- Talk to a faculty advisor about your course plan: The number one mistake that freshmen make is to fail to talk to a faculty member and receive advice on their course schedule. Plan on taking courses which increase your writing skills, non-science courses which help hone reasoning skills, and science courses which focus on the key principles of chemistry, physics, and biology. You do not have to be a science major to do well on the MCAT exam. The power of deductive reasoning is of key importance for doing well on the exam, and it can be honed by taking courses in a variety of disciplines. A list of pre-professional health sicence faculty advisors can be found here: http://www.uis.edu/preprofessional/faculty/index.html
- Take Math: The faculty suggest that all freshemen considering a pre-professional health sciences track should take math as freshmen. One semester of Calculus will take you far. Math is the language of science. You wouldn’t study French literature without taking French. So as a pre-professional student you should be well versed in math. Students who put off their math courses until they are upper-classmen put themselves at a disadvantage.
- Work on your Gen-Ed core requirements : Get your English and writing out of the way. Again, like the math courses, these course will develope core skills that will help you succeed in the rest of your classes. Putting them off is not recommended.
- Take intro chemistry and biology: Take at least one of the introductory sequences in chemistry (CHE 141/241) or biology (BIO 141/142). As soon as you get these courses out of the way you can move on to more specialized courses that you need to prepare yourself for a professional career in the health sciences.
- Seek information on your own: Learn as much as possible about the health science professions you are interested in. For example talk to your doctor or engage as a volunteer in health-oriented activities.
- Get good grades: Focus on getting high grades in your courses. Do not get distracted with too many extracurricular activities at this point in time. Instead, focus on establishing a sound scholastic record early.