Pre-Med, Pre-Dent, and Pre-Vet Options
Academic requirements for admission to medical schools vary, so no specific major is recommended. The science core curriculum for medical, dental, and veterinary school is generally very similar.
Students should check specific requirements for the schools to which they are applying. For example, some veterinary colleges may require courses in genetics and biochemistry as part of a student's pre-professional studies . Important considerations for medical school admission are a good academic grade point average and a strong selection of science courses.
Prerequisite courses are available for students wishing to go on to study allopathic medicine (M.D.), osteopathic medicine (D.O.), optometry, podiatry or veterinary medicine. Although most students who apply to medical school major in biology or chemistry, Millersville University students majoring in Psychology, English, and International Studies have been accepted by medical schools. In addition, post baccalaureate students who majored in Computer Science, Speech Therapy, Nursing, and Sociology have completed their science core requirements at Millersville University before beginning their medical school education.
The basic science core for most medical schools is listed below:
- First year chemistry: 8 credits
- Organic chemistry: 8 credits
- Physics (algebra-based): 8 credits (some schools require calculus-based physics)
- Biology: 8 credits (e.g. zoology and cell biology)
- Math: (some schools recommend calculus)
In addition to the above listed courses, we recommend that premedical students take anatomy and physiology, genetics, microbiology or virology, immunology, and most importantly, biochemistry.
Biology majors can take these courses as part of their curriculum or elective selections. Non science majors, who must also meet the credit requirements of their major, generally restrict their choices to one or two of the recommended courses listed above.
Preprofessional students typically select one of the major options below (click to view the curriculum sheets, in PDF format):
The timeline below should help preprofessional studies students meet deadlines associated with interviews, entrance exams, and applications to professional schools.
- Meet with your advisor and allied health coordinator to discuss your plans for medical, dental, veterinary, or other professional schools. The allied health coordinator is located to Caputo Hall, Rm 200.
- Look into campus and community activities. Begin volunteering in local hospitals, clinics, hospice centers, missions, etc.
- Prepare your first autobiographical sketch and statement of intent to attend a professional school. You may want to give a copy of this sketch to professors or supervisors.
- Continue studies, activities, and refining your autobiographical sketch. Most students begin asking for letters of reference to be forwarded to the chair of the Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC). Check into financial aid for your medical school education.
- Begin reviewing material for the pre-professional school examinations (MCAT, DAT, VCAT, GRE).
- Begin preparing your application material for submission to the application services. These are generally submitted in the summer of your junior year (June-July).
- Begin your independent research project.
- Check to see that your letters of reference are on file with HPAC.
- If you feel you are ready, submit your application for the Spring examination period for the entrance examinations. Application materials are available online. See links below in the blue paragraph for the appropriate examination. You can also choose to take the exam at a later date (summer or fall).
- If all your application material is on file, you can schedule an interview with HPAC in late Spring. If you have not already done so, check into financial aid for your professional school education.
- Submit your completed application to the application service.
- The Fall is an ideal time to schedule an interview with HPAC. Your completed file will have 5 letters of reference, an autobiographical sketch, transcripts, and your professional examination scores (MCAT,DAT, VCAT, GRE).
- Continue your activities, research, and studies.
- Await word on interviews. Good luck.
Prospective medical students must also take the Medical College Aptitude Test ( MCAT ) as part of the application process for most medical schools. Students generally take the examination after they have completed their chemistry and physics block and have had sufficient time to review material covered in their biology courses.
Most students use practice tests available from bookstores or online to help them prepare for this examination. Students interested in taking entrance examinations in dentistry (DAT), or other post-secondary admissions tests (VCAT, PCAT) should contact the following:
The application process for professional schools should begin 12 to 18 months prior to the beginning of the professional school's classes.
For example, students wanting to start medical school in the Fall of 2009 should have their AMCAS application completed for submission by June/July 2008, have taken their MCAT exam in the Spring of 2008 (or August 2008), and have five letters of reference on file with the Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC) by Spring/Fall of 2008.
Application forms for medical school are found at: http://www.aamc.org/students/applying/amcas/
For students interested in schools of veterinary medicine, see: http://www.aavmc.org/ . Also, visit website of Ontario Veterinary College, a North American veterinary college that recently sent us a helpful brochure aimed at international students interested in studying in Canada. MU is not affiliated with OVC.
Both academic and professional enrichment for premedical students at Millersville is offered on campus or through University related programs. Academic subjects of particular interest to premedical students offered outside the School of Science and Mathematics include courses on biomedical ethics, death and dying, physiological psychology, developmental and abnormal psychology, aging and health care, and sociology of health. Millersville University has a Nursing Program and premedical students should consider taking a few courses from this department as well.
