By: Alessandra Santiago
The foundation for a pre-med undergraduate comes in the effort you put in to your time in the classroom. Doing well in challenging classes, electing to enroll in upper-division biology and chemistry courses, and successfully connecting the many academic disciplines that comprise medicine through your extracurricular work can demonstrate to an Admissions Board your seriousness as a candidate.
Designing a manageable yet rigorous pre-med course load can be done with the help of pre-med advisors at your school. This stage should be completed at the very onset of your academic career in college or even earlier, if high school advisors are available to you to give you a feel for what the medical path will entail.
According to CU Denver Senior Admissions Professional Karina Goodwin, non-traditional applicants can benefit from this advice as well.
“There are ways you can go about getting the appropriate courses that you need, while still having a non-traditional bachelor’s degree. We have current med students who have undergraduate degrees across the board: from nutrition to film to music to foreign language, and then of course, all of the sciences.
“We encourage they talk to their pre-med advisors: they’re going to have the best information, what our specific pre-reqs are, and are also familiar with our contact information. If students have any questions, they can reach out to us, too. We’re always receptive to that,” said Goodwin.
For career-changers or undergraduates with non-traditional degrees, this can mean working with an advisor to figure out what outstanding coursework you may need to complete outside of your alma mater at a community college or post-baccalaureate program. A list of these kinds of post-bacs can be found on the AAMC’s website.