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The University of Montana - Missoula  

Course Catalog 2003-2004

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Pre-Medical Sciences

Ralph C. Judd (Professor of Biological Sciences), Director

Health care continues to be one of the most rapidly expanding areas of our society. Careers in the health professions have expanded, both in numbers and in the variety of opportunities. The rewards of a career in health care include excellent salaries, stability of employment, geographic mobility, and the opportunity to help other people. The pre-medical sciences program is an advising program that helps students become well-informed, well-prepared applicants to programs in allopathic medicine, chiropractic medicine, dentistry, naturopathic medicine, optometry, osteopathic medicine, physician assistant, podiatry and veterinary medicine.

Students may select any major as a field of study which must include specific preprofessional courses. When selecting a major consider that your undergraduate years may be your last opportunity to pursue in depth a nonscience subject of interest. Professional schools are most concerned with the overall quality, scope and difficulty of undergraduate work and not the major.

Preprofessional courses are designed to provide a strong foundation in the sciences, highly developed communicative skills and a solid background in the social sciences and humanities. Curriculum guides outlining minimal course requirements established by professional schools are available from the Pre-medical Sciences Director.

The minimal requirements should be completed by the end of the third year of study or prior to taking the admission test required by professional schools. Since specific subject requirements vary among institutions, students should discuss their academic plans with the Pre-medical Sciences Director. Individuals with weak math and science preparation should consider a five year undergraduate program beginning with remedial courses in math, English, and reading skills.

Admission to a professional scho­ol is very competitive. Students must maintain a B-plus grade-point average in college if they expect to be admitted. All required courses must be taken for letter grades. In addition, the applicant must place high on an admissions test which has been designed to measure basic academic ability in the natural sciences, reading ability and problem solving skills. These examinations are ordinarily taken during the junior year.

Besides academic accomplishments and admission exam scores, acceptance by a professional school is also dependent upon letters of recommendation and personal interviews conducted by the professional school. It is important that students consult with the Pre-medical Sciences Director and with an academic advisor in their major each year to make sure that they can satisfy the necessary requirements for graduation within the time available. The Director can also discuss procedures, counsel and support the student during the process of applying to a professional school.

High School Preparation: High school students contemplating a career in the health professions should have three to four years of mathematics, courses in chemistry and physics and considerable background in literature and social science.



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