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The health care demands of a growing population have resulted in an increasing demand for qualified doctors and other healthcare professionals.
Medical schools welcome students who embody a combination of academic abilities, strong communication skills, analytical thinking skills, maturity, motivation and show a strong desire to help address the health care needs of an increasingly diverse and complex society. For students considering medical school, USD's pre-medicine program is a great head start. The program lets students earn a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Art degree while meeting undergraduate requirements for entrance into the Sanford School of Medicine of The University of South Dakota.
The science requirements for admission into medical school make it convenient for you to choose a science major. However, it's also possible to meet the requirements while earning a degree in a major other than science. Typically, a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in science and minors in social sciences and humanities would be a good combination to help prepare you for admission to medical school. Pre-med students should keep in mind that the Sanford School of Medicine requires applicants to have completed, as a minimum, one year each, including laboratory, of coursework in the following disciplines:
- Organic Chemistry
Other courses that help prepare students for medical school include the following:
- Cell Biology
- Psychology and Sociology
Please note that principles and concepts from the academic discipline areas listed above will be tested on in the new Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) being introduced in January, 2015.
Beyond the Classroom
Getting involved outside the classroom is important to students looking to move on to medical school. Demonstration of an applicant's leadership skills, maturity and interest in helping others are taken into consideration by medical school admissions committees.
- Students are encouraged to take the opportunity to "shadow" professionals and gain experience within the profession.
- Students have the opportunity to volunteer in health care settings of interest to them as a means to learn more about the profession.
- Students should take advantage of the numerous groups and organizations on campus.
Just the Facts
Students interested in applying to the Sanford School of Medicine should keep in mind that students are selected for its program based on the following:
- American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) application
- Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) score
- Academic performance, including undergraduate GPA
- Three letters of evaluation from faculty
- A personal interview with Medical School faculty to determine potential for medical practice, maturity, motivation and ability to work with people
- Students admitted to the Sanford School of Medicine complete four years of professional study followed by at least three additional years of post-graduate experience (residency).
USD awards numerous scholarships each year. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.