Can the Office of Pre-Health Professions Advising lift a hold on my registration or help me gain registration priority?
No. You should connect with an academic advisor about registration issues.
Are Calculus and Biochemistry required for medical or dental school?
These are courses required of all Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering majors - the preferred majors of most pre-med/pre-dental applicants. You should take both of these courses because they will make you a more competitive applicant, provide you a solid background in fundamental subjects and assist you in your medical studies.
Requirements vary by school. Many schools require Biochemistry; some schools require both of these courses. The MCAT 2015 specifically tests topics from biochemistry.
Should I take Physics with or without Calculus?
You may take either PHY 2048/2049 & Lab (physics with calculus) or PHY 2053 & 2054 & Lab (physics without calculus). Do not take physics with calculus until you have taken at least one semester of calculus - preferably two.
- Extracurriculars - Research, Shadowing and Volunteering
Visit Pre-Health Resources for lists of internship opportunities and student societies.
How important are extracurricular activities in applying to a health professional program?
You want to become a professional. Physicians, dentists, pharmacists, physician assistants, optometrists and veterinarians are all community leaders who make themselves available to help members of their communities. You must show professional schools that this is the type of person you are.
Some dental programs specify a minimum of 100 hours of shadowing experience. Physician assistant programs vary but generally look for extensive direct patient interaction; this may include work as an EMT. Consult the programs to which you hope to apply for requirements.
How do I find research opportunities on campus?
The best way to find a research mentor is to review the interest areas of the faculty in your major field. Contact faculty and ask for an interview to discuss research opportunities. Learn what they expect of you and be willing to make a long-term commitment. Research usually will require one or more years of consistent involvement on your part. Typically, students may start research in the summer of their sophomore year.
Can I conduct research outside a "hard science" area?
Yes, but a record of accomplishment is very important. Many professional schools explicitly prefer to have students perform research in a lab using conventional chemical and biochemical techniques. Many students apply to summer programs offered in the areas of science, engineering, medicine and dentistry at major universities all around the country.
How can I find a medical professional to shadow?
Have you talked to your family physician, family dentist or the pharmacist where you obtain prescriptions? Talk to them and ask their advice. Be willing to volunteer; do not expect a paying job.
How do I become a volunteer at a hospital?
Contact the volunteer department of the hospital at which you'd like to volunteer.
- Test Preparation
Visit your career page for test information and resources.
What is a very good score on the MCAT, DAT, PCAT, OAT, and GRE?
Scores on these required admissions exams should be significantly above the national average:
- MCAT >508 (National Avg. 500)
- DAT >20 (National Avg. 18)
- PCAT >450 (National Avg. 340-460)
- OAT >350 (National Avg. 300)
- GRE >310 (National Avg. 300)
- Professional School Interviews
How can I prepare for my health professional school interviews?
Know the school's history, mission and curriculum. Learn about the administrators you will be meeting, if possible. Know some of the distinguished faculty. Be aware of the community and local events. Review what other students have to say about interviews at specific schools on The Student Doctor Network.
Is there an office on campus that can help me with mock interviews?
We work with FIU Career and Talent Development to offer a workshop on interviews.
Some of our student organizations set up mock interviews as well. Visit Pre-Health Resources for a list of student organizations.
- International, Post-Baccalaureate and Transfer Students
Visit Pre-Health Resources for information about pre-health studies at FIU as an international student, post-baccalaureate student or transfer student.