UCSD JSOE JSOE

Career

Career FAQ

5.1. Graduate School

(5.1.1) To whom can I go to get an advice on graduate schools?
(5.1.2) Can you give me a suggested timeline to medical school/graduate school?

5.2. Medical School

(5.2.1) What office has up-to-date information regarding medical school requirements?
(5.2.2) How do I increase my chances of getting into medical school?
(5.2.3) What lab courses should I take to prepare for medical school?
(5.2.4) Who takes care of the recommendation letters for Medical Schools?
(5.2.5) What are medical schools stipulations on letters of reference?
(5.2.6) Do AP test scores fulfill Premed requirements for medical schools?
(5.2.7) Is it true that some medical schools don't accept Advanced Placement (AP) credit courses?
(5.2.8) What is the optimal major for a Med School bound student?
(5.2.9) If I am a BTEC/BINF/BENG can I still go to med school?
(5.2.10) I'm a BENG student thinking about going to Med-School, but what should I do?
(5.2.11) What is the MCAT?
(5.2.12) When is the MCAT offered?
(5.2.13) How can I figure out what the MCAT looks like?
(5.2.14) What classes should take before the MCAT?
(5.2.15) I hear they are changing the MCAT, can you tell me about it?

5.3. Pharmacy School

(5.3.1) What do I need to do if I am interested in applying to Pharmacy schools?
(5.3.2) What type of jobs will I encounter with a Pharmacy degree?

5.4. Other Professional Schools

(5.4.1) Can you tell me more about other professional school tests?
(5.4.2) Where can I go for more information about the LSAT, business school, etc.?

5.5. Industry and Industrial Internship

(5.5.1) What can I do to help secure a job after college?
(5.5.2) How do I apply for an internship?
(5.5.3) Can I participate in internship for credit?
(5.5.4) Do I usually get paid in an internship?
(5.5.5) What is the minimum number of hours required for an internship?
(5.5.6) Are there qualification criteria in applying for an internship?


5.1. Graduate School

(5.1.1) Q: Who can I go to get an advice on graduate schools?

A: Students interested in pursuing a medical career are encouraged to contact the Professional and Graduate School Advising Office of the Career Services Center early in their undergraduate studies. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)

(5.1.2) Q: Can you give me a suggested timeline to medical school/graduate school?

A:

Freshman Year Sophomore Year Junior Year Senior Year
Start course prerequisites Finish course prerequisites MCAT (April) Volunteer Apply to Secondary Schools (i.e. Grad School)
Develop good academic habits Volunteer Research Medical Schools Interview
Spend summer wisely Prepare for MCAT Get ready to apply (personal statements, letter of rec., save $$) MCAT (August) Begin AMCAS medical school application, May of Junior Year and can be submitted by June
Accept Offer Graduate from UCSD

*Adapted from UC Berkeley's Career Center

5.2 Medical School

(5.2.1) Q: What office has up-to-date information regarding medical school requirements?

A: The Career Services Center (located on Library Walk behind the Price Center) has professional advisors available to talk to students. In addition, Career Services offers several informational workshops each quarter about the ins and outs of applying to medical school. The following website also contains valuable information about medical school requirements and the application process: http://career.ucsd.edu/sa/Handouts/medicine.pdf.(Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)

(5.2.2) Q: How do I increase my chances of getting into medical school?

A: Get good grades, study early for the MCAT, volunteer at hospitals or in the community, do research, get good letters of recommendation, and write a good personal statement. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)

(5.2.3) Q: What lab courses should I take to prepare for medical school?

A: A few suggested lab courses for med school are BIBC 103, Biochemical Techniques and BIPN 105, Animal Physiology Lab. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)

(5.2.4) Q: Who takes care of the recommendation letters for Medical Schools?

A: Career Center coordinates the distribution of letters of recommendation to medical schools. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)

(5.2.5) Q: What are medical schools' stipulations on letters of reference?

