A pre-med university track is the track an undergraduate student in America pursues prior to enrolling as a medical student. It refers to the activities and courses that prepare an undergraduate student at a pre-med university for a medical school. For example, pre-med coursework, clinical experience volunteer activities, research and the application process.
At a majority of universities and colleges, students do not have the option of majoring in a pre-medical program. Students on pre-med tracks are permitted to choose any major in any field of study, as long as they complete certain required courses. Such courses are usually focused in scientific fields of chemistry and biology and are considered necessary for a student to be prepared for the Medical College Admission Test. These courses are also often required as medical school pre-requisite requirements.
It is for this reason that many pre-med university students generally choose a major associated with one of those fields. However, a majority of medical school students do not major in a science field as an undergraduate. In recent years, a number of students who have a background in humanities have been applying, which has been applauded by medical schools.
Many students participating in a pre-med university track will structure their coursework in their initial year at college to accommodate required courses. After a semester, many pre-med university students pursue extracurricular activities that demonstrate a strong commitment to medicine.
Once a pre-med student’s junior year arrives, they register to take the Medical College Admission Test, the required standardized exam used by medical schools to identify qualified candidates. Once they take the test, pre-med university students apply to numerous schools using the automated AMCAS system a process that takes four weeks.
This application process consists of a review of MCAT scores, GPA, personal statements, course work, activities and work experience. Pre-med university students who apply can expect to hear back from schools within one or two months, at which point students may receive “secondary applications”. Different medical schools have different policies regarding sending secondary applications to students. Many medical schools send secondary application to all applicants, while others screen applications prior to inviting an applicant to submit his or her secondary application.
Qualified pre-med university students can next expect to be interviewed by the medical school. The invitation to be interviewed is generally considered an accomplishment in itself with regards to the amount of work and time an applicant has put into building his or her candidacies. Upon the completion of the interview, the application process is considered complete, and the pre-med university student can then wait for letters from medical schools.
The Association of American Medical Colleges has created a list of standard required courses that all pre-med students must take. However, a university is allowed to place its own further requirements.
The pre-med coursework is offered at many American universities and colleges. However, it is considered a “track” that follows a certain curriculum. Most pre-med university students major in natural sciences, such as physics, chemistry or biology though this is not a requirement. Approximately 25 percent of medical school enrollees major in a field other than the natural and physical sciences, such as philosophy, anthropology or other humanities.