A premedical undergraduate can major in any subject as long as they complete the concentraton in preprofessional studies. Most premed students, however, major in either biology or chemistry. Biology premed majors take a curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree; the B.S. degree is recommended as it includes 1 year of organic chemistry, more laboratories, and a research paper.
The most satisfactory preparation for entrance into podiatry school is the completion of a bachelor's degree. However, the minimum requirement for admission to podiatric schools is 90 cr of undergraduate course work. In addition to the successful completion of the preprofessional concentration, students admitted without a bachelors degree must also complete Oakland University's general/liberal education core requirements.
Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)
Premedical and pre-podiatry students must take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). Students are advised to take this exam April of their junior year and apply to professional school the following June. The MCAT is administered through the Prometrics Testing Centers (locally in Troy). You can obtain registration information and reserve a seat on their website.
The MCAT includes four sections: verbal reasoning, physical sciences (physics and inorganic chemistry), biological sciences (organic chemistry and biology), and a writing sample. As this exam reflects what the student has studied as an undergraduate, students are urged to acquire a comprehensive mastery of all of their undergraduate course work in preparation for MCAT. It is also advised that the concentration in preprofessional studies be completed before taking the MCAT and that students take a lighter course load in the winter semester of their junior year in order to devote time to preparing for the exam.
The MCAT Student Manual and a variety of study booklets can be ordered through the OU bookstore or by contacting Dr. Keith A. Berven. The Premedical Society on campus also has a number of study guides and sample MCAT exams. There are also a number of prep courses offered to help students prepare for the MCAT. These are highly recommended.
- Kaplan : 1-800 KAP-TEST or
- Oakland University : (248) 370-3120
- University of Detroit Mercy : (313) 993-6204
- Examkrackers : 1-888 KRACKEM
The majority of American Medical Schools use the Association of American Medical Colleges Application Service (AAMCAS) while the osteopathic medical schools use the AACOMAS (application service). Applications for podiatry school can be obtained by requesting applications directly from each podiatry school.
Section for Student Services
2450 N.Street,NW - Suite 201
Washington, DC 20037-1129
6110 Executive Blvd., Suite 405
Rockville, MD 20852-3991
Beginning medical and podiatry students are admitted in the fall term only, so applications to medical and podiatry schools should be submitted during the summer following your junior year or one year prior to anticipated enrollment. Applications are available in April and should be submitted as close to the earliest submittal date (June 1) as possible, since this will greatly improve your chances of being selected.
Obtaining a Committee Letter of Recommendation for Medical School
Most medical schools require a minimum of 3 letters of recommendation and preferably a minimum of two from science professors. For students applying to allopathic medical schools the AMCAS application has a section that allows you to have your letters of evaluation sent directly to them. AMCAS will then forward your letters to each of the medical schools that you apply to. For students applying to osteopathic medical schools, you should set up an account on Interfolio (www.interfolio.com). You can have your evaluators submit their letters to Interfolio and you can arrange to have them sent to each of the osteopathic medical schools that you apply to.
The minimum requirement for admission to the dental school is two years (60 semester hours; 90 semester hours for U of M) of academic work. The academic work includes the pre-professional concentration plus one year of English composition. The University of Michigan also requires a course in Psychology and Sociology, Microbiology and Biochemistry). Most students, however, receive a B.S. in biology before entering dental school.
Dental Admission Test (DAT)
Pre-dental students are required to take the Dental College Admission Test (DAT) prior to submitting applications to professional schools. Students are advised to take this exam in April of their junior year. Some students retake the DAT in the fall (October) semester and thus have two opportunities to take the DAT exam while applying to professional schools. The DAT is administered locally at the University of Detroit Mercy twice each year.
Preparing for the DAT
The DAT is composed of four separate examinations which include:
- survey of the natural sciences (biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry)
- perceptual ability
- reading comprehension
- quantitative reasoning
As the exam reflects what the student has studied as an undergraduate, students are urged to acquire a comprehensive mastery of all of their undergraduate course work and to have completed the concentration in pre-professional studies prior to taking the DAT. An applicant should try to achieve a score of 20 or higher in each section. Most dental schools require a minimum of 17 in each section.
