least twice during their undergraduate years: during their freshman year to obtain a degree plan and during their senior year for an exit interview at which time they will be certified for graduation.

Each student has been assigned a faculty mentor to guide him/her through the undergraduate years and help him/her prepare for professional school. Students are matched with faculty mentors who have expertise in advising for particular careers. It is important that students indicate which professional area (medical, dental, veterinary, physician assistant, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic, graduate school, etc.) they plan to enter so that the appropriate mentor can be assigned.

Students should see their faculty mentor each semester, preferably as soon as the schedules for the next semester are published.It is to the student’s advantage to establish a relationship with his/her faculty mentor who will help the student prepare for graduate or professional school application process. The faculty mentor is responsible for writing the important letter of evaluation for professional school.

The Partnership for Primary Care (PPC) Program is designed to help the areas and population of Texas that are underserved by healthcare providers. It does this by offering guaranteed admission into Texas A&M College of Medicine for qualified students, from these areas. The individual must be Texas resident from certain designated areas/regions, meet and maintain stringent GPA standards, have above average SAT or ACT scores, be predicted to graduate in the top 10% of their high school class, want to become a primary care physician and commit to attend one of the seven partner universities of the Texas A&M University System.

If the student meets the criteria for entry into the program, and successfully completes the academic and other requirements of the program, the student will automatically be accepted into the TAMU College of Medicine.

The goal of the program is to provide primary care physicians in medically underserved areas. To find more information, visit the PPC website.

The Joint Admissions Medical Program (JAMP) is designed to assist economically disadvantaged students achieve a medical education. To qualify for the JAMP program, students must achieve SAT or ACT scores at least the Texas mean, go directly from high school to a participating undergraduate institution, complete 27 SCH by the end of their freshman year, maintain a 3.25 GPA overall and at least a 3.0 science GPA, and qualify for a Pell grant. Students may be Pre-JAMP students if they are enrolled in a public or private participating university, have an ACT or SAT score that is not less than the mean for the State of Texas, complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and be eligible to receive a Pell Grant for the student’s freshman year of college. These students can apply to be in the JAMP program beginning March 1 of their freshman year until September 1 of their sophomore year.

Students who meet the requirements for this program receive scholarships as well as summer stipends for internships, and must take the MCAT in the spring of their junior year. Click JAMP for more information.

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TEXAS SCHOOLS

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas (230 seats)

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (220 seats)

University of Texas Health Science Center Medical School at Houston (209 seats)

University of Texas health Science Center Medical School at San Antonio (200 seats)

Texas A&M University System Health Science Center College of Medicine (200 seats)

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine (133 seats)

University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth – Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (230 seats)

Texas Tech University Health Science Center El Paso (81 seats)

Baylor College of Medicine at Houston (168 seats)

Baylor College of Medicine Matriculation Information

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YOUR APPLICATION

All medical schools in Texas have the same requirements for admission. Students are required to have a bachelor’s degree, which can be in any field of concentration as long as the science requirements are fulfilled. Exceptional students with only 90 hours of undergraduate courses are considered for admission at a few medical schools, such as Texas A&M University System Health Science Center College of Medicine. Any courses for non-science majors or courses taught for health career majors (Nursing, Pharmacy or Allied Health Sciences) are not accepted.

These are considered the bare minimum science requirements for application and for which the student must have a "C" or better.

