Texas A&M University-Texarkana (A&M-Texarkana) offers students the opportunity to prepare for careers in professional programs such as medical school or law school. The pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, pre-veterinary, pre-health sciences, and pre-law programs provide experienced guidance and the right combination of skills, knowledge, and experience that the student will need for future professional studies and careers. Competition for admission to professional schools is intense. Having a Pre-Medical, Pre-Health Sciences, or Pre-Law concentration with the degree, coupled with the advice and guidance from a Pre-Professional Advisory Committee of professors and professionals, ensures that the student has the opportunity to meet all the requirements for application to medical, other health-sciences professional, or law schools. Additionally, the university encourages students in the pre-professional studies programs to work with professors on undergraduate research programs, at medical facilities in the region, or as interns in law offices to provide the students with opportunities and experience that can give the student an added competitive edge.
Pre-Medical Program of Study
A&M-Texarkana offers all the prerequisite courses for medical school. If a student majors in sciences in the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (CSTEM), the student can fit these courses into the normal degree and major requirements. If the student is interested in majoring in engineering, business, or the humanities and social sciences, he or she can still complete these admission requirements by careful selection of the elective courses. In fact, most medical schools encourage students interested in a medical career to pursue a broad undergraduate study in the humanities and social sciences, as well as the sciences. As new areas in technology emerge, a functional understanding of engineering and technology is becoming a more and more important component of the background a student can develop at A&M-Texarkana.
The basic requirements for most medical, dental, veterinary schools, and other health-sciences professional schools include the following:
- General Biology with laboratory (2 semesters – 8 semester hours)
- General Chemistry with laboratory (2 semesters – 8 semester hours)
- Organic Chemistry with laboratory (2 semesters – 8 semester hours)
- University Physics with laboratory (2 semesters – 8 semester hours)
- Calculus and Statistics (6–8 semester hours)
- English, Humanities, Social, and Behavioral Sciences (at least 24 semester hours, with a minimum of 6 semester hours in English)
A medical, dental, and veterinary school may also require a semester of biochemistry, microbiology, advanced human biology, and even statistics as one of a student’s mathematics requirements. To be competitive for admission to many medical and health-sciences schools, a student should expect to maintain a “B” or better average in all these courses.
Another requirement for admission to professional programs is demonstrated ability on entrance examinations. Almost all medical schools require the national standardized Medial College Admission Test (MCAT). This test emphasizes facility in scientific problem solving, critical-thinking and synoptic skills, effective communication (writing skills), and a strong mastery of basic biology, chemistry, and physics concepts. The general requirements for dental schools are the same as those for medical schools except that most require the Dental Admissions Test (DAT). Veterinary schools look at a number of different criteria in considering an applicant. A strong and focused grade point average (GPA) and competitive scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) are important factors for admissions. However, demonstrating a genuine familiarity and interest in the profession as confirmed through exposure to practice, research, or other areas of activity in veterinary medicine is essential. In addition to demonstrating a high level of scholastic achievement and intellectual potential, medical schools look for significant participation in volunteer-health-care activities, letters of recommendation from the school’s Pre-Health Sciences Advisory Committee, and individuals with whom the candidate has had course work, experience in research, medical-profession involvement, etc.
Many medical schools will not accept CLEP credits to fulfill any of the premedical course requirements; the student must supplement preparation at foreign universities, in most cases, with at least a year or more of course work at an accredited institution in the United States. Candidates must be proficient in both spoken and written English. Specific entrance requirements for medical schools are listed in “Medical School Admission Requirements” (MSAR®): United States and Canada.