Your journey to professional school begins before your freshman year of college. What about you stands head and shoulders above the thousands of other students applying to professional schools? What is your level of community involvement? What type of research have you done? Have you shadowed a professional in your desired field? These are just some of the things committees look at when screening applicants.
It's important to note there are no pre-professional "majors" in the College of Science Engineering and Technology. There are pre-professional Advising Tracks developed to help students prepare for post-graduate programs in health professions. There is no "best" major for gaining admission to health professional schools. In fact, health professional schools prefer students from a broad range of majors. It is crucial to choose a major based on aptitude and interest.
High School Preparation
- While in high school, visit your guidance counselor and ask about resources pertaining to health careers. Meet with medical practitioners through family and friends. Ask them how they achieved their career goals.
- Volunteer to serve your community! Nursing homes, veterinary clinics, the Red Cross, or other healthcare establishments are always in need of volunteers. Professional schools look for evidence of your commitment to serving others.
- If you are 16 or older, consider training to become a Certified Nurse Assistant. Or, once you're 18, consider training as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).
- Develop a strong background in science to prepare for the rigorous courses in math, physics, chemistry and biology. Maintain strong grades. Be prepared to take General Chemistry I (CHEM 201), General Biology I (BIOL 105), and Calculus I (MATH 121) your freshman year of college, by taking prepatory courses in high school.
- Demonstrate you're a leader. Proove you're able to motivate others to action. Whether you serve as a team captain or president of your class student council, having leadership skills is an excellent way to demonstrate your readiness for the rigors of a professional school and residency. And this is four to five years before you plan to apply to a professional school!
The Time for Action is Now!
Once you're accepted to Minnesota State University, Mankato, as a successful college student, you will attend orientation as early as possible (before classes fill), and will inform your advisor of your interest in a pre-professional Advising Track. You will meet with your first year advisor and faculty advisor to determine the best plan of study for your specific interests. You understand that your journey to professional school begins well before your freshman year of college.
The Association of American Medical Colleges is an excellent resource and has a helpful link with answers to 16 key questions about becoming a health professional. Another excellent resource from the AAMC is this Timeline for Application/Admission to Medical School. While it deals specifically with admission to medical school, it is still a great tool for planning your journey to any professional school.