1 Drexel Drive
New Orleans, LA 70125
- Full-Time Staff
- Quo Vadis Maria Webster, MA, LPC
- Premedical Adviser
(504) - 520-7437
- Part-Time Staff
- JW Carmichael, Jr.
- Director of Premed Program
- Professor of Chemistry
Selecting the Schools to Which You Apply
This document has two supplements: Schools To Which XU Students Should Apply Based on State of Residence and Special Info for Students from CA, LA, MS or TX.
This handout is intended to assist students from Xavier University choose the medical, dental, etc. schools to which they will apply.
NOTE: Students should refer to the most recent edition of the AAMC's publication Medical School Admission Requirements for detailed entry requirements and admissions info for U.S. medical schools. A copy of this book and similar publications for osteopathic, dental, etc. schools are available in the PM Office.
How to Select Medical, Dental, etc. Schools To Which You Will Apply: No one has the time or time or money to apply to all of the health profession schools of a given type. Therefore, we suggest you carefully choose those to which you will apply. Our general guidelines are that students applying to medical school should apply to 10 (unless you are from CA in which case you should apply to 12) and that students applying to other health profession schools should apply to 3-5. Some factors to consider in choosing schools are:
- Where do you have the best chance of gaining acceptance? There are (at least) three factors which determine your chance of gaining acceptance if all other things are equal. These are:
- Whether the school gives preference to people from one geographic area: Almost all public schools give preference to residents* from the state in which they are located and many (e.g. Ole Miss will NOT accept non-residents) whereas private schools do not. However, some will also accept students from other states in the same geographic area (for instance, the U of South Alabama will accept students from nearby counties in MS/FL and the U of Tennessee will accept students from any adjacent state). You should check in Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) book and similar publications to obtain the specific residency requirements for a given school.
- How well the school knows XU and its students: Schools at which XU students have done well in the past are, naturally, more likely to accept more XU students.
- The relative status of school in the medical community: Schools which are highly ranked in terms of doing research by publications such as US News are more difficult to get into.
- Where do you have the best chance of succeeding? There are many factors you will have to consider including, "How have other students been doing at various schools?", "Can I live away from home?", "Can I stand the weather?", "Do I have or need folks I can talk to nearby?", etc. The schools in Supplement 1 to this handout (Schools Suggested for XU Students) are schools at which XU students have been succeeding. We have little or no information about other schools. As you try to find such information, look for real facts-not just what a recruiter tells you.
- Can you afford the school? We suggest this is far less important than most students think because a medical or dental school education costs so much that practically everyone takes out loans because there are very few scholarships. Therefore, we suggest that, if you want to become a health professional, you do not consider cost in choosing a school but instead keep your credit good and then take the loans. Please note that health professions loans will generally cover the cost of living as well as tuition, books, etc. and are usually at lower than normal interest rates. Just remember that a loan for your education is like the loan you would take to purchase a house--an investment in your future. Additional advice regarding paying for your health profession education is available at App 13: Paying for Medical, Dental, Etc. Education .
*Note about residency requirements: Medical, dental, etc. schools have very specific rules regarding the establishment of "residency" in a particular state. Please be sure to check with the schools that you are interested in applying to for information regarding whether or not you can apply as a resident for tuition and selection purposes. FYI, you CANNOT claim to be a resident of more than one state when applying to medical, dental, etc. school.
Broad Categories of Types of Schools to Consider: Although it isn't possible to put all of these together to get the probability of getting into any one school, it is generally possible to use them to group the schools into broad categories as indicated.
- Public schools in your home state: These are probably your best chance of gaining acceptance.
- Public schools in other states: Probably little chance of gaining acceptance unless you are from a nearby geographic region. Check on residency requirements and the number of out-of-state students accepted in the previous year before applying. Of particular interest to many XU students are policies of the U of S Alabama and the U of Tennessee Medical Schools regarding residents of nearby states.
- Private schools: These are generally more difficult to get into because they accept applicants from the entire nation. Generally, we advise students to pay particular attention to those which have a past association with Xavier such as Tulane, Temple, Case-Western, Drexel, St. Louis, Howard, Meharry, Morehouse, etc.
- "Big Name" schools (i.e. schools which have high research rankings in such publications as US News):These schools are generally the most difficult to get into. (i.e. probably not worth your time if your GPA is less than 3.5 and your MCAT is less than 24). Please note that "big name" doesn't mean better classroom instruction, better equipment, etc. for medical students. The curricula at ALL schools are closely monitored by the accrediting agencies (such as the AAMC or ADA) and geared to the licensure exams so that the education you get is basically the same in every medical school (or dental school) in the country. Finally, please note that "big name" doesn't necessary mean "private". While it is true that many of the highly ranked schools are private (Harvard, Cornell, and Johns Hopkins), there are also many which are public (UCSF, UCLA, and Michigan).
Special Postbaccalaureate Premedical Programs: During every professional school application cycle, there are students who find themselves searching for alternatives to medical or dental school that would enhance their academic record and preparedness for application (or reapplication). If you are interested in exploring these programs that are designed to assist individuals who already have Bachelor's degrees with application to medical or dental school, go to http://services.aamc.org/postbac/ . You should also explore program options by visiting medical, dental, etc. school websites. For more information, please attend all group and individual meetings planned for premedical students, check emails from the Premedical Office daily, and visit the Premedical Office regularly.
Required Coursework for Medical, Dental, etc. School: Although most students at Xavier are enrolled in majors which ensure that they take the minimum required courses to apply to medical, dental, etc. school, be advised that some schools may require ADDITIONAL coursework that may not be required for your current major. It is IMPERATIVE that you review the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) book and similar publications periodically (you may also check the schools' websites) to make sure that you have taken or will take ALL required courses for the schools you plan on applying to.
Finally, don't forget the two supplements to this document: Schools To Which XU Students Should Apply Based on State of Residence and Special Info for Students from CA, LA, MS or TX.