A: Letters of reference are a required component of the admissions process. References should be from people who know the applicant well enough to write valuable and relevant comments. Most schools desire three letters in support of each candidate, two of these from science instructors. Many schools further specify that the required letters are written by lecture and laboratory course instructors, not lab job supervisors. Some schools specify that the third letter should be written by a non-science instructor, while others accept a third letter from any teacher or supervisor. A few schools either require or recommend four or five letters. Letters from personal friends or acquaintances are usually not of interest to admissions committees. UCSD Career Services offers a guide to letters required by individual M.D. programs. The handout, a guide to obtaining reference letters, is available in Career Services. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)

(5.2.6) Q: Do AP test scores fulfill Premed requirements for medical schools?

A: Many medical schools DO NOT count AP scores towards their requirements. Therefore, even if you have a four or five on an AP test, it is most likely still necessary to take BILD 1,2,3, CHEM 6ABC, and PHYS 2ABC. AP score policies vary widely from school to school. You should check ahead of time with the schools that you anticipate applying to. Make sure not to limit your choice of schools by taking the incorrect courses. Generally, students who will use their AP credits to satisfy premed requirements should engage in additional coursework that substantiates the credits and helps to prepare for med school and the MCAT. For example, if AP credits fulfill a lower division writing requirement that you will apply towards your humanities requirement, it is highly recommended that you take the upper division follow-up to that course. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)

(5.2.7) Q: Is it true that some medical schools don't accept Advanced Placement (AP) credit courses?

A: Though medical schools vary concerning their regard for Advanced Placement credit, they do tend to accept AP as long as the applicant has completed work in that discipline while in college. Our campus Career Services Center is currently working on the development of an information sheet to assist our students about this issue. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)

(5.2.8) Q: What is the optimal major for a Medical School bound student?

A: There is no required or particularly preferred undergraduate major for students wishing to be physicians. Students interested in medicine should major in a field which engages them, in which they can perform well, and which might lead to an alternative career should they ultimately not continue their education in medicine. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)

(5.2.9) Q: If I am a BTEC/BINF/BENG can I still go to med school?

A: Yes, a careful analysis of curriculum and medical schools is necessary early on. General premed requirements are:

- 2 years of chemistry (general and organic and a lab in each)

- 1 year of physics (any lower division sequence)

- 1 year of introductory biology with lab (BILD 1,2,3)

- 1 year Math (20ABC)

- 1 Semester or 1 year of College Level English

Genetics, mammalian physiology, cell biology, and developmental biology are suggested as upper division options to complete the biology requirement. Be sure you read the FAQ about AP Scores. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)

(5.2.10) Q: I'm a BE-BE student thinking about going to Med-School, but what should I do?

A:Look at the PRE-MED FAQ for more information, but my advice right now it to make sure you take CHEM 140C since it's a Med-School required class and also will fulfill a technical elective (TE). (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)

(5.2.11) Q: What is the MCAT?

A: The MCAT is the medical school entrance exam. All medical school applicants must take this test. It is designed to test an applicants potential for success in the first two years of the medical school curriculum.

The MCAT includes four sections or subtests: Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning and a Writing Sample. Two of these standardized, multiple-choice sub-tests are designed to assess facility with scientific problem-solving, critical thinking and understanding of science concepts and principles identified as prerequisite to the study of medicine. The science portions do not measure ability to memorize scientific facts, but are designed to test knowledge of basic concepts through their application to the solution of problems. The Verbal Reasoning section, which features dense and compact written passages, requires the examinee to find specific information in the passage and to identify conflicting points of view. This section draws upon material from the humanities, social and natural sciences; the information necessary to answer questions is presented in each passage. The Writing Sample asks examinees to demonstrate writing and analytical skills through the development of a central idea or topic, requiring the cohesive, logical and clear synthesis of concepts and ideas. Examinees are given 30 minutes each for two writing samples. Essay topics do not pertain to any technical content in science or to personal experience. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)

(5.2.12) Q: When is the MCAT offered?