The University Honors program provides special classes for exceptional students. Juniors and seniors may also participate in the departmental honors program, which involves an independent research project and a thesis.
Preprofessional enrichment for premedical students is encouraged through student chapters of such national scientific societies as the American Institute of Biological Science, the National Society of Physics with its Sigma Pi Sigma honor society, and the American Chemical Society.
Medical and dental schools are interested in well-rounded students and prospective students are encouraged to become actively involved in their school and community. Many of our students are active in clubs and athletics on campus and volunteer their time at local hospitals, clinics, missions, and nursing homes. Some of our students have trained as EMTs, Nurse's Aids, and Surgical Technicians. We have had students who majored in respiratory therapy, nuclear medicine, and medical technology at Millersville University go to professional schools following their initial medical training.
Premedical students at Millersville University enjoy extra benefits not available to graduates of larger schools. The small number of premedical students at Millersville permits close faculty contact and personal assistance with admission to medical schools. The majority of recent applicants have been accepted into professional programs.
Medical schools that have accepted recent Millersville graduates include:
- Albany Medical College
- Auburn School of Veterinary Medicine
- Colorado State University School of Veterinary Medicine
- Georgetown University
- Illinois College of Optometry
- Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
- Kirkville College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Medical College of Ohio
- Medical College of Pennsylvania (Drexel)
- Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine
- Pennsylvania State College of Medicine
- Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
- State University of New York at Buffalo
- State University of New York at Syracuse
- Temple University
- Temple University School of Dentistry
- Tuft's University School of Medicine
- Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
- University of Kentucky College of Medicine
- University of Maryland School of Medicine
- University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey School of Osteopathic Medicine
- University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
- University of Pittsburgh School of Dentistry
- University of the Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine
- West Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Also, Millersville University has an accelerated program affiliation with the Temple University College of Podiatric Medicine, and the Pennsylvania College of Optometry. Both of these programs are 3+4 programs in which the student spends the first 3 years at MU and, if accepted by the professional school, receives a BS degree in Biology from Millersville University at the completion of the first year of professional school education. Entrance into the professional schools is competitive and MU students must do well academically and earn an acceptable score on either the OAT examination for optometry school or the MCAT examination for podiatry school.
Study at medical school demands dedication to the scientific method and experience with laboratory equipment. Both the faculty and facilities at Millersville furnish premedical students with those prerequisites. Of special benefit to premedical students at Millersville is the low student/faculty ratio in many of the science departments at the University. The same professor who gives the lecture teaches most laboratories; therefore, students have an opportunity to develop a good rapport with professors in both lecture and lab.
Preprofessional students at Millersville also benefit from the guidance of the Health Professions Advisory Committee. Composed of faculty members from the sciences and humanities, the committee provides continuing assistance for the premedical student from course selection through admission to medical schools. For the admissions process, the committee writes the necessary composite letter of recommendation and conducts mock personal interviews. Students wishing to set up an interview with the committee should have five letters of recommendation, a personal statement, transcripts, and scores from entrance examinations (MCAT, DAT, VCAT). Letters of recommendation should be addressed to:
Health Professions Advisory Committee
P.O. Box 1002
Millersville, PA 17551
Extensive facilities in the School of Science and Mathematics complement Millersville's teaching staff. Within the School are departmental laboratories for biology, chemistry and physics. A variety of modern scientific instruments and computers are available for student use. Research opportunities for premedical students exist in anatomy, molecular biology, microbiology, physiology, organic chemistry, biochemistry, physical and analytical chemistry, and physics. Further training for premedical students is available through the Psychology Department in Byerly Hall. Facilities there allow students to pursue a variety of topics in experimental psychology.
This challenging academic program emphasizes rigorous research and analytical reasoning skills. Honors College students explore the evolution of Western intellectual and literary traditions, mathematical theory and application, and scientific theory and practice. Designed for students who plan to go on to graduate school, the University Honors College Program is the largest in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. For more information, request the University Honors College Program brochure.
Cooperative Education is an academic program which allows students to gain practical work experience in a job related to their major. Students may work full or part-time while they earn credit toward graduation and "test drive" their chosen careers. Most positions are paid, although unpaid internships can provide valuable experience and open doors to jobs after graduation. For more information, ask for a Co-op brochure from the Office of Internships & Civic Engagement Services (717) 872-3774 or visit their web site.