Frequently Asked Questions
- Who can advise me about being pre-professional at the University of Evansville?
The pre-professional advisor is Francie Renschler. Meet with her at some point in the first year or at the time when you decide to pursue a health professions career. For questions specific to the physical therapy or physician assistant programs, meet with the appropriate advisor. Your faculty advisor is also available to answer questions about courses required for your major.
- Do I need to major in biology or chemistry?
Medical schools are open to a variety of majors. If you major in a non-science discipline, it is quite possible to complete the course requirements for medical school.
- What are medical schools looking for?
Medical schools are interested in applicants with excellent academic abilities (as shown in grades, the rigor of courses, and MCAT scores), strong interpersonal skills, clear motivation for an understanding of medicine, and demonstrated compassion and concern for others.
- What is the MCAT?
The MCAT is the standardized test required by all medical schools. Currently, it is a seven-hour, computer-based exam, given 30 times a year, that has sections on biological and biochemical foundations of living systems; chemical and physical foundations of biological systems; psychological, social, and biological foundations of behavior; and critical analysis and reasoning skills. You may take the MCAT when you have completed the chemistry, biology, physics, psychology, and sociology pre-med requirements. Information can be found at the AAMC website.
- What else do I need to do to submit a competitive application?
Besides maintaining a strong GPA and scoring well on the MCAT (500 or above), there are several things that schools are looking for. First is your commitment to helping others and working in a service profession. Volunteer work in any area that you feel strongly about is important. Medical schools want for you to have experience in the medical setting; therefore, you must also gain experience in the medical field, either working, interning, or volunteering in a clinic or hospital setting. It will benefit you to spend some time volunteering in a clinic or hospital. A 4.0 GPA student with a 513 MCAT who has not volunteered at a hospital or spent any time in clinical setting, will have a greatly weakened application. There are many individual factors that come into play in the admissions process.
- Are there opportunities to volunteer in a hospital during the school year?
Many pre-med students volunteer at Deaconess Hospital and St. Vincent Hospital or local retirement homes.
- Do I need to do research as an undergraduate to get into medical school?
You do not need to complete research as an undergraduate, but it is a good idea. Some medical schools emphasize it more than others. There are opportunities at UE and at other institutions around the country to work in labs either during the summer or during the semester.
- When do I begin the application process?
If you plan to begin medical school the fall following graduation from UE, apply in the summer following your junior year, with the earliest date for application submission being around June 1. This means that you take the MCAT, or admissions test for medical school, in the spring or summer of your junior year. Certain courses should be completed by the spring of your junior year. Medical schools have rolling admissions.
If you decide to take some time between graduation from college and matriculation, then applications are submitted in the summer of the year before you plan to matriculate. For example, if you will take one year off, then you will apply during the summer following your senior year.
- Do medical schools look unfavorably on students who take time off?
The average age of the first-year medical student is 25, meaning that many students do not attend medical school directly from college. The reasons vary, but one common reason is that students know that the time between college and medical school is a good time to explore another interest before beginning their medical training. Students do various things, from Peace Corps and Americorps to doing basic research in a lab. The important thing is to spend that time doing something that is enriching.
- How many medical schools should I apply to?
The average number of schools that students apply to is around 12-15. Most students apply to the schools in their state of residence. The Medical Schools Admissions Requirement book (MSAR) contains all of the information for each school, including average GPA and MCAT scores. There is an online version of the MSAR that costs $25 to gain access. Information on the MSAR can be found on the AAMC.org website.