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: Admission requirements for health professions schools may change from year to year. Therefore, students who are interested in applying to allopathic (M.D.) medical school should periodically refer to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) online resource Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) for detailed entry requirements and admissions info for U.S. medical schools. A copy of frequented sections of MSAR and similar resources for osteopathic medical, dental, optometry, etc. schools are available in the Premedical Office. Admission requirements information may also be obtained by visiting official professional school websites.
How to Select Medical, Dental, etc. Schools To Which You Will Apply: Most students do no have the 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 apply. There are many resources available that you can utilize to explore the health professions schools you are considering. For example, consider reviewing the AAMC's "How Do I...Decide Where to Apply" document at www.aamc.org. Periodically reviewing admission requirements information; meeting with medical, dental, etc. school recruitment representatives who visit Xavier throughout the academic year; participating in summer programs at health professions schools; and talking to students who are enrolled at the schools you are considering (especially Xavier alumni) are just a few ways to gain perspective on the schools you may apply to during the summer between junior and senior years. In terms of the actual number of schools students pay to apply to, we generally encourage students applying to medical school to apply to 10 (unless you are from CA in which case you should apply to 12) and students applying to other types of health professions schools to apply to 3-5. Some factors to consider in choosing the specific 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 whereas private schools do not. Some public schools 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) resource and similar publications for other types of health professions schools 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 may be 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 and World Report may be 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. As you try to find such information, look for real facts-not just what a recruiter tells you. A good idea is to make contact with Xavier alumni who enrolled at the schools that you are interested in. Further, inquire with the individual schools about the support services made available to under-represented minority students at their institutions.
- Can you afford the school? We suggest this is FAR LESS IMPORTANT than most students think because a medical, dental, etc. 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 secure loans to pay for the total cost of attendance for your education. 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 (e.g. accepted Xavier students in the past, graduated XU students, 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. may not be worth your time if your GPA and MCAT, etc. scores are not competitive). Please note that "big name" doesn't necessarily mean better classroom instruction, better equipment, etc. for medical, dental, etc. schools. 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 necessarily 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).
Osteopathic (D.O.) Medical Schools: If you are interested in becoming a physician, you are highly encouraged to explore both allopathic and osteopathic medical schools. Go to D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy) for more information on osteopathic medicine and http://www.aacom.org/Pages/default.aspx for a list of osteopathic medical schools in the United States (and centralized application information). FYI, some of the osteopathic medical schools that XU students frequently apply to include Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, and William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Please take the time to explore other osteopathic medical schools.
Early Decision Program: The Early Decision Program (EDP) is a special program that gives you the opportunity to secure a medical school acceptance from an EDP-participating school by October 1st. When you apply to an EDP-participating school (by the August 1st EDP deadline), you will NOT be able to apply to any other school until AFTER October 1st, when you receive official EDP notification. If you are accepted via EDP, you must decide whether or not you will commit to attending the school. If you decide to accept the EDP offer, you cannot apply to any other medical schools. If you are rejected by EDP or decide not to accept the EDP offer, you will be allowed to apply to medical schools through the regular admission process. Go to https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/amcas/faqs/147550/amcas_2010_faqs-7.1.html for more information.
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) online tool and similar resources for other health professions schools 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.