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Texas A&M Health Science Center

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who should I talk to about a career in medicine?

You should speak with your health professions advisor at your university or college. They are the experts in knowing what classes to take and how to apply. Also, talk to physicians in the area or at home. They have first-hand experience not only in being a doctor, but in being a premed student and medical student. Volunteer work at clinics, hospitals and doctors offices will not only advantage your application, but will reaffirm your decision to pursue medicine as a career.

What courses should I take?

Most entering students complete a baccalaureate degree before enrolling. Students, however, may enroll with 90 semester hours of college work or without a baccalaureate degree, provided their academic record and intellectual capacity, dedication to service, capacity for effective interactions, and life experiences are comparable or superior to those students who complete the baccalaureate degree.

The following courses are required with at least a grade of a "C" from a fully accredited college or university in the U.S. and must be completed before or by the time of enrollment:

Required CourseSemester Hrs.Quarter Hrs.
General Biology (with labs) 8 12
Advanced Biological Sciences 6 9
3 semester hrs. or 5 quarter hrs. of Biochemistry is required and may be used towards fulfillment of the Advanced Biological Sciences requirement.*
General Chemistry (with labs) 8 12
Organic Chemistry (with labs) 8 12
General Physics (with labs) 8 12
Math-Based Statistics** 3 5
English 6 9
Total Credit Hours Required 47 71

Notes

* The Biochemistry requirement may be used towards fulfilling the part of the 6 semester credit hours of advanced biological sciences. It must be a course that is applied toward a baccalaureate degree in any traditional science field. The course may be taught in the Biology, Biochemistry or Chemistry department. It cannot be an introductory course.

** The Statistics course should be taught in the Math or Statistics Department. Statistics courses taught in other departments may be considered with appropriate documentation and approval of the Dean of Admissions.

What should I major in?

You can major in any field as long as you complete the prerequisite courses. The Admissions Committee prefers well-rounded individuals. Please keep in mind that most applicants will major in the biological sciences. For example, approximately 80% (sometimes more) of accepted applicants major in the sciences. You should consider taking courses that will help you do well on the MCAT and in medical school. The advisor at your university can help you decide upon a major field of study.

Who do I talk to about applying to medical school?

Talk to your health professions advisor! They are there for you and know about the courses available to you. They are familiar with the application process and will prepare your health professions evaluations (HPE) packets. You should also thoroughly review the TMDSAS website and the medical schools' websites for additional information.

Where should I volunteer?

There are many opportunities for applicants to help in their communities. You should talk to physicians in the area in which you live or in the area you go to school or work. Clinics, hospitals, nursing homes and outreach programs need volunteers. Don't limit yourself strictly to health related work. Every opportunity to interact with people who need your help will influence your life. Explore the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, youth groups, Habitat for Humanity, literacy programs, mission trips and many more.

When should I take the MCAT?

It is to your advantage to take the MCAT in the spring or early summer of the year of your application to medical school.  We will accept MCAT scores taken as late as September of the year of your application, but you should be aware that the scores will not be posted to your application until mid- to late October and may delay the review of your application. Taking the MCAT in the spring also allows you to retake the exam in the summer or fall without having to reapply to medical school. The MCAT must have been taken no earlier than five years before the expected date of enrollment.

The MCAT is offered 28 times over 24 test periods per year.   For more information about the MCAT, visit: http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/

An application will not be considered complete for review until all pending MCAT scores have been received even if previous scores have been submitted.

What letters of recommendation will I need?

The admissions committee prefers a health professions evaluation (HPE) packet. This will be composed by your health professions advisor in your college who will advise you on the required letters. If you do not have an advising office, we will accept a minimum of two letters of evaluation. Letters of reference from work supervisors, medically related preceptors, and research mentors are acceptable, but must not be used in lieu of the minimum two professor letters. The College of Medicine may also request additional letters or references at any time. Review the websites of TMDSAS and the COM for more details.

When should I start applying to medical school?

You may begin applying after only 60 credit hours, however, you must have completed 90 undergraduate semester credit hours before intended enrollment. Usually, applicants are at the end of their junior year of college or have already graduated when they apply. You must apply one year before you expect to matriculate. The deadline for filing all application materials is October 1 for any given year. The application can be submitted as early as May 3. Early application is highly encouraged. The Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service (TMDSAS) processes all applications to first-year entering classes. For details, refer to the TMDSAS web site: http://www.utsystem.edu/tmdsas

Is an Interview Required?