Test preparation materials for the DAT can be ordered through the OU bookstore or contact Dr. Keith A. Berven. There are also commercial prep. courses offered to help students prepare for the DAT and are highly recommended. These courses have a tuition cost and further information can be obtained by contacting the following:
Test Preparation Course
Beginning dental students are admitted in the Fall term only, (exception is the U. of Michigan which begins in early July) so applications to dental schools should be submitted during the summer following your junior year or one year prior to anticipated enrollment. Applications should be submitted as close to the earliest submittal date (Aug. 1) as possible since this will greatly improve your chances of being selected.
Most dental schools use the Association of Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS). The application may be obtained from Dr. Keith A. Berven, or by contacting:
Letter of Evaluation
1400 K Street NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005
Obtaining a Committee Letter of Recommendation for Dental School
Most dental schools require two or three letters of recommendation, with a minimum of two from science faculty. It is also a good idea (but not required) to get a letter from a dentist that you have shadowed. The letters of recommendation should be submitted directly to AADSAS who will forward them to the dental schools of your choosing.
Pre-optometry students must complete 90 semester hours of pre-professional courses prior to admission to optometry school. In addition to the courses in the pre-professional concentration, pre-optometry students should take one Communications course and one Psychology course. Students entering without a baccalaureate degree are also required to take: English Composition (6 cr), Humanities (8 cr), Behavioral Science (8 cr. in addition to the general psychology course above). Most pre-optometry students receive a B.S. in biology prior to entering optometry school.
Optometry Admissions Test
All schools and colleges of optometry in the United States and Canada require the Optometry College Admission Test (OAT). The OAT consists of four tests: Quantitative Reasoning, Survey of the Natural Sciences (Biology, General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry), Reading Comprehension and Physics. The OAT is available in computerized version only and is administered locally at the Prometrics Test Center in Troy, MI. Students are advised to take the OAT in the spring of their junior year. Most schools require a score of 300 or higher in each of the categories.
Most optometry schools participate in the Optometry Centralized Admission Service (OptomCAS). The The OptomCAS website is available at http://www.optomcas.org/. This service allows students to submit a single application which is then forwarded to all optometry schools of your choosing. Beginning optometry students are admitted in the Fall term only, so applications should be submitted in the summer following the junior year or one year prior to anticipated enrollment.
Obtaining a Committee Letter of Recommendation for Optometry School
Three letters of recommendation: One letter must be submitted by a college professor, a second from an optometrist and a third from another individual of the applicant's choice who is neither a professor, optometrist, nor relative (suggestions would be a high school teacher, high school counselor, athletic coach, clergy, work supervisor, etc.). These letters should be sent directly to each of the schools.
A bachelor’s degree is not required for admission to the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree program. Students may apply after completing 60 semester credits. In addition to the pre-professional concentration, students must complete: Social Science (8 credits), Humanities (8 credits) and English (4 credits). The majority of students accepted to DVM have exceeded the minimum requirements and have received a bachelor’s degree.
Pre-veterinary Medicine Entrance Exam
Pre-veterinary students may take either the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) or the Graduate Record Examination-General Test (GRE) prior to applying to professional school. You should check the specific requirements of each school. The exam must be taken before October of the year you apply.
Education Testing Service
MCAT Program Office
P.O. Box 4056 Iowa City, IA 52243
Beginning Veterinary students are admitted in the fall term only, so applications should be submitted during the fall of your senior year or one year prior to expected enrollment. Veterinary Colleges use the Veterinary Medical Colleges Application Service (VMCAS). This is a centralized service which processes applications for most veterinary schools. An application can be obtained by contacting:
1101 Vermont Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005-3521
Applications are normally available July 1 and should be submitted by November 1.
Obtaining a Committee Letter of Recommendation for Vet School
Most veterinary medicine schools require 3 letters of recommendation. Typically these letters should be written by a faculty member you have had courses with. It is also a good idea to have a letter from a veterinarian you have shadowed. The letters are submitted via the VMCAS application service.