Pre-Med Students

Admission to the College of Medicine is competitive and based on undergraduate academic performance, the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), participation in health-related experiences (such as clinical, research, community service or leadership), faculty recommendations and a personal interview.

HRS has created this page as a helpful guide. Program requirements may change, so please refer to the OSU College of Medicine website for the most up-to-date information.

PREREQUISITE COURSEWORK (@ OSU)

Biology 1113 & 1114- one year

Biochemistry 4511- one semester or quarter course

Chemistry 1210 & 1220 (gen chem) – one year with labs

Chemistry 2510 & 2540 and 2520 & 2550 (organic chemistry) – one year with labs

Physics 1200 & 1201- one year

 

ALL FOUR YEARS

Follow the OSU College of Medicine on Social Media

(and any other institutions you’re considering!)

Begin building relationships with your professors. Go to their office hours, speak with them after class, and ask them about their experiences. Your application will require recommendation letters, so building these relationships now will help in the long term.

  • OSU requires 3 letters – be sure to ask individuals if they can write you a “strong” letter.
  • Submit 2 letters from professors in any courses who have taught you and assigned a grade for credit in the course; at least 1 should be a science course.
  • Personal /Professional Experience Letters are strongly recommended. This can be completed by individuals who know you outside of the classroom, such as: supervisors, managers, someone you have worked with in a community/volunteer setting etc.
  • Put together your resume as you gain experiences (you’ll be giving this to anyone writing a letter for you).

 

YEAR 1—FRESHMAN

Join a relevant student club/organization: Pre-Medicine Club or First-Generation Pre-Medical Student Association.

 You’ll get to meet potential future classmates, hear guest speakers who provide information about the application process and the many aspects of the medical field, interact with outstanding OSU faculty, and have any questions answered about the profession and application process.

Confirm your major selection. For most programs, you can major in anything as long as you’re meeting the prerequisites for admission. Ensure that your major is interesting to you, is something you can be academically successful in, and could serve as a “Plan B” in case your plans change for various reasons.

 

YEAR 2—SOPHOMORE

Review your academic plan and consider taking the following courses:

  • MedColl 2000.21 Introduction to Medicine (2 credit hours) Designed for students interested in a career in medicine, this course will provide an overview of the field (knowledge and skill requirements), information about prerequisites and applying to medical school.
  • MedColl 2022 A Day in the Life: Undergraduate Physician Shadowing (1 unit) Deciding on whether medicine is the right career choice for someone interested in the health professions is challenging. This course is designed to provide a meaningful preceptorship experience with physicians in various disciplines in order to provide the student with a better understanding of the field. Pre-req: Soph, Jr, or Sr standing. Preference given to those who completed MedColl 2000.21.

Attend a College of Medicine Admissions Q&A Session. These sessions will give answers to your questions about the application process, the AAMC’s holistic review of applicants, the MCAT, the personal statement, and much more. Register here.

Start getting clinical experience early. As a medical school candidate, you are expected to spend enough time in a clinical setting to understand the challenges and demands of the lifestyle you will encounter as a physician. Experience with patient exposure may be gained through volunteerism or work at hospitals, emergency rooms, homeless clinics and extended-care facilities.

Begin building your resume. Check out some helpful resources from the Career Counseling and Support Services office here. 

Community/Volunteer Service: The medical profession is strongly oriented to serving the community. You should demonstrate a commitment to the community by involving yourself in service and volunteer activities.

Leadership: Dedication, determination, decision-making, communication skills, teamwork and a willingness to contribute to the welfare of others are characteristics of effective leaders. Leadership experience can be gained in a variety of ways, including participation in work, church, community or school organizations.

Extracurricular activities: We want to know how applicants deal with the demands of their lives outside the classroom. Your ability to juggle these challenges is a strong indicator of how well you will handle responsibilities, stress and the demands of medical school.

Identify potential programs to apply to. Different programs have different prerequisite requirements. By identifying your top choices early, you can ensure you are scheduling all the courses you need moving forward.

Get involved in Research. Research can be in any discipline and performed at any site. You should be able to describe your projects, the questions being asked in the research and your role in the conduct of the research. For help with getting involved, contact OSU’s Undergraduate Research Office.

 

YEAR 3—JUNIOR

Prepare for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). Sign up for Kaplan MCAT Test Prep and/or Princeton Review MCAT Prep Course. Consider registering for a virtual practice test here. 

Start on your application before it opens and apply early. It takes a while to process the application, and then they send the secondary application.

Write a strong personal statement.

  • What you should include: Is there something unique about you? Why do you want to be a physician? Explain your journey – the process from being a ___ major to wanting to be a physician. How did you develop as a person, what experiences shaped you the most? Why medicine compared to any other helping profession? What will you contribute to class? How will you relate to a diverse population, etc.?
  • Highlight your characteristics: compassion, empathy, motivation etc. Discuss the obstacles that you had to overcome – being raised by a single parent, first generation student etc.
  • Do not include: controversial topics, don’t try to become too creative, don’t use extended apologies, and don’t relist everything from the CV/AMCAS application – they will read it!
  • Be sure to proofread. If you get stuck or need an extra pair of eyes to look over your statement go to the OSU Writing Center (4132 Smith Lab).

Prepare for the interview process. Consider contacting Career Counseling & Support Services – they have workshops on “Applying to Graduate School” & “Effective Interviewing skills” or you can always schedule an appointment or attend walk-ins to speak one-on-one with a counselor.

 

YEAR 4—SENIOR

Begin interviewing for programs.

Meet with your undergraduate major advisor to ensure graduation requirements are met.