Medicine

To print a copy of this information, click on this link: premedicine_curriculum_rev_8-2013.pdf

The Major

The “premedical curriculum” is just a list of courses that are required for admission to medical school. It is NOT an academic major, a minor, or an emphasis area.

Medical schools do not require a particular major. Although most premedical students choose a major in one of the sciences, other majors are acceptable including those in the humanities, social sciences, or business. Students should select the major in which they feel the most comfortable and in which they would like to work if they are not accepted into medical school.

Progress toward a Baccalaureate Degree

Course work toward a baccalaureate degree at Southern Miss must be planned so the student meets all the requirements for the preprofessional curriculum, a major, a minor if appropriate, the University General Education Curriculum, and the College core. At Southern Miss, a minimum of 124 hours is needed for most baccalaureate degrees, with 45 of these hours from courses at the 300 level or above.

Visit the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) web page for more information about medical schools:  www.aamc.org/students.

Requirements for Applicants

Schools of medicine have relatively similar minimal requirements for admission, typically:

  • completion of a series of specified courses with laboratories in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics (BCPM); English composition; advanced science courses
    • AP credit for REQUIRED courses is NOT accepted at UMMC or many other medical school
      • if you have AP credit for a required course, either take the college course for a grade or take a higher level course with similar content in the same department for a grade
    • a maximum of 65 hours of required courses taken at an accredited community college may be used for admission to UMMC
  • completion of a baccalaureate degree; although consideration is given to exceptional students with a minimum of 90 credit hours, an undergraduate degree is preferred
  • a competitive GPA in the required BCPM courses
  • competitive scores from the nationally administered Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

The following list of Required Courses meets only the minimal requirements for admission to the School of Medicine (SOM) of the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) in Jackson.

Link to SOM UMMC Admissions:  www.umc.edu/Education/Schools/Medicine/SOM_Admissions/SOM_Admissions_Home.aspx

Link to SOM UMMC Admissions criteria:

www.umc.edu/Education/Schools/Medicine/SOM_Admissions/Admissions_Criteria.aspx

Strong preference is given to applicants who are legal residents of Mississippi; in recent years, nonresidents have not been admitted.

  • two semesters each of core science courses with laboratories (biological sciences, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics)
    • nonmajors courses in these areas are not accepted
  • two semesters of mathematics
    • students who can enter calculus directly can satisfy the mathematics requirement with a 3- or 4-hour calculus course
  • two semesters of English composition
  • two semesters of advanced science  (course prefixes must be BSC, CHE, PHY, MAT)
  • NEW requirements for premed students who will take MCAT2015
    • biochemistry; introductory sociology; introductory psychology

The following list of Required Courses meets only the minimal requirements for admission to the William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) in Hattiesburg.

Link to WCUCOM Admissions: http://www.wmcarey.edu/prospective-students-0

Students must consult the specific admission requirements and application deadlines for the school(s) to which they plan to apply, including WCU COM

  • two semesters each of core science courses with laboratories (general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics)
    • nonmajors courses in these areas are not accepted
  • three semesters of biological sciences with laboratory
  • two semesters  of English composition/and or literature

Suggested Course Sequence & Strategies for Success

The suggested course sequence below is merely a guideline for timely completion of the courses required to apply to med school at UMMC. Courses to fulfill the major must be worked into the student’s schedule.

Students must consult the USM Undergraduate Bulletin, the USM Class Schedule Guide for each semester, and their academic advisor. During the last semester of the Sophomore year, students should develop a more detailed plan for the Junior and Senior years because many upper level courses in all majors are offered in specific semesters (Fall or Spring only) and/or on a rotating two year cycle.

YEAR 1

Fall Spring 
BSC 110&L OR BSC 111&La 4 hBSC 111&L OR BSC 110&La 4 h
CHE 106&Lb 4 hCHE 107&L4 h
MAT 101c  3 hMAT 103c3 h
ENG 101d3 hENG 102  3 h
One other coursee3 hOne other coursee3 h

a, The order in which students take the introductory Biological Sciences (BSC) courses does not matter; BSC 110/L covers molecular and cellular topics whereas BSC 111/L covers ecology and organisms.

b, Students enrolling in CHE 106&L must have passed high school chemistry or passed CHE 100 at USM. CHE 100 is required when the chemistry background is not adequate. Students enrolled in CHE 106/L will take a test about two weeks into the class to determine if they should remain  in CHE 106/L. If they do not meet the minimum score, these students are strongly recommended to move to a CHE 100 class, which is offered at the same time as CHE 106.

c, Placement in mathematics (MAT) courses depends on the student’s ACT subscore.

Calculus is required for most majors in the College of Science and Technology (CoST), but is not required for med school or for majors outside of CoST.

