As a pre-medical student, Carthage has numerous faculty and staff members to support your journey to professional school. Make sure you are working closely with your assigned faculty advisor to address any questions relating to your major or minor requirements.
For questions regarding medical school requirements and preparation, please contact the science and prehealth career specialist in The Aspire Center. They can help you with general questions relating to the application process and prerequisites to help you meet your career goals.
Preparing for professional school starts year one at Carthage and we are here to help you each step of the way! We recommend that you reach out to your advising team as soon as possible regarding your plans so they can help you start preparing. Carthage also has many dual-degree programs that can assist you in reaching your professional goals.
Join the Pre-Health Club at Carthage to help you foster connections with other pre-health students, understand your next steps, and deepen your experience with healthcare. Start building connections with professors now by getting involved and seeking out opportunities. It is highly recommended you start looking for experiential learning opportunities and get involved to start building your professional profile.
While different schools will have different expectations on what classes you should take, the following are often required.
- General Chemistry with Labs (CHEM 1010 and CHEM 1020)
- Organic Chemistry with Labs (CHEM 2070 and CHEM 2080)
- Biochemistry with Lab (CHEM 3010)
- Genetics (BIO 2400)
- Physics (PHY 2100 or PHY 2200)
- Statistics (MTH 1050)
- 2 English Courses
the following courses are not required but are strongly recommended
- Physics with Lab (PHY 2110 or PHY 2210)
- Introduction to Sociology (SOC 1000)
- Introduction to Psychology (PSY 1500)
- Microbiology with Lab (BIO 3340)
- Upper-Level Biology courses
- Anatomy and Physiology with Lab (BIO 3300)
While some of the most popular majors for pre-med include biology and chemistry, most schools you will be applying to do not care what your undergraduate major was as long as you meet the course and GPA requirements needed for their program.
A minimum GPA of 3.5-4.0 is typically recommended for admission into medical school.
Carthage students usually apply to around 15-20 schools total and apply 14 months before starting medical school. There is a financial commitment associated with application fees. You should only apply to schools you would genuinely consider attending.
Application Process Timeline
Applications will be submitted through the AMCAS platform. This opens in the spring and if you are planning on attending right after your undergraduate degree you should apply the summer of your junior year. It is recommended that you have all materials ready when the platform opens and submit in June.
You will need to submit a personal statement with your application. To help craft your personal statement, attend our Personal Statement Workshop, typically held in the fall semester.
Medical schools typically require 3 as the minimum, but you should expect to send around 4-6. For most schools, 2 from a science professor, 1-2 from a non-science faculty member or extracurricular supervisor are required. The rest should be coming from the clinicians you have shadowed with, heads of research projects you have participated in, and from leaders of other pertinent experiences, you have had. You may also need a letter from your school’s committee depending on the school — we also offer this.
Letter of Recommendation Timeframe
Ideally, you should ask for a letter of recommendation at least 2-3 months in advance of requesting your committee letter, although give as much time as possible. This way they have adequate time to reflect upon their experience and write the best possible letter they can. If you are participating in an experiential role, it is suggested that you ask for a letter a month or two prior to the close of that experience.
Shadowing is not always required, but it should definitely be a part of your application. While the highest local requirement is 50 hours, we recommend you shadow within two different fields. Volunteering is not usually required but is highly recommended — you need to have experiences that give you meaningful stories you can reflect upon and which show your commitment. Overall, patient care opportunities are highly valuable and important for students to experience.
The MCAT is required for admission into medical school. Preparing for the MCAT largely depends on you and how you study. It is normal to study for the MCAT for over 4 months. However, to feel fully prepared and to make sure you give yourself the best possible chance to do well, the study process may take a full year. Taking into account all these factors, studying and preparing as early as you can is best. Most people take the MCAT during the winter/spring of their junior year or 1.5 years before they go to medical school.