Are you thinking of applying to medical school or another health professions school in Texas after receiving your undergraduate degree? Here you will find information on medical and dental school minimum credit hour requirements and other helpful information, as well as links to the various professional schools located in Texas.
You may make an appointment with Ms. Sandy Hobart, our health professions advisor using this link:
Preparing to Apply to a Professional School
Medical, dental, veterinary, and other health profession programs are very competitive. For example, only 49.9% of applicants to Texas medical schools with a GPA of 3.76 or better actually entered a Texas medical school in 2016. Applicants with lower GPAs matriculated at even lower rates. Other professional programs have similar statistics.
How can one build a strong professional school application? There is no magic formula for securing entry into a professional school. However, conversations with admissions staff indicate that these qualifications and experiences are viewed positively:
- Maintain an excellent GPA.
- Gain experience in a clinical setting that matches your career interests
- The best experience involves hands-on patient care. Some examples of these patient care experiences include emergency medical technician (EMT), paramedic, nurse, scribe, medical assistant, certified nursing assistant (CNA), emergency room tecnician (ER tech), physical therapist assistant, phlebotomist, pharmacy technician, clinical research assistant, and athletic trainer. This type of deep experience in a medical setting will take many months to acquire, so start early!
- Shadowing a few working professionals in your aspirational field is also highly recommended. For example, if you aspire to be a physician, spend a few dozen hours shadowing with physicians practicing different specialties.
- Perform service to diverse communities (volunteer to serve different people in different places)
- Demonstrate leadership (possibly in student orgs, at work, in your volunteer life)
- Get involved in research (especially for medical and dental applicants; less important for other health professions)
- Prepare well for the appropriate admission test and earn a high score (8-10 full length, standard time format practice tests recommended over at least 4 months or preparation)
- Write a compelling personal statement (resources available in the Science Education and Career Center)
- Be aware of the social media imprint you are permanently making on the Internet
- Practice speaking professionally in front of small groups to prepare for potential admission interviews
Breadth of experiences is important, but it is recommended that you have at least one deep experience in an extracurricular area.
Health Professions FAQ document: Click Here
Completing Your Pre-Health Profession Prerequisite Courses as a Post-Bacc Student
If you already have an undergraduate degree and want to take your pre-medical, pre-dental, pre-pharmacy, pre-PA, etc. coursework at UTA, you will do so as a post-baccalaureate student (post-bacc). You can do so as a non-degree seeking (sometimes called transient or visiting) student or as a student seeking a second degree. Students seeking a second degree may be eligible for some forms of financial aid if taking at least a half-time course load (6 credit hours per semester).
- If you are a graduate of UTA and you want to come back to UTA, please follow the directions for a Returning Student on the UTA Returning Student Admissions web site.
- If you are a graduate of another university and you want to come to UTA as a post-bacc seeking a second undergraduate degree, please follow the directions for a Transfer Student on the UTA Transfer Admissions web site.
- If you are a graduate of another university and you want to come to UTA as a post-bacc non-degree seeking student, please follow the directions for a Visiting Student on the UTA Visiting Student Admissions web site.
Texas Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP)
JAMP is a special program created by the Texas Legislature to support and encourage highly qualified, economically disadvantaged Texas resident students pursuing a medical education. Read more about JAMP.
Recommendation Letters Submission Request
To request that UTA send your recommendation letters to a medical or dental application service or school, please use the form at the following link: Recommendation Submission Request Form
Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC) Applications
UTA students do not have to participate in the HPAC process in order to apply to medical or dental school, but they may choose to seek an HPAC endorsement of their application. Aside from possibly earning an endorsement from the committee, successful applicants will also have the opportunity to participate in an interview, providing practice for medical or dental school admission interviews.
Applications are typically made by students in their junior year. HPAC applications open in December and close in February.
- There are two required and one optional essay in the application:
- Personal Statement- 5,000 characters with spaces - Required
Your personal statement should include the factors that influenced you to apply to medical or dental school and your philosophical approach to the practice of medicine or dentistry. This statement should be the one you plan to use on your medical or dental school application
- Personal Characteristics Essay- 2,500 characters with spaces - Required
Learning from others is enhanced in educational settings that include individuals from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Please describe your personal characteristics (background, talents, skills, etc.) or experiences that would add to the educational experience of others.
