Choosing Medical Schools
One of the biggest challenges students face is deciding on the schools to which they will apply. There are a large number of criteria that could be taken into consideration. It is up to you to decide what is most important to you and choose schools accordingly. You should begin researching schools early and make a spreadsheet listing their qualifications in order to help you decide where to apply. We even have a sample spreadsheet to get you started. Several criteria you may want to include are:
Where do you want to live? In a specific region of the country? In a big or small city?
Will you have a support system of family and friends nearby?
How much does that school cost?
What is the class size?
What courses does the school require and recommend?
What are the average GPA and MCAT scores of admitted students?
Does the school accept out of state students?
Will you be required to or have opportunities to get involved in research at that school?
Has the school accepted USU students in the past?
Is the school public or private? (please note that if you are interested in an out of state public school, you will need to be one or two points above their average MCAT and GPA to be competitive.)
Several resources are available to you in researching medical schools. The AAMC publishes a book called the MSAR, or Medical School Admissions Requirements, that is available online or in the advising office (BNR 101). The guidebook that accompanies the this purchase is also useful. The MSAR contains the relevant information for all of the MD schools in the U.S., including admissions criteria, mission statements, and application and acceptance statistics. The AACOM publishes a college information book about DO schools, which contains the same type of information as the MSAR.
In the health professions advising office (career services, basement of the University Inn), we have hard copies of many materials that you may find useful in choosing schools. These include:
All prerequisite requirements for every MD school
MD school start dates (some start in June or July)
Types of joint degrees offered by MD schools
Whether the school accepts out of state or international applicants
Information about the interview format of each school
The oldest and most recent MCAT considered
Secondary application fees and deadlines
This is extremely useful information in an easier to use format the the websites, so come drop by and look at it!