Welcome to Arkansas State University!

Pre-Professional Studies

Pre-professional students are those who are planning on entering a health-care related professional school after leaving ASU. Pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, pre-physical therapy, and pre-occupational therapy are "states of mind" rather than majors.

Students in pre-professional studies must plan their course of study with care. Advisors are available to assist students; however, the responsibility for selecting courses and meeting admission requirements rests with the individual student who must plan and select courses consistent with the program requirements. 


There are several different career paths available:


  • Pre-Chiropractic

    What do Chiropractors do?

    "Chiropractors, also known as doctors of chiropractic or chiropractic physicians, diagnose and treat patients with health problems of the musculoskeletal system and treat the effects of those problems on the nervous system and on general health. Many chiropractic treatments deal specifically with the spine and the manipulation of the spine. Chiropractic is based on the principle that spinal joint misalignments interfere with the nervous system and can result in lower resistance to disease and many different conditions of diminished health." - United States Department of Labor

    Get more information on chiropractic medicine >>  
     

    Getting into Chiropractic School after ASU 

    GPA

    For students without a degree, the minimum GPA required is around a 2.5, though they prefer a GPA around a 3.25. For students with a degree, the minimum is around a 3.25 and favor a GPA around 3.5. Most schools set a minimum grade of a C for any class, though they prefer only A’s and B’s on all coursework, especially prerequisites courses. In calculating your GPA, chiropractic schools will often count retaken grades.

    Coursework

    Almost all chiropractic schools require the same minimums:

    • 1 yr of English
    • 1 yr of Physics w/ Labs
    • 1 yr of Inorganic Chemistry w/ Labs
    • 1 yr of Organic Chemistry w/ Labs
    • 1 yr of Biology for Majors (Biology of the Cell, Biology of Animals) w/ Labs
    • Intro to Psychology
    • Oral Communications
    • Statistics
    • College Algebra
    • Most require at least 15 hrs of humanities

    Many schools highly recommend taking additional courses:

    • Advanced science courses
    • Business courses
    • A computer skills course
    • Kinesiology
    • Sociology
    • Marketing

    To create your four year plan, contact a pre-professional advisor.

    Qualifying Exams

    There is no established test required for students seeking admission to chiropractic schools.

    Degree Requirements

    Chiropractic schools will accept students without a bachelor’s degree; however, the majority of those entering do have a degree. Currently, only a few colleges require a bachelor’s degree, but this trend is changing, and it is estimated that within a few years, all will require entering students to have a bachelor’s degree. Many states require individuals to have a B.S. to get a Chiropractic license. For information about what states require a B.S. for licensure, click here. There is no one ideal degree, though most students earn a degree in Biological Science. Chiropractic schools favor diverse interests, and having a minor increases your marketability and shows a range of interests and abilities. Some common minors include Chemistry, Spanish, General Business, and Psychology.

    Experience

    Having any experience in the chiropractic would prove very valuable. It will allow you to decide if the career is the best for you, as well as show interested chiropractic schools that you are committed and have knowledge about the field.

    Application

    There is no centralized application service for chiropractic schools. You will need to apply to each of the chiropractic schools in which you are interested.

    Letters of Recommendation

    Count on being able to provide at least 3 letters of recommendation. The specific school to which you apply may request letters from certain individuals - professors, employers, advisors, etc.

    Personal Statement

    Some schools may request a personal statement, a very important description of why you want to become a chiropractor. This is often the very first thing that application committees review and needs to convey your depth of character and your passion and desire for a career in the field.

    Personal Characteristics

    It is very important to be well-rounded; the selection committee favors students who participate in extracurricular activities, who are good communicators with effective interpersonal skills, good leadership skills and professionalism, and those who show a genuine care for people and a love of life. They search for individuals who have enriching life experiences, who have an obvious personal integrity, emotional maturity, depth of character, and ethical and moral integrity, and it is not uncommon for schools to do background checks on applicants they are seriously considering. Many schools also look favorably upon students who engage in undergraduate research opportunities, who seek opportunities to better themselves and their community. Individuals who have actively sought opportunities to work in the medical or chiropractic field, either through a job or a volunteer program, are highly considered. Consistent, extended volunteer work is a critical factor in many of their decisions.

    The Interview

    After you apply, you may be asked for an interview with their admissions committee. Selection for an interview is based on an appraisal of intellectual and personal characteristics that are desirable for future chiropractors, taking into account both academic success and extracurricular involvement. It is very important that you are prepared for it: arrive early, dress appropriately (no strong smells), be enthusiastic and positive, and don’t be nervous. Make sure you know the materials you submitted, and be able to address topics such as the chiropractic profession (current controversial issues, e.g. the Health care system) and the specific school to which you are applying. Practice having friends and family ask you questions that may come up, such as, “Why do you want to be a chiropractor?” and “What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you?”

    Chiropractic Schools

    There are a variety of Chiropractic schools in the United States.

    View a list of Chiropractic schools >>
  • Pre-Dental

    What is Dental Medicine?

    "Dentists diagnose and treat problems with teeth and tissues in the mouth, along with giving advice and administering care to help prevent future problems. They provide instruction on diet, brushing, flossing, the use of fluorides, and other aspects of dental care. They remove tooth decay, fill cavities, examine x rays, place protective plastic sealants on children's teeth, straighten teeth, and repair fractured teeth. They also perform corrective surgery on gums and supporting bones to treat gum diseases. Dentists extract teeth and make models and measurements for dentures to replace missing teeth. They also administer anesthetics and write prescriptions for antibiotics and other medications." - United States Department of Labor

    Get information on dental medicine >>  
     

    Getting into Dental School after ASU

    Acceptance Rate

    The national average acceptance rate is 58%.

    GPA

    While most schools have a minimum GPA of around 2.5, most favor a GPA of around 3.5, and prefer only A’s and B’s on coursework, though most set a minimum of a C. The GPA of the prerequisite coursework is usually weighted heavier than the other coursework. Note that in calculating your GPA, retaken grades may be counted along with the original grade instead of replacing it.

    Coursework

    Almost all dental schools require the same basic coursework minimums:

    • At least one year of Biology with labs
    • At least one year of Inorganic (General) Chemistry with labs
    • At least one year of Organic Chemistry with labs
    • At least one year of Physics with labs
    • At least one year of Anatomy and Physiology with labs
    • A year of English
    • Microbiology with lab
    • Cell Biology with lab
    • Biochemistry
    • Calculus
    • Oral Communication
    • Statistics
    • Psychology
    • Sociology

    In addition, most schools recommend additional courses, including some of the following:

    • Technical Writing
    • Animal Physiology
    • Genetics
    • Embryology
    • Comparative Anatomy
    • Histology
    • Physical Chemistry
    • Quantitative Analysis
    • A manual dexterity course (Sculpting, Painting, Mechanical Drawing)
    • Foreign language (specifically Spanish)
    • Any health related courses (e.g. Medical Microbiology, Health Ethics)
    • In-depth studies of at least one focus area (i.e. Biology, Chemistry), usually upper-level Biology courses (e.g. Immunology, Virology).

