PRE-MEDICAL PRE-HEALTH PROGRAM
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of program is the Loras Postbaccalaureate Pre-Medical/Pre-Health Program?
There are generally two types of postbaccalaureate pre-med/pre-health programs: career-changer programs and grade-enhancer programs. Our program is a career-changer program.
The Loras career-changer postbaccalaureate program is for students who graduated from college with a major outside of science and need the science prerequisites to apply to medical and other health-related professional schools.
What distinguishes Loras’s program from other programs?
- Complete the prerequisites for most medical schools in 12 months as a full-time student. (Alternatively, work with the program director to design an individualized plan to complete prerequisite courses in the timeframe that works for you.)
- Small program size provides the opportunity for personal advising from the program director and faculty teaching in the program.
- The cohort nature and the summer start allows students to take one science class at a time (most students take 3 science classes sequentially during the summer semester), which allows students to get familiar with the structure and demands of rigorous science classes and adapt their study habits and strategies.
- Committee letter of evaluation for medical school or professional program of choice.
- Opportunity to take a Human Anatomy class using human cadavers.
- Assistance finding shadowing, volunteering, research, and other related opportunities. The tri-state area around Dubuque has a very robust and supportive healthcare environment with 2 hospitals and several physician practices with access to physicians and other healthcare providers. Dubuque also has over 100 non-profit organizations that welcome student volunteers.
- Priority class registration.
- Financial Aid options may be available.
What is the size of the program?
We prefer to keep our program small so that we are able to provide personalized attention to all students. Total enrollment in our Postbac Pre-Med/Pre-Health cohort class is typically between 5 and 10 students.
How long is the program?
Our program is one year long. It begins in May and ends in May. During this time the basic prerequisite science classes for medical school and health-related professional schools are completed. An individualized schedule for students interested in a longer pathway may be developed based on the needs of the student.
When can I begin with the program?
At the present time, most students in our cohort program begin in the summer semester (late May) and end in the spring semester (mid-May). Some students may be able to start with the fall or spring semester depending on their needs. For example, some students may wish to take additional math, psychology, and/or sociology courses before starting with the science prerequisite courses.
What are the requirements to apply to the program?
- Bachelor’s degree by the time of enrollment, with no natural science lab classes taken. (If you have taken one or two of the prerequisite classes already, please contact the program director to discuss eligibility).
- Strong academic ability, evidenced by a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0. A holistic admission decision will be based on multiple factors, including ACT/SAT/GRE scores, your motivation for becoming a physician (or other healthcare professional), work history, volunteer activities, and other extracurricular involvement.
- US citizen or permanent resident. (International students interested in specific coursework should please contact the Program Director).
Do you require ACT, SAT or GRE scores?
Yes- we required at least one standardized test score (but please note that we do accept unofficial test scores). These test scores are used by the admission committee to evaluate the academic ability of each student. Standardized test score waivers may be granted on an individual basis (please contact the Postbaccalaureate Pre-Medical/Pre-Health Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 563-588-7255 to discuss further).
What do you look for in a competitive applicant?
We look for students who have a strong academic record and demonstrate a sincere interest and motivation in the medical field or other health-related fields. Shadowing experiences of health professions are beneficial, as well as volunteer activities, work experience, and exposure to experiences working as a CNA, EMT, scribe, or other healthcare related exposures.
We expect excellent interpersonal skills, independence, and a strong work ethic.
Am I required to have clinical experience prior to applying to the program?
Students are highly encouraged to get clinical experience to confirm their commitment to a career change to a medicine/healthcare field. This experience will strengthen student’s application to the Loras program, as well as the application to medical, dental and health-related professional school.
Can I apply if my goal is to enhance my academic record?
The Loras program is a career-changer program, and specifically designed for students who have not yet taken any (or only a few) prerequisite science classes required for most medical and professional schools, and therefore this is not a grade-enhancer program.
How successful have graduates of Loras’s Postbaccalaureate Pre-Medical/Pre-Health Program been in getting accepted to medical school or health-related professional school?
Although our Postbac Pre-Med/Pre-Health Program is relatively young and acceptance rate data is not yet available for those students, Loras College has decades of experience in educating and preparing undergraduate students for medical and health-related professional school. Loras’s undergrad students’ acceptance rates to medical/dental school and other health-related professional schools exceed the national average acceptance rates.
Advising is provided throughout the Postbac Pre-Med/Pre-Health Program, during the med school application process, and even after students have finished the program.
Does Loras have linkages to any medical schools?
Loras does not have linkages to medical schools. We strive to connect our students with schools that are the right fit for them.
Does the program offer all prerequisites science classes required by medical and dental schools?
The curriculum includes all the basic science prerequisites for most allopathic and osteopathic medical schools, as well as dental school admission. This includes general chemistry, biology, physics, organic chemistry, biochemistry (all with lab). Students will also have the opportunity to take some advanced undergraduate science classes, for example: physiology, anatomy with cadaver lab, cellular and molecular biology, genetics, and advanced biochemistry. Some medical or dental schools may require additional classes, including calculus, psychology, sociology, statistics- we also offer these classes.
However, the timeline of the program might change depending on the workload a student is able to take on during the program. We highly recommend checking the requirements of each school to which students may wish to apply before starting in the Postbac Pre-Med/Pre-Health program.
What types of professional schools does the program prepare students for?
The 12-month program offers prerequisite science classes for most medical (MD and DO schools) and dental schools. The program also offers prerequisite courses for other health-profession schools. Depending on the needs of the student, the timeline for taking prerequisites for other professional schools may vary.
Am I considered a graduate student during the program?
No, our postbaccalaureate students take undergraduate science classes, and are not considered graduate students.
Can I work half-time or full-time during the program?
We do not recommend working during the one-year rigorous program; however an individualized longer schedule can be developed for students who need to work while taking classes.
Ulrike Schultz, MD, MPH
Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program Director