Senior Year

  • Talk to your faculty advisor: This is starting to sound like a broken record but it really is important to keep checking back in with your faculty advisor periodically to make sure that you are on track with your course work to reach your goals.
  • Take biochemistry if you didn’t your Junior year:  Biochemistry is emphasized on the MCAT and you will find it useful to take at least one semester of Biochemistry before taking that test.
  • Complete advanced course work in chemistry and biology: Continue and complete advanced courses in biology, chemistry, and clinical lab science that will give you a leg up in professional school.
  • Independent research : If your schedule allows a semester or two of independent research with a faculty member will also help prepare you for professional school. Independent research is also a good way to keep your interest up as you near the end of your undergraduate career.
  • Keep up that GPA: Continue to take advanced courses and focus on making high grades. Avoid a senior slump. Admission to a professional school can be recinded for poor performance your last semesters.
  • MCAT exam scores: If you take the MCAT exam in April, and submit your AMCAS application in June, the exam scores will be mailed to individual schools of your choice in October. If you take the MCAT exam in August, there may not be enough time to process your supplemental application in time to set you up for an interview for the school year that begins the following fall. Most medical schools begin planning interviews in October.
  • Set up interviews: Based on the school, the interviews are set from mid-November to mid-February of the following year. An occasional school may begin interviewing as early as September (Northwestern). Make sure to inform the secretaries setting up your interviews if you plan to also interview in the nearby schools. They will work with them and pool your interviews so you do not have to make the trip to the area twice.
  • Preparation for interviews: Discuss with your professional advisor how to prepare for an interview and check whether a mock interview will be provided by the Career Development Center at UIS. Alternately, ask your professional advisor to help you stage a mock interview with your classmates and/or faculty. This is an important experience! Some schools use a panel of faculty and a senior student to interview applicants, while others interview on a one-on-one basis. Interviews usually take one to one and a half hours.
    • Make sure to follow up on your interview by emailing or calling to hear about the status of the decision on your application. Showing signs of interest is looked upon favorably.
    • By May 16 (of your senior year, in this case) you must accept the invitation for an interview. You may initially do this simultaneously for multiple schools, since the schools will also have their priorities, as would you.
    • If you are on the alternate list (wait list) of applicants, make sure to stay in touch with the school. Students who continue to express an interest in the school stand a better chance of being invited for an interview than those who drift away.