Handout: Applying to Health Professions Programs worksheet on purple
Handout: Calculating GPA on grey
Handout: Two Personal Statement sheets on yellow
Handout: Guidelines for requesting letter of recommendation on tan
Handout: Letter of Eval Guide on White
Do we like this or not? I just threw it in, just a possibility.
Application process presentation 2012
Michigan State University College of Natural ScienceMedical School Application Process
Your AdvisorsProfessional Advisors Pre-professional Peer AdvisorsMo Gerhardt 108 Natural SciencePre-professional Advisor Available by appointment and at(517) 353-7153 firstname.lastname@example.org@msu.edu Kayli PioszakJanae Currington Pre-med seniorPre-professional Advisor(517) 353-8951 Steve Covingtoncurringt@msu.edu Pre-med seniorHeidi Purdy Nikkie JohnsonHuman Biology Advisor Pre-med senior(517) email@example.com Jenny DeBlouw Pre-dental juniorNatalie ClarkHuman Biology Advisor(517) firstname.lastname@example.org
Primary Application 5 Key Components1. Identifying Information2. Coursework, Transcripts, and MCAT3. Work/Volunteer Experience/Activities4. Personal Statement5. Letters of Evaluation
MD vs. DO Application Systems• AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service) – MD Schools – 5300 Characters for Personal Statement – 1325 Characters for Work Experience/ Extracurricular Experience – Automatically has your MCAT score if you consent• AACOMAS (American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service) – DO Schools – 4500 Characters for Personal Statement – 750 Characters for Work Experience/ Extracurricular Activities – Must upload your MCAT score from Thx on AMCAS website• Letters of recommendation requirement varies by school• You can apply to both MD and DO schools
Identifying Information• This includes all of your basic information – Permanent address, current address, all contact information, date of birth, etc• This section is not a challenge to fill out, it’s just a little tedious!
Coursework• You will have to enter every course you’ve ever taken and the grade you received – Including community college courses• Easiest to open stuinfo.msu.edu – Under the Academic Tab, click on “Transcript”• This should be similar to the format that the primary application asks for• *If you make mistakes on this part of the application, it takes extra time to process it. Everything you enter will be compared to the transcripts they receive.
How does your MCAT factor in?• Your MCAT score is a part of your application; it is not the whole application, but neither is it unimportant• Different schools have different ranges of MCAT scores they are likely to accept A useful website: www.aamc.org/msar -Contains very detailed information about every MD school in the country; including application requirements, mission, curriculum, selection factors, financial information, and class demographics. -Can be a very useful tool when deciding where to apply. Additionally, you can see what 10th percentile-90th percentile GPA and MCAT ranges are usually accepted at a particular school. -~$20, allows you access to the MSAR website for a year. -AACOM also offers the Osteopathic Medical College Information Book (CIB) for detailed information about every DO school in the country
Percentage of 2009-2011 Applicants Accepted into at Least One Medical School- MCAT Total Score vs. Undergraduate GPA Range Dark Green = acceptance rates >75% Light Green = 50-75%acceptance rates Gray = 25-50% acceptance rates White = <25% acceptance rates
Processing Transcripts• June 1st is (usually) when you can first submit your application, so have your transcript requests ready to go by that date – Your application will be on hold until they receive a transcript from every college/university you’ve ever attended – Forms for transcript requests are usually available at college websites. The AMCAS/AACOMAS website will tell you where to address it to.• Summer classes at community colleges are popular for pre-professional students, so make sure to request a transcript from EVERY school!• It is advised to wait until Spring grades are posted to request a transcript
Co-curricular Experiences• Relevant experiences include, but are definitely not limited to: research, community service, job shadowing, employment, student organizations, study abroad, leadership positions, and other co- curricular activities.• AMCAS – 15 experiences can be listed; include relevant work/volunteer/community service/co-curricular/etc. – You can list 3 “most meaningful” experiences and include more information about these• AACOMAS – 6 work experiences – 9 volunteer/community service/co-curricular experiences• Think about those that have been most meaningful to you, because interviewers may ask questions the experiences you share
Personal Statement• There is not a specific prompt – 5300 characters for AMCAS – 4500 characters for AACOMAS• AMCAS and AACOMAS DO NOT have spell check!• By the time you’re ready to submit your personal statement you’ve probably read it 1,000,000 times (you could probably almost recite it) – Your ability to proofread for grammar, syntax, and spelling is not up to par at this point• Have someone else read it when it’s actually pasted into AMCAS or AACOMAS – We recommend utilizing the Writing Center’s services
Letters of Evaluation Ask in person Give the letter writer at least one month Choose your letter writers wisely; you want someone who can write a positive, supportive letter, and therefore they should know more about you than your GPAEach school will ask for a different set ofletters from YOU as the applicant.YOU MUST PAY CAREFUL ATTENTIONTO THE GUIDELINES OF EACH SCHOOLTHAT REQUESTS YOUR LETTERS!Not all schools will require letters, somerequire forms to be filled out byevaluators instead (i.e. MSU COM)
Letters of EvaluationWe recommend the following letters:• 2 from science faculty who know you well from class or research experience• 1 from non-science faculty• 1 from an individual working in the profession you wish to pursue – i.e. someone you have job-shadowed/volunteered with• 1-2 from individuals who know you well from work, volunteering, or another co-curricular activity
Letters of EvaluationInclude the following information in a nice, NEAT packet for your evaluator:◊ The full name (including title) and mailing address of recipient on a pre- addressed, stamped envelope OR a completed “Confidential Rights to Waiver Form” from Interfolio.com which includes your six digit document identification code (only applies to students who are applying to multiple graduate or professional programs).◊ A summary of the ways in which you and your reference have interacted (through a cover letter possibly)—this will cause you to reflect on your interactions with your reference and thus bring more meaning to the letter.◊ A copy of your STUINFO “Courses by Term” (or a transcript). http://stuinfo.msu.edu◊ A copy of your personal statement if available.◊ A current resume and list of co-curricular activities, involvement, and accomplishments if not listed elsewhere.◊ MCAT score if available.DON’T FORGET TO SEND A NOTE OF APPRECIATION AFTERWARDS!Make your letter packet a comprehensive of who you are, not just a reflectionof your transcript.