    Online courses, community college courses, and distance-learning courses are often not looked upon favorably.

    Each school may have different requirements, potential applicants need to familiarize themselves with their desired program qualifications.

    Regional Schools

    Qualifying Exams

    All dental schools require the DAT, the Dental Admissions Test. Most schools require a minimum score of 17, though the average of those accepted is about 20.

    Learn more about the DAT >>               Register for the DAT >>  
     

    Degree Requirements

    Almost all dental schools require a completed bachelor’s degree, and while there is no one ideal degree, most students earn a degree in either Biological Science or Chemistry. Keep in mind than many of the "recommended courses" for dental schools are upper-level Chemistry courses, such as Survey of Physical Chemistry and Quantitative Analysis, and a Chemistry major might serve you better. Dental schools favor diverse interests, and having a minor increases your marketability and shows a range of interests and abilities. Some common minors include Biological Science, Chemistry, Spanish, and General Business.

    Experience

    Experience in the dental field is also required for most dental schools, and it is recommended that all students have at least one year of consistent related work, though some specify required hours. Volunteer work is highly favored.

    For more information about how you can gain experience in the medical field, contact our pre-health professional recruiter.

    Application

    To apply for dental school, you need to fill out the AADSAS (the Associated American Dental Schools Application Service), which will then be submitted to the schools you have selected. It may take up to two (2) weeks for the materials you submit to be sent out. The last deadline for many schools accepting applications is January 1, but some are as early as October 1. However, many begin accepting applications in the spring and summer, and many schools look favorably upon students who submit their applications early. It is recommended that you begin gathering the materials you need during your second semester of your junior year so that you can apply and qualify for early submission. It costs $227 for the first school, and $72 for each additional school. If the school you send it to requests additional information, it will have an additional cost.

    Letters of Recommendation

    You will need at least three letters of recommendation, which will usually come from professors, employers, supervisors, or dental professions with whom you have worked. ASU has a pre-professional committee that will collate these letters and send them, along with an overall evaluation, partly based on an interview, to your requested dental schools. The interview is held during September and October of your Senior year.

    For further information, contact our pre-professional advisor.

    Personal Statement

    You will need a personal statement, a very important description of why you want to become a dentist. This is often the very first thing that application committees review and needs to convey your depth of character and your passion and desire for a career in the dental field.

    Personal Characteristics

    It is very important to be well-rounded; the selection committee favors students who participate in extracurricular activities, good communicators with effective interpersonal skills, good leadership skills and professionalism, and those who show a genuine care for people and a love of life. They search for individuals who have enriching life experiences, with an obvious personal integrity, emotional maturity, depth of character, and ethical and moral integrity, and it is not uncommon for schools to do background checks on applicants they are seriously considering. Many schools also look favorably upon students who engage in undergraduate research opportunities, who seek opportunities to better themselves and their community. Individuals who have actively sought opportunities to work in the dental field, either through a job or a volunteer program, are highly considered. Consistent, extended volunteer work is a critical factor in many of their decisions.

    The Interview

    After you apply, you may be asked for an interview with their admissions committee. Selection for an interview is based on an appraisal of intellectual and personal characteristics that are desirable for future dentists, taking into account both academic success and extracurricular involvement. It is very important that you are prepared for it: arrive early, dress appropriately (no strong smells), be enthusiastic and positive, and don’t be nervous. Make sure you know the materials you submitted, and be able to address topics such as issues in the dental profession (such as advances in the dental industry and current controversial medial issues, e.g. the Health care system, stem cell research, etc.) and the specific university to which you are applying (their specialties, particular faculty, etc.). Practice having friends and family ask you questions that may come up, such as, “Why do you want to be a dentist?” “What are your life goals?” and “What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you?”

    For mock interview practice, contact our pre-health professional recruiter.

    Dental Schools

    There are 61 dental schools in the United States and Puerto Rico. Because there are no dental school in Arkansas, we have contracts with several out-of-state universities. These universities will accept ASU students as "in-state" students, thus eliminating "out-of-state" tuition fees.

    These schools include:

    For more information on this, click here and scroll down to "Arkansas Health Education Grant."

  • Pre-Dental Hygiene

    What is dental hygiene?

    "Dental hygienists remove soft and hard deposits from teeth, teach patients how to practice good oral hygiene, and provide other preventive dental care. They examine patients' teeth and gums, recording the presence of diseases or abnormalities." - United States Department of Labor

    Get more information on dental hygiene >>  

    Getting into Dental Hygiene School

    Acceptance Rate 

    The national acceptance rate is ~33%.

    GPA

    Most dental hygiene schools place a minimum GPA of around a 2.5, but they favor a GPA of around 3.4, and prefer only A’s and B’s on coursework, though most set a minimum of a C. In calculating your GPA, dental hygiene schools will often count retaken grades.

    Coursework

    Almost all dental hygiene schools require the same basic courses:

    • At least one year of Anatomy and Physiology with labs
    • Fundamental Concepts of Chemistry I and II with labs -OR-
    • General Chemistry I and II with labs
    • At least a semester of a biology for majors course (Biology of the Cell or Biology of Animals) with labs
    • A year of English
    • Microbiology (do not have to be for majors) with lab
    • College Algebra or higher
    • A computer fundamentals or applications course
    • Medical terminology
    • Social sciences and humanities courses, including:
    • American Government or US History
    • Psychology, Sociology, and Cultural Anthropology
    • Oral Communications
    • Nutrition

    Many schools also recommend taking additional courses:

    • Foreign language (specifically Spanish)
    • Ethics
    • Pathophysiology
    • Statistics
    • Upper-level psychology/sociology courses
    • World Civilization courses

    Each school may have different requirements, potential applicants need to familiarize themselves with their desired program qualifications.

    Regional Schools

    To create your four year plan, contact a pre-professional advisor.

    Qualifying Exams

    There is not established test required for all students seeking admission to dental hygiene schools, but some schools do require specific examinations to qualify. Many have a minimum score on the ACT (around 20). Some schools may require the Revised PSB Health Occupations Aptitude Examination, an exam to determine your likelihood at success in a health career. Other schools may require psychological testing before acceptance.

