What to Look for in a College as a Pre-Med Student
This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Shravya Kakulamarri in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.
- Should You Choose a College Based on the Pre-Med Program?
- Why Academic Advisors Are Important
- Other Factors You Should Consider
Should You Choose a College Based on the Pre-Med Program?
Knowing what you intend to study when deciding what undergraduate programs are the best fit for you is undeniably helpful. Particularly with programs like pre-med, thinking about what support will be provided during the application process at the end of your undergraduate career can reduce stress later on.
Of course, many factors help determine which undergraduate program is right for you, but the following considerations can make that decision a little bit easier.
Why Academic Advisors Are Important
One of the most important things when applying to medical school is having good advisors and advising resources.
Whatever pre-med advising team your college has in their academic advising office will be the people who help guide you through the medical school admissions process. Because the process can be so convoluted and confusing, having a solid support system in the form of academic advisors is very important.
If you are wondering how you can know if an advising team is good, here are some things to consider:
- Do they hold regular check-ins with each student while applying, host mock interviews, or organize application review days? If so, that’s likely a good sign.
- Do their advising teams write those applying to medical school a committee letter, which is a letter of recommendation endorsing you and advocating for you as an applicant? In addition to your other application materials, this can add credibility to your candidacy and reassure admissions officers that you are a good choice.
- If they do write committee letters, do they place a cap on this number or is there a GPA or MCAT score threshold?
These are all things the school’s admissions office, or their advising office directly, should be able to give you information about.
And remember, it is okay if they do not have all the above. This does not mean you should not attend, but it may mean more stress down the line. Therefore, being aware of these factors before making your choice is helpful.
Other Factors You Should Consider
If you are interested in applying to medical school after your undergraduate experience, here are a couple things to keep in mind. Firstly, ask about what percentage of applicants from that undergraduate program are pre-med, completed pre-med, applied to medical school, and were accepted to medical school.
These are all indicators of how successful the school is in preparing students during the application process and helping get them in. The admissions office should be able to disclose that information to you, so don’t be afraid to ask.
Finally, check if there is a medical school associated with the undergraduate school or if there is a hospital nearby. Research and clinical experience are practically required as part of a strong medical school application. As such, you want to ensure you will have these opportunities. If there’s a medical school or hospital close by, opportunities will be plentiful. Furthermore, you can meet the professors and develop relationships while in your undergraduate program, which can help you later as you begin the application process.
For more information, check out CollegeVine’s Recent Articles about Pre-Med Programs.