Pre-Medical and Pre-Dental Advising
W. Brian and Karen F. O'Connor, Pre-Med/Dental Advisors
The Pre-Med Advising Office is located in the Shade Tree Lab
Phone: (413) 545-3674
email: briano [at] bio [dot] umass [dot] edu or kareno [at] bio [dot] umass [dot] edu
W. Brian O'Connor or Karen F. O'Connor
Pre-Medical Program c/o Biology Department
Morrill Science Center
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA. 01003
The University offers a standard pre-medical/dental curriculum, which meets all requirements necessary to apply to health professional school. There is NO PRE-MED MAJOR OR PRE-DENTAL MAJOR.
You should select a major that is interesting and challenging and allows you to pursue a variety of different careers. You should select a major in the field of your greatest interest and ability.
Many UMass pre-professional students chose a major in Biochemistry, Biology, Microbiology, Kinesiology, and Psychology. Any major is acceptable as long as it allows the student to complete the minimal science/math pre-professional requirements, which are the following:
Two semesters (one year) (with labs) of:
- Inorganic Chemistry (Chem 111, 112)
- Organic Chemistry (Chem 261, 262, 269)
- Physics (Physics 131 and 132)
- Introductory Biology (151 and 152: 153 (lab)
- Mathematics (at least 1 semester of Calculus, preferably 2, or statistics or computer science)
*Note-Some medical and dental schools may have additional requirements.
Selecting a Major
The University offers a standard pre-medical/dental curriculum, which meets all the requirements necessary to apply to professional schools. Students are advised to select a major that is interesting and challenging to them and allows them the opportunity to pursue a variety of careers. Students preparing for careers in the health professions must be aware of the cultural diversity and backgrounds of future patients. Therefore, we encourage students to pursue courses in the liberal arts, humanities and sciences. Such students are broadly educated and better prepared to make their career choices.
The Pre-Medical/Dental Program
This program advises all interested students in all areas of medicine and dentistry, and certain other health fields. All interested students, regardless of academic major, should register at the pre-med office. By registering a student can take advantage of advice and counseling from the pre-medical advisors. Letters of recommendation for medical, dental and other professional schools are written by the pre-med advisors. A library of medical, dental, optometry, osteopathic, podiatry, chiropractic and veterinary schools catalogs and other pertinent materials are maintained in the Pre-Med Office, SHADE TREE LAB.
Medical School Acceptance Rates
Because we advise a wide variety of students it is difficult to determine accurate and meaningful admission statistics. Approximately 80% of our applicants gain admission, assuming they meet the criteria below but this percentage varies greatly by age, and of course, academic and personal record of the student. Residency in a state in which there is a state supported medical school (or schools) is also a definite advantage in gaining admission. Competition for the 120 positions at the sole state medical school in Worcester is keen since over 1000 bona fide state residents apply. However, states with more than one state-supported medical school have a higher rate of in-state acceptance compared to Massachusetts and any other state with only one state-supported medical school. Please keep these situations in mind when you inquire about statistics concerning the "admission success" for medical school applicants, as they can be misleading. In the past 5 years it is our experience that our successful applicants to any US medical school have had a cumulative grade average of no lower than 3.6 (on a 4.0 scale) and no lower than 33 on the MCAT along with extensive health/community/volunteer service and research experience. Our acceptance rate for applicants to dental, optometry, podiatry and chiropractic school ranges from 90-100%.