    Degree Requirements

    Most dental hygiene schools do not require a bachelor's degree. However, dental hygiene school is very competitive, and a bachelor's degree would go a long way to increase your likelihood of acceptance. Additionally, if either you do not get accepted or you choose a different career path later, a bachelor's degree would give you other avenues of interest to pursue. There is no one ideal degree, though most students earn a degree in either Biological Science or Chemistry. Dental hygiene schools favor diverse interests, and having a minor increases your marketability and shows a range of interests and abilities. Some common minors include Biological Science, Chemistry, Spanish, and General Business.

    Experience

    Having experience in the dental field of any kind would prove very valuable. It will allow you to decide if the career is the best for you, as well as show interested dental hygiene schools that you are committed and have knowledge about the field.

    Application

    There is no centralized application service for dental hygiene schools. You will need to apply to each of the dental hygiene schools in which you are interested.

    Letters of Recommendation

    Count on being able to provide at least 3 letters of recommendation. The specific school to which you apply may request letters from certain individuals - professors, employers, advisors, etc.

    Personal Statement

    Some dental hygiene schools may request a personal statement,a very important description of why you want to become a dental hygienist. This is often the very first thing that application committees review and needs to convey your depth of character and your passion and desire for a career in the dental hygiene field.

    Personal Characteristics

    It is very important to be well-rounded; the selection committee favors students who participate in extracurricular activities, who are good communicators with effective interpersonal skills, good leadership skills and professionalism, and those who show a genuine care for people and a love of life. They search for individuals who have enriching life experiences, who have an obvious personal integrity, emotional maturity, depth of character, and ethical and moral integrity, and it is not uncommon for schools to do background checks on applicants they are seriously considering. Many schools also look favorably upon students who engage in undergraduate research opportunities, who seek opportunities to better themselves and their community. Individuals who have actively sought opportunities to work in the medical or dental field, either through a job or a volunteer program, are highly considered. Consistent, extended volunteer work is a critical factor in many of their decisions.

    The Interview

    After you apply, you may be asked for an interview with their admissions committee. Selection for an interview is based on an appraisal of intellectual and personal characteristics that are desirable for future dentists, taking into account both academic success and extracurricular involvement. It is very important that you are prepared for it: arrive early, dress appropriately (no strong smells), be enthusiastic and positive, and don’t be nervous. Make sure you know the materials you submitted, and be able to address topics such as the dental profession (current controversial issues, e.g. the Health care system) and the specific school to which you are applying. Practice having friends and family ask you questions that may come up, such as, “Why do you want to be a dental hygienist?” and “What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you?”

    For mock interview practice, contact our pre-health professional recruiter.

    Dental Hygiene Schools

    There are 311 dental hygiene schools in the United States. 

    View the list of dental hygiene schools >>
  • Pre-Medical

    What does medical practice mean?

    "Physicians and surgeons diagnose illnesses and prescribe and administer treatment for people suffering from injury or disease. Physicians examine patients, obtain medical histories, and order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests. They counsel patients on diet, hygiene, and preventive healthcare."

    "There are two types of physicians: M.D. (Medical Doctor) and D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine). M.D.s also are known as allopathic physicians. While both M.D.s and D.O.s may use all accepted methods of treatment, including drugs and surgery, D.O.s place special emphasis on the body's musculoskeletal system, preventive medicine, and holistic patient care. D.O.s are most likely to be primary care specialists although they can be found in all specialties. About half of D.O.s practice general or family medicine, general internal medicine, or general pediatrics."

    "Physicians work in one or more of several specialties, including, but not limited to, anesthesiology, family and general medicine, general internal medicine, general pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, and surgery." - United States Department of Labor

    Get more information on medical practice >>  
     

    Getting into Med School after ASU

    Acceptance Rate

    The national average acceptance rate is 44%.

    GPA

    Most schools favor a GPA of around 3.7 (anything below acts as a red flag), and prefer only A’s and a few B's on coursework. Even though most set a minimum of a C, it is very difficult to get accepted with a C in a course. In calculating your GPA, MD schools court every grade, regardless of whether or not you have retaken it, whereas DO schools count only the retaken grade.

    Coursework

    Almost all medical schools require the same basic courses:

    • At least one year of Biology with labs
    • At least one year of Inorganic (General) Chemistry with labs
    • At least one year of Physics with labs
    • At least one year of Organic Chemistry with labs
    • A year of English (a writing-intensive course)
    • A semester of Calculus
    • Statistics
    • Biochemistry is highly recommend
    • Principles of Sociology
    • Introduction to Psychology

    In addition, many schools have additional courses they recommend students taking:

    • Foreign language courses, specifically Spanish
    • Motor manipulation course (Sculpting, Drawing, etc.)
    • Ethics
    • Anthropology
    • Management/Economics
    • Technical Writing
    • Any courses related to the medical field (e.g. Medical Ethics, Issues in Health Care)
    • In-depth studies of at least one focus area (i.e. Biology, Chemistry, English, etc.), usually upper-level Biology courses (e.g. Histology, Embryology).
    • Many schools emphasize a diverse field of study and a curiosity of academic interests, including studies of history, literature, art, political science, humanities, and psychology.

    Online courses, community college courses, and distance-learning courses are often not looked upon favorably.

    Each school may have different requirements, potential applicants need to familiarize themselves with their desired program qualifications.

    Regional Schools

    To create your four year plan, contact a pre-professional advisor.

    The MCAT

    The MCAT, the Medical College Admissions Test, is the entry exam for medical schools. The core classes (Biology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics, and English) will help you prepare for it. The average accepted MCAT is a 30 and anything above a 35 is very good.

    Learn more about the MCAT >>               Register for the MCAT >>  
     

    Degree Requirements

    Almost all medical schools require a completed bachelor’s degree, and while there is no one ideal degree, most students earn a degree in either Biological Science or Chemistry. Medical schools favor diverse interests, and having a minor increases your marketability and shows a range of interests and abilities. Some common minors include Biological Science, Chemistry, Spanish, General Business, and Psychology.

    Experience

    Experience in the medical field is also required for most medical schools, and it is recommended that all students have at least one year of consistent related work, though some specify required hours. Volunteer work is highly favored.

    For more information about how you can gain experience in the medical field, contact our pre-health professional recruiter.

    Application

    To apply for medical school, you need to fill out the AMCAS (the American Medical College Application Service), which will then be submitted to the schools you have selected. This needs to be submitted June 1 of the summer before your senior year, so it is recommended you begin gathering the materials you need during your second semester of your junior year. It costs $45 for the first school, and $25 for each additional school. If the school you send it to requests additional information, it will cost an additional $60-$125.

