Choosing an Academic Major in College:
Most new students who are interested in preparing for a career in the health professions have some time to explore their options before diving into a strict program. The college encourages students to explore the liberal arts curriculum and declare a major at the end of the sophomore year. Students who are interested in the health professions will often major in one of the sciences, but many professional schools value applicants with diverse academic backgrounds, and aspiring physicians may choose to major in any discipline.
Regardless of academic program, a student must do well in both the major and the required science courses. Consideration for admission to a professional school after graduation is based primarily on grade point average and performance on the required entrance tests. Personal interviews, letters of evaluation, and student experience will then factor into the admission decision.
At Colorado College, pre-health students have majored in English, Art, Economics, History, Psychology, Mathematics, Anthropology, Political Science and Philosophy, as well as Biology, Chemistry and Physics.Veterinary schools may emphasize a science major requirement, or they may tend to favor graduates with a science degree. Interested students should c onsult the admissions policy of schools of interest.
Factors That Determine Acceptance:
There are four primary factors that determine the success of an application to health profession schools, particularly medical and dental schools:
- An undergraduate GPA of well above 3.0 is a must to be considered by most medical schools. However, a GPA of 3.5 is a more realistic goal for a competitive application.
- Scores on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), Dental Admissions Test (DAT), Veterinary Aptitude Test (VAT)/GRE or other such tests for the specific health profession school. The average MCAT score for medical school acceptance in recent years has been above 9.0 in each section.
- Letters of evaluation from the College's health professions advising committee, faculty members, administrators or staff, as well as from persons outside the college who know the applicant well.
- The professional school interview. The GPA and the MCAT are usually weighted more during initial screening, but once these two academic ability factors are deemed satisfactory by admissions committees, the letters of evaluation and interview become critical for the final committee decision.
- Relevant experience from the applicant. It is essential that applicants possess experience in community service, healthcare and research. The amount of hours can vary, but it is recommended that experience from all 3 categories be evident.