- Unique Circumstances or Life Experiences Essay- 2,500 characters with spaces
Briefly discuss any unique circumstances or life experiences that are relevant to your application which have not previously been presented. This is not an area to continue your essay or reiterate what you have previously stated: this area is provided to address any issues that have not previously been addressed.
- For tips on writing your personal statement, please check out the resources in the Science Education and Career Center, room 106 Life Science. There is also a great resource shared by Mr. Doyen Rainey from UT Dallas at the NAAHP Conference, Washington, DC, June 2018: Doyen Rainey's Personal Statement Handout. It includes a brief summary of Strunk & White's Elements of Style.
- There is no best format or style for a personal statement.
- Personal Statement- 5,000 characters with spaces - Required
- This cover sheet must accompany all evaluations submitted to the HPAC: HPAC Letter of Evaluation Form.
Please send completed evaluations to:
Health Professions Advisory Committee
The University of Texas at Arlington
P.O. Box 19047 Arlington, TX 76019
Curriculum: In general, medical school admissions committees do not state a preference regarding undergraduate major, leaving the student free to choose a degree program suited to special abilities and interests. Students may select any major, after conferring with an advisor, as long as the minimum requirements stated by the medical schools are met. The minimum credit hour requirements for admission to medical schools in Texas are indicated below:
- Biology - minimum 14 semester hours (minimum 12 hours lecture, 2 hours lab); Includes all Biological Science courses applied toward Baccalaureate degree in traditional science fields, such as General Biology (BIOL 1441, 1442), Microbiology (BIOL 3444), Genetics (BIOL 3315), Cell Physiology (BIOL 3301), Ecology, Immunology (BIOL 3312), Molecular Biology (BIOL 4331), Parasitology, Anatomy (BIOL 3446), and Physiology (BIOL 3442)
- General Chemistry - 8 semester hours (6 lecture plus 2 lab); CHEM 1441 and CHEM 1442
- Organic Chemistry - 8 semester hours (6 lecture plus 2 lab); CHEM 2321/2181 and CHEM 2322/2182
- Biochemistry - 3 semester hours; CHEM 4311
- English - 6 semester hours; ENGL 1301 and ENGL 1302
- Mathematics - 3 semester hours of statistics; MATH 1308, MATH 3316, MATH 3351, BIOL 2300, BIOL 5314, PSYC 2441, PSYC 2443, PSYC 2444, KINE 1308, or IE 3301 - some schools also require one semester of calculus
- Physics - 8 semester hours (6 lecture plus 2 lab); PHYS 1441 and 1442, or PHYS 1443 and 1444
To be considered for admission to medical school, a total of 90 semester hours of undergraduate work in a fully-accredited college in the United States must be completed prior to enrollment.
Prior to taking the MCAT, you should also take the following courses:
- PSYC 1315 - Introduction to Psychology
- SOCI 1311 - Introduction to Sociology
Pre-Med Grade and MCAT Data
For recent statistics on GPA and MCAT scores for medical school admissions in Texas and across the UNited States, visit the Texas Medical and Dental School Application Service (TMDSAS) web site and the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) web site: GPA/MCAT Score Grid and More Stats.
Of course there are pre-med podcasts:
Medical school applicants must achieve a satisfactory score on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Some preparation resources are available in the Science Education and Career Center (Room 106 Life Science Building). There are alsso many resources available online:
- MCAT information and registration - AAMC
- "How I Prepared for the MCAT" - AAMC
- Khan Academy online MCAT prep - Khan Academy
- Princeton Review MCAT prep - Princeton Review
- Kaplan MCAT prep - Kaplan
- Examkrackers MCAT prep - Examkrackers
- altius MCAT prep - altius
Texas Medical SchoolsThe 11 medical schools in Texas are:
- UT Southwestern Medical School - Dallas
- Texas A&M Health Science Center - College Station
- UT Medical Branch School of Medicine - Galveston
- Baylor College of Medicine - Houston
- UT Health Science Center at Houston - McGovern Medical School
- Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center - Lubbock
- UT Health San Antonio - Long School of Medicine
- UNT Health Science Center - Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine - Fort Worth
- UT Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine
- Texas Tech Health Sciences Center at El Paso - Foster School of Medicine
- UT Austin Dell Medical School
In addition, TCU and UNTHSC are planning to open an additional medical school very soon.
Medical School Application Services
Almost all medical schools use one of the following application services.