    Get more information about the AMCAS >>  
     

    Letters of Recommendation

    With your application, you will need three letters of recommendation from faculty, with at least two of those letters coming from science faculty. Those letters should be directed to Ronald Johnson, Biological Sciences. Letters of recommendation from non-faculty are acceptable but should be limited to a maximum of two and should be from individuals you know quite well. ASU has a pre-professional committee that will collate these letters and send them, along with an overall evaluation, partly based on an interview, to your requested medical schools. The interview is held during September and October of your Senior year.

    For further information, contact our pre-professional advisor.

    Personal Statement

    You will need a personal statement, a very important description of why you want to become a doctor. This is often the very first thing that application committees review and needs to convey your depth of character and your passion and desire for a career in the medical field.

    Personal Characteristics

    It is very important to be well-rounded; the selection committee favors students who participate in extracurricular activities, who are good communicators with effective interpersonal skills, good leadership skills and professionalism, and those who show a genuine care for people and a love of life. They search for individuals who have enriching life experiences, who have an obvious personal integrity, emotional maturity, depth of character, and ethical and moral integrity, and it is not uncommon for schools to do background checks on applicants they are seriously considering. Many schools also look favorably upon students who engage in undergraduate research opportunities, who seek opportunities to better themselves and their community. Individuals who have actively sought opportunities to work in the medical field, either through a job or a volunteer program, are highly considered. Consistent, extended volunteer work is a critical factor in many of their decisions.

    The Interview

    After you apply, you may be asked for an interview with their admissions committee. Selection for an interview is based on an appraisal of intellectual and personal characteristics that are desirable for future physicians, taking into account both academic success and extracurricular involvement. It is very important that you are prepared for it: arrive early, dress appropriately (no strong smells), be enthusiastic and positive, and don’t be nervous. Make sure you know the materials you submitted, and be able to address topics such as the medical profession (current controversial medical issues, e.g. the Health care system, stem cell research, etc.) and the specific university to which you are applying (their specialties, particular faculty, etc.). Practice having friends and family ask you questions that may come up, such as, “Why do you want to be a doctor?” “What is the most important issue in medicine today?” and “What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you?”

    For mock interview practice, contact our pre-health professional recruiter.

    Medical Schools

    There are 162 medical schools in the United States and Puerto Rico. 

    There is one medical school (allopathic) in the state of Arkansas - UAMS in Little Rock. Of the 174 slots, 152 of them are guaranteed to Arkansas students. 70% of the first 150 positions in accepting class must be equally distributed among the four congressional districts, meaning that a minimum of 27 will come from each district. 

    Because there is no osteopathic medical schools in Arkansas, the Arkansas Department of Higher Education awards grants to qualified students so that they can attend out-of-state schools. To find out what osteopathic schools are available to you, click here and scroll down to "Arkansas Health Education Grant."

    View a list of medical schools >>
  • Pre-Optometry

    What is optometry?

    "Optometrists, also known as doctors of optometry, or ODs, are the main providers of vision care. They examine people's eyes to diagnose vision problems, such as nearsightedness and farsightedness, and they test patients' depth and color perception and ability to focus and coordinate the eyes. Optometrists may prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses, or they may provide other treatments, such as vision therapy or low-vision rehabilitation." [United States Department of Labor]

    Get more information on optometry >>

    Getting into optometry school after ASU

    Acceptance Rate

    The national average acceptance rate is 67%.

    GPA

    While most schools have a minimum GPA of around 2.5, most favor a GPA of around 3.5 and prefer only A’s and B’s on coursework, though most set a minimum of a C. The GPA of the prerequisite coursework is usually weighted heavier than the other coursework. Note that in calculating your GPA, retaken grades may be counted along with the original grade instead of replacing it.

    Coursework

    Almost all optometry schools require the same basic courses:

    • At least one year of Biology with labs
    • At least one year of Inorganic (General) Chemistry with labs
    • At least one year of Organic Chemistry with labs
    • At least one year of Physics with labs
    • At least one year of Anatomy and Physiology with labs
    • A year of English
    • Microbiology
    • Biochemistry
    • Calculus
    • Oral Communication
    • Statistics
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • Ethics.

    In addition, most schools recommend taking

    • Technical Writing
    • Ethics
    • Animal Physiology
    • Genetics
    • Cell Biology
    • Histology
    • Economics/Business/Accounting
    • Foreign language (specifically Spanish)
    • Any health related courses (e.g. Medical Microbiology, Health Ethics)
    • In-depth studies of at least one focus area (i.e. Biology, Chemistry), usually upper-level Biology courses (e.g. Immunology, Embryology).

    Online courses, community college courses, and distance-learning courses are often not looked upon favorably.

    Each school may have different requirements, potential applicants need to familiarize themselves with their desired program qualifications.

    Regional Schools

    To create your four year plan, contact a pre-professional advisor.

    The OAT

    All optometry schools require the OAT, the Optometry Admissions Test. Most schools require a minimum score of 300, though the average of those entering score is a 330.

    For more information about the OAT >>              Register for the OAT >>  
     

    Degree Requirements

    Almost all optometry schools require a completed bachelor’s degree, and while there is no one ideal degree, most students earn a degree in either Biological Science or Chemistry, with Biology being strongly favored. Optometry schools favor diverse interests, and having a minor increases your marketability and shows a range of interests and abilities. Some common minors include Biological Science, Chemistry, Spanish, and General Business.

    Experience

    Experience in the optometry field is also required for most optometry schools, and it is recommended that all students have at least one year of consistent related work, though some specify required hours. Volunteer work is highly favored.

    For more information about how you can gain experience in the optometry field, contact our pre-health professional recruiter.

    Application

    To apply for optometry school, you need to fill out the OptomCAS (the Optometry College Application Service), which will then be submitted to the schools you have selected . It may take several weeks for the materials you submit to be prepared to send out. Most schools have a submission date of early spring, but some require all applications to be in no later than January. However, many begin accepting applications in the late summer and early fall, and many schools look favorably upon students who submit their applications early. It is recommended that you begin gathering the materials you need during your second semester of your junior year so that you can apply and qualify for early submission. It costs $125 for the first school, and $45 for each additional school. If the school you send it to requests additional information, it will have an additional cost.

    Get more information on the OptomCAS >>  
     

    Letters of Recommendation

    You will also need at least three letters of recommendation, which will usually come from professors, employers, supervisors, or optometry professionals with whom you have worked.

    Personal Statement

    You will also need a personal statement, a very important description of why you want to become an optometrist. This is often the very first thing that application committees review and needs to convey your depth of character and your passion and desire for a career in the optometry field.

