Whether you have firmly set your sights on a medical career, or are still making up your mind, we welcome your interest and inquiries. A career in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, or allied health professions all offer challenges, variety, and flexibility.
The links you will find in this section will help you get started with important information necessary for premedical students; premedical advising services, program requirements, the medical school application process, and a suggested timetable. We encourage you to seek as much factual information as you can as early as possible in your academic career. Remember, the premedical advisor is your best resource.
Don't worry; you don't need to make a firm decision before seeking advising help. One of our most important jobs is helping people make realistic, informed choices about pursuing a career in any of the health or allied health professions. Once you have made a decision to become a premedical student, we will ask you to interact regularly with the premedical advisor throughout your undergraduate years. Advising is done in person, and via telephone and email. Please review the following links for more information:
The Premedical Office: An Academic Resource
The Premedical Office, located in the Student Success Center on the second floor of the Science Center, is open to any UMass Boston student interested in learning about the health professions. The Premedical Advisor is available to talk with interested students, and also works closely with those who are applying to medical, dental, or veterinary school. Premedical students are encouraged to meet with the advisor regularly through the entire process, from orientation through acceptance.
Advance Planning Means Excellent Timing
UMass Boston's premedical program helps you gain a strong academic background if you're considering the fields of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, osteopathic medicine, or any allied health profession. Another program benefit is to help you plan your academic program well in advance. Advance planning is crucial, especially since applying to professional schools in any of these highly competitive areas requires paying strict attention to timing.
If you wish to begin your studies the year after you graduate from college, for example, plan to complete all your premedical courses by the end of your junior year or, at the very latest, by the end of the summer before your senior year. One reason for this is that you're expected to apply to medical, dental, veterinary, and other health-related graduate programs one year before you expect to begin. Another reason is that admissions tests, which you'll need to take before your senior year, are largely based on premedical coursework.
Boosting Your Chances
Prospects for admission are best for those with a grade point average of 3.5 - 3.6 overall and 3.5 - 3.6 or better in math and science, combined with above-average scores on standardized admission tests. You will need to have completed all premedical requirements by the time you apply, and exhibit considerable strength in all admissions criteria.
Admissions decisions are typically based on a combination of academic performance, test results, recommendations, work experience including health care-related work, volunteer work and community service, evidence of significant teamwork experience, and personal qualities. Although clinical and research experience is encouraged, admissions committees are more interested in what you've learned, regardless of the type of work or whether it is paid or volunteered.
You're encouraged to major in the field that is of the greatest interest and appeal to you; medical schools neither require nor suggest that a student major in science. But regardless of your major, virtually all medical, dental, and veterinary schools require that, at a minimum, applicants complete the premedical requirements before they will consider an application.
The Medical School Application Process
Your Premedical Folder
The Premedical advisor in the Student Success Center will work closely with you as you assemble your premedical folder during the course of the program. A complete folder contains:
Recommendations: At least four, but no more than eight. Three of these must come from UMass Boston science or math faculty. The remaining recommendations can come from anyone else who can write about your qualifications and accomplishments. The recommended distribution is three or more for premedical courses, one or two for social sciences or humanities courses, and one or two from an employer or supervisor, preferably from a healthcare-related experience. Recommendation forms may be picked up in the University Advising Center, Campus Center, room 1100.
Transcripts: Unofficial copies of all college and university coursework. AMCAS, AADSAS, or VMCAS form, completed.
A complete copy of your AMCAS, AADSAS, or VMCAS form: These are the applications used by the central application services for medical, dental, and veterinary schools, respectively: the American Medical College Application Service, American Association of Dental Schools Application Service, and Veterinary Medical College Application Service.
Résumé or work history: A simple list of how you have spent your time outside the classroom. It does not have to be a formal job search document.
Test scores: Not required for your folder, but helpful if you have them Your folder is maintained in the Premedical Office by the premedical advisor, who will arrange for your interview with a member of the Premedical Committee when it is complete.
The Premedical Committee
The premedical committee consists of a small group of science faculty and professional staff whose purpose is to assist students when they are at the point of applying to the programs they have chosen.
Each year, beginning after the first of June, committee members interview students preparing to apply for admittance the following year. If you expect to begin medical studies in the fall, for example, your meeting with the committee could take place as early as June of the previous year, but July, August, and September are usual times as well. October and November can be a little too close to deadline dates.
Your Composite Evaluation
Most medical schools recommend that an applicant submit a committee composite evaluation. After a committee member interviews you, he or she will prepare a composite evaluation based on your premedical folder and on the interview itself. During the application process, a school will ask you to have your committee composite sent. Your request to have your packet sent must be made in writing or as an e-mail request to the Premedical Advisor, to create a paper trail for all documents sent on your behalf. Please allow enough time for processing and mailing to meet deadlines.
This sequence is simply a suggested model, featuring typical stages in medical school admission. Each student's individual program, however, will vary according to interests and abilities, work schedule, time spent commuting, family obligations, and so forth.
There is no magic formula. The best route is one that prepares you with the appropriate information and timelines, and offers a realistic understanding of the process. You gain the best advantage if you prepare a strong application, have Premedical Committee support, and apply early.
Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior Years
Complete premedical courses.
Consult regularly with the premedical advisor.
Obtain recommendation forms from the Student Success Center and begin requesting recommendations from the faculty members as you complete your courses. Recommendations are returned to the Premedical Office and kept in the premedical folder that has been set up for you.
There are many summer programs across the country. Some are summer research programs, some are summer enrichment programs. Most are residential with stipends. A good place to find these programs is: here or a Google search for summer premed programs. UMass Worcester has both a summer enrichment program and a summer research program. UMass Boston science departments have REU (Research for Undergraduates) programs in the summer. Contact the UMass Boston biology department, or chemistry department.
March: Register for an upcoming spring MCAT if your coursework is complete or about to be completed, and you have prepared for the exam. Princeton Review courses are offered on campus. Check dates by contacting the UMass Boston Premed Society
March-June: Meet with the premedical advisor to check on the status of your folder and to discuss choice of schools, timing of the committee review, and applications.
April: Seek information online for AMCAS (medical school primary application, online) and AADSAS (dental school primary application, online). If you are planning to apply to schools that don't use these application services, learn what application services they do use, if any, and follow their directions. If the program you're interested in uses its own application, request the application as early as possible
June: By now you should have secured at least four letters of recommendation.
June-July: Complete your applications for individual schools and for AMCAS (medical school primary application, online) and for AADSAS (dental school primary application, online).
June-September: If your folder is complete, you will have an interview with a member of the Premedical Committee, who will then prepare your composite recommendation.
Late summer-early fall: You will likely receive requests from schools to submit secondary application forms and a fee. To have the premedical advisor send your composite packet to those schools, send a written or email request to the premedical advisor. Send applications electronically well before stated deadlines, so that schools await only your test scores.
September-February: During this time schools interview serious candidates. You will begin to receive acceptances and rejections during these months. The later you submitted your applications, the later you are likely to hear from the schools.
I look forward to working with you to help you achieve your goals.