How do I get into an undergrad med school on scholarship?

By Maxine Seya

“What marks does a Pakistani student need to get an admission to an undergraduate med school program on scholarship?”

- Arysha Azar in Karachi, Pakistan

We’ll answer your question in two parts. Firstly, here in the U.S., we don’t have medical schools at the undergraduate level. Medical institutions that train and grant degrees for practicing medical professionals (physicians, dentists, veterinarians, physical therapists, optometrists, etc.) are graduate schools.

This means you can only enter a 4-year medical program after successfully completing a 4-year undergraduate Bachelor’s degree.

That said, as an undergraduate preparing for medical school admission, you will be required to take a list of prerequisite classes fundamental to a medical career in America. These include biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, civics, English, psychology, and kinesiology. You can pick any major you want as long as you fulfill the premed prerequisites.

My roommate in college, now a medical student, majored in English. She took all of the required prerequisites as an undergraduate.

In short, getting into an undergraduate medical program should not be your focus. If getting into med school is your goal, you should focus on getting into an undergraduate program that’ll best boost your profile as a med school candidate. For some students, that means attending a less rigorous undergraduate college and earning higher grades as opposed to attending a competitive, cutthroat school and barely getting the grades for med school consideration.

As you might know, U.S. college admissions doesn’t only consider your marks (we call that GPA, short for “grade point average”). Using the Pakistani system, a 65-100 average (or A/A+ average) will put you in a good position for admittance into most colleges.

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Maxine Seya
Maxine Seya is a former investigative journalist, college consultant, and admissions interviewer. She studied at Peking University (Beijing, China) and Université Paul-Valéry (Montpellier, France) and investigated for CNN and Huffington Post before graduating from Northwestern University. She founded SocratesPost to share the human stories behind the admission gates and offer parents clarity as they help their teens with college.