Application Tips

   Tips for first time and returning applicants

  • Complete your application early. Plan to complete the entire application (including supporting documents, MCAT score(s), supplemental apps, fees, etc.) by the end of the summer prior to the year of planned enrollment. This will allow ample time for the admissions team to review your application and make an interview decision before majority of the interview spots are filled.
  • Have a knowledge of and interest in osteopathic medicine. You are encouraged to have at least some reasonable knowledge of the tenets and practice of osteopathic medicine. It is your responsibility to conduct research on the topic, attend informational sessions, etc. Although not a requirement, another method that has been seen as beneficial is spending time with a D.O. in practice.
  • Have a well written personal statement. While there is no template for what should be written in your personal statement, you should be able to express your “why” behind wanting to enter the medical profession in an organized and meaningful manner. This could include your underlying motivation for a career in medicine, personal qualities you possess that will benefit the profession and your future patients, potential careers goals in medicine, and any components you wish to highlight or address.
  • Update your application when reapplying. The Admissions Committee expects improvement on your application as a reapplicant. We suggest not submitting the exact same answers to your essays from your previous application. There should be new information and experiences that can be incorporated. On the TMDSAS application, there is space to answer what you have done to improve your application from the previous cycle. Do not leave this question blank. If you have nothing to add, then you should consider if now is the best time to reapply or if you should take additional time to continue improving your application.
  • Be honest and forthright with all information on your application and supporting documents. There should be no circumstances where misrepresenting your qualifications and experiences is necessary. If dishonesty is suspected your application could be removed from consideration.
  • Retake the MCAT when you know your score is not competitive. SHSU-COM does not have a minimum requirement for MCAT scores but if you know that your MCAT score is far lower than those who are normally admitted, you should consider retaking the test to earn a higher score. This is especially true for those who have only taken the MCAT once.
  • Ensure you have completed or have a plan to complete ALL prerequisite courses. All prerequisite courses listed here are required for admission. There is no option to waive or substitute for these requirements. Therefore, you should demonstrate on your application that you will complete them.
  • Excessive drops or withdrawals in coursework (especially prerequisite coursework) can influence the decision to invite you to interview or offer you an acceptance. There are no opportunities to drop or withdrawal from individual courses at SHSU-COM. All students complete the curriculum as cohorts in block-like schedules. Therefore, you must demonstrate that you are capable of handling new material as it is offered. Even if you eventually repeat the course and earn a good grade, it is a negative attribute for an application to have more than three drops or repeated courses.
  • Continue participating in activities after graduation. While your lifestyle may change after graduation (obtaining full-time employment), you are expected to maintain some involvement in your community and health-related service activities. It is our perspective that medicine is a profession of service and we look to find those who continue to engage themselves in these activities.
  • Prepare ahead of time for your interview so you can put your best foot forward. If you were having difficulty answering questions or know that it is very difficult for you to communicate with strangers, you may want to practice interviewing with friends or take a public speaking course to help you overcome any anxiety you may experience in an interview situation. For example, you can find resources with medical school interview practice questions, participate in mock interviews, or utilize your institution’s career center services if available.
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