Is There a “Best” College For Pre-Meds?
Which college has the best pre-med program? What are the best pre-med colleges? Is there a ranking for pre-med colleges? Let’s discover!
Here’s a story about Bill. Bill is pre-med. He’s very serious about becoming a doctor. Bill might be in college, or he’s applying to colleges.
Bill’s got some questions: “What are the best colleges for pre-med students?” “Which university is going to be the best for me and really help me get into medical school?” “Did I choose the right college? What are the top premed colleges in the country? Why can’t I find a ‘top ten pre med colleges’ list?”
Alright, here you go. The answers below are incredibly valuable, and will really help you on your path to medical school admissions.
And — the answers are a little unexpected.
First things first: Where’s the top ten best pre med colleges list? Well, there isn’t one. Keep reading to find out why.
How to evaluate whether a college is right for your premed career
Step 1: Interview the on-campus premed advisor. How easy is it to get an appointment? How easy is it to get an advisor on the phone?
When (or if) you get in contact with the advisor, ask these questions:
- How many students from your school apply to medical school each year?
- How many get in?
- Where do they get in?
- Do you help students after they graduate? If yes, how do you help?
- Do you offer a letter of recommendation from a premedical committee? Do all applicants receive this letter?
- How often do you meet with your premed advisees?
- Do you keep track of applicant data?
- What is the composite profile of successful students from your school (what gpa, what MCAT, what experiences, etc.)?
- If a student gets into trouble with gpa, what support do you offer?
- Do you have any suggestions to help prepare for MCAT?
- When do most students apply to medical school — junior year? Other?
- What are the three most common mistakes students make?
You will learn a lot about the support you can expect from the school based on 1) the answers to the above questions, and 2) the behavior of the advisor. Was the advisor easy to contact? Did s/he get back in touch with you right away? How accessible is the advisor? Did you have to jump through a lot of hoops to schedule a conversation?
Things will not get any easier once you are on campus, so you can expect the advisor to become less available once you are a student at that college. Most students will attempt to walk in to the premed advising office without an appointment, so you can imagine the havoc this can create with an advisor’s schedule.
Quality of Life
Find out what the quality of life is going to be like for you. If you have extra-curricular activities (sports, hobbies, religion, etc), make sure the college can support you. Example: If you are a high school fencer, you can go quite far in that sport in college — if you have a strong college program supporting you.
Make sure the university has diverse resources. You are looking for research opportunities, patient contact (usually volunteer in a hospital), and leadership opportunities.
Good fit for you
Finally, look at your past successes. Do you thrive in a small environment where you get a lot of personal attention? Do you prefer large scale environments with lots of resources that you then go out and take advantage of yourself? This will massively impact your success in college.
What do I do now?
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