Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Planning for graduate & professional schools



Is there are pre-med major at Wheaton?

No.  Students should major in a field that you find most interesting and will do the very best in.  The pre-med courses recommended by Wheaton serve as a foundation for graduate work and preparation for the standardized admission test required for admission.

What do I have to major in?

No particular major is required for admission to a health professions school.  This is not a new phenomenon.  Students should select a major area of study that will act as a foundation for career alternatives.  A student should not choose a major based on what they perceive to be best for admission.  For example, medical schools want to see that a student is producing quality work at the undergraduate level.  Recent data shows that students who major in areas outside of the sciences have the same probability of being accepted as those majoring in the sciences.  No singular major, therefore, can be said to provide an edge over another.  Academic excellence is essential, no matter what the major.

What does it take to get into medical school?

Over the years, it has become apparent that successful applicants for admission have grade point averages in both cumulative and pre-requisite courses of at least 3.5 of a possible 4.0.  Strong candidates are also expected to produce a good score on the appropriate, required standardized test.  Besides these, experiences outside of the classroom are imperative for admission.

How many students does Wheaton get into medical school?

No college "gets students into medical school."  Wheaton offers all of the necessary components for a student to become a qualified candidate:  small classes, research opportunities with faculty, meetings with a career service expert to assist in getting students the best possible health career-related experiences.  But it is the student's responsibility to get the best grades and experiences possible.

What courses do I need to take?

Students should check on the health profession page for the specific health profession pre-requisites.

What is the Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC)?

HPAC is the committee charged with accessing an applicants performance at Wheaton, and subsequently writes the committee letter required by many of the health professions colleges.  Members of the committee also assist students with preparation for interviews.

Can students on a health careers path study abroad?

Wheaton encourages all students who can study abroad for a year or semester to do so.  There are some specific considerations for students on the health careers track to keep in mind, the most important being planning well in advance.  Students should never take pre-requisite courses while abroad.  Study at another college or university in the US or Canada will not have the problem.

Students who wish to go abroad may have to make some trade-offs; this is particularly true for students with less exemplary academic records.  Since courses taken abroad do not affect the Wheaton grade point average, students will have less time at the college to make an impact on their overall grade point average.

The other trade-off could be the timetable for applying to a health professions school.  Going abroad may mean delaying taking required courses until senior year, thus making the application process move to after graduation.  If a student is not planning to apply to medical school after the junior year, going abroad will likely not impact anything.

How many students apply while at Wheaton?

Any given year, the number of students who apply during their junior year at Wheaton varies.  There are a variety of reasons for this.  Some students put off applying so that they can study for a semester of year abroad.  Others take the time to make up a deficiency in some area of their application: lower science or cumulative GPA through a post-baccalaureate program, not enough experiences in a specific are of medically-related activities, research, volunteerism, community service, etc.,  the need to work, or just plain need some time away from school.

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