For Those Considering Careers in Medicine

INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS PREPARING FOR CAREERS IN MEDICINE, DENTISTRY, OSTEOPATHY, PODIATRY, AND OPTOMETRY

The information here should serve only as an introduction, and the student is advised to consult other sources, some of which are referred to herein, as well as the pre-health professions advisors (listed herein) for more comprehensive information.

SUNY College at Old Westbury provides excellent instruction in all of the science and nonscience courses that are either required or strongly recommended as entrance criteria for colleges of medicine, dentistry, osteopathy, podiatry, and optometry. The specific minimum criteria for each of these professions are listed below. While most pre-health careers students choose to major in a science area, this is by no means a requirement. Students can major in any subject as long as the minimum academic criteria for admission are achieved.

The pre-health careers program at the College at Old Westbury has been in existence since 1972, when the College was very young. Since that time, the program has had remarkable success in preparing students for studies in the major health sciences. Particularly notable is the college's success in preparing a significant number of minority students and women for such studies.

HEALTH PROFESSIONS ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Advisement for studies leading to the health professions is offered by the college's Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC), which consists of:

Prospective students interested in further information about studies leading to the health professions are invited to contact any of these advisors.

Enrolled students who are interested in careers in the health professions should contact one of these advisors early in their college career, preferably during their first semester, to ensure that they receive proper advice.

ROLE OF THE HPAC

The HPAC facilitates the entry of qualified students into health professions schools by providing information, guidance, and a structure within which the student's strengths can be highlighted. This structure consists of a system of academic records and evaluations by college faculty and outside individuals who are in a position to comment on the student's qualifications, ability, and personal characteristics. When the student is ready to apply for admission to professional schools, the committee evaluates the information collected and decides whether it can support the student's application. If the committee decides it can, it composes a letter of recommendation that reflects the strength of the material in the file. This letter of recommendation is sent to all of the schools to which the student has applied. In the event the committee decides it cannot support the student's applications, the student will be so informed and apprised of other options. These might include further study to improve the student's qualifications, consideration of other health careers, or the option of applying for admission with letters of recommendation from individual faculty members, in lieu of a composite letter from the HPAC. The latter option is an acceptable, but less preferred, alternative to an evaluation by a committee such as HPAC.

Some of the general information with which pre-health students should be familiar follows. The student's attention is especially directed to websites listed below, which provide detailed information for students interested in medicine and dentistry and other health professions.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Medical School Admissions Requirements

Admission Requirements of U.S. and Canadian Dental Schools

See https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/requirements/msar/

See http://www.adea.org/Pages/default.aspx

Admission Tests

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT): This test is required for all US colleges of medicine, osteopathy and podiatry. Information on the MCAT is available on the official MCAT website:http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/start.htm. Generally, students preparing for medical school should plan to take the MCAT in the spring of the junior year or early summer thereafter.

Dental Admission Test (DAT): Required by all US schools of dentistry. See more information on DAT. The DAT is offered throughout the year. Generally applicants should be prepared to take the DAT one year prior to the intended admission date; however applicants are advised to consult the specific dental schools regarding their policies on testing dates.

Optometry Admission Test (OAT): Required by all US colleges of optometry. Information is available at https://www.ada.org/oat.

Application Services:

Both the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Association of Dental Schools provide application services that considerably reduce the amount of time applicants must spend filling out applications. A single application is submitted to the service which then distributes copies to schools designated by the student.

American Medical College Application Services

American Association of Dental Schools Application Service

Note: Not all medical and dental schools participate in these services. Participating schools are shown in the publications listed above.

Application services are also available for colleges of osteopathic medicine and podiatry. See the advisors for further information or check the websites indicated below.

SUMMARY OF REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION TO PROFESSIONAL SCHOOLS

Listed below are minimum requirements for admission to professional schools in the health area. Students should realize, however, that it is wise to plan to take more science courses than would meet minimum standards. A broad range of courses in the humanities, social sciences, and behavioral sciences is also strongly recommended. To be considered a good candidate for admission on the basis of minimum requirements requires exceptionally good performance. The large majority of candidates with whom you will be competing have gone well beyond minimum requirements. You should plan to do the same.

Medical Schools:

Minimum requirements (may vary somewhat from school to school).

Biology

1 year

Chemistry

2 years (through organic chemistry)

Physics

1 year

Mathematics

through calculus 
Statistics is strongly recommended

English

1 year

In addition to the above, some dental schools require other courses, such as:

Mathematics

1 year

Psychology

1 semester

Social Sciences 
and/or 
Humanities

Several semester

Quantitative
Chemistry

1 semester

It is important that you examine Admission Requirements of U.S. and Canadian Dental Schools to determine the specific requirements for schools to which you will apply.

For further information go to the websites given above.

Colleges of Optometry:

For information on optometry: http://www.opted.org/

Minimum requirements (these vary quite a bit):

Biology

1 year

Chemistry

1 or 2 years

Physics

1 year

Mathematics

most require at least 
one semester 
of Calculus

English

1 year

Most schools have a minimum requirement of two years undergraduate work.

Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine:

For information on osteopathic medicine: http://www.aacom.org/home

Minimum requirements (may vary somewhat from school to school):

Biology

1 year

Chemistry

2 years (through organic chemistry)

Physics

1 year

English

1 year

Mathematics

no information available

Most colleges of osteopathic medicine require a minimum of three years of undergraduate work. The MCAT is also a requirement.

Colleges of Podiatry:

For information on podiatry: http://www.aacpm.org

Minimum requirements (may vary somewhat)

Biology

1 year

Chemistry

2 years (through organic chemistry)

Physics

1 year

Mathematics

not specified

English

1 year

A minimum of two years of undergraduate study is required for admission to colleges of podiatric medicine. Most students accepted for admissions have, however, completed four years of undergraduate study. The MCAT is also a requirement.

SCHOOLS WHERE OLD WESTBURY STUDENTS HAVE ENROLLED

The following is a partial listing of schools in the major health professions that have enrolled Old Westbury's graduates and post-baccalaureate students:

  • Harvard University (medical)
  • University of Chicago (medical)
  • Vanderbilt University (medical)
  • Case Western Reserve (medical and dental)
  • Hahnemann University School of Medicine (medical)
  • Jefferson Medical College (medical)
  • Marquette University (medical)
  • SUNY/Stony Brook (Medical)
  • SUNY/Buffalo (dental)
  • SUNY/Upstate Medical Center (medical)
  • Boston University (medical and dental)
  • Howard University (dental)
  • Meharry Medical College (medical)
  • Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences (medical)
  • Bowman-Gray (Wake Forest University) School of Medicine (Medical)
  • Pennsylvania College of Podiatric Medicine
  • Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine
  • U.H.S. Chicago Medical School (medical)
  • Sackler School of Medicine (medical)
  • New York Medical College (medical)
  • Tufts University (medical)
  • New York University Dental School
  • New York College of Podiatric Medicine