The Premedicine Program serves students from any major who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine (allopathic medicine). The program ensures that students have access to the courses they need over a 4 year time period to meet their pre-professional requirements as well as providing support and guidance along the way.
Medical schools give preference to applicants who have demonstrated academic excellence in all course work, particularly the core biology, chemistry and physics courses. Applicants must also provide competitive admissions test scores and should be able to demonstrate a long-term, growing commitment to serving others. As an active participant in the Pre-Medicine Program, you will learn to balance a rigorous academic schedule with meaningful extracurricular activities.
Individual, Supportive Education
Many of our graduates have had remarkable success in applying to medical school, largely due to our supportive environment and individualized approach to education. Most of the upper-level science courses you take will have no more than 20 students, so you and your professors will get to know each other well. Most of our introductory science courses have fewer than 30 students. Our labs that accompany courses have faculty as instructors and fewer than 16 students. We encourage you to get involved with the Pre-Health Professions Club as early as possible, so you can take advantage of events and activities, and gain a sense of belonging to Maryville’s Pre-Health Professions community.
Dedicated, Comprehensive Advising
Maryville students planning to apply to medical school are guided in their preparation by the Pre-Health Professions advisor, Dr. Jason Telford, and the Pre-Health Professions Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee usually consists of the Pre-Health Advisor, three additional science faculty members spanning the disciplines, a Psychology faculty member, an English faculty member, and someone with a degree in the health professions. The Advisory Committee offers students:
- Information about medical colleges and careers
- Introduction to admissions requirements for medical schools
- The opportunity to conduct undergraduate research in the sciences
- Assistance identifying shadowing and volunteer opportunities
- Evaluation of whether your course mix, GPA, and MCAT scores are competitive for schools you’re considering
- Letters of recommendation to medical schools
- Help preparing for admissions interviews
We encourage you to make an initial appointment with the Pre-Health advisor during your first semester at Maryville to make sure that the process of applying to medical school isn’t overwhelming.
Sophomore Review Process
During the spring semester of the sophomore year, students are invited to go through a sophomore review process. The process is explained to the students in the fall of the sophomore year. Students will be required to assemble an application with materials similar to those required for medical school admission. The Pre-Health Professions Advisory Committee will review the students’ applications prior to conducting formal interviews with all applicants.
Students going through the sophomore review process will receive feedback from the committee with recommendations for strengthening their application before the start of their junior year. Students that follow the committee recommendations may request a Committee Letter of Recommendation when applying to medical schools. (The Pre-Health Professions Advisory Committee will not write letters of recommendation for students that did not go through the sophomore review process.)
This process, during the sophomore year, allows us to provide feedback to students on ways to strengthen their application materials, life-experiences, academic success and course selection, etc. while they still have time to make the improvements—prior to application to medical school.
While no one major is prescribed for admission to medical school, you should build a strong foundation in biological and natural sciences. That doesn’t mean that you’re tied to a science major, though. Liberal arts majors that develop analytical reading, writing and critical thinking abilities can also prepare you for medical school.
Regardless of the major you choose, your course load should be challenging and well-rounded. We also strongly recommend volunteering at a local hospital or clinic to gain practical experience and exposure to the medical profession. The ideal physician has an in-depth and up-to-date knowledge of medicine, understands the nuances of society, and can communicate well.
There is no universal curriculum recommended for medical school applicants, but most medical schools want to see that you’ve completed the following courses:
- General Biology I & II
- General Chemistry I & II
- English Composition: Theme Writing
- English Composition: The Essay
- Calculus I (some accept Algebra & Trigonometry)
- Calculus-based Physics I & II (some accept General Physics I & II)
Some are beginning to require biochemistry, so don’t wait until it’s too late to determine specifically what classes you should take. Competitive MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) scores are another staple. See below for more information.
The Medical School Admission Requirements, an annual publication of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), details the specific requirements for each medical school. We strongly suggest that all prospective applicants take a look at this resource. It’s available on permanent reserve in the library, and for purchase from AAMC Publications.
The MCAT surveys your knowledge of biological and physical sciences, measures your writing skills, and tests your ability to read and interpret information. You can take the MCAT in the spring of your junior year of college – which we recommend – or in the fall of your senior year. The best preparation is to take your studies of the classes listed above very seriously – these courses will prepare you for the MCAT. Additional courses that we may recommend include: biochemistry, physical chemistry I, quantitative analysis, general genetics, introduction to forensic science, or comparative vertebrate anatomy. Your pre-medical advisor can give you more information about exam schedules and how to prepare.
Physicians work in hospitals, clinics, schools and even in homeless shelters, but there are other areas in medicine where physicians are needed. Physician researchers work to develop new treatments and cures for illnesses, disorders and diseases. Academic physicians share their skills and knowledge with medical students and residents. Positions with health maintenance organizations, medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and health insurance companies are a few of the other options available to those who want to pursue a medical career.
While we typically recommend majoring biochemistry, biology, or chemistry, you may select another major of your choice. Pre-Medicine is a program of study, not a major at Maryville University.
If you’re interested in joining our Pre-Medicine program, you need to meet the general admissions requirements for the University. Specific requirements will be defined by the major you choose.
For more information
Dr. Jason Telford
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Office: ABAC 3208
Phone: 314 529 9432