Letters of Evaluation• LOEs are entered into their respective centralized application system – Except for a couple schools• The easiest way to do this is through Interfolio.com – You should be able to have letter writers submit their letters to Interfolio confidentially and have it sent from Interfolio to those centralized applications – The cost of using Interfolio is relatively minimal, and it’s very convenient to manage all of your letters online
How to Submit MCAT/DATYou OR Admission Committee Official Transcripts Letter WriterOffice of Registar
Rolling Admission• You can start entering your information into your application early May• Submission becomes available on June 1st• Applications are processed by the central application service and made available to schools based on the order in which they are received• Therefore, it is to your advantage to aim for June 1st to submit because you are applying for the full capacity of seats• Medical schools are more likely to hold later applicants to higher standards because they have already filled seats in the class
Secondaries/Supplemental Applications• Not always required; varies by school – Some schools send out secondaries to every applicant; some schools only send out secondaries to selected applicants• Secondaries usually consist of one or more broad topic essay prompts that you need to respond to• Basically, these schools want to know more about you than they can glean from your primary application. They are also evaluating your fit with their specific program.• Character limit varies (about 500-3000)
Secondaries/Supplemental Applications for MSUCOM• The requirements are a little different for the Osteopathic Medical School here at MSU• A strong recommendation is a letter from an Osteopathic Doctor (DO) who you have shadowed throughout your experiences• There is an actual form that needs to be filled out by your letter writer, send this to them rather then having them freely write without the format that MSUCOM requires• Secondary Application requires college and high school information
Secondaries/Supplemental ApplicationsExamples of secondary prompts:If you had the opportunity to speak to the admissions committee, howwould you explain why they should select you?Based on our unique mission, describe how your experiences makeyou an ideal candidate to attend our school.Osteopathic medicine focuses on a holistic approach tomedicine, which incorporates the whole person. Describe anexperience in which you’ve had to incorporate skills required of a DO.• The prompts can vary widely by school.• It is important to note that secondary applications take a lot of time to complete. Give yourself enough time to come up with valuable answers, have them reviewed by others, and try to complete them within two weeks.• Don’t underestimate their importance!
Application Data Important toAdmissions Committees’Decisions about WhichApplicants to InterviewTop 5 Categories to get aninterview:1. Science & Math GPA2. Cumulative GPA3. MCAT Score4. Letters of Recommendation5. Community Service (medical)RED = Academic DataBLUE = Experiential DataGREEN = Demographic DataBLACK = Combination of Data
Interviews• After you submit your secondary applications, each school has the opportunity to offer you an interview. • You are usually contacted by email, but sometimes by phone.• Schools generally give you a few options for dates to interview, but some schools give you a single date (i.e. MSU CHM) • They also provide you with directions, time of the interview, and other pertinent information.• There are many styles of interviews! • Sometimes a school will conduct multiple styles of interviews. For example, one 1-on-1 interview and a panel interview. • Usually they let you know ahead of time what you’re in for.• Dress professionally and act professionally.• Interview day also includes a tour of the facilities/campus and often an opportunity for you to interact with current students
Interview styles• One-on-one – This is you and one other person (i.e. someone on the admissions committee, a current student, a faculty member, etc.)• Group – This is you and multiple other applicants• Panel – This is you and a panel (of 2 to ~5) from the admissions committee, often with a student, faculty member, etc.• Multi-mini interview (MMI) – More and more schools going toward this format (i.e. MSU CHM, CMU!) – This style may seem somewhat scary before you’ve done it, but it’s really quite manageable and can benefit you greatly.
After the Interview• Generally, the school will let you know when you can expect to hear a decision from them.• Send a note of appreciation to the admissions department, thanking them for the opportunity to interview.• If you are accepted: – You will receive a lot of acceptance information from the school, including when deposits are due!• If you are waitlisted: – This means the school is interested in you, but isn’t prepared to offer you a spot (…yet!) – At this point, talk to you advisor. – Writing letters to the admissions department reiterating your interest in the program can help.• If you are on hold: – This can be before or after an interview, the medical school wants to wait and compare your credentials with other applicants
After the Application Process• In the end, if you can present yourself well through your: – Coursework and transcripts – Work/volunteer experience & activities – Personal statement – Letters of evaluation – Secondary applications• And if you’re competitive for the school(s) you apply to, you should receive an interview – Use MSU’s resources to help you prepare for this!• The end goal is TO BE ACCEPTED!!