- TMDSAS - Texas Medical and Dental Application Service - Texas public medical schools
- AMCAS - American Medical College Application Service - Texas private medical schools and most medical schools in the U.S.
- AACOMAS - American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service - Osteopathic medical schools in the U.S.
A minimum of 90 semester hours is required prior to application/admission to dental school. Again, maintaining a high GPA is critical. To see the Texas statistics for GPA and admission rates to dental school, please visit the TMDSAS website.
Required courses include:
- English - 6 semester hours
- Inorganic Chemistry - 8 semester hours
- Organic Chemistry - 8 semester hours
- Biochemistry - 3 semester hours
- Physics - 8 semester hours
- Biology - 16 to 20 hours recommended
- Statistics - MATH 1308, MATH 3316, MATH 3351, BIOL 2300, BIOL 5314, PSYC 2441, PSYC 2443, PSYC 2444, KINE 1308, or IE 3301
Dental Admission Test (DAT)
Pre-Dental Grade and DAT Data
For recent statistics on GPA and DAT scores for dental school admissions in Texas and across the United States, visit the visit the Texas Medical and Dental School Application Service (TMDSAS) web site and the American Dental Education Association web site.
The three dental schools in Texas are:
- Texas A&M University - College of Dentistry
- UT Health Science Center at Houston - School of Dentistry
- UT Health Science Center at San Antonio – School of Dentistry
Dental School Application Services
Almost all dental schools use one of the following application services.
- TMDSAS - Texas Medical and Dental Application Service - Texas public dental schools
- AADSAS - Associated American Dental Schools Application Service
Students interested in applying to optometry school must take the Optometry Admission Test (OAT).
The national application service for optometry schools is the Optometry Centralized Application Service (OptomCAS).
The OptomCAS web site list GPA and OAT score data for students entering optometry programs.
The OptomCAS web site also lists the prerequisite coursework required by optometry programs in the U.S.
The two optometry schools in Texas are:
- University of Houston – College of Optometry
- University of the Incarnate Word – Rosenberg School of Optometry – San Antonio
Admission Test: PCAT - Pharmacy College Admission Test
Admission Test Content: PCAT Blueprint
Pharmacy School Application Service: PharmCAS - Pharmacy College Application Service
Pharmacy school average GPA for entering students: see PSAR Table 5
The eight pharmacy schools in Texas are:
- University of the Incarnate Word – Feik School of Pharmacy - San Antonio
- Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy - Kingsville
- Texas Southern University – College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences - Houston
- Texas Tech Health Sciences Center – School of Pharmacy - Lubbock
- University of Houston - College of Pharmacy
- UT Austin - College of Pharmacy
- UT Tyler – Fisch College of Pharmacy
- UNT Health Science Center – College of Pharmacy – Fort Worth
Most UT Arlington students interested in a career as a Physician Assistant apply to the programs at UT Southwestern and UNT Health Science Center. We have a handout that outlines a set of pre-requisites and recommended courses that satisfy both programs.
- UT Southwestern Master of Physician Assistant Studies
- UNT Health Science Center Physician Assistant Studies
- UNT Health Science Center Physician Assistant Studies Entering Class Statistics
- The Central Application Service for Physician Assistants - CASPA
- National Physician Assistant application/acceptance statistics
- The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) information
- Physician Assistant online mentor and shadow online service
The veterinary school in Texas is located at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine – College Station.
Applications are handled through TMDSAS, the Texas Medical and Dental Application Service.
The Texas A&M Veterinary program lists the specific course requiremnts for UTA on their web site. Please note that one of the required courses is not available at UTA. Texas universities that do offer Animal Nutrition, as well as universities that offer it as a correspondence course are listed on the Texas A&M web site.
Allied Health Programs
- Clinical Dietetics
- Dental Hygiene – Texas A&M Caruth School of Dental Hygiene
- Medical Technology
- Occupational Therapy – Texas Woman’s University
- Occupational Therapy - All Accredited Programs
- Physical Therapy – All Accredited Programs
- Prosthetics and Orthotics – UT Southwestern Medical Center - Dallas
- Public Health – UNT Health Science Center – Fort Worth
- UT Southwestern SURF: Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship
- National Science Foundation REUs: NSF Funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates
- UT Health Science Center at Houston SHPEP: UTHSC Houston Summer Health Professions Education Program
Health Professions Career Info
- ExploreHealthCareers.org - A great overview of careers related to all aspects of health care