St. Mary's College of Maryland

Pre-Medical Advising

Congratulations on considering or choosing medicine as your future career field! On this portion of the site, you will find resources for choosing, applying to, funding, and preparing for medical school. As a pre-med student, you will need to go through HSAC because medical schools require a committee letter of recommendation. The HSAC advisors also have the knowledge and skills to help best prepare you for medical school and to help you present yourself as well as possible in the application process.

Below is a timeline for medical school application. This is meant to be a guideline so you know what's coming, so use this to help get you started with planning.

First year and Sophomore Students: Getting Started

  • This is a time to make sure medicine is what you really want to do, and to start gathering practical experience to see what the field is really like.
    • Visit the Prospective Students page to better understand the logistics of the HSAC process and to help you decide if a career in healthcare is right for you.
    • Visit the Getting Started page for resources about choosing a career path, course planning, and practical experience.
  • Use this time to start preparations for your HSAC file.

Junior Year: When things start to get busy.

It's time to get organized.

If you are planning to go directly to medical school the fall following graduation from St. Mary's College, you will be applying through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) the June following your junior academic year.

Please note: If you wish to take a year off after graduation before entering your chosen program, this schedule will shift to your senior year.

  • Whether you are applying after your Junior or during your Senior year, it is wise to get your file and committee established during your Junior year and begin collecting information and writing your personal statement.

Important: By this time you should be able to answer these questions and you should have had, or plan to get soon, some practical experience in the medical field.

SEPTEMBER:

It's time to establish a file with the chair of the Health Science Advisory Committee. Submit the "HSAC Application Form" if you have not already done so to the HSAC chair, or at the chair's office (listed here).

It's time to begin to request letters of recommendation from professors at St. Mary's College, as well as professionals who have supervised your volunteer work in the health care field. A minimum of 4 letters should be requested. These letters should come from faculty who know you well. Copies of letters written by faculty for other opportunities, fellowships or internships for example, may also be forwarded to the chair of the HSAC for your file. Letters of support within your file are confidential and will not be forwarded for any purpose. A few medical schools require copies of all letters within your file and only in those instances will the letters written to the chair of the HSAC be sent upon your request. When requesting letters from volunteer experiences, please consider that Hospital Volunteer Coordinators don't usually know you as well as the health care professionals who work with you. A letter from someone on staff who can speak to your potential in medicine can truly strengthen your committee letter.

Recommendation forms are available here and on the HSAC BlackBoard "course" site.

WINTER Break:

It's time to start writing your personal statement. This essay is often difficult to write and usually requires multiple drafts.

  • IMPORTANT: Each student who wishes to interview with their committee in the spring for a summer or early fall application process must present without exception a strong working draft of their personal statement by the Friday following Spring Break.
  • These statements should be submitted directly to the HSAC Committee member assigned to you as your HSAC mentor.

JANUARY: After returning to campus.

It's time to request that a copy of your transcript be sent to your assigned HSAC mentor/advisor. You can determine which HSAC committee member is serving in this role by checking on the BlackBoard HSAC site. Transcripts from coursework taken at other institutions should also be requested at this time.

It's time to choose faculty members who will serve on your committee and tell your HSAC advisor/mentor who they are. Please ask two faculty members who you feel know you well to serve on your HSAC. Selecting faculty from across divisions often enhances your interview experience. Your final committee will consist of your chosen faculty members, your HSAC advisor/mentor, and another HSAC committee member who will be assigned to your personal committee.

It's time to ask for help with your personal statement.

It's time to prepare a résumé highlighting your activities and accomplishments; submit this to your HSAC advisor/mentor.


The Home Stretch

During the first week of MARCH:

It's time to check on your file with the HSAC advisor/mentor to see what has come in and catch up with what is missing.

MARCH, by the Friday following Spring Break:

It's time to add a polished working draft of your personal statement to your file.

At this time your file should contain:

  • Letters of recommendation from professors and supervisors. Two from faculty within your major, one from outside your major, and at least one from a supervisor of practical experience in health care.
  • A current St. Mary's College transcript, and transcripts from classes taken outside of St. Mary's College.
  • A draft of your personal statement.
  • A résumé highlighting your activities and accomplishments.
  • Previous MCAT scores.

Mid-MARCH through APRIL:

It's time to schedule your interview and meet with your committee. Due to the growing number of students applying to graduate programs in the health sciences, committee meetings must begin soon after Spring Break and continue throughout April. All meetings should take place before May. Meetings will not be planned during finals or Senior Week.

Also in the Spring, usually in APRIL:

It's time to take your MCAT! If you apply during the summer following your junior year, you need these scores; without these scores, you may be passed over for consideration until your August or fall test scores are processed and sent to your selected schools, usually about two months from the exam date. Since most medical schools begin interviews in the early fall and may begin to accept students on a rolling basis, postponing the completion of your file and its evaluation reduces your chances of acceptance.

REMINDER: Please forward or provide a copy of your test scores to your HSAC advisor/mentor for your file.

MAY/JUNE: Following Junior year

It's time to prepare your application and apply to medical school! AMCAS begins accepting applications June 1st. [AMCAS Deadlines]

*Application Checklist / Application Tips

Once your primary application (AMCAS) is complete, it's time to forward a complete list of schools and their addresses, as you wish them to be sent, to the chair of the HSAC. Use the form that's available on the BlackBoard HSAC site to do so. Please be very careful and complete - we simply copy and paste the information you provide to mailing labels when we send out your materials; if you make an error, your materials will then go astray.

After your secondary applications are completed and mailed, please notify the chair of the HSAC so that your letter of support may be sent.


Congratulations! You have survived the medical school application process!


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