Who is a Successful Applicant?
Who Is A Successful Health Professional School Applicant?
- The student with a degree.
All preprofessional students must pick a major in order to graduate from MSU. Pre-medical, pre-dental, and pre-optometry are NOT MAJORS but are MSU codes for students who are not sure which major they plan to pursue but want to indicate interest in a human health career after graduating from MSU. Preprofessional students can choose any major that MSU offers and can research major options here: www.reg.msu.edu/academicprograms/Programs.asp?PType=UN
- The student who completes all prerequisite courses and achieves a high GPA prior to applying.
These courses may be in addition to the courses necessary for your major and professional schools vary on the courses required to apply to their schools. The average cumulative and science GPA for students admitted into professional schools is a 3.5 or above.
- The student with high scores on the professional school admission test (MCAT, DAT, OAT, PCAT, GRE).
Preparing for the admissions test starts with the first science, math and writing classes you take at MSU. The admissions tests will cover a variety of topics that may not be a part of your major requirements or prerequisites for professional school, so it is important to plan ahead.
- The student with thinking and reasoning skills.
Being a health care provider requires you to have critical thinking, quantitative reasoning and written communication skills. It is also necessary to have knowledge of the scientific process to problem solve and formulate research questions and hypotheses. Understanding the science language is important.
- The student with biological science and social science competencies.
Applying your knowledge of biological concepts and human behavior are important for understanding the psychological and socio-cultural factors that influence health and well-being.
- The student with intrapersonal skills.
Ethical responsibility, reliability, resilience and your ability to adapt are critical skills for the health professions and schools want to see that you have been honing these skills prior to applying. Being able to goal-set and self-reflect are paramount to success.
- The student with interpersonal skills.
Social skills, cultural competence and your ability to work as a part of a team are just as important to a health care career as understanding science. Health care providers need to have an awareness of others’ needs, goals and understand behavioral cues. Professional schools want to see that you have these skills before admitting you into their programs.
- The student with a documented commitment to service.
Health care careers are service professions that require you to make sacrifices for the sake of others. Professional schools want to see that you enjoy giving back to your community and donating your time and expertise to someone other than yourself on a consistent basis.
- The student who meets with their preprofessional advisor.
The road to professional school takes a lot of coordinating and planning throughout the entire process leading up to applying to professional schools and beyond. Meeting with your preprofessional advisor to discuss your competitiveness and how to improve is highly recommended at least once a semester.