    Personal Characteristics

    It is very important to be well-rounded; the selection committee favors students who participate in extracurricular activities, good communicators with effective interpersonal skills, good leadership skills and professionalism, and those who show a genuine care for people and a love of life. They search for individuals who have enriching life experiences, with an obvious personal integrity, emotional maturity, depth of character, and ethical and moral integrity, and it is not uncommon for schools to do background checks on applicants they are seriously considering. Many schools also look favorably upon students who engage in undergraduate research opportunities, who seek opportunities to better themselves and their community. Individuals who have actively sought opportunities to work in the optometry field, either through a job or a volunteer program, are highly considered. Consistent, extended volunteer work is a critical factor in many of their decisions.

    The Interview

    After you apply, you may be asked for an interview with their admissions committee. Selection for an interview is based on an appraisal of intellectual and personal characteristics that are desirable for future optometrists, taking into account both academic success and extracurricular involvement. It is very important that you are prepared for it: arrive early, dress appropriately (no strong smells), be enthusiastic and positive, and don’t be nervous. Make sure you know the materials you submitted, and be able to address topics such as issues in the pharmacy profession (current controversial issues, e.g. the Health care system, stem cell research, etc.) and the specific university to which you are applying (their specialties, particular faculty, etc.). Practice having friends and family ask you questions that may come up, such as, “Why do you want to be an optometrist?” “What are your life goals?” and “What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you?”

    For mock interview practice, contact our pre-health professional recruiter.

    Optometry Schools

    There are 20 Optometry schools in the United States and Puerto Rico.

    Because there is no optometry school in Arkansas, the Arkansas Department of Higher Education awards grants to qualified students so that they can attend out-of-state schools. To find out what optometry schools are available to you, click here and scroll down to "Arkansas Health Education Grant."

    View a list of optometry schools >>
  • Pre-Pharmacy

    What is pharmacy?

    Pharmacists distribute prescription drugs to individuals. They also advise their patients, physicians, and other health practitioners on the selection, dosages, interactions, and side effects of medications, as well as monitor the health and progress of those patients to ensure that they are using their medications safely and effectively. Compounding—the actual mixing of ingredients to form medications—is a small part of a pharmacist's practice, because most medicines are produced by pharmaceutical companies in standard dosages and drug delivery forms. Most pharmacists work in a community setting, such as a retail drugstore, or in a healthcare facility, such as a hospital." [United States Department of Labor]

    Get more information on pharmacy >>  

    Getting into pharmacy school after ASU

    Acceptance Rate 

    The national acceptance rate is ~60%.

    GPA

    While most schools have a minimum GPA of around 2.5, most favor a GPA of around 3.4 (range 3.1-3.7), and prefer only A’s and B’s on coursework, though most set a minimum of a C. The GPA of the prerequisite coursework is usually weighted heavier than the other coursework. In calculating your GPA, the grade from a retaken course does not always replace your old grade.

    Coursework

    Prerequisites vary from school to school, though almost all require the same basic courses:

    • At least one year of Biology with labs (biology for majors courses)
    • At least one year of Inorganic (General) Chemistry with labs
    • At least one year of Organic Chemistry with labs
    • At least one year of Anatomy and Physiology with labs
    • At least one semester of Physics (many prefer two semesters) with labs
    • A year of English
    • Microbiology (for majors) with lab
    • Cell Biology with lab
    • Immunology with lab
    • Genetics with lab
    • Calculus (many prefer a year)
    • Biochemistry with lab (if offered)
    • Economics (Principles of Macroeconomics is preferred)
    • Oral Communication
    • Statistics
    • Introduction to Psychology or Principles of Sociology

    In addition, many schools recommend taking the following:

    • Quantitative Analysis (*highly* recommended before the PCAT)
    • Animal Physiology with lab
    • Comparative Anatomy with lab
    • Technical Writing
    • Logic and Practical Reasoning
    • Foreign language (specifically Spanish)
    • Cultural Anthropology
    • Any health-related courses (Ethics, etc.)
    • An in-depth study of at least one focus area (i.e. Biology, Chemistry)

    Online courses, community college courses, and distance-learning courses are often not looked upon favorably.

    Each school may have different requirements, potential applicants need to familiarize themselves with their desired program qualifications.

    Regional Schools

    • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
    • Union University School of Pharmacy
      • Prerequisites
      • ASU has an affiliation agreement with Union University School of Pharmacy. Even though it is in Tennessee, if you meet the requirements, then you will automatically get an interview like their in-state students.
    • Harding
    • University of Tennesse - Memphis

    To create your four year plan, contact a pre-professional advisor.

    The PCAT

    Most pharmacy schools require the PCAT, the Pharmacy College Admissions Test. Most schools require a score in the 50th percentile, though the average of those entering score in the 70th-80th percentile.

    Get more information about the PCAT >>                 Register for the PCAT >>

    Degree Requirements

    Almost all pharmacy schools require a completed bachelor’s degree, and while there is no one ideal degree, most students earn a degree in either Biological Science or Chemistry, with Chemistry being the strong favorite. Some schools have a 3-3 agreement, where after 3 years of undergraduate work, you enter pharmacy school, using your first year of pharmacy classes as your electives to finish your degree. A bachelor's degree has not always been required, but most schools now will not accept anyone with fewer than 3 years of experience, and even then, they require a 3-3 agreement. Pharmacy schools favor diverse interests, and having a minor increases your marketability and shows a range of interests and abilities. Some common minors include Biological Science, Chemistry, Spanish, General Business, and Psychology.

    Experience

    Experience in the pharmaceutical field is also required for most pharmacy schools, and it is recommended that all students have at least one year of consistent related work, though some specify a certain number of required hours. Volunteer work is highly favored.

    For more information about how you can gain experience in the pharmaceutical field, contact our pre-health professional recruiter.

    Application

    To apply for pharmacy school, you need to fill out the PharmCAS (the Pharmacy College Application Service), which will then be submitted to the schools you have selected. It takes approximately 5 weeks for the materials you submit to be prepared to send out. Most schools have a submission date of February 1 or March 1, though some of the more competitive schools require applications in by November 1, and many schools look favorably upon students who submit their applications early. It is recommended that you begin gathering the materials you need during your second semester of your junior year so that you can apply and qualify for early submission. It costs $150 for the first school, and $50 for each additional school. If the school you send it to requests additional information, it will have an additional cost.

    Get more information about the PharmCAS >>  
     

    Letters of Recommendation

    With your application, you will also need at least three letters of recommendation, which will usually come from professors, employers, supervisors, or pharmacy professions with whom you have worked.

    Personal Statement

    You will also need a personal statement, a very important description of why you want to become a pharmacist. This is often the very first thing that application committees review and needs to convey your depth of character and your passion and desire for a career in the pharmaceutical field.

