This page contains statistical information and other data provided to me by medical schools and a variety of other sources to be used in advising pre-medical students. Although every attempt has been made to be factual, the accuracy of all data contained on this page cannot be guaranteed. It is provided here for students to consider as they plan their pre-medical studies at SBU. Also, toward the end of the page is an exhaustive list of Internet Resources for Pre-Medical Students.
Undergraduate Courses Required for Admission
Additional Undergraduate Courses Recommended
Average Undergraduate GPA of Successful Applicants
Admissions Test Required
MCAT Scores Required for Admission
Typical Medical Schools Admission Fees
Approximate Tuition Costs Per Year
Length of Time to Obtain Degree
Average Indebtedness Upon Graduation
A Typical Timetable for Pre-Medical Admissions Applications
SBU Acceptance Rates
Miscellaneous Items of Interest
Internet Resources For Pre-Medical Students
Doctors of medicine (M.D.s) are physicians fully trained to diagnose illness, prescribe drugs and perform surgery. They use modern, scientifically acceptable methods for diagnosis and treatment. M.D.s work in clinics, hospitals, private offices, nursing homes, and other health care settings. A doctor of medicine attends medical school for four years, after which he or she undertakes graduate medical education by taking up residency in a specialty for 3 or more additional years of training. Surgery, for example, requires 4 or more years of residency, depending upon the subspecialty chosen. Special options in medical education include the B.S./M.D. degree programs (11 medical schools), M.D./Ph.D. degree programs (91 medical schools), M.D./J.D. degree programs (4 medical schools) and 3-year M.D. programs (5 medical schools). The following information is pertinent to students wishing to pursue medicine (allopathic medicine) as a career.
|English (ENG 1113, 2213) [Not ENG 1123]||6 hrs.|
|Biology (BIO 1004, 2134,2234)||8 hrs.|
|General Chemistry (CHE 1115, 1125)||10 hrs.|
|Organic Chemistry (CHE 3304, 3314)||8 hrs.|
|Physics (PHY 1114, 1124)||8 hrs.|
|Human Anatomy and Physiology (BIO 2204, 3304) or Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (BIO 3335)||5-8 hrs.|
|Microbiology (BIO 3314)||4 hrs.|
|Introduction to Immunology (BIO 3322)||2 hrs.|
|Vertebrate Physiology (BIO 3344)||4 hrs.|
|Histology (BIO 3384)||4 hrs.|
|Vertebrate Embryology (BIO 4444)||4 hrs.|
|Analytical Chemistry (CHE 3345)||4 hrs.|
|Biochemistry (BIO 3364/CHE 3364)||4 hrs.|
|Cell and Molecular Biology (BIO 4224)||4 hrs.|
|Mathematics [through Calculus II (MAT 2255)]||10 hrs.|
The 2002 entering class national average was 3.46. Nationally, for 2002, GPA averages were as follows:
|SUBJECT AREAS||ALL APPLICANTS||MATRICULANTS|
For Missouri and selected regional medical schools:
|Medical SCHOOL||Average GPA|
|University of Arkansas||3.65 (2001 entering class)|
|Oklahoma University||3.72 (2003 entering class)|
|University of Missouri-Columbia||3.72 (2003 entering class)|
|Baylor University||3.76 (2003 entering class)|
|Southern Illinois University||3.51 (2000 entering class)|
Greater than 95% have a bachelor's degree. 30% of first year medical students have completed graduate course work or have master's or Ph.D. degrees.
Across the nation, in the April 2000 entering class, 62.2% had majors in the biological sciences (e.g., biology, microbiology, physiology, etc.), and 13% had majors in the physical sciences (e.g., chemistry, biochemistry, physics, math, etc.). No other major accounted for more than 3% of the entering students. In the 2003 class at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine, 81% of the students had majors in the sciences.
Essentially all medical schools use the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). The cost of the MCAT is $185.00 (2003 applicants). The MCAT is a standardized, multiple choice and written exam covering the following subject material:
|SUBJECT||NUMBER OF QUESTIONS||TIME IN MINUTES||RANGE OF SCORES|
|Verbal Reasoning||65||85||0 - 15|
|Physical Sciences||77||100||0 - 15|
|Writing Sample||Two 30-min. essays||60||J - T|
|Biological Sciences||77||100||0 - 15|
In April, 2002, a total of 57,571 examinees took the MCAT. The national MCAT scores for all April and August, 2002 examinees were:
|SUBJECT||ALL APPLICANTS |
Note that the scores are going up dramatically. Average subscores (50th percentile) for the period 1993-1996 for Verbal Reasoning, Physical Sciences and Biological Sciences are 7.7, 7.9 and 8.0, respectively, with a combined score of 23.6. In April, 2003, the 58.9-percentile and above scored 9 or better on the Physical Sciences, the 51-percentile and above scored 9 or better on the Verbal Reasoning, the 47.8-percentile and above scored "O" or better on the Writing Sample, and the 47-percentile and above score 9 or better on the Biological Sciences. The Writing Sample has a mean score of "O" during this same time frame. The Writing Sample is given a letter score J through T - J is the lowest score; T is the highest. How medical schools use the letter scores of the Writing Sample to evaluate applicants is not clear. Note that matriculating students generally score about one point higher on all three subscores than the average score. The MCAT is usually given in April and August of each year, with registration required 30 days or more in advance. For more information about the MCAT contact MCAT Program Office, P.O. Box 4056, Iowa City, IA, 52243, -319-337-1357.
