Preparing for Professional School

Test Tube Preparation

You should be aware now of what it will take to meet the expectations of the professional schools that you hope to attend, in order to prepare yourself for the next four years at Notre Dame.

If you apply to a medical school, you will be asked for a personal statement of your motivation and experience, including a description of your 15 most important activities. Other health professions schools may ask for proof of your experience, such as hours worked for physician's assistant or veterinarian or observation in different settings for occupational therapy or physical therapy.

Basic medical school qualifications

  • Excellence in academic courses
  • Clinical experience
  • Service and leadership
  • Research


Application components

  • A balance of good grades, service, and research
  • Examples that show you are a whole, balanced person
  • Activities consistently through your university career
  • Several examples that show how you have helped others and reflected on the nature of service
  • An understanding of a life and career in medicine

Your behavior over the next four years is also important. Avoid institutional actions or legal trouble. Such problems are increasingly worrisome as you approach graduation. If you make a mistake, be prepared to demonstrate how you have learned and changed because of the experience.

Be sure that your online presence, such as social media or personal websites, is appropriate for a potential employer or medical school, and that your communications, such as voicemail or email, are professional.

Selecting your major

Pick a major you are passionate about. Medical schools do not care which major you select, but  will concerned with your science background. To meet the admissions requirements, the most important courses are:

  • Calculus
  • General Chemistry
  • General Biology
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physics
  • English