  • Biology: two years as required for science majors; one year must include formal lab experience
    • Minimum of 14 semester credit hours,12 lecture hours and two lab hours.
    • Includes all Biology courses applied toward Baccalaureate degree in traditional science field.
    • Includes courses in General Biology, Zoology, Botany, Microbiology, Genetics, Ecology, Immunology, Parasitology, Ornithology, Anatomy and Physiology (Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates preferred), Entomology, Pathophysiology, Marine Biology and Herpetology.
    • One semester of Biochemistry (if taught in Biology Department) will be accepted toward fulfilling this requirement.
  • Chemistry:
    • Minimum of 16 semester credit hours (8 hours of inorganic and 8 hours of organic chemistry).
    • Must be a course that is applied toward Baccalaureate degree in any traditional science field. Should include familiarity with analytic and volumetric techniques.
    • Inorganic courses include General Chemistry, Physical Chemistry and Quantitative Analysis.
    • Organic courses must have "Organic" in course title.
    • One semester of Biochemistry (if taught in Chemistry Department) will be accepted toward fulfilling the organic chemistry requirement, but must have laboratory experience included. The Medical school at Houston does not accept Biochemistry as part of the Chemistry requirement.
  • Physics:
    • Minimum of 8 hours of General Physics with labs
    • Must be science major courses
       
  • Calculus I or Statistics:
    • Three semester hours of calculus or statistics taught by a math or physics department.
    • Business Calculus or any pre-calculus courses are not accepted.
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In general, medical schools frown on applicants with the bare minimum of science courses. Their experience has indicated that these students have trouble in medical school and may not complete the curriculum. Thus, take as much science as possible. Generally, ~80% of accepted students are science majors.

Medical schools prefer science courses taken at the university level, rather than community college. However, most medical schools indicated that they look at the entire application to evaluate the candidate’s chances for success in the medical curriculum.

Many Texas medical schools view the student’s performance in Organic Chemistry as an indicator of ability to perform in the medical school curriculum so be sure to do your best in this course.

Medical schools accept advanced placement and CLEP credit in lieu of taking the course at the university. However, most schools said that they expected the student to demonstrate the ability to perform in that discipline by taking university courses above the level earned by advanced placement and/or CLEP credit. Thus, if a student has advanced placement or CLEP credit for Calculus I, it would improve his/her application to take Calculus II at the university

The medical schools are looking for outstanding students. Some points to consider are:

  • Take at least 15 hours/semester. It is acceptable to begin freshman year with only 12 hours/semester, but it is necessary to increase your course load to prove that you are capable of handling the medical school curriculum. Most degree plans require 120-125 semester credit hours for the degree; it is impossible to complete such a degree plan in the four years (eight semesters) without taking ~16 semester credit hours/semester.
  • Try to finish in four years. Most students accepted into medical school have completed their undergraduate training in four years or less. Finishing in four years demonstrates that you can handle the rigorous medical curriculum.
  • Earn "As" or "Bs" in science courses.
  • Avoid "Ws." Withdrawals are perceived by some members of the admission committee as "red flags," and must be addressed in the application essay.
  • Consider re-taking courses with grades below "C."
  • Maintain a high GPA. The average GPA of medical applicants for the entering class of Fall 2004 was 3.65.
  • Assume leadership roles in campus and/or community organizations. It is better to devote your time to one or two organizations in which you have an active, leadership role than to be a member of five or six organizations for which you just attend meetings.
  • Demonstrate hands-on health care experience either by working part time in a medical field or by volunteering.
  • Participate in undergraduate research opportunities, but ensure that you know what is going on in the lab. If you mention your research experience, you will be asked about it in the medical school interview. Having research experience is critical for the application to MD/PhD Programs.
  • If you have to choose between health care experience and undergraduate research, choose health care experience.
  • Take the Medical Colleges Admissions Test (MCAT) in April.
  • The common code for the release of MCAT scores to the Texas Medical and Dental application Service is 500. The MCAT website is http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/start.htm
  • Prepare for the (MCAT). The average MCAT score of texas medical matriculants is given in the following table.
Year
Average MCAT
2005
28.9
2006 28.9
2007
29.5
2008
30.1
2009
30.0
2010
30.0

Prepare, dress and act professionally for the medical school interview.

