Medicine

Significant changes to the MCAT will be occurring effective spring 2015 and forward. Please review the link below for a listing of resources to keep current with the changes. This information will be highly relevant for anyone intending to enroll in medical school or podiatry school in 2016. This is likely to be a large portion of those prehealth intended students beginning their undergraduate studies in the fall of 2012.

MCAT 2015 Resources (PDF)

Please see this video that describes the changes to the MCAT 2015.

Similar to the current MCAT, the revised MCAT will test foundation concepts in biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics. Some of the changes will include expanded content in additional areas such as biochemistry and cellular/molecular biology to reflect recent changes in medical curricula. In addition, a new section of the exam, the Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior section, will also test concepts from the social and behavioral sciences, reflecting a concern for the socio-cultural and behavioral determinants of health and health outcomes. A new Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills section of the exam will test broad analysis and reasoning skills. The revised exam will also place greater emphasis on research methods and statistical reasoning than the current exam. The time required for the actual exam will expand to approximately six and a half hours with additional time needed for administrative tasks. Current information on the structure and content of the revised exam is available on the MCAT 2015 page.

The Revised MCAT exam as of 2015 will include four sections:

  1. Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems – 65 Items – 95 Minutes
  2. Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems – 65 Items – 95 Minutes
  3. Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior – 65 Items - 95 Minutes
  4. Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills 60 Items – 90 Minutes

For the Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems and Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems sections of the MCAT, you will need to complete core coursework in biology, general/inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physics and biochemistry.

For the Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior section of the exam, you will need to complete coursework in psychology and sociology. A statistics course may also be beneficial, but not necessarily required for all students.

For the Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills section of the exam, there is no standard coursework required, but generally taking advanced coursework in the humanities and social sciences will help you build the kind of broad analytical and reasoning skills that will be required for performance in this section of the exam. Passages from this section may be drawn from a variety of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including readings in philosophy, ethics, cross-cultural studies and population health. For this section of the MCAT, the best way to prepare may be to be wide-ranging in your choice of courses outside of the natural sciences. Coursework in anthropology, culture and communication, sociology, and other disciplines may be particularly beneficial. Reading diverse literature and material that you normally may not be inclined to read is also advisable to expand your understanding of varying topics. Reading The Wall Street Journal and The Economist are frequently recommended.

For more information on the concepts covered in each of these sections you may consult the MCAT 2015 webpage. A detailed MCAT 2015 Preview Guide is also available. Please check these resources often for updates as well as look for announcements on our Prehealth Bulletin off the main page of this website.

For more information on the MCAT exam in general, please click here.

Medical Admission Myths Versus Realities (PDF)

About the Profession

Medical doctors maintain and restore human health through diagnostic, study, and treatment of injuries and diseases.

Your Record

From the time you begin college, you are assembling a complete dossier with which to apply to these professional schools. Each of the requirements is a part of the whole. To apply to medical schools usually requires 5 achievements:

  • Complete a bachelor's degree in any major.
  • Achieve excellent grades; most recently admitted students had overall and science GPAs of 3.7 and 3.6, respectively for allopathic schools and 3.5 and 3.4 for osteopathic schools.
  • Earn a good score on the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test). Average scores for recently admitted allopathic and osteopathic students were 31 and 27, respectively.
  • Obtain a University Prehealth Committee evaluation letter.
  • Involve yourself in sincere, sustained health related volunteer and research experience.

Early Assurance

The SUNY Medical Center in Syracuse offers an early assurance program for sophomores. This assurance of admission affords students the chance to complete additional studies, study abroad, and pursue other interests free of the pressures of the admission process. Acceptance is determined at the end of the sophomore year and matriculation begins two years later, after the student has completed the bachelor’s degree. Interested students should seek the help of the preprofessional health advisors in the freshman year.

Allopathic

Education is in the biomedical sciences for the Medical Doctor (MD) degree. Four years of medical school followed by 3 to 7 years of residency depending on the specialty. There are 141 medical schools in the US all of which belong to the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) and most participate in the centralized American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). Information on individual schools may be obtained from the Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR), published annually by the AAMC. New York State has 14 schools: four are public - SUNY at Buffalo, Brooklyn, Syracuse, and Stony Brook.

Osteopathic

Education is in the biomedical sciences for the Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) degree. Schooling is similar to allopathic with additional training in osteopathic philosophy of preventative medicine and manipulative techniques of osteopathy. There are currently 30 schools (42 total with branch campuses) that belong to the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) and subscribe to the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS). There are several new schools slated to be opened over the next several years. There are two schools in New York State: the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in Old Westbury and the Touro College in Harlem.

Course Requirements

Start planning as a freshman to meet the following course requirements: A minimum of one year each of Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biology, and Physics, all with a year of lab; one year of English; and one year of Math recommended. Many schools strongly recommend biochemistry. Below are the UB courses we recommended to meet these requirements:

Chemistry (Required and on MCAT) CHE 101-102, 105-106, or 107-108 10 credits
Organic Chemistry (Required and on MCAT) CHE 201-202 or 251-252 10 credits
Biology (Required and on MCAT) BIO 200-201 9 credits
Physics (Required and on MCAT) PHY 101-102 w/labs 151-152
PHY 107-108 or 117-118 w/lab 158
10 credits
English (Required and reading on MCAT) ENG 101-201
(If any waived take 3 or 6 credits of English literature)
6 credits
Biochemistry (Highly Recommended and on MCAT) BCH 403, or BIO 205 with optional lab of BIO 215 3-5 credits
Mathematics (Recommended - many schools require) MTH 121-122 or 141-142 8 credits
Human Physiology (Highly Recommended and on MCAT) PGY 300 or PGY 451-452 4-6 credits
Psychology (Highly Recommended and on MCAT)  PSY 101  3 credits
Medical Sociology (Highly Recommended and on MCAT)  

SOC 322 (SOC 101 is recommended but not required before taking SOC 322)

 3 credits
Statistics (Highly Recommended and on MCAT)  STA 119 or PSY 207  4 credits
  • MCAT Changes for 2015: "The additional content for MCAT questions is taught at most colleges and universities in one-semester introductory psychology and one- semester introductory sociology courses. Again, test questions will ask examinees to use knowledge of introductory psychology and sociology concepts to demonstrate their scientific inquiry and reasoning, research methods, and statistics skills." Therefore, finalized MCAT changes could mean including PSY 101, SOC 322, and others. As we are informed of the specifics of the changes we will be sure to make announcements.
  • Some medical schools may have additional courses required or recommended. Review the Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR) in the Preprofessional Health Advisor's Office, the Undergraduate Library, or purchase your own copy from the AAMC website at www.aamc.org.
  • All required courses must be taken for a grade. Each school has its own policy about AP credit. Usually, AP credit in these areas should be followed with additional upper level work in the discipline including labs. AP credit in math is the only subject in which more advanced work is not necessarily required.

Additional Courses

To further strengthen your application, here are some additional UB courses you could take:

ANA 113 - Human Anatomy BIO 203 - General Physiology
APY 345/346 - Comparative Primate Anatomy BIO 367 - Developmental Biology
APY 448 - Human Genetics/Legal and Ethical Issues MIC 301 - Fundamentals of Microbiology
BIO 319 - Genetics PHI 237 (formerly 337) - Social and Ethical Values in Medicine
Timetables

Last updated: October 02 2014 13:49:53.