At Boise State University, we have been quite effective in placing our students successfully into professional schools. Over the last 5 or so years, 100% of students applying to dental school have been admitted. Approximately 80% of students applying to medical school have been admitted. Both figures are about twice the national averages! We attribute the success of our students to the following:
- Excellent advising. Preprofessional students receive advising from two sources: the preprofessional advisors (Glenda Hill and Erin Colburn) in the College of Health Sciences and the advisors within their major departments. Glenda and Sandra are particularly knowledgeable about the best strategies for successful application to professional schools, and can give good advice what classes are most important, when is the best time to take exams such as the MCAT, how to set up internships, etc. Advisors within the department of the student’s major are important in making sure that the student is able to complete requirements for the major with the most efficiency. With this “double-teaming,” students receive excellent advising on all aspects of their academic careers.
- Excellent coursework and substantial interaction with faculty members. Students who take biology courses at Boise State find themselves very well prepared in professional school. In fact, some of our students have tested out of subjects (such as immunology and embryology) in medical school and ended up tutoring other medical students. All of our upper division lab courses are taught by faculty members (not teaching assistants); students are therefore afforded ample contact with those who know the subject best.
- Research opportunities. Research experience can now be considered a requirement for entrance into medical school. Premedical students at Boise State University are fortunate to have five summer research fellowships available; those fellowships pay a stipend to students who spend a summer in the lab of researchers on campus or at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Many other volunteer opportunities exist as well.
Students preparing for admission to medical (allopathic, osteopathic, chiropractic, podiatric, and veterinary) or dental school may choose to major in any field. At Boise State University, we’ve had students go on to medical school who have majored in English, History, and Music. However, most pre-professional students major in Biology, Chemistry, or Health Science Studies, undoubtedly because of those majors make use of the chemistry and biology required for entrance to professional schools. For information on Chemistry, or Health Science Studies, you are directed to their home pages.
Within the Department of Biological Sciences, Drs. Wingett, Long, Jorcyk, Oxford, and Tinker serve as academic advisors to preprofessional students. These advisors have information concerning state-supported tuition programs for qualified Idaho residents to attend professional schools outside the state of Idaho. These programs include:
- WWAMI (Washington-Wyoming-Alaska-Montana-Idaho) for medical school;
- IDEP (Idaho Dental Education Program) for dental school; and
- WOI (Washington-Oregon-Idaho) for veterinary medical school.
Pre-professional students can enhance their preparation for professional school by including courses in Genetics, Histology, Embryology, Immunology, Pathogenic Bacteriology, Parasitology, and Biochemistry during their undergraduate degree program. Students should also gain appropriate research and clinical experience.