Medical School Preparation and Admissions Timetable

First Year

  1. Meet with premed advisor once or twice each semester; review the application process and dates; read the Health Science Bulletin Board; join health science club; participate in other clubs, groups, student govt.
  2. Take Intro Biology for majors with lab; develop good study habits; you will need to average at least a 3.4 GPA in all classes to be competitive .
  3. Take general chemistry with lab - 2 semesters. Take a math course that is at your level; one calculus class is recommended but not required.
  4. Think about volunteer work at hospital, private clinic, nursing home, etc. during school and especially in the summer.

Second Year

  1. Take Animal Biology and/or Genetics; take Biostatistics. Take 2 semesters of Organic Chemistry.
  2. Talk to your premed advisor about future plans. Determine a major by end of spring semester.
  3. Try to get a job in a health center in your hometown or in Dubuque

(Note: For those not choosing a Biology or Biology Research major, 4 semesters of Chemistry, 2 semesters of Physics, Introductory Biology, Genetics, Cell Biology and Vertebrate Physiology are the courses that need to be taken by the end of your junior year to be adequately prepared for the MCAT.)

Third Year

  1. Talk to premed advisor to prepare early for the April MCAT exam; order an MCAT study manual and take the MCAT practice test and/or review sessions offered by the Biology Dept. Dec- March. Register on paper or on line for MCAT starting Feb. 1. Determine if an individual research project in biology or chemistry interests you. Talk to other students and faculty about getting involved in research. Training in research is invaluable and gives YOU a chance to study something in depth.

    Now is the time to take a serious look at your performance and resume for medical school eligibility – Ask yourself - Do I have what it takes? Am I committed to this? Do I know what I’m getting into? Talk with your advisor about alternatives to med. school that you might fit into.
  2. Take Human or Vertebrate Physiology, 2 semesters of Physics and Evolution (255) or Intro Biochem
  3. Take Cell Biology spring semester.
  4. Start gathering information and timelines for medical schools to which you will apply.
  5. Take MCAT exam in April at Loras.
  6. AMCAS application is available on line at Research and choose the med schools that will receive your MCAT scores.
  7. The summer between your junior and senior year is an excellent time to get a job in a health clinic, hospital, etc. It is important to get some kind of direct patient contact in a health care institution. It is also important to do some kind of a shadowing experience with a physician to actually be in the job, ask them questions, see the doctor/patient relationship first hand. Applications for any research jobs at large universities are due usually starting Jan. 15.
  8. Your chosen schools will then contact you directly with a “secondary application” and ask for letters of recommendation, an application fee and more application information. They usually ask for 3 letters. At Loras one letter is written by a committee of faculty chosen by the student that includes 1 faculty each from biology, chemistry, math, physics and 2 other departments. The other two letters are written by individuals chosen by the student. These people can be academic advisors, Loras employment supervisors or supervisors from a research lab in which the student worked for example. The application will not be processed by the med school admissions office until at least 3 letters are received. These letters should be requested immediately after the student is notified initially by each medical school.
  9. Retake the MCAT in August if necessary.

Senior Year

  1. Have all medical school applications completed and sent in by Sept. 15.or earlier.
  2. Take Biochemistry and finish other major requirements. Consider taking Neurobiology, Developmental Biology, Human Anatomy, or Microbiology as electives.
  3. Seriously consider alternatives if you are not admitted to medical school. It is essential to have 2-3 options to follow in case of rejection of application. It happens! Talk to your premed advisor!!
  4. Acceptances/ rejections usually come out by April 1! Hurry up and WAIT!
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