The majority of pre-medical students major in biological sciences or chemistry with a Pre-Medical Studies: Medicine, Dentistry, Optometry and Veterinary Medicine Concentration. Most professional schools, however, do not require a bachelor's degree before admission, as long as all of the courses in the concentration have been completed. This represents the minimum course work needed for application to most professional schools and provides the background needed before taking the entrance exams (MCAT, DAT, OAT, GRE). The concentration does not constitute a major. Students interested in pursuing a bachelor's degree must elect a major from those offered by the university.
Accomplished undergraduate students also have the option to pursue a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences. This major is designed to provide excellent preparation for admission to medical school. More information on this program can be found on our Undergraduate Programs webpage.
Interested students should consult with Dr. Keith A. Berven, Biological Sciences's Pre-Medical Coordinator, or a College of Arts and Sciences Academic Adviser, for counseling and assistance in planning their academic course of study. The Pre-Professional studies website is a helpful resource in addition to the information provided below. Please review the "What should I know if I am a Pre-Health student?" helpful document.
Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)
Pre-medical and pre-podiatry students must take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). Students are advised to take this exam when they are most prepared. 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 went through significant revisions in 2015. Please review these links for more information on preparing for the MCAT exam and taking the MCAT.
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). Note: the AACOMAS application was significantly revised in 2015.
|Medical School (Allopathic)|
|Medical School (Osteopathic)|
The application for podiatry schools can be accessed at the American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine's website
Beginning medical and podiatry students are admitted in the Fall term only, so applications to medical and podiatry schools should be submitted when most competitive which is one year prior to anticipated enrollment. Applications should be submitted within a month of the earliest submission date (early June for AMCAS and early May for AACOMAS), since this will improve your chances of being selected.
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. Beginning in 2015, students applying to osteopathic medical schools can either set up a letter account on Interfolio (www.interfolio.com) or have their letters of evaluations sent directly to AACOMAS.
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-Medical Studies: Medicine, Dentistry, Optometry and Veterinary Medicine Concentration plus one year of English composition. The University of Michigan also requires one course in each of the following subjects: Psychology, Sociology, Microbiology and Biochemistry.
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 the DAT when they are most prepared.
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 undergraduate course work and to have completed the Pre-Medical Studies: Medicine, Dentistry, Optometry and Veterinary Medicine Concentration prior to taking the DAT. An applicant should try to achieve a score of 20 or higher 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 courses offered to assist students with preparing for the DAT and are highly recommended. These courses have a tuition cost.
Test Preparation Information
Beginning dental students are admitted in the Fall term only, (one exception is the University of Michigan which begins in early July) so applications to dental schools should be submitted one year prior to anticipated enrollment. Applications should be submitted when students are most competitive and within one month of the earliest submittal date (early June) since this will improve your chances of being selected.
Most dental schools use the Association of Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) and 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-Medical Studies: Medicine, Dentistry, Optometry and Veterinary Medicine 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 credits), Humanities (8 credits), Behavioral Science (8 credits in addition to the general psychology course above).
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 Prometric Test Center in Troy, MI. You can schedule your exam online. 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).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 when students are most competitive one year prior to anticipated enrollment. Applications should be submitted within one month of the earliest submittal date (early July) since this will improve your chances of being selected.
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-Medical Studies: Medicine, Dentistry, Optometry and Veterinary Medicine Concentration, students must complete the following : 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 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.
Beginning Veterinary students are admitted in the Fall term only, so applications should be submitted 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.
1101 Vermont Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005-3521
Applications should be submitted when students are most competitive within one month of the earliest submittal date (mid-May) since this will improve your chances of being selected.
Most veterinary medicine schools require 3 letters of recommendation. Typically these letters should be written by a faculty member that knows you well. 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.