Professional programs and schools do not require specific majors for entrance. This means that students can and in fact should choose a major that interests him/her. Professional schools do not give preference to any major; instead, students must have completed the pre-requisite courses required by the school. Students preparing for a career in the health professions need to plan their curriculum carefully. Students must meet both the requirements for their major and for admission to the professional school. Additionally students should note the following:
• Entrance to professional schools is competitive. Most successful applicants have a GPA of 3.5 or above.
• Most professional schools require students take a standardized test (varies by type of program). This is usually taken during the junior year or approximately a year before entrance to professional school. Coe students who prepare generally score above the national average on these tests.
• Letters of evaluation will play an important part in your application, so get to know your professors, advisors, supervisors etc. well…start early!
• Extra-curricular activities that focus on leadership and community service have become VERY important for admission, especially to medical school. Get involved!
• Clinical experience is also important. PT, Pharmacy, PA, and OT programs often require (many hours for PA) clinical experience. Work to find opportunities that get you into the health care arena!
• Have a backup plan. Less than 10% of new freshman who declare themselves Pre-Med ever apply to medical school, usually because they change their mind. This is an important reason to choose a major that interests you.
• Professional schools encourage students to be in contact with them early in their academic career. Students are encouraged to seek information directly from schools to which they plan to apply.
• The BIG 5 things admissions committees will consider are: GPA (both science and cumulative), Test scores, Extracurricular activities (clinical, volunteer, leadership etc), Letters of Evaluation, and the Interview. (These are not in a particular order because each program and school places emphasis on different areas, but the first two are often used to eliminate applicants).
• The key is to plan early and be organized. Don’t wait until the last minute to research schools and programs. The most successful candidates are the most organized!