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Expert Advising and Preparation for Medical School

Everybody knows that competition for getting into medical school is tough. Having a Pre-Medical concentration insures that you meet all the requirements for application to medical or other health professional school plus offers opportunities that can give you an added edge. You can have a Pre-Medical concentration and major in any program at the University - from Biology to Chemical Engineering to Business.

What does Clarkson offer students interested in medicine?
Clarkson has a lot going on in various health-related fields. This gives you the option to explore other aspects of health care and other health care professions. We have majors in Biology, Psychology, Environmental Health Science, as well as a concentration in Pre-Physical Therapy. The department is still growing, and more programs will be available in coming years. We also offer a series of seminar courses: Introduction to Healthcare. This seminar introduces students interested in all areas of healthcare to issues such as professionalism, health delivery systems, medical ethics, and the research basis for clinical care.

What courses are medical schools looking for?

The basic requirements are a sound background in the sciences of biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics along with critical reading and writing skills developed through liberal arts courses such as literature, philosophy, etc.

Does Clarkson have the courses I need?
Clarkson offers all the courses listed as prerequisites for medical school. If you are enrolled in one of the majors in the School of Science, you can fit these courses into your normal degree and major requirements. If you are in the Schools of Engineering, Liberal Arts or Business, you can complete these requirements by careful selection of elective courses.

What else are medical schools looking for?

Generally speaking, medical schools are looking for a student who has demonstrated interest in medicine, with some working knowledge of what the profession demands of its practitioners. This usually involves experience actually in the medical community. Medical and other health professional schools also want to see that the student can balance academics with involvement in outside interests, and that the student has a commitment and service record to the community at large.

Course requirements for Pre-meds:

  • Introductory Biology with laboratory (2 semesters)
  • Introductory Chemistry with laboratory (2 semesters)
  • Organic Chemistry with laboratory (2 semesters, 1 lab)
  • Physics (2 semesters)

How can Clarkson help?

Clarkson has many student organizations that are actively involved in community service projects - projects which have a significant impact on the quality of life in the North Country region. The Pre-Med advisor can work with you, individually, to develop a plan and facilitate opportunity. For example, volunteer opportunities are available in the Potsdam community; we keep an active list of available slots. We also keep an active list of mentoring and employment opportunities in various areas of health care. To help students maintain a well-rounded college experience, Clarkson has an abundance of extracurricular opportunities for students to become involved in.

Can I do research as an undergraduate?
One important aspect of the Clarkson program is the opportunity to do research under the tutelage of a faculty member. This can be as a summer job experience or as course credit during the school year. This research exposure allows the student to get a more in-depth experience in the rigors of science and the scientific method. Research experience also allows students to better decide whether they want to become involved in medicine as a practitioner or as a medical researcher.

Pre-Med Advising
Through the many years of advising Pre-Medical students, we have found a certain format which best helps them decide the right what role for them in health care (medical school isn't right for everyone), and assists in successful application to medical or other health professional schools. One of the reasons that Clarkson students have been so successful in getting into good health professional school is that they get personal attention and guidance throughout this procedure. Students should begin preparing for the application process in their first year at college. In general, during their first two years at college, students should be developing their credentials through course work and experiences in the medical community. In their junior year, students should be building a portfolio to draw from in crafting their applications. In their senior year, students will be involved in the application and admissions process.