Medical school applications are due one year before anticipated matriculation. All Texas medical schools -- except Baylor – have one application form/process, the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service (TMDSAS, 512-499-4785). The common application becomes available on May 1 at TEXAS MEDICAL & DENTAL SCHOOLS APPLICATION SERVICE. The application is available only on the website; you will fill out and submit the application on-line and when ready to submit, click the "submit" button. back to top

Some important tips:

  1.  
    1. Print out a copy of the application and assemble all required materials before starting to input your data on the web.
    2. Have complete transcripts of all your college coursework from every college attended. You will enter undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate courses and grades. You will not enter developmental, remedial, pre-college or audit courses.
    3. Ensure that your computer is capable of on-line application:

      Netscape (Navigator/Communicator) version 4.01 or higher, Internet Explorer version 4.01 or higher.

      (Special note for AOL users - There have been a few problems reported by people using some AOL browsers. You must be sure that you are running in Netscape or Internet Explorer, not in an AOL browser. AOL users with this problem have been successful in using our application by opening up a new window (while still connected to AOL) that has a non-AOL browser in it, such as Netscape or Internet Explorer. If you encounter this problem, you may wish to contact AOL directly to see what they recommend.)

    4. Apply early. Getting your application in early does count. Medical schools select their first round of interviewees from the first set of completed applications received. A completed application includes the application form submitted on the web, all official transcripts sent by the colleges/universities, official MCAT scores and letters of evaluation. Some schools TMDSAS require secondary applications.
    5. Print out and submit via snail mail the signature page; enclose your photos (one/school plus one extra) and the filing fee. The Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service does not grant application fee waivers. The cost to apply to all seven medical schools handled by the application Service was $115 for Texas residents in 2007.
    6. Apply to all medical schools. Not applying to all schools is perceived as a lack of judgment and a lack of commitment.
    7. The first round of interviews begins in August; apply in early summer so that you can get one of the first rounds of interviews. Statistics indicate that the early interviewees were more likely to get into medical school.
    8. Application deadline: October 10 in the year prior to admission.
    9. Medical schools send out letters of acceptance on February 1, but most medical schools have a website that lists the accepted students. These websites become operational on February 1.

By Texas statute, 90% of medical acceptances to the seven public medical schools must go to Texas residents. In practice, it is actually 96-98%.

In general, Texas medical schools do not accept transfer students.

Podiatric Medicine Information

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TESTING PROGRAM TUTORIAL

TEST SESSION FACTS

All medical schools require the MCAT, which is a multiple choice test composed of four sections: Verbal Reasoning, Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences and Writing Sample administered for the Association of American Medical Colleges by the MCAT Program Office. Each section is scored and the schools consider the scores in all four sections, however the Writing Sample score is perceived to be not as important as the scores of the other three sections. MCAT packets are available from your pre-med advisor in February.

MCAT Information Sheet (Pdf)

There are several preparation courses for the MCAT. In general, these courses have been shown to improve students’ scores. However, these courses are expensive and the student is encouraged to speak with students who have take the prep course and the MCAT to decide if the investment is worthwhile.

Prospective medical applicants take the MCAT during junior year. Medical schools will not evaluate your application until in receipt of your official MCAT scores. Students are strongly encouraged to take the April MCAT; they have the option to re-take the MCAT in August if they want to try to improve their scores. However, if a student waits until August, there is no option to re-take the MCAT for that application period. Another consideration is that if a student waits until August and cannot take the MCAT then (illness, death in family, accident, etc.), the student has to wait another year before applying to medical school. There are no exceptions. If you do delay taking the MCAT until August, do not have your scores held; by the time you receive your scores and release them to the medical schools, most interviews have been conducted or scheduled and your chances of an interview are quite slim

MCAT Essentials

MCAT Student Manual

MCAT Practice test online - visit www.e-mcat.com for more information


° These are real MCATs, from other years
° Scoring is automated
° Purchase individual tests or become a full member and receive access to all the practice tests available from the American Association
of Medical Colleges

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LINKS

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