    Personal Characteristics

    It is very important to be well-rounded; the selection committee favors students who participate in extracurricular activities, good communicators with effective interpersonal skills, good leadership skills and professionalism, and those who show a genuine care for people and a love of life. They search for individuals who have enriching life experiences, with an obvious personal integrity, emotional maturity, depth of character, and ethical and moral integrity, and it is not uncommon for schools to do background checks on applicants they are seriously considering. Many schools also look favorably upon students who engage in undergraduate research opportunities, who seek opportunities to better themselves and their community. Individuals who have actively sought opportunities to work in the pharmaceutical field, either through a job or a volunteer program, are highly considered. Consistent, extended volunteer work is a critical factor in many of their decisions.

    The Interview

    After you apply, you may be asked for an interview with their admissions committee. Selection for an interview is based on an appraisal of intellectual and personal characteristics that are desirable for future pharmacists, taking into account both academic success and extracurricular involvement. It is very important that you are prepared for it: arrive early, dress appropriately (no strong smells), be enthusiastic and positive, and don’t be nervous. Make sure you know the materials you submitted, and be able to address topics such as issues in the pharmacy profession (current controversial issues, e.g. the Health care system, stem cell research, etc.) and the specific university to which you are applying (their specialties, particular faculty, etc.). Practice having friends and family ask you questions that may come up, such as, “Why do you want to be a pharmacist?” “What are your life goals?” and “What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you?”

    For mock interview practice, contact our pre-health professional recruiter.

    Pharmacy Schools

    There are 114 Pharmacy schools in the United States and Puerto Rico. Below, you will find a list and the basics of most regional schools and some of the top Pharmacy schools.

    There are two pharmacy schools in the state of Arkansas: UAMS - Little Rock, and Harding - Searcy. 

    View a list of pharmacy schools >>
  • Pre-Physical Therapy

    What is physical therapy?

    "Physical therapists, sometimes referred to as simply PTs, are healthcare professionals who diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to the very oldest, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions, illnesses, or injuries that limits their abilities to move and perform functional activities as well as they would like in their daily lives. Physical therapists examine each individual and develop a plan using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles." [United States Department of Labor]

    Get more information on physical therapy >>  
     

    Getting in to physical therapy school

    Acceptance Rate

    The national acceptance rate is ~40%.

    GPA

    For most physical therapy schools, the minimum GPA required is around a 2.75, though they prefer a GPA around a 3.5. Most schools set a minimum grade of a C for any class, though they prefer only A’s and B’s on all coursework, especially prerequisites courses. In calculating your GPA, many physical therapy schools, including ASU, will count retaken grades. For ASU’s Physical Therapy program, a 3.5 is considered competitive.

    Visit the ASU physical therapy department >>  
     

    Coursework

    Almost all physical therapy schools require the same basic courses:

    • At least one year of Biology for Majors (Biology of the Cell, Biology of Animals)
    • At least one year of Physics
    • At least one year of General Chemistry
    • At least one year of Organic Chemistry
    • At least one year of Anatomy and Physiology
    • A year of English
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • Developmental Psychology
    • Oral Communications
    • Statistics (with ANOVA)
    • Precalculus
    • Medical Terminology

    Many schools also highly recommend taking additional courses:

    • Abnormal Psychology
    • Biochemistry
    • Advanced science courses
    • Business/management
    • Computer skills
    • Kinesiology/exercise physiology
    • Technical Writing
    • At least 15 hours of humanities and social science courses (history, psychology, arts, literature, sociology, foreign language, etc.)

    Many physical therapy schools will not count physical education classes as electives, nor will they count them in your GPA

    ASU's Physical Therapy program requires:

    • General Physics I (PHYS 2054) and II (PHYS 2064)
    • Statistics (with ANOVA) (usually ES 3743 or PSY 3103/3101)
    • Medical Terminology (HP 2013)
    • A full-year of upper-level (3000+) Anatomy/Kinesiology and Physiology courses, which sometimes requires Anatomy and Physiology I (BIO 2203/2201) and II (BIO 2213/2211)l) as a pre-requisite.
      • Courses that count for the anatomy credits include but are not limited to General Gross Anatomy (HP 3003) and Kinesiology (ES 4763).
      • Courses that count for the physiology credits include but are not limited to Basic Physiology of Activity (ES 3553), Pathophysiology (BIO 3023), Animal Physiology (BIO 3323), and Cardiovascular Physiology (ES 3713).
      • Human Structure and Function I (BIO 3223/1) and II (BIO 3233/1) will count for the entire year.

    To create your four year plan, contact a pre-professional advisor.

    The GRE

    ASU's Physical Therapy Department does not require the GRE (the Graduate Record Examination - General Knowledge test). Schools that do require it set a minimum composite score of around 900, with an average accepted score around 1100 or in the top 70th percentile. The GRE can be taken as many times as you would like, for they usually take the highest score from each section (creating a "super score").

    Get more information about the GRE >>               Register for the GRE >>  

    Degree Requirements

    Almost all physical therapy schools require a bachelor’s degree. While there is no one ideal degree, most students earn a degree in either Biological Science (with an emphasis in Pre-Physical Therapy), Exercise Science, or Athletic Training. Physical therapy schools favor diverse interests, and having a minor increases your marketability and shows a range of interests and abilities. Some common minors include Chemistry, Spanish, General Business, and Psychology.

    Experience

    Experience in the physical therapy field is also required for most schools, and it is recommended that all students have at least one year of consistent related work, though some specify required hours. Volunteer work is highly favored.

    For more information about how you can gain experience in the medical field, contact our pre-health professional recruiter.

    Application

    To apply for physical therapy school, you need to fill out the PTCAS (the Physical Therapy College Application Service), which will then be submitted to the schools you have selected. They begin accepting applications July 1, and it takes approximately 5 weeks for all the materials received to be verified. Note that some schools set their early acceptance deadlines as early as October 1st, while most have a deadline in mid-December. In order to qualify for early acceptance, it is recommended you begin gathering the materials you need during your second semester of your junior year. It costs $120 for the first school, and $35 for each additional school. If the school you send it to requests additional information, it may cost an additional fee.

    Get more information about the PTCAS >>

    Letters of Recommendation

    With your application, you will need at least three letters of recommendation, with at least one from a licensed physical therapist (if not more). Additional letters may come from previous employers or professors.

    Personal Statement

    You will need a personal statement, a very important description of why you want to become a physical therapist. This is often the very first thing that application committees review and needs to convey your depth of character and your passion and desire for a career in the field of physical therapy.

