Loyola University Maryland

Pre-Health Program

FAQ

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Do I need to have a 4.0 GPA to get accepted to medical school?

No. The average GPA for students admitted to medical school is 3.5.

I know that admissions committees look at volunteer experience. How much time should I spend doing volunteer work?

Quality is more important than quantity. You should commit at least 4-6 hours each week for the year prior to application. You should select at least one activity where you are making an impact and the work is making an impact on you.

What does it take to enter and succeed in medical school?

  • Motivation and intelligence
  • A well-rounded college education
  • Completion of college prerequisites
  • Good academic performance
  • High grade point average
  • Timely and successful performance on the MCAT
  • Evidence of motivation for the profession
  • Evidence of interest in service
  • Evidence of leadership
  • Strong letters of recommendation
  • Well written personal statement
  • Timely applications to medical schools
  • Good communication skills

Do I have to major in science to become a competitive candidate for medical school?

No. Pre-med course work can fit into a non-science major with careful planning and advice from the pre-med advisor and program faculty advisors.

Is Organic Chemistry a “weed out” course for pre-medical students?

Organic chemistry is a very challenging class that covers a lot of material, so it is similar to the kinds of classes you will encounter in medical schools. That is why the admissions committee will look closely at these grades.

What are the steps to applying to medical school?

During your junior year, you will need to take the MCAT, obtain strong letters of recommendation, write your personal essay and submit your primary application through the American Medical College Application Service. Most students also interview with Loyola’s Pre-Health Committee, who drafts a committee letter to include with your application. Some schools request a secondary application or an interview before making a final decision.

When do I take the medical school admission test?

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) exams are usually taken in the spring of the junior year. The admission test must be taken the year before you want to begin attending medical school. The MCAT is offered in April and August.

How do I select a medical school?

Applying to medical school is time consuming and expensive, and the competition is intense. Be sure to review the school’s admission information; some schools only accept in-state residents. Some other things to consider include:

  • Ranking/reputation
  • Cost
  • Location
  • Affiliated teaching hospitals and clinics
  • Safety
  • Curriculum
  • Special programs

How many schools should I apply to?

Applying to graduate schools of the health professions is an expensive and time consuming process. The number of schools you apply to will depend on the quality of your application.

  • Allopathic Medicine (MD degrees) - 15 - 25 schools
  • Dental Medicine - 4 - 5 schools
  • Optometry - 4 – 5 schools
  • Osteopathic Medicine - 5 - 6 schools
  • Podiatric Medicine – 3 - 5 schools
  • Veterinary Medicine - 6 - 7 schools

What if I’m not ready to apply right after I graduate?

The average age of students entering medical school is approximately 26. Many of these students have chosen to pursue other interests before applying to medical school.

Should I take the MCAT in April or August?

Generally, taking the MCAT in April is better than in August. Your applications would be completed quicker; you might start getting interviews earlier in the season; and you might even hear about acceptances sooner. However, if you will benefit from a few more months to study and prepare, then the August test is better.