Before You Apply

Here you will find information that will assist you in pursuing a medical education at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. If you have additional questions that are not answered below, please feel free to contact us.

Regardless of where you pursue your undergraduate degree, you should contact the premedical advisor at your college or university to help guide your preparation for medical school.

Selecting a Major

You are encouraged to pursue a broad and rigorous undergraduate curriculum. It is neither expected nor required that you major in a science field. You may choose any major you wish, as long as you successfully complete the required prerequisite courses. Consider these points when selecting a major:

  • Where do your interests lie?
    • You will probably gain the most from a course of study consistent with your own interests.
  • Consider your ability to learn and apply scientific information.
    • Some students choose science fields of study because they are deeply interested in science. Other students complete science majors because they believe more science course work will best prepare them for a medical education. However, some students complete only the prerequisite courses and pursue nonscience areas in their undergraduate studies because they recognize that they will have ample opportunity to focus on sciences in medical school and wish to take advantage of the opportunity to pursue other areas of study.
  • Do you have alternative career options?
    • In the event that you are not immediately accepted into medical school, will your chosen major provide you with employment opportunities or prepare you for graduate study?

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

The MCAT is required of all medical school applicants. The test assesses mastery of basic concepts in biology, chemistry, and physics, and facility with scientific problem solving and logical reasoning. Students applying for medical school admission are strongly advised to take the MCAT in the spring of their junior year in college. Also, please be aware that it is the policy of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine to only accept MCAT scores that fall within the previous two years of the current application cycle. For the 2018 entering class application cycle, the oldest score accepted is April 2015. Learn more about preparing for the MCAT.

Personal Qualities

Medical schools seek outstanding, well-rounded students that possess extraordinary interpersonal skills. Intelligence, caring for others, integrity and honesty, leadership, reliability, stamina and strongly tested motivation for medicine are necessary personal qualities. We recommend that students take time to develop self-health strategies, time-management skills and personal support systems. It is important to deal appropriately with pressures of balancing educational or professional demands with personal life.

Exploration of Medical Careers

Take time to explore whether medicine is the right profession for you in order to address the question, "Why Medicine?" Talk to physicians about their experiences. Shadow physicians in their offices or in the hospital. Volunteer in a health care facility. Check out AspiringDocs for more information on the medical profession. Your experiences should provide you with a realistic perspective to confirm your reasons for pursuing this profession.

Interests and Work Experience

Medical schools seek versatile and well-balanced individuals who have had a variety of life experiences. Hobbies are a means of expanding your talents and interests beyond your formal education. Work experiences enable applicants to develop special qualities including leadership, organizational skills, the ability to work with people, and proficiency in dealing with timelines and finances.

Strategies for Applying

  • Please take these points under advisement before beginning the application process. They are here to prepare you and help you become a better candidate for admission to medical school.
  • Seek advice from a premedical advisor early in your college experience.
  • Educate yourself about the medical profession.
  • Contact medical schools to become familiar with their entry requirements and admissions process.
  • Complete prerequisite science courses by the end of your junior year of college.
  • Register for, prepare for and take the MCAT early in your junior year, approximately 16 months prior to your anticipated medical school enrollment.
  • Submit completed medical school application early in the summer before your senior year in college.
  • Prepare for and retake MCAT if necessary.
  • During your senior year of college, concentrate on improving your study skills. Take rigorous, high-level courses.
  • Solicit a premedical committee letter of evaluation (if your college has such a committee). If not, seek academic letters of evaluation from three of your college professors who know you well.
  • If you will require financial assistance, seek information from medical schools regarding eligibility requirements and the types of assistance programs that will be available to you.