    Personal Characteristics

    It is very important to be well-rounded; the selection committee favors students who participate in extracurricular activities, who are good communicators with effective interpersonal skills, good leadership skills and professionalism, and those who show a genuine care for people and a love of life. They search for individuals who have enriching life experiences, who have an obvious personal integrity, emotional maturity, depth of character, and ethical and moral integrity, and it is not uncommon for schools to do background checks on applicants they are seriously considering. Many schools also look favorably upon students who engage in undergraduate research opportunities, who seek opportunities to better themselves and their community. Individuals who have actively sought opportunities to work in the physical therapy field, either through a job or a volunteer program, are highly considered. Consistent, extended volunteer work is a critical factor in many of their decisions.

    The Interview

    After you apply, you may be asked for an interview with their admissions committee. Selection for an interview is based on an appraisal of intellectual and personal characteristics that are desirable for future physical therapists, taking into account both academic success and extracurricular involvement. It is very important that you are prepared for it: arrive early, dress appropriately (no strong smells), be enthusiastic and positive, and don’t be nervous. Make sure you know the materials you submitted, and be able to address topics such as the physical therapy profession (current controversial medical issues, e.g. the Health care system) and the specific school to which you are applying. Practice having friends and family ask you questions that may come up, such as, “Why do you want to be a physical therapist?” and “What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you?”

    For mock interview practice, contact our pre-health professional recruiter.

    Physical Therapy Schools

    There are 202 Physical Therapy schools in the United States.

    Visit the ASU physical therapy page >>               View a list of PT schools >>
  • Pre-Physician Assistant

    What is a physician assistant?

    "Physician assistants (PAs) practice medicine under the supervision of physicians and surgeons. They should not be confused with medical assistants, who perform routine clinical and clerical tasks. PAs are formally trained to provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive healthcare services, as delegated by a physician. Working as members of a healthcare team, they take medical histories, examine and treat patients, order and interpret laboratory tests and x rays, and make diagnoses. They also treat minor injuries by suturing, splinting, and casting. PAs record progress notes, instruct and counsel patients, and order or carry out therapy. Physician assistants also may prescribe certain medications. In some establishments, a PA is responsible for managerial duties, such as ordering medical supplies or equipment and supervising medical technicians and assistants." - United States Department of Labor

    Get more information on physician assistants >>  
     

    Getting into Physician Assistant School

    Acceptance Rate

    The national average acceptance rate is ~15% (generally less than 25%).

    GPA

    Most schools set a minimum GPA of around a 3.0 but usually accept an average GPA of around 3.6, preferring only A’s and B’s on coursework, though most set a minimum of a C. In calculating your GPA, some schools will court every grade, regardless of whether or not you have retaken it.

    Coursework

    Almost all physician assistant schools require the same basic courses:

    • At least one year of Biology for Majors (Biology of Animals, Biology of the Cell) with labs
    • At least one year of Inorganic (General) Chemistry with labs
    • At least one year of Physics with labs
    • At least one year of Organic Chemistry with labs
    • At least one year of Anatomy and Physiology with labs
    • A year of English
    • Calculus
    • Biochemistry
    • Genetics with lab
    • Microbiology with lab
    • Statistics
    • Medical Terminology
    • Psychology (some schools require upper-level psychology courses)

    In addition, most schools recommend taking additional courses:

    • Sociology
    • Foreign language (specific Spanish)
    • Ethics
    • Anthropology
    • Economics
    • Technical Writing
    • A computer skills course
    • Any courses related to the medical field (e.g. Medical Ethics, Issues in Health Care)
    • In-depth studies of at least one focus area (i.e. Biology, Chemistry,etc.), usually upper-level Biology courses (e.g. Cell Biology, Immunology, Embryology).

    Online courses, community college courses, and distance-learning courses are often not looked upon favorably.

    Each school may have different requirements, potential applicants need to familiarize themselves with their desired program qualifications.

    Regional Schools

    To create your four year plan, contact a pre-professional advisor.

    Qualifying Exams

    There is no established exam required for all physician’s assistant programs. However, many programs require the GRE, the Graduate Record Examination – specifically, the General Knowledge test. Most schools note that to be competitive, a minimum composite (verbal and quantitative) score of around 1,000 with a 3.5 on the analytical is required, and the average accepted score is around 1200 or in the top 70th percentile with a 4.5 on the analytical.

    Get more information about the GRE >>               Register for the GRE >>  
      

    Degree Requirements

    Almost all physician assistant schools require a completed bachelor’s degree and while there is no one ideal degree, most students earn a degree in either Biological Science or Chemistry. Physician's Assistant schools favor diverse interests, and having a minor increases your marketability and shows a range of interests and abilities. Some common minors include Biological Science, Chemistry, Spanish, General Business, and Psychology.

    Experience

    Experience in the medical field (specifically shadowing a physician’s assistant) is also required for most schools, and it is recommended that all students have at least one year of consistent related work, though some specify required hours, ranging between 30 to 2000 hours. Volunteer work is highly favored.

    Application

    To apply for physician assistant schools, you need to fill out the CASPA (Central Application Service for Physician Assistants), which may take 2-4 weeks to process. Different schools have different deadlines, ranging from October 1 to mid-January, with some offering early application deadlines at the beginning of September that include a reduced application fee. Since most schools have a rolling admission, it is wise to begin collecting materials the summer before your senior year (if not the spring of your junior year) and submit your application as early as possible.

    Get more information about the CASPA >>

    Letters of Recommendation

    You will need at least three letters of recommendation, which will usually come from professors, employers, supervisors, or medical professionals with whom you have worked.

    Personal Statement

    You will need a personal statement, a very important description of why you want to become a physician assistant. This is often the very first thing that application committees review and needs to convey your depth of character and your passion and desire for a career in the medical field.

    Personal Characteristics

    It is very important to be well-rounded; the selection committee favors students who participate in extracurricular activities, who are good communicators with effective interpersonal skills, good leadership skills and professionalism, and those who show a genuine care for people and a love of life. They search for individuals who have enriching life experiences, who have an obvious personal integrity, emotional maturity, depth of character, and ethical and moral integrity, and it is not uncommon for schools to do background checks on applicants they are seriously considering. Many schools also look favorably upon students who engage in undergraduate research opportunities, who seek opportunities to better themselves and their community. Individuals who have actively sought opportunities to work in the medical field, either through a job or a volunteer program, are highly considered. Consistent, extended volunteer work is a critical factor in many of their decisions.

    The Interview

    After you apply, you may be asked for an interview with their admissions committee. Selection for an interview is based on an appraisal of intellectual and personal characteristics that are desirable for future physicians, taking into account both academic success and extracurricular involvement. It is very important that you are prepared for it: arrive early, dress appropriately (no strong smells), be enthusiastic and positive, and don’t be nervous. Make sure you know the materials you submitted, and be able to address topics such as the medical profession (current controversial issues, e.g. the Health care system, stem cell research, etc.) and the specific university to which you are applying (their specialties, particular faculty, etc.). Practice having friends and family ask you questions that may come up, such as, “Why do you want to be a physician’s assistant?” “What is the most important issue in medicine today?” and “What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you?”