Yes. Applicants are invited for personal interviews based upon their competitiveness within the screening process (completed applications only). However, it must be understood that not all of the applicants under review will result in either an interview or an offer of admission.

How do you decide who to interview?

Applicants are screened for interview on academic performance and intellectual capacity, dedication to service and capacity for effective interactions, special life circumstances, and other compelling personal and experiential factors. For more information, visit our Application Information link.

What is an interview like?

Interview sessions typically are scheduled from August to December. Each applicant is given two individual thirty minute interviews by a combination of faculty admissions committee members, student admissions committee members, and faculty guest interviewers. Personal interviews at the College of Medicine are a two-way exchange. Applicants are encouraged to use this experience to inquire and form opinions about the strengths and opportunities available at the College of Medicine. Although intellectual ability and record of academic achievement are important elements contributing to the mastery of a challenging medical education experience, the Admissions Committee understands that other qualities are necessary to foster the development of a competent, compassionate and responsible physician. Ability to communicate and interact, learning skills and attitude toward education, social consciousness, maturity, integrity of character, tolerance, and motivation for a career in medicine are among the characteristics sought. Approximately 800 applicants are interviewed per year.

On what basis are applicants invited to matriculate?

The College of Medicine is explicit about its commitment to excellence in improving the health needs of Texans, particularly rural and underserved populations, through the integrated education of humane and highly skilled physicians and the development of knowledge in the biomedical and clinical sciences. This mission is the philosophy by which the College of Medicine guides itself and the admissions process. Applicants, therefore, must demonstrate better than average ability to master a challenging educational experience. In addition to academic ability, successful applicants must exhibit the personal qualities necessary to interact with others in an effective and personable manner. Pre-medical advisors play an important role in helping the admissions committee assess these attributes and qualities.

What if I don't get in the first time I apply?

We do not hold multiple years of applying against you. If you don't get in the first year, please talk to your advisor about how to improve your application for the next year, then reapply. You may also request a File Review during the months of January - June following an unsuccessful attempt. To do so, contact either the Associate Dean of Admissions or the Assistant Dean of Admissions by email.

How much does it cost to go to medical school?

A student's ability to pay for medical school is not a factor in the admissions process at the College of Medicine. Approximately 90% of our students receive financial assistance. Assistance is generally in the form of federal, state, institutional, and private funds, with the largest amount in long-term student loans payable after graduation.  See the table below for the cost of attendance for academic year 2014-2015:

Tuition and FeesMS-1MS-2MS-3MS-4
Resident Tuition $12,780 $12,780 $12,780 $12,780
Fees $3,652 $3,652 $3,652 $3,652
Total Tuition and Fees $16,432 $16,432 $16,432 $16,432
Estimated ExpensesMS-1MS-2MS-3MS-4
Room and Board $14,014 $12,613 $16,817 $15,415
Books and Supplies $3,300 $2,682 $3,616 $1,256
Travel $2,945 $2,651 $3,535 $3,240
Misc & Personal Expenses* $6,270 $5,644 $7,524 $6,898
Total Cost of Attendance $42,961 $40,022 $47,924 $43,241


Nonresident tuition* $29,532 per year
*Schedule of fees and estimated expenses same as above. All figures subject to change

How do I pay for medical school?

Explore all financial aid sources - start with your family and see if they can provide some or all of your financial aid support. This can be in the form of gifts, low interest loans or by paying the interest on loans that start accruing interest while you are in school. All three military services offer scholarships that pay all expenses plus a living stipend. Contact the nearest Health Professions Recruiter for details. Similar scholarships are offered by the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and the Texas Health Service Corps Programs (THSC). Both scholarships require a service commitment after completing residency. You may call the NHSC at 1-800-221-9393 or the THSC at 1-877-839-2744 for application information.

Other sources that you should consider are community groups, religious or fraternal groups, parents' employers, alumni associations, unions, and ethnic organizations. Of course, both subsidized and unsubsidized loans are made available to almost all medical students. The average loan debt after medical school here is approximately $104,000.


If you have other questions concerning admissions, please address them to:

Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine

Office of Admissions
8447 State Highway 47
Bryan, TX 77807-3260

Email:admissions@medicine.tamhsc.edu

Last edited by: ebutton 09/17/2014

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