Independent Minds, Working Together

Choosing A School

Make sure you apply to schools whose admission requirements you meet,  If applying to medical school, you should also consider applying to all of the schools in your home state, since preference is often given to in-state residents.  Private in-state medical schools should also be considered.  There isn't a magic number of schools.  For medical schools, most students apply to an average of 10 to 12 schools. Choose a broad range.

It is important you research each school and try to visit as many as possible.  You will most likely be asked why you are applying to a specific school  They will be looking closely at your answer to see how much effort you have made to know the school.  Seeing as the general information and mission statements of all the schools can sound very similar, here are some other aspects to research and consider:

  • curricula and education programs
  • institutional affiliations
  • teaching hospitals versus non-teaching
  • residency placements
  • patient population being service (look at U.S. Census data for the neighborhood the affiliated hospitals service--what's the economic status of patients in that area, what's the high school graduation and the unemployment rate, what's the ethnicity of the city's population and the poverty rates?)
  • departments and research being done by faculty in each one
  • student life (very important!)
  • student involvement in governance
  • community service opportunities
  • research opportunities
  • hospitals in the area
  • current initiatives
  • special resources (i.e. libraries, centers for outpatient care or special research)
  • contact the medical student association at the school

Medical School Admission Requirements (MSARTM).  Published yearly and available in Career Services or available for purchase.

ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools.  Available in Career Services or for purchase through the American Dental Education Association.

Veterinary Medical School Admissions Requirements (VSMAR).  Compiled by the Associaiton of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, but sold through Purdue University Press.

For specific directories and school requirement listings for other professions, refer to the specific health profession's webpage on the Pre-Health website.