Where do Brandeis alumni go?
Over the past five years, Brandeis alumni have been admitted to just about every medical school in the United States. Many choose to pursue allopathic medicine (MD) but a growing number also choose to pursue osteopathic medicine (DO). To see where our students and alumni have been admitted in the past five years, see this list.
How do schools evaluate me?
Five Factors for Program Admission
Again, there is no guaranteed way to get into health professions schools, but there are five main factors that schools will consider in evaluating your candidacy:
1. Coursework, grades and test scores. Admissions boards will look at the breadth and depth of coursework, and balance of academic program. They may want to know why you chose certain courses, or your major, or made other decisions in your academic career. They will look at trends in your GPA, and will compute a science GPA based on all Biology, Chemistry, Math and Physics courses, as well as as an overall GPA. All courses that you have taken in college will count toward your applicant GPA (including courses taken outside of Brandeis and/or courses that you repeat). The average GPA of accepted applicants to allopathic medical schools is about 3.67; for osteopathic medicine, dental, veterinary and other programs schools, it is slightly lower.
Every health professions school requires a standardized test. These tests are designed to evaluate your abilities in areas that will be important in your further study. They also, like SAT and ACT tests, provide a universal “number” against which they can compare all applicants. Work on your test taking skills, and address any test anxiety issues early.
2. Activities. Carefully choose your activities, and strive for quality of involvement rather than quantity of activities. The only required activity is experience in a clinical setting that will provide a realistic understanding of caring for others in a health care environment, such as volunteering in a hospital or working in another patient care facility. Other activities should demonstrate things you’re interested in, and help you to develop all of those intangible qualities listed above. Leadership, community service, and research activities are considered particularly useful in preparing for a health professional career.
3. Letters of Recommendation. All schools require them, and most require at least some of them to be written by faculty in your science courses. For medical and dental school admissions, you’ll be expected to have at least three academic recommendations; two from science professors. Cultivate relationships with faculty and other mentors who will be able to advocate for you in the admissions process. Brandeis will also prepare a committee letter of recommendation on your behalf, which provides a comprehensive summary of your candidacy.
4. Personal Statement Essay. You will write an essay in which you describe yourself and your motivation for a career in the health professions to the admissions committees as part of your application. This is a difficult essay to write - it has to be short, to the point, reflective of your personality, and well-written. Take some writing courses if you feel like you need to develop your written communication skills!
5. Interview. This is your chance to let Admissions Boards know more about you, and where you’ll be able to talk about your grades, test scores, and activities, and for you to learn more about the schools to which you’re applying. Make a good impression, and take the time to learn about each school.