Frequently Asked Questions
What are the various health care professions?
There are more than 80 health care careers with approximately 8,400 accredited professional education programs in various health care fields, many of which are listed as follows:
What are Health Professional Schools looking for in applicants?
It is important to note that Health Professional Schools are interested in more than just a great GPA and strong standardized test scores (MCAT, GRE, DAT, etc.). Admissions committees will carefully review letters of recommendation, personal statements, demonstrated professional experience, and responses to interview questions in order to develop a comprehensive picture of who you are and reasons you wish to pursue a professional career in the healthcare field. Overall it can be said that Health Professional Schools are looking for broadly educated, mature, intellectually curious students who possess excellent academic accomplishments, positive leadership/interpersonal skills, clearly demonstrated motivation for pursuing a healthcare profession, and strong compassion and concern for helping others.
What makes the University of Delaware unique in addressing requirements for the various healthcare professions?
The University of Delaware enjoys an excellent reputation for its success in preparing students for medical/healthcare professions. Exceptional interdisciplinary laboratory facilities, outstanding faculty, significant undergraduate student translational research opportunities, and strong academic and professional program advising are provided across all colleges. This has led to a rapidly growing number of alumni practicing medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, etc., all over the country. Over the past several decades our students have been accepted at almost every major medical/health profession school in the United States, with alumni achieving significant national and international recognition across the entire medical field. In addition to providing students a strong foundation in the sciences, the university can be noted for its emphasis upon the medical humanities and social sciences side of medical education. Through significant co-curricular opportunities provided students, emphasis has been placed upon the humanistic and ethical dimensions of premedical/prehealth profession education.
What is meant by the term Pre-Health?
The term Pre-Health is a broad based term representing the various professions in the health care field that students may pursue. It is not a major/minor but rather a highly flexible track or pathway of certain courses that a student takes in preparation to address admission requirements for health profession schools. “Pre-Health” simply identifies those students who wish to attend a healthcare professional school following the completion of their undergraduate baccalaureate program of study. To achieve this goal a student must complete appropriate academic and co-curricular requirements prior to application to professional schools.
Can students at the University of Delaware major in Premedical/Health Profession Studies?
What is the best major for Premedical/Health Professional School applicants?
Quite a few students who pursue healthcare professions major in the life/health sciences where much of their academic interest lies. However, we advise students to select whatever major they wish. They are encouraged to major in something they truly enjoy and are passionate about because that is more likely to lead to academic success than pursuing a field for which you have little enthusiasm. Be aware that students coming from any major can gain acceptance into medical school provided they have completed the “required” pre-med courses – biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, biochemistry, math, etc. Some med schools like to see students from divergent majors because of their perceived well-rounded nature. In addition to the biological sciences, recent Delaware graduates who were successful in gaining medical school admission came from majors that included, Mechanical Engineering, Exercise Science, Psychology, Foreign Languages and Literature, Economics, Sociology, English, Music, and Philosophy among others. It is important to note that your major will not determine success in applying to medical school. Your interests should determine your choice of major. Regardless of the major selected, most students are able to fit the prerequisite requirements into their curriculum. When someone decides late to pursue a healthcare profession, they may elect to take a glide year following graduation to complete the necessary prerequisites while studying for the MCAT.
Should pre-health profession students consider a study abroad experience?
What servics do the Center for Health Profession Studies offer University of Delaware students/alumni?
The Center provides pre-professional advising to assist students in clarifying their health profession goals. Assistance and guidance is also provided to help them reach these goals. This is accomplished, in part, by helping students navigate the complex health profession school application process for medical, dental, and veterinary schools among others. The following resources are available to students/alumni:
- Mock Interview Training
- Center Website
- Resource Library
- Sponsorship of Pre-Health Student Organizations
- Peer Advisement
- First-Year Information/Orientation Programs
- Distinguished Guest Speakers/Medical Alumni
- Drop In Advisement Hours
- Individual Scheduled Appointment Opportunities
- Personal Statement Guidance
- College of Arts & Sciences “Medical Scholars Program”
- Early Assurance Program with Thomas Jefferson University
- Summer Study Abroad “Orientation Program to Medical Professions” in the Caribbean
- Regional Area Medical/Health Profession School Bused Tours
- Medical Practica Shadowing Preceptors at Area Hospitals/Medical Facilities
- On-Campus MCAT/GRE Preparatory Courses
- Pre-Health Professions Live In Learning Residence (2015)
Where can students obtain more information about various Health Profession Programs?
The Center for Premedical/Health Profession Studies is co-located with the Career Services Center adjacent to the Perkins Student Center and a large complex of freshman dormitories. Drop in hours for 15 minute advisement sessions are available without appointment three days each week during the school year. Scheduled advising appointments are typically available daily Monday-Friday. The Center address is:
University of Delaware
011J Hullihen Hall
Newark, DE 19707
What are the basic pre-requisites/course requirements for admission to Health Professional Schools?
Can AP credit be used to fulfill premedical studies requirements?
What should I do if I perform poorly in a course?
Can Prerequisite courses for Professional schools be taken Pass/Fail?
What is a glide or gap year?
What are the Standardized Tests required by the various Health Professional Schools?
The MCAT exam is a standardized test that has been a part of the medical school admissions process for over 80 years. Offered by the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), the MCAT is a one day, standardized, multiple-choice exam designed to evaluate a medical school applicant’s problem solving, critical thinking, and science based knowledge prerequisite to the study of medicine. Scores are reported in Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning, and Biological Sciences. Note that just about all medical schools in the United States and Canada require applicants to submit MCAT examination results. Most of these schools do not accept MCAT examination scores that are over three years old.
Dental schools have their own standardized exam called the Dental Admissions Test (DAT). The DAT is conducted by the American Dental Association (ADA). The DAT is administered year round at test centers operated by Prometric Inc., and is designed to measure general academic ability, comprehension of scientific information, and perceptual ability. All dental schools require applicants to participate in the DAT program.
The Optometry Admission Test (OAT) is a standardized examination designed to measure general academic ability and comprehension of scientific information. The OAT is sponsored by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) for all applicants in the United States and Canada seeking admission to an optometry pr. All schools and colleges of optometry in the United States, and the University of Waterloo, Canada require the OAT.
Constructed specifically for colleges of pharmacy, the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) is a specialized test that helps to identify qualified applicants. It serves to evaluate academic ability and scientific knowledge essential for the pursuit of pharmaceutical education.
Veterinary schools and most Physician Assistant/Physical Therapy programs require applicants to have taken the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). GRE’s are taken by individuals applying to graduate programs in natural sciences, engineering, social sciences, business, humanities and art, education and other fields. GRE scores are used by admission boards to evaluate an applicant’s qualifications for professional graduate studies.
How important are extracurricular activities?
What is a post baccalaureate program?
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