Some of the core requirements for applying to medical school are as follows:
- You must have a Bachelor's degree
That degree can be in anything, though some degree programs are more conducive to preparing for medical school than others. See "College Freshmen & Sophomores" above.
- You must complete specific, college-level courses
Every medical school has similar but varying requirements in this regard, so consider what schools you might like to attend and ask what their course requirements are. The WWAMI requirements are as follow:
- Humanities/Social Sciences: four (4) classes from any of a wide range of humanities disciplines such as Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, History, Literature, etc... Courses that teach writing, speaking, performance or language skills do not count toward this requirement.
- Physics: either two (2) semester of Physics--OR--one (1) semester of either Calculus or Linear Algebra. The Physics courses need to be either the 100 or 200-level core courses for science majors, not a general education requirement (GER) designed for non-majors.
- Chemistry: Organic Chemistry & Biochemistry. To satisfy this requirement, you can take CHEM 321 (Organic Chemistry I), CHEM 322 (Organic Chemistry II) and CHEM 441 (Biochemistry I). You do not have to take the Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry labs, nor do you have to take Biochemistry II).
- Biology: Cellular Biology and Genetics. To satisfy this requirement, you can take BIOL 242 and BIOL 252. The prerequisite for both courses is BIOL 108, which is a 6-credit, intensive course. These courses must be core or elective courses for science majors. GER courses and courses intended for allied health, pre-nursing or nursing majors (such as BIOL 240) do not count toward this requirement.
- Optional Courses: Courses such as Ethics, Phychology, Sociology, Physiology, Microbiology, Anatomy, Developmental Biology, etc... are recommended but not required. The inclusion of these and similar courses is likely to strengthen your application and may also help you with your MCAT preparation. Please note that the WWAMI program does not require you to take "Anatomy and Physiology" as an undergraduate student.
- You must pass the MCAT
The MCAT is a standardized, national exam used to compare medical school applicants across the United States. It consists of four equally-weighted sections:
- Chemical and Physical Foundations (Chemistry and Physics)
- Biological and Biochemical Fundations (Biology and Biochemistry)
- Physiological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior (Psychology and Sociology)
- Critical Analysis and reasoning Skills
- Detailed information on this exam can be found at the AAMC website
- You must collect volunteering and job shadowing hours
WWAMI requires that all applicants have a minimum of 50 hours each of volunteering and job shadowing (that's 100 hours total). However, stronger applicants have significantly more than the minimum hours required. We recommend documenting these hours so that it is easy to recall what you did and what your impressions were when it comes time to put together your medical school application and prepare for your interview.
- Volunteering hours can be collected in any way, shape or form and do not need to involve the medical field. Volunteering simply shows that you are dedicated to your community.
- Shadowing must be in a situation where you are not responsible for any work and therefore able to simply observe. Shadowing must be with a physician (MD, DO, DPM) or equivalent (PA, NP). However, shadowing cannot solely be conducted with a PA or NP--there must be a physician included in your shadowing hours.
Still looking for answers?
If your questions were not answered above, contact us with your specific questions.
Alida van Almelo
Pre-Health Professions Guidance Coordinator
UAA WWAMI School of Medical Education
3211 Providence Drive, HSB 301
Anchorage, AK 99508
The University of Alaska Anchorage offers academic programs that prepare students for successful entry into the health professions. Applicants have entered medical, dental, veterinary medicine, optometry, pharmacy, and physician assistant programs following completion of pre-requisite courses at UAA. It must be emphasized, however, that there is a high level of competition for positions in professional programs. Academic performance, including scores obtained on entrance exams, health care experience, letters of recommendation, and interviews may all be determinants of the success of an applicants attempt to enter professional school. Pre-professional students are encouraged to strengthen their candidacy by completing the appropriate coursework, accumulating experience in health care and research, engaging in public service activities, and maintaining extracurricular interests.
Students are encouraged to meet with an advisor to discuss course schedules, preparation for entrance exams, completion of applications, coordination of letters of recommendation, and other topics applicable to the development of a suitable undergraduate program and effective applications to professional schools.