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 XU students with selecting 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. FYI ,visit https://students-residents.aamc.org/choosing-medical-career/article/required-premedical-coursework-and-competencies/ to access direct web links for "Required Premedical Coursework and Competencies" for each medical school that belongs to the AAMC.
Students applying to osteopathic medical school, dental school, and other types of health professions schools should also periodically review admission requirements information by visiting official professional school websites and reviewing admissions resources that may be available in the Premedical Office
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." 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 (allopathic and osteropathic) to apply to at least 10 (unless you are from CA, in which case you should apply to at least 12). Students applying to dental, veterinary, optometry, podiatry, and other types of health professions schools are encouraged to apply to at least 5. Some factors to consider in choosing the specific schools to which you will apply are:
- Where do you have the best chance of gaining acceptance? There are (at least) four factors which may impact your chance of gaining acceptance:
- The minimum or "competitive range" GPAs and entrance exam scores for each school: Some schools pre-screen applicants for minimum GPAs and MCAT, DAT, etc. scores. If this minimum is not met, your application will probably not be considered for further review. Even if a school does not state minimum academic or entrance exam score requirements, a number of schools will indicate what they consider to be "competitive" in terms of GPAs and entrance exam scores. It is IMPERATIVE that you carefully research medical, dental, etc. schools of interest to determine if it's worth your time (and money) to apply based on your cognitive credentials. FYI, you should review the "admission requirements" pages of official professional school websites and the official medical, dental, etc. admission requirements resources that are available online and in the Premedical Office.
- 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 Medical School will accept students from nearby counties in MS/FL, and the U of Tennessee Medical School will accept students who are residents of the 8 states contiguous to Tennessee). You should check the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) resource and similar publications for other types of health professions schools to obtain 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. Review the list of students who reported acceptances at www.xula.edu/premed to see which medical, dental, etc. schools Xavier students have been admitted into in recent years.
- The relative status of school in the medical community: Schools which are highly ranked 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 are enrolled students, particularly XU alumni, performing at the school?"; "Does the school's teaching approach work best for me (e.g. integrated medical sciences, pass/fail grades)?"; "What support is available to underrepresented students enrolled at the school?"; "Can I live away from home?"; "Can I tolerate the weather?"; "Do I have an adequate support system?"; "Does the school focus on my particular career path (e.g. research, clinical practice, or academic medicine)?" and so on. 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 or other students 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 believe that this is FAR LESS IMPORTANT than most students think because the total cost of attendance for most health professions schools is EXPENSIVE and most students must secure loans to finance all or part of their education. Therefore, we suggest that you enroll at a school where you have the best chance of succeeding, even it is not the cheapest school that you have been accepted into. Maintain good credit so that you'll be able to secure the loans necessary to pay for the total cost of attendance for your education. Please note that loans for health professions schools will generally cover the cost of living as well as tuition, books, etc. Just remember that a loan for your education is like the loan you would secure to purchase a house---it is 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. There are some health professions schools that have special contracts to offer tuition-savings programs to out-of-state accepted students (e.g. the Regional Contract Program offered by the Southern Regional Education Board).
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 to the school in the previous year. 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, actively recruit at Xavier, accepted Xavier students into summer programs, 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 clinical training, or that you'll be a better doctor because you enrolled at such a school. The curricula at ALL schools in the U.S. are closely monitored by the accrediting agencies (such as the AAMC or ADEA) and are aligned with content areas on national professional licensure examinations. 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 ALL osteopathic medical schools.
Early Decision Program: The Early Decision Program (EDP) is a special option 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 other 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 Post-baccalaureate 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 https://apps.aamc.org/postbac/#/index. 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. If you are considering a post-baccalaureate program, go to https://students-residents.aamc.org/applying-medical-school/article/considering-postbaccalaureate-premedical-program/ for more details from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
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. The websites of accredited health professions schools are available at...
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.