|Requirements for MCAT
& Medical School
Timeline for Application
Students who wish to pursue medicine must take the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) standardized exam. To do well on the exam, you must have completed all of the pre-requisite courses before taking the exam.
- When and where do I take the exam?
The exam is only administered at various dates throughout the year. You must register in advance and the later your register, the more expensive the test becomes. The test is administered throughout the country at Prometric testing centers. Information about the MCAT, content, registration deadlines, fees, testing sites and general FAQs can be accessed online.
- How do I prepare for the exam?
There is no magic way that works for all students. Some students choose to enroll in a course like Kaplan or Examkrackers, but this can be costly. Other students chose to buy the preparation books and work on their own. You need to ask yourself what type of learner you are and what approach you are dedicated to.
- How long does it take to get my score back?
Test scores are released 30 days after you take the test. Please be advised that committee letters will not be completed until after you receive your MCAT score and meet with your advisor to determine if your score is competitive.
- Am I competitive?
To be accepted into medical school you need a complete package. You must have the grades and GPA, a good MCAT score, good letters of recommendation, clinical/shadowing experiences and a good personal statement. Students must meet with their Pre-Health Advisor after receiving their MCAT score to discuss if your score is competitive. Applying to medical school is very expensive and we may advise holding off to address deficiencies in your application. Students may also reference the MSAR (Medical School Admissions Requirement) which provides statistics and average scores on admitted students from the previous application cycles.
Although not a requirement, students are encouraged to undertake undergraduate research with a faculty mentor. In many departments, students can receive course credit for the completion of 3 credits of research. Not only does this give you a valuable experience, but students can present their work at regional and national science conferences and many students have been published authors with their faculty mentor in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Additionally, having a letter of recommendation from your faculty mentor regarding your research, work ethic and skills will be a valuable addition to your committee packet.
At the end of the academic year, we also have internal conferences, which showcase and highlight research across disciplines on campus in the CASCon (College of Arts and Sciences Conference) and the Academic Festival. We encourage you to investigate research being performed and become involved!
Medical Internships, Shadowing and Clinical Experiences
Medical schools will require that you have some first-hand knowledge of what it is like to be a doctor. These experiences will allow you to truly get a feel for the medical profession and determine if it is right for you. It falls on the student to be proactive and seek out experiences. Most students contact their family physicians for shadowing hours. Below are some other medical locations where our students have shadowed and/or interned.
- Chris Mojcik and Dr. Joao Nascimento, Bridgeport, CT
- Jeffrey Kochan, Stratford, CT
- Research Associates Program, St. Vincent’s Hospital ER, Bridgeport, CT
- Norwalk Hospital (Medical Scribe through ScribeAmerica), Norwalk, CT
- Neurodiagnostics LLC, Norwich, CT
- Andover Subacute & Rehab Centers, Andover Township, NJ
- Total Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, Massapequa, NY
- Winthrop Orthopedic Associates, Garden City, NY
- Dialysis Clinic Inc.
- Panadura Base Hospital, Sri Lanka
Additionally, some students seek out a more long-term paid clinical experience to gain more knowledge of the medical profession and make themselves a more competitive candidate. Many of our students have worked as Medical Scribes or Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs).
The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) notes that “Each year, a substantial number of applicants express regret that they felt rushed and lost critical time working on their statement; when they realize how much time it involves, it’s often too late.”
Writing a personal statement on why you want to be a doctor may sound like a simple task, but in reality to do this and do it well takes time, multiple drafts and revisions in coordination with your Pre-Health advisor. Students often underestimate the time involved or the importance of having a good personal statement. The personal statement is an area of your application that is not black and white, it is not a GPA or an MCAT score. It is where you can reflect on your decision to become a doctor, what lead you down this path and reflect on your research and clinical experiences.
Because of the importance of the personal statement, we have incorporated writing personal statements into course content in BI191, Advanced Seminar in the Health Professions. We highly recommend students enroll in the course as we cover personal statement mechanics, content, do’s and don’ts and perform critiques and draft revisions over several weeks.
Many students fear the gap year or see this as “wasted time” and incorrectly think that taking a gap year would have a negative impact of their application. However, it is quite the opposite and most students take a gap year after college. To check off all the boxes needed for medical school (good GPA and MCAT score, clinical experiences) within three years of college is difficult. If you are hoping to start medical school right after college, you must have all your pre-requisite courses, have taken the MCAT and complete the application before your senior year! Thus, most students focus on getting good grades and shadowing during college and use the gap year to study for the MCAT while doing something meaningful in medicine (medical research, Scribing, EMT, etc.). Having a gap year while doing something medically meaningful makes you a stronger, more competitive candidate. The average age of students matriculating into medical school is 26-27 and admissions committees look for more mature candidates with real world experiences. Thus, a gap year is often to your benefit.