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, Dr. Steven Gellman, our Pre-Med Consultant or Nina Nguyen, our Student Peer Mentor using this link:Book Now with the Health Professions Office
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 and clinical research assistant. 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): UTA Research
- 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.
The University of Texas at Arlington has several Pre-Health Organizations that can assist you on your path! Joining one of these organizations provides valuable insight and resources for any pre-health student. Get to know other students on the same journey as you! Visit MavOrgs.uta.edu for more information regarding these organizations.
- Advancement of Females in Medicine
- Medical and Dental Preparatory Association
- Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students
- Global Medical Training
- Health Occupation Students of America
- Pre-Dental Society
- Pre-Physician Assistant Association
- Pre-Pharmacy Association
- Pre-Optometry Professional Society
Texas Health Resources Pre-Medical Preceptorship Program
This program allows pre-medical students from UTA to be paired with a physician mentor from Texas Health Resources Arlington Memorial Hospital for one semester. During that time, the student is able to shadow the physician and this represents the experiential learning component of the program. Our preceptorship program also requires an academic component in which students participate in weekly journal clubs with their peers and a faculty member. Students are required to read and make oral presentations over biomedical publications from the primary literature.
Program applicants must:
- Have completed a minimum of 60 earned credit hours by the start of Preceptorship (not in progress)
- Have a minimum GPA of 3.4
- Not have received an acceptance, applied, or plan to apply in the current medical school cycle
- Have a strong foundation in the sciences as displayed by credit hours earned. Our most common majors participants are those from the Departments of Biology, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Psychology, Kinesiology and Bioengineering. However, the program is not restricted to these intended majors.
- Have completed a minimum of 50 hours of participation in prior healthcare-related shadowing, volunteer, or work experiences
- Provide a well-articulated motivation toward medicine as presented in a personal statement
- The ability to engage in learning outside of the classroom as demonstrated by curiosity and communication with instructors/preceptors
Applications are open for Fall 2019 on Monday February 18th and close on March 31st (5PM CST).
To apply, click: Fall 2019 Preceptorship Application
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.
Requesting Submission of Letters to Medical or Dental School Application(s)
If the Health Professions Office has received a copy of your letters of recommendation and you would like to have them submitted to your medical or dental school application, complete the following form using this link: Recommendation Submission Request Form***
***Do not submit this form until you have reached the letters section in your application. An AMCAS Letter ID is required for all AMCAS applicants. Please note it is the student's responsibility to verify the Health Professions Office has all letters requested. Any missing information on the form will result in a delay of letter submission.
Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC) Applications
The HPAC Process provides students applying to medical or dental school in the upcoming cycle an opportunity to obtain a Letter of Recommendation from an HPAC Committee Member. This is also referred to as a Committee Letter. Aside from possibly earning an endorsement from the committee and becoming familiar with the medical school or dental school application process, 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. For additional information including criteria, please refer to this handout: HPAC Process
- For tips on writing your personal statement, please check out the resources in the Science Education and Career Center, room 106 Life Science Building. 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.
- This cover sheet must accompany all evaluations submitted to the HPAC: HPAC Letter of Evaluation Form.
HPAC applications for the upcoming cycle open December 17th and close on February 15th at 5PM CST. HPAC 2019-2020 Application
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 Prep and Success for Medical Students - AC 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
- UWorld prep - UWorld
Texas Medical SchoolsThe 12 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
- TCU and UNT Health Science Center School of Medicine
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
Applications are generally due around February 1, so make sure to have your applications ready by late January.
- 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
- Weill Cornell Medicine: Travelers Summer Research Fellowship Program for Premedical Students
Health Professions Career Info
- ExploreHealthCareers.org - A great overview of careers related to all aspects of health care