Summary of the Process

What Really Counts

  • Strong academic back ground and intellectual potential – excellent grades (GPA) and test scores (MCAT, DAT)
  • Evidence of the qualities of leadership and character
  • Knowledge and motivation in the field – Experiences (shadowing, volunteering)
  • Broad range of interests/talents - Extracurricular Activities

Required Major?

  • NONE – There is NO PRE-MEDICAL OR PRE-DENTAL MAJOR AT TOWSON! Be any major you want to be and PLEASE always remember that life does not always go the way we wish it would – so pick a major where you will be able to do something ELSE, if you are not successful in this application process.

Tasks for Pre-Professionals:

Before Applying to Professional School

  • Begin to take required courses
  • Meet regularly with your academic advisor and make yourself known to your professors who will be writing recommendations
  • Become involved in campus life activities
  • Acquire experiences in medicine or dentistry; Volunteer positions, jobs during break and summer, internships, etc.
  • Hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, clinics, dental offices – anywhere patients are being cared for by doctors or dentists
  • Why? Through these experiences you will gain insight and develop a unique perspective on your field. For the application process, they will demonstrate sincere interest in the field OR …
  • You may learn that medicine or dentistry is NOT the field for you!
  • Get information about specific Medical/Dental School prerequisites so you can intelligently plan your curriculum. Resource: the AAMC publication Medical School Admissions Requirements in the library or sold by the Association of American Medical Colleges or the American Dental Education Association's Official Guide to Dental Schools.
  • Select a MAJOR that is comfortable. Medical schools want mature, multi-dimensional students. You can major in any field, as long as you fulfill the medical school prerequisites.
  • Select a major that will prepare you for a career of interest if you decide, for whatever reason, not to become a physician or dentist.
  • If you are pre-medical: Gather information about the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).
  • They have a great deal of information on their website.
  • Alternatively, you can call AAMC: 202-828-0400; they will send a free PRACTICE EXAM
  • Talk to admissions officers at Medical Schools
  • If you are Pre-Dental: Gather information on the Dental Admissions Test (DAT).
  • You will find information on this exam on the American Dental Association website.
  • Talk to admissions officers at Dental Schools
  • Participate in special enrichment programs
  • Undergraduate Research
  • Seminars – at TU and local hospitals
  • Find a mentor, perhaps a physician, medical student, or professor, who can advise you and provide a role model
  • Work with other Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental students in study groups or on special projects to prepare yourselves for the medical school curriculum
  • Go the extra mile, intellectually
  • Do extra, personal reading: fiction, nonfiction, news …
  • Study unique cases from medical journals or from the Internet
  • Learn about national, state, and local health care issues
  • Investigate ethical issues related to health care delivery
  • Learn to express yourself clearly in writing: Take writing intensive courses and/or choose courses that require you to write and to apply the information you learn to solve important and interesting problems.
  • Keep your GPA up – distinguish yourself: you will be competing against many students with 4.0 GPA
  • Investigate alternative career options:
  • An undergraduate major which will result in gainful employment, if not accepted into medical school

The Year in which You will Apply to Professional School

  • Study for upcoming admission tests (i.e. MCAT, DAT). Commercial preparation courses (Kaplan, Princeton Review, ExamKrackers) are expensive, but they are highly recommended. Remember, the students you are competing with for seats in medical or dental school are probably taking courses like these!
  • February: Acquire the pre-medical/pre-dental application materials required for the interview process in (detailed meeting in February)
  • Register for MCAT or DAT or other admission test
  • Begin writing your resume and your personal statement for your upcoming Pre-Med/Pre-Dent Committee interview.  Give copies of these to the TU faculty members that are writing your letters of recommendation so that they may write a better letter.
  • You will need 3 TU faculty reviewers, 2 must be from the sciences, and the other can be from any discipline (including science). You may not have more than 2 from the same department.
  • You should give the faculty at least a few weeks notice to have the letters written.
  • May: Committee Interview during Finals Week
  • Continue volunteer work and extracurricular activities
  • During the summer one year before you plan to attend med/dental school, apply to the schools of your choice using the common applications for medical school (AMCAS) and dental school (AADSAS).  These applications may be submitted as early as June, even if the schools’ deadlines are later.  You should aim to submit your application early, preferably by the end of the summer, as the school’s available seats begin to fill as soon as the application window opens.

After Applying to Professional School

  • Retake MCAT/DAT if necessary
  • Provide Director of Pre-Med/Pre-Dent committee with list of schools you applied to, as well as your MCAT and DAT scores.
  • Interview at schools
  • Inform the Pre-Med/Pre-Dent committee Director of the outcome of your applications
  • Continue to fill all course requirements
  • Continue volunteer work
  • Accept your offer !