Frequently Asked Questions for Pre-Medicine and Pre-Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Students

1) Contact persons for questions, advice, and more information.

Please get in touch with your pre-med advisor if you have any questions or concerns.

2) Do we have a pre-health club?

Yes. Please get in touch with Armin Mortazi (, club president, for more information. Joining the pre-health club on your campus shows that, as a student, you are interested in pre-medicine or pre-DO and willing to get involved and surround yourself with peers of similar interests. The pre-health club typically holds meetings monthly. Meetings are designed to provide information most beneficial to the group of students at that time.

3) What is the best major to apply for medical or other pre-health-related programs?

There is no particular major for attending medical or doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) or related school. You can have any major if you meet the prerequisite requirements for any health professional school (e.g., medical school). As per the 2022 data from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), the following numbers comprised the accepted student pool:

43% of those accepted majored in Biology; followed by Biochemistry at 13%
72% of all admitted students majored in one of the traditional sciences

4) Does UA Little Rock offer a degree in pre-medicine or pre-DO tracks?

No, UA Little Rock does not offer a specific or concentrated degree for either pre-medicine or pre-doctor of osteopathic medicine tracks.

5) Do I need a STEM major to apply to medical school?

No, you are not required to do a STEM major to apply to medical school. If you meet the prerequisite classes, you can apply from any major.

6) What coursework is required for medical schools?

Details about specific medical school course requirements can be found on the particular medical school websites and also in the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) guide.

7) When can I apply for medical school?

It is essential to know when you apply to medical school. Students usually apply for the following year. Therefore, if you want to start medical school in 2024, you must apply during 2023. Applications open in early June for medical schools under AAMC. Medical schools operate on a rolling basis. This means that it is to your advantage to apply as soon as possible in the application cycle. If you wait too long, you will compete with several applicants for only a few seats. Therefore, applying when the application opens is in your best interest.

8) How should I apply for medical school?

Most medical schools participate in the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS), sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Applicants must use the AAMC online web application at Applicants may certify and submit their completed AMCAS web application to the AAMC beginning in June. The deadline for submitting your application to AMCAS is Nov. 1 for the class entering the following fall. Official transcripts should be sent directly to AMCAS from the registrar of each college attended. AMCAS will send your MCAT scores to the medical school to which you are applying to. Recommendations from your Pre-medicine Advisory Committee are necessary and can be sent directly to AMCAS Letters Service. Usually, the medical school will not review your application if you miss your school’s Pre-medicine Committee deadline. Please check our website for MCAT registration and other details.

9) What is a good GPA?

There is no particular GPA that can get you to medical school. Medical or similar schools seek a well-rounded applicant who meets all the criteria. However, having a high GPA will be beneficial. The top schools are interested in applicants with GPAs of 3.8-3.9 and above. However, many individual factors come into play in the admissions process, so students should consult their Pre-medicine advisor about their situations. Please note that you are required to have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 and above to apply for the mock interview and request a committee letter from your pre-medicine committee here at UA Little Rock.

10) Can I take online courses? 

Typically, it is best to take in-person classes, particularly laboratory courses. You should take your Pre-medicine requirements in the sequence that best suits you in consultation with your Pre-medicine advisor and the medical school you are applying to.

11) Can I take the required pre-medicine courses in summer school?

Yes, you can here at UA Little Rock or another place, provided it is at an accredited 4-year college or university in the U.S.

12) What kind of extracurricular experiences should I seek?

Community service is important to demonstrate your concern and compassion for others. Medical schools look for students who have been active contributors on campus and to the communities and have a range of interests. It would help if you pursued anything that interests you. It would help to choose a few things to do meaningfully and well rather than experiment with a long list of activities.

13) Do the students need to have clinical or related experiences?

Yes, you must involve yourself in a medical setting to indicate to the medical schools that you have observed medical practice first-hand. Students do this through volunteer work in hospitals and clinics, serving as EMTs or hospice volunteers, summer jobs, internships, formal Pre-medicine summer programs, or shadowing physicians, either during the school year or during school vacations.

14) What can I do if I’m motivated to be a physician but my grades aren’t strong enough?

Many applicants take some time after graduation to improve their academic records. They may take additional science courses or enroll in a formal post-baccalaureate program for students interested in medical school. Suppose you are doing poorly in your science courses at UA Little Rock. In that case, putting your pre-med plans on hold may be wise. Then concentrate on subjects you like and do well in, and then you take the sciences to improve your grades. Please be sure to consult with your advisor about your situation.

15) What is the MCAT?

All medical school applicants are required to take the MCAT. It is a standardized test required by all medical schools. It is a 7.5 h, computer-based exam given 25 times a year, with sections on biological and biochemical foundations of living systems, chemical and physical foundations of biological systems, psychological, social, and biological foundations of behavior, and critical analysis and reasoning skills. After completing the chemistry, biology, physics, statistics, and social science Pre-medicine requirements, you may take the MCAT.

16) Who provides my letters of recommendation?

When you are ready to apply to medical school, you will need 3-4 recommendations from faculty, instructors, and others who know you and your work. They can be your coaches, supervisors, or the doctor you shadowed. These letters are submitted to the pre-medicine committee. The pre-medicine committee uses them to produce a committee letter of recommendation on your behalf. Therefore, it is recommended that you know your instructors and professor well and talk to them from time to time so that they remember you when they write the letter of recommendation.

17) When should I apply for a mock interview/committee letter from the pre-medicine committee?

The Mock Interview / Committee Letter cycle for Fall 2022 is now closed. The timeline for committee letters is as follows (exact dates TBA):

Late May: Application for a committee letter goes live
Late August: Application for a committee letter closes
Early to mid-September: Mock interviews are held with qualified candidates
Mid-October: Committee letters are ready & uploaded

18) What are the minimum requirements for a mock interview and a committee letter from UA Little Rock?

Mock interviews are required before we can issue a committee letter. The following are the minimum requirements to be eligible for a mock interview and committee letter:

  1. You have received your MCAT scores or will receive scores before Aug. 26 (a score of 500+ is required to get a committee letter)
  2. You have completed all or most* of your prerequisites (*6-9 credit hours remaining)
  3. You have a cumulative GPA at UA Little Rock of 3.5 and above

You must meet these minimum requirements to receive a mock interview and committee letter.

Additional requirements generally are a prerequisite checklist, CV, volunteer work, clinic hours, research experiences, personal statement, and 3-4 professional letters of recommendation from your instructor or supervisor.