A: Currently, the MCAT is offered during April and August of each year. Students should take the MCAT during the April of sophomore year or the August between sophomore and junior year. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)

(5.2.13) Q: How can I figure out what the MCAT looks like?

A: The AAMC has made available 1 sample MCAT. The earlier you look at the test, the better able you will be to focus on what key points of your classes you should focus on. Find a free copy a past MCAT at: http://www.e-mcat.com/. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)

(5.2.14) Q: What classes should take before the MCAT?

A: Make sure to take all of the basic science sequences and organic chemistry at least up to CHEM 140B. Additionally, many students find it exceptionally helpful to take Mammalian Physiology 1 and 2 and finish the quarter just before taking the test. Students have also expressed having found an advantage in taking Cell Biology and Molecular Biology near your test date. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)

(5.2.15) Q: I hear they are changing the MCAT, can you tell me about it?

A: AAMC (the board that writes the MCAT) plans to phase out the current-paper based, twice yearly MCAT, and in 2007 phase in a computer-based test (CBT) which will create more frequent testing opportunities. The new CBT will be field tested on a very large scale in 2005. The test is expected to be shorter than its predecessor. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)

5.3. Pharmacy School

(5.3.1) Q: What do I need to do if I am interested in applying to Pharmacy schools?

A: The application process is actually very similar to applying to medical school except instead of taking the MCAT you take a test called the PCAT. However, in California none of the pharmacy schools require it. Click here for a complete description of all necessary requirements:

http://career.ucsd.edu/sa/Handouts/pharmacy.pdf (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)

(5.19) Q: What type of jobs will I encounter with a Pharmacy degree?

A: Pharmacy degree allows for work in several different categories of Pharmacy:

- Retail Pharmacist- fills prescriptions for patients at drug stores.

- Clinical Pharmacists- provide pharmaceutical care services, including drug therapy monitoring, pharmacokinetic dosing, patient teaching and drug information, and act as preceptors for Pharm.D.

- Hospital Pharmacist- same as Retail Pharmacist in a hospital setting.

- Oncology Pharmacist- develops different cancer drugs.

- Genetic Pharmacist- observes individual reactions to different drugs.

- Industry Pharmacist- opportunity for research in drug development.

- Geriatric Pharmacist- observes and monitors drugs in which senior citizens must take.

- Pediatric Pharmacist- observes and monitors drugs in which children must take.

- Academia Pharmacist- a research professor after obtaining a PhD.

(Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)

5.4. Other Graduate Schools

(5.20) Q: Can you tell me more about other professional school tests?

A:

Test Website When Offered Length of Test Subjects Covered Guessing Penalty?
CBEST

(Cal. Teach)

www.cbest.nesinc.com Feb., April, June, Aug., Oct. & Dec. 4 hours Reading, Math and Writing Skills No
CSET

(Cal. Tech)

www.cset.nesinc.com Jan., March, May, July, Sept. & Nov. 5 hours Multiple Subjects and Single Subject (incl. math, Eng., foreign lang., science, social sci., P.E., art, & music) No
DAT (Dental) www.ada.org/prof/ed/testing/index.asp Daily

(computer based)

4 hrs.

15 min.

Bio., Chem., OChem., Math, Reading Comp., Perceptual Ability No
GMAT

(Business)

www.mba.com/mba/TaketheGMAT Daily 3 hrs.

20 min.

Verbal, Mathematical, and Analytical Writing Skills Yes
GRE General

(Grad Prog.)

www.gre.org Daily

(computer based)

4 hours Analytical Writing, Verbal, and Quantitative Skills Yes
GRE Subject

(Grad Prog.)

www.gre.org Nov., Dec. & April 2 hrs.

50 min.