Scores required for admission will vary depending upon the medical school and the individual student's nonacademic qualifications (e.g., extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, etc.). Usually, MCAT subscores of 9.0 or better (27 combined) plus a GPA of 3.6 or better will be sufficient for an interview.
Nearly all of the U.S. medical schools use AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service). The fee for using this service depends upon the number of medical schools applied to. For the entering class of 2004, the fees will be as follows:
|NUMBER OF SCHOOLS APPLIED TO||1||2||3||4||5||6|
For each school over 6, an additional $30 will be charged. Additional expenses (copies of transcripts, xeroxing, postage, etc.) will be incurred when one applies. Also, the individual medical schools may have additional application processing fees. Total cost for applying to medical school (AMCAS, MCAT, fees, miscellaneous expenses) may easily run $400-$500.
AMCAS application materials may be handled electronically using AMCAS-E software provided AAMC. This software is downloaded free on an applicant's personal computer, and it generates, completes and prints the application forms.
Nationally, for 2002-2003:
|RESIDENT STATUS||NONRESIDENT STATUS|
|Private Medical Schools||$30,960||$32,601|
|Public Medical Schools||$14,577||$30,924|
Approximate costs for Missouri and selected medical schools:
|Baylor University (2003)|| $14,986 (resident)/ |
|Kansas University (2001)||$10,910 (resident)/$ |
|Oklahoma University (2001)||$11,134 (resident)/ |
|St. Louis University (2003)||$36,190|
|University of Missouri-Columbia (2003)||$19,572 (resident)/ |
|University of Missouri-Kansas City (2003)||$25,963 (resident)/ |
4 years + 3-8 years of residency. There are approximately 23 specialty boards which certify residency studies in such things as family medicine, internal medicine, surgery, anesthesiology, dermatology, psychiatry, radiology, etc.
National average-$67,000 (1993-94). For Missouri and selected regional medical schools:
|Medical SCHOOL||PROJECTED INDEBTEDNESS|
|Oklahoma University (1998)||$68,980|
|St. Louis University (1994)||$71,000|
|University of Missouri-Colulmbia (2003)||$146,860|
|Washington University (1994)||$67,000|
Approximately 80% of medical school costs are paid by student loans.
Beginning in SEPTEMBER of the JUNIOR YEAR at SBU:
- SEPTEMBER--Begin a systematic preparation for the MCAT. Obtain study materials from AMCAS, the SBU Pre-Health Committee, or any number of other sources, and commit a minimum of 2-4 hours per week in study and preparation. Periodically reviewing old exams from completed science courses is also a very useful supplement to this preparation.
- FEBRUARY--Start a file with the SBU Pre-Health Committee by completing the Pre-Health Committee forms. When your file is established with the Pre-Health Committee, evaluation forms will be sent to all science faculty and any non-science faculty selected by the student.
- MARCH-APRIL--Schedule and complete an interview with the SBU Pre-Health Committee. It takes the Pre-Health Committee approximately 4-6 weeks to circulate evaluation forms, interview the student, and prepare a letter of recommendation. DO NOT wait until September of the Senior year to obtain a letter of recommendation or you will not be able to meet the deadlines set by the medical schools.
- MARCH--Register to take the MCAT.
- APRIL--Take the MCAT.
- APRIL-JUNE--Obtain AMCAS application materials and begin completing forms.
- JUNE-OCTOBER--Complete AMCAS application. AMCAS will not accept application forms before June 1. The deadline after June 1 for submission of materials to AMCAS differs for each medical school. Most schools require that all information be submitted by the end of October. It is always best to complete the application materials as soon after June 1 as possible. Completion of the AMCAS application packet will require having transcripts from all schools attended sent to AMCAS. MCAT scores are automatically forwarded to AMCAS, and through AMCAS to the medical schools which you designate.
- JULY--Register to repeat the MCAT if first test scores are not acceptable.
- AUGUST--Take repeat MCAT if necessary.
- AUGUST-DECEMBER--Complete supplemental application materials sent to you by the medical school(s). Once your AMCAS application file is complete, AMCAS will provide the information (including MCAT scores) to the medical schools you indicate on the AMCAS forms. The medical schools will examine the AMCAS application file, and, if your credentials are acceptable, they will send you a set of supplemental application forms. These supplemental application forms will be completed and returned directly to the medical school. Most schools give only two weeks to complete these supplemental applications. The supplemental applications will require letters of recommendation from the SBU Pre-Health Committee and other selected individuals.