  • ACT mathematics subtest score 19 or below:  must take MAT 99 (Intermediate Algebra)
  • ACT mathematics subtest score 20 or above:  MAT 101 (College Algebra)
  • ACT mathematics subtest score 24 or above (or grade of C or better in College Algebra):  MAT 103 (Trigonometry). NOTE:  Trigonometry is a prerequisite for Physics I and premed students are advised to take MAT 103.
  • ACT mathematics subtest score 24 or above (or grade of C or better in Trigonometry): MAT 114 (Calculus for the Arts and Sciences)
  • ACT mathematics subtest score 26 or above:  MAT 167 (Calculus I)

Students directly entering Calculus (MAT 114 or MAT 167) can use this course to satisfy the UMMC math requirement, but must take an additional recommended upper level elective course (BCPM).

d, Placement in English Composition courses depends on the student’s ACT English subscore.

  • ACT English subtest score 16 or below:  ENG 99E (Expanded Composition Studio) and ENG 100E (Composition I expanded)
  • ACT English subtest score 17-19:  ENG 100E (Composition I expanded)
  • ACT English subtest score 20 or above:  ENG 101 (Composition 1)

e, “Other” courses include those in the General Education Curriculum and in the major and/or minor as well as courses needed to develop competencies that will be tested on the MCAT2015 such as introductory Sociology (SOC 101) and Psychology (PSY 110). See more about MCAT2015 below.

Strategy for Success

  • Students should focus on doing well in their academic studies, particularly the required science and math courses.
  • Students should become involved with extracurricular activities, including meaningful community service learning, volunteer activities, and leadership positions that will demonstrate effective interactions with diverse people and effective time management skills.
  • Students should maintain a record of the dates and total hours spent performing such activities. This will be needed when it comes time to apply to medical school.
  • Students should start getting some hands on exposure to medicine (sights, sounds, smells, feel). Successful medical school applicants typically have an average of six different medical-related experiences as an undergraduate. However, duration of medical exposures in combination with other responsibilities is considered.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to complete the prerequisites for the Hatten Externship (BSC 392) during the first year. The Externship course is offered in the Fall semester, so students must fulfill the prerequisites by the end of the preceding Summer semester.

Students may participate in the externship twice. Since students typically apply to medical school at the end of the Junior year, participation in the Externship as Sophomores and Juniors is recommended.

Externship prerequisites are ENG 101, 102; BSC 110/L, 111/L; CHE 106/L, 107/L; [MAT 101, 103 OR one Calculus course]. Minimum GPA of 3.2 for USM GPA, degree GPA, and BCPM GPA.

  • Southern Miss has a chapter of AMSA (American Medical Student Association), which students may join at any time by using the online form at: http://www.amsa.org/AMSA/Homepage.aspx
  • Students may join AED (Alpha Epsilon Delta), the national Health Preprofessional Honor Society, as associate members at any time even if they do not fulfill the requirements for full membership (must be enrolled at Southern Miss for a minimum of three semesters and meet specific course and GPA requirements). Full members are inducted during the Spring semester.

Information and links to AED Full and Associate Member applications are available on the Southern Miss Preprofessional website: http://www.usm.edu/science-technology/alpha-epsilon-delta

YEAR 2

Fall Spring  
CHE 255&L4 h CHE 256&L 4 h 
PHY 111&L4 hPHY 112&L 4 h
     [ or PHY 201&L5 h ]     [ or PHY 202&L 5 h ]
2-3 other classese,f7-9 h2-3 other classese 7-9 h

e, “Other” courses include those in the General Education Curriculum and in the major and/or minor as well as courses needed to develop competencies that will be tested on the MCAT2015 such as Sociology (SOC 101) or Psychology (PSY 110).

f, Students are strongly encouraged to take the Hatten Externship course (BSC 392) in the Fall semester of the second year; the course can be repeated in the Fall of the third year. Prerequisites are ENG 101, 102; BSC 110/L, 111/L; CHE 106/L, 107/L; [MAT 101, 103 OR one Calculus course]. Minimum GPA of 3.2 for USM GPA, degree GPA, and BCPM GPA.

Strategy for Success

  • Students continue to focus on doing well in their studies, particularly the required science and math courses.
  • Students remain involved with meaningful community service learning, volunteer activities, and leadership positions.
  • Students continue to participate in hands on exposure to medicine.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to participate in the Hatten Externship (BSC 392), which is offered each Fall. Students may participate in the Externship twice. Since students typically apply to medical school at the end of the Junior year, participation in the Externship as Sophomores and Juniors is recommended.
  • Students are typically inducted into AED, the national Health Preprofessional Honor Society, in the Spring semester of the Sophomore year, but may be inducted in Junior or Senior year (must be enrolled at Southern Miss for a minimum of three semesters and meet specific course and GPA requirements).