    For mock interview practice, contact our pre-health professional recruiter.

    Physician Assistant Schools:

    There are 133 physician assistant schools in the United States.

    View a list of physician assistant schools >>
  • Pre-Veterinary

    What is veterinary medicine?

    "Veterinarians diagnose and treat diseases and dysfunctions of animals. Specifically, they care for the health of pets, livestock, and animals in zoos, racetracks, and laboratories. Some veterinarians use their skills to protect humans against diseases carried by animals and conduct clinical research on human and animal health problems. Others work in basic research, broadening our knowledge of animals and medical science, and in applied research, developing new ways to use knowledge." [United States Department of Labor]

    Get more information on veterinary medicine >>

    Getting into Vet School

    Acceptance Rate

    National Average Matriculation (Acceptance) Rate: 57%

    GPA

    While most schools have a minimum GPA of around 3.0, they favor a GPA of around 3.6 and rarely take students with GPAs under 3.2, preferring only A’s and B’s on coursework, though most set a minimum of a C. The GPA of the prerequisite coursework is usually weighted heavier than the other coursework. Note that in calculating your GPA, retaken grades may be counted along with the original grade instead of replacing it.

    Coursework

    Almost all veterinary schools require the same basic courses:

    • At least one year of Biology with labs
    • At least one year of Inorganic (General) Chemistry with labs
    • At least one year of Organic Chemistry with labs
    • At least one year of Physics with labs
    • A year of English
    • Microbiology with lab
    • Zoology with lab
    • Cell Biology with lab
    • Animal Physiology with lab
    • Genetics with lab
    • Biochemistry with lab (if available)
    • Precalculus
    • Oral Communication
    • Statistics

    In addition, most schools recommend taking additional courses:

    • Technical Writing
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • At least one year of Anatomy and Physiology
    • Virology
    • Immunology
    • Embryology
    • Comparative Anatomy
    • Histology
    • An advanced Chemistry course
    • An economics course (Accounting/ Business/ Economics)
    • Foreign language (specifically Spanish)
    • In-depth studies of at least one focus area, usually upper-level Biology courses.

    Online courses, community college courses, and distance-learning courses are often not looked upon favorably.

    Each school may have different requirements, potential applicants need to familiarize themselves with their desired program qualifications.

    Regional Schools

    To create your four year plan, contact a pre-professional advisor.

    Qualifying Examinations

    Almost all veterinary schools require the GRE, the Graduate Record Examination. There are two kinds of tests: the General Knowledge test, which most will accept, and the Biology Subject test, which some require in addition. As for the General Knowledge Test, most schools require a minimum composite score of around 700, but the average accepted score around 1200 or in the top 70th percentile. Some schools, however, will accept an MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) score and generally set a minimum around a 15.

    Get more information about the GRE >>               Register for the GRE >>  
      

    Some veterinary schools accept the MCAT, the Medical College Admissions Test. The core classes (Biology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics, and English) will help you prepare for it. The average accepted MCAT is a 30 and anything above a 35 is very good.

    Learn more about the MCAT >>               Register for the MCAT >>  
      

    Degree Requirements

    Almost all veterinary schools require a completed bachelor’s degree, and while there is no one ideal degree, most students earn a degree in either Biological Science or Chemistry. Our College of Agriculture and Technology offers a Pre-Vet emphasis under Animal Science. For more information about that program, click here. Veterinary schools favor diverse interests, and having a minor increases your marketability and shows a range of interests and abilities. Some common minors include Biological Science, Chemistry, Spanish, General Business, and Animal Science.

    Experience

    Experience in the veterinary field is also required for most veterinary schools, and it is recommended that all students have at least one year of consistent related work, though some specify required hours, ranging between 180 to 600 hours. Volunteer work is highly favored.

    Application

    To apply for veterinary school, you need to fill out the VMCAS (the Veterinary Medical College Application Service), which will then be submitted to the schools you have selected. All materials must be sent to VMCAS by October 1, and it is wise to begin collecting materials the summer before your senior year and submit your application as early as possible. It costs $155 for the first school, and $60 for each additional school. If the school you send it to requests additional information, it will have an additional cost.

    Get more information about the VMCAS >>

    Letters of Recommendation

    You will need at least three letters of recommendation, which will usually come from professors, employers, supervisors, or veterinary professionals with whom you have worked.

    Personal Statement

    You will need a personal statement, a very important description of why you want to become a veterinarian. This is often the very first thing that application committees review and needs to convey your depth of character and your passion and desire for a career in the veterinary field.

    Personal Characteristics

    It is very important to be well-rounded; the selection committee favors students who participate in extracurricular activities, good communicators with effective interpersonal skills, good leadership skills and professionalism, and those who show a genuine care for animals and a love of life. They search for individuals who have enriching life experiences, with an obvious personal integrity, emotional maturity, depth of character, and ethical and moral integrity, and it is not uncommon for schools to do background checks on applicants they are seriously considering. Many schools also look favorably upon students who engage in undergraduate research opportunities, who seek opportunities to better themselves and their community. Individuals who have actively sought opportunities to work in the veterinary field, either through a job or a volunteer program, are highly considered. Consistent, extended volunteer work is a critical factor in many of their decisions.

    The Interview

    After you apply, you may be asked for an interview with their admissions committee. Selection for an interview is based on an appraisal of intellectual and personal characteristics that are desirable for future pharmacists, taking into account both academic success and extracurricular involvement. It is very important that you are prepared for it: arrive early, dress appropriately (no strong smells), be enthusiastic and positive, and don’t be nervous. Make sure you know the materials you submitted, and be able to address topics such as issues in the veterinary profession (current controversial issues, e.g. stem cell research) and the specific university to which you are applying (their specialties, particular faculty, etc.). Practice having friends and family ask you questions that may come up, such as, “Why do you want to be a veterinarian?” “What are your life goals?” and “What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you?”

    For mock interview practice, contact our pre-health professional recruiter.

    Veterinary Schools

    There are 27 veterinary schools in the United States.

    View a list of veterinary schools >>
     

    Because there is no veterinary school in Arkansas, the Arkansas Department of Higher Education awards grants to qualified students so that they can attend out-of-state schools. To find out what veterinary schools are available to you, click here and scroll down to "Arkansas Health Education Grant."


UAMS Summer Science Program

Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors

Spend 8 weeks shadowing physicians, attending rounds and clinics, touring different hospital units, and participating in a mentored research project involving children.


Learn more >>