- DECEMBER-MARCH--Interview with the medical school admissions committee. If a medical school finds your AMCAS application file and supplemental application forms acceptable, they will write and invite you for an interview at the medical school. If the medical school chooses not to interview you, you will normally receive a written notice sometime between November and January.
- FEBRUARY-APRIL--Notification of interview results and acceptance/rejection.
Since 1983, more than 60% of SBU graduates applying to medical/osteopathy school have been accepted. Since 1990, acceptance rates have dropped to approximately 50%, due to a dramatic increase in the difficulty of gaining admittance into medical school.
Involve yourself in activities which will improve your nonacademic credentials:
- Do volunteer and/or paid work at a health facility.
- Participate in an externship program.
- Participate in campus activities (e.g., Student Association, sports, clubs, etc.).
- Participate in community activities (e.g., volunteer work).
- Participate in church activities.
- Exercise on a regular basis.
Involve yourself in activities which will improve your academic credentials:
- Participate in undergraduate research and/or independent studies, especially those leading to a scholarly publication.
- Participate in the honors program.
- Enroll in writing-intensive courses to improve your communication skills.
Admissions to medical school are VERY competitive. Over 37,000 people applied to medical schools in 2000, competing for approximately 16,000 chairs. At the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1996, there were 1,123 applicants (and 286 interviews) for approximately 125 acceptances offered. At Kansas University in 1997, 1,500 applicants (and 357 interviews) for a similar number of acceptances offered. Approximately 30% of all first-year medical students have taken graduate courses or have completed graduate degrees before admission to medical school. Don't give up too easily if you are not admitted the first time you apply. Recognize any academic or nonacademic deficiencies brought to light by your application and take steps to correct them. Make realistic contingency plans. Keep the doors open to do any additional graduate or undergraduate work needed to improve your qualifications for admission.
As a student selects a school for his undergraduate education, a basic question to be answered is "Why go to SBU and not someplace else?" There are a number of factors about SBU that should be considered in answering this question:
- SBU is committed to Christian, higher education. The primary purpose of the SBU faculty is academic excellence, with Christ as the focal point of all activities, both in and out of the classroom.
- SBU has a history of success. SBU graduates applying to medical schools are accepted at a high rate. Once in medical school, the performance of SBU's graduates has been outstanding.
- Most upper-level classes at SBU are small (usually less than 20-25 students). This has a number of important results. Closer interactions between faculty and students will occur at SBU than at most other institutions. You will get to known everyone "up close and personal." Life-long friendships will be established with both the faculty and other students because you will have many of the same classes. Individualized, one-on-one attention, assistance, instruction and counseling are available from the SBU faculty. Students do not have to push through a maze of graduate students, teaching assistants and secretaries to meet with their professors.
- SBU has a Pre-Health Committee, consisting of faculty from the departments of biology and chemistry. This committee is dedicated to preparing and sending out those SBU students who wish to become physicians. The SBU Pre-Health Committee provides a number of services to the pre-medical students. Some of these services are listed below:
- Information and assistance about medical schools, medical school catalogs, admissions policies, grade requirements, application procedures, MCAT, AMCAS, preparing letters of recommendation, etc., are provided.
- Under the guidance of the SBU Pre-Health Committee, students can spend time observing and working with local physicians. The SBU Pre-Health Committee has working relationships with many Bolivar-area physicians such that, free of charge, students may spend time with these physicians and educate themselves about their potential careers in medicine.
- SBU students, by registering through the SBU Pre-Health Committee, can participate in the Greene County Medical Society Pre-Med Advisory Conference. This conference, held every other year in Springfield, is a day-long meeting with the admissions officers from all of the Missouri medical schools. At the conference, students have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with these admissions officers and are educated about the medical schools and their admissions policies. Students are the guest of the Greene County Medical Society for a dinner at the end of the conference day.
- SBU students, by registering through the SBU Pre-Health Committee, can participate in the Greene County Pre-Med Externship program. In this program, SBU students are assigned to Springfield-based physicians for a two-week period during December-January of alternating years. During these two weeks, students observe and work one-on-one with a physician in the medical specialty of the students choice (e.g., pediatrics, family practice, thoracic surgery, etc.). The Springfield-area physicians donate their time free of charge.
Selected Medical School Websites
Baylor College of Medicine
St. Louis University School of Medicine
Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
University of Kansas School of Medicine
University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine
University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Washington University School of Medicine
Medical Associations and Organizations
Other Internet Resources
AAMC List of Accredited Medical Schools
fastWEB - financial aid search through the web
Financial Aid Information Page - contains links to other sites
KAPLAN - information on medical school and the MCAT, Dental School and the DAT, Nursing and the NCLEX, Medical Licensing and the USMLE, interview helps, AMCAS info, etc.
MCAT - order registration materials, register on-line, study materials
MCAT software - free download from Peterson.com
Occupational Outlook Handbook
Review.com - information on the MCAT, career planning, etc.
Sallie Mae - financial aid information
StudentDoctor Network - lists of medical home pages, information on applying to medical school