YEAR 3

Fall Spring  
Biochemistryg  3-4 h Advanced science electiveh3-4 h 
Advanced science electiveh 3-4 hOther coursesi12-14 h
Other coursese,f8-10 h  

g, Biochemistry questions will be on the MCAT2015. CHE 420 (Principles of Biochemistry) is suggested for student seeking only a single semester of Biochemistry. Otherwise, students may take courses in the series intended for majors: CHE 421 (Biochemistry I), CHE 422 (Biochemistry II), CHE 424 (Biochemistry III).

Biochemistry labs are optional, unless required for a specific major.

h, Recommended advanced science electives include Cellular Biology (BSC 360), Comparative Anatomy (BSC 361), Genetics (BSC 370), Microbiology (BSC 380/L), Physiology [BSC 451 (Human Physiology), BSC 450 (Comparative Animal Physiology)], Immunology (BSC 486), and others including embryology; histology; Analytical Chemistry (CHE 311/L), Analytical Biochemistry (CHE 423), Physical Chemistry (CHE 461/L, CHE 462/L); Calculus II, III (MAT 168, MAT 169); differential equations; advanced physics.

i, Students may take BSC 399 (MCAT Preparation) during the Spring semester of the Junior year if they would like to review Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math in a formal class. Otherwise students need to prepare on their own before attempting the MCAT2015.

BSC 399 is offered in the Spring semester. Prerequisites include ENG 101, 102; BSC 110/L, 111/L; CHE 106/L, 107/L, 255/L, 256/L; PHY 111/L, 112/L; [MAT 101& MAT 103 OR one Calculus course] and one upper level BSC or CHE course. Minimum GPA of 3.4 for USM GPA, degree GPA, and BCPM GPA.

Strategy for Success

  • Students continue to focus on doing well in their studies.
  • Students remain involved with meaningful community service learning, volunteer activities, and leadership positions.
  • Students continue to participate in hands on experiences related to any aspect of medicine.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to participate in the Hatten Externship, which is offered each Fall. Students may participate in the Externship twice. Since students typically apply to medical school at the end of the Junior year, participation in the Externship as Sophomores and Juniors is recommended.
  • Apply to medical school in the summer after the junior year.

YEAR 4

Fall Spring 
Classes to fulfill major, minor 15-18 hClasses to fulfill major, minor  15-18 h 

The application process continues.

September: UMMC interviews begin. Students should sign up in the summer for mock interviews through Career Services.

The Application Process

The application process typically begins at the end of the Junior year.

Students should learn about the Medical College Admissions Text (MCAT), about the online AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service) application process, and about getting letters of evaluation from faculty.

Link to MCAT and MCAT2015 :  http://www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat

Link to AMCAS: https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/amcas/

The MCAT format and content will change in Spring 2015!   Freshman and Sophomores entering in Fall 2013 will take MCAT2015 as juniors. https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/mcat2015/

Four test sections in MCAT2015

  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

Students are strongly encouraged to take an online practice MCAT before taking the MCAT that they will use on their application:  http://www.e-mcat.com/

UMMC applicants must show credit for at least three years of college work with a minimum of 90 semester hours of acceptable courses.

Strong preference is given to students who will have completed all requirements for a baccalaureate degree prior to entering medical school.

Junior Year Application Preparation

  • Fall and Spring:  begin MCAT preparation (review content, take practice tests online)
  • Spring:  take first MCAT; score of 28 is average for UMMC admission. However, UMMC uses a sliding scale that considers the combination of BCPM GPA and MCAT scores.
  • Spring:  request official transcripts and letters of evaluation from faculty; work on personal statement
  • June 1: earliest receipt date for complete AMCAS application (early summer application is recommended)
  • Summer: repeat MCAT, if needed, after studying hard and taking additional practice tests

The Interview

Students are advised to practice their interview skills BEFORE attending their first interview. The UMMC interview process is using the multiple mini-interviews method.  See information about the UMMC interview system at: http://www.umc.edu/education/schools/medicine/som_admissions/interviews.aspx

For More Information about a Career in Healthcare, Contact the Preprofessional Office

The Healthcare Preprofessional Office is located in Bobby Chain Technology Building (TEC) Room 103.

Website:  http://www.usm.edu/science-technology/preprofessional

Phone number: 601.266.4741

Mailing address:

Healthcare Preprofessional Office
College of Science and Technology
118 College Dr., #5165
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001

Preprofessional Assistant:

Ms. L. Machell Haynes
601.266.4741
ladonna.haynes@usm.edu

Preprofessional Advisor:

Dr. Jeffrey Evans, Preprofessional Advisor
601.266.4883
jeffrey.evans@usm.edu