Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Graduate level health professions programs (e.g. medical, dental, PT schools) do not generally prefer one major over another. Instead, students at the University of Idaho are encouraged to select a major in a field in which they have a strong interest and aptitude, and then simultaneously work on satisfying their degree requirements and the prerequisites coursework for their health professional programs of choice.
Regardless of your major, you will need to take classes that fulfill prerequisites for your top choice health professional programs. We have complied lists of suggested U of I coursework for many of the different health fields. These lists can serve as a general guide; however, requirements can vary greatly between programs, and it is highly recommended that students carefully research their top choice schools.
GPA requirements vary from school to school. However, the majority of students accepted to health professional schools have a GPA of approximately 3.5 or higher (typically 3.65 or higher for med schools). It is really important for students considering professional school to be realistic about whether their performance meets admissions expectations; keep in mind that grades are suggestive of your abilities to handle a health professions school’s curriculum. In particular, students must do very well in their science coursework.
It is also important to remember that health profession schools are looking at your entire application and not just your grades and test scores. There is no GPA that will guarantee being accepted or rejected by a program; however, if your GPA is less than 3.3, you may want to consider delaying your application for a year in order to improve your academic preparation. In some cases, this may entail enrolling in postbac coursework or a special master’s program.
More than one. If the student is an Idaho resident, we recommend that they apply to any professional school in Idaho having the particular program they desire. A student's best chances are with their state schools. There also are programs where Idaho has agreements with other states for students to apply to their programs as a resident. For further information on such programs please contact your pre-health advisor. Schools in other states will give preference to their own state's residents if they are a publicly funded institution. Private schools do not take residency into consideration, but private schools tend to be more expensive. Points to consider when choosing schools to apply to: financial resources, academic qualifications and self-confidence in the merit of the application.
No, but admission to medical and osteopathic medical schools is quite competitive. Nationwide, about one-third of those who apply are accepted. Students accepted from U of I usually have grade point averages above 3.40 (better than "B+"), with excellent grades in the required science courses. While students must keep their grades high to be competitive, successful completion of the requirements does not guarantee admission into medical school. Many other factors, including leadership and community service, play a large part.
You will likely need letters of recommendation from faculty members when you apply to most health professional schools.
You are encouraged to meet with your professors during office hours to become acquainted. It is not necessary to have a question about class to visit during office hours. Also, as you take upper-division courses, some classes will have smaller sizes, leading to more direct interaction in the classroom between you and your professor. Also, faculty may be in a better position to evaluate you if you work with them on research.
Be prepared to furnish your professor with additional information about yourself. Let your evaluators know the type of health professional school to which you are applying. Prepare an information sheet and/or resume for your letter writers and make an appointment to discuss your career plans. Tell them why you are motivated to pursue your chosen career. The information sheet should include activities you have participated in, any health-related jobs, volunteering, and any other pertinent information. A professor cannot be expected to write a letter of recommendation just because you received a good grade in his or her class. If, however, you make an effort to talk with them on occasion, the professor will feel they know enough about you to write a letter of recommendation. Most professors will not agree to write a letter if they do not have enough information to write a good letter.
You have the choice to waive your right to read the letters of recommendation. You choose this option within the application system you are using. Admission committees often prefer when a student waives their right to read the letters of recommendation because they assume a more candid and therefore a more helpful evaluation letter will be written by the professor.