(offered individually) BioChem/ Cell/MolecBio., Bio., Chem., Computer Sci., Eng. Lit, Math, Physics, & Psych. Yes
LSAT

(Law)

www.lsac.org Feb., June, Oct. & Dec. 3 hours Reading Comp., Analytical Reasoning, Logical Reasoning, Writing No
MCAT

(Medical)

www.aamc.org/students/mcat/start.htm April and Aug.

(more frequently starting in 2007)

5 hrs. 45 min. plus breaks Bio., Chem., OChem., Physics, Verbal Reasoning, Writing No
OAT

(Optometry)

www.opted.org/info_oat.cfm Daily

(computer based)

4 hrs.

45 min.

Bio., Chem., OChem., Physics, Reading Comp., Math No
PCAT

(Pharmacy)

www.PCATweb.info June, Oct. & Jan. 4 hrs.

30 min.

Verbal Ability, Bio., Chem., Reading Comp., Math, Writing No

*Adapted from UCSD Career Services (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)

(5.4.2) Q: Where can I go for more information about the LSAT, business school, etc.?

A: UCSD Career Services is an invaluable resource for information on these programs at http://career.ucsd.edu. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)

5.5. Industry & Internship

(5.5.1) Q:What can I do to help secure a job after college?

A: The most readily available resources for you will be the Career Services Center and the ESS Office. The Career Services Center is located just off Library Walk, South of Student Health Services. They are an excellent source of professional counseling for Med/Law school. They also hold workshops throughout the year on job hunting, interviewing, and other employment-related skills. ESS is the Engineering Student Services office, located in Suite 1400 on the first floor of EBU I. This is a very student-friendly organization that specializes in linking UCSD to industry in the area. They can help you find internships with local companies as well as help develop skills that will focus your job hunt. ESS also houses all of the engineering-related student organizations on campus. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)

(5.5.2) Q: How do I apply for an internship?

A: Students interested in participating in the Industrial Internship Program should contact the Industrial Internship & Training Office (PFBH room 125) at 858-822-4769 or iship@bioeng.ucsd.edu, at least one quarter prior to the desired internship dates. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)

(5.5.3) Q: Can I participate in internship for credit?

A: Enrollment in Bioengineering 196 (Internship) is necessary for up to four units of academic credit for internship participation. Credit for this course is set at the level of one hour credit for each three to four hours work effort per week for a maximum of four credits during an academic quarter. There will likely be few internship opportunities at less than 10 hours of service per week. The intern may not receive academic credit and financial remuneration for the same effort. Hours of credit and work schedules will be determined in advance by the intern, industry mentor and the internship coordinator. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)

(5.5.4) Q: Do I usually get paid in an internship?

A: Some companies may offer pay to the intern, but companies will be under no obligations to do so. The intern may not receive academic credit and financial remuneration for the same effort. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)

(5.5.5) Q: What is the minimum number of hours required for an internship?

A: Students are expected to devote a minimum of 10-20 hours of effort per week (or up to full-time in the summer) at the sponsoring facility during the period of their internship and should plan their internship experience in advance, taking into account their academic course work, schedules, and the need for timely graduation. Internships are normally undertaken for academic credit (BE196) or completed on a voluntary basis. Although there may be some internship opportunities that provide partial remuneration in lieu of academic credit, companies are under no obligation or expectation to offer some financial remuneration. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)

(5.5.6) Q: Are there qualification criteria in applying for an internship?

A: Bioengineering industrial internships are available to undergraduate students who have completed all lower-division course requirements, including general science requirements (Math, Physics, and Chemistry) and have some laboratory experience. Juniors in the UCSD Bioengineering program, enrolled in upper division courses in engineering mathematics, Bioengineering Design, Instrumentation, Physiology and Biomaterials, have sufficient background to work on many practical bioengineering projects. Furthermore, you are expected to have completed the following:

- Have completed all lower division Bioengineering course requirements

- Prepare a resume

- Be interviewed for placement

- Attend evaluation meetings with the Industrial Internship Coordinator

- Prepare a summary of industrial experience. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)

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