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Loyola Pre-Health values the uniqueness of our students and helps students achieve their goals at their own pace. Through advising and pre-health opportunities, students are ready for each step in their Pre-Health careers and beyond.

We provide various post-graduation options for our students and acknowledge that 43.9% of students enrolled in medical school take one to two gap years (2019 survey conducted by the Association of American Medical Colleges). Below you can find a roadmap to guide students throughout their Pre-Health career at Loyola! 


First Year

Take at least one to two general science sequence(s) + labs (Biology, Chemistry, and/or Physics)

If you are eligible to take general chemistry, you should, at the least, take this sequence. Do not worry, however, as you will have time to take all of the courses you need, and you may be able to take some during the summer. Most importantly, try to do well in your courses! Before getting involved in anything else, make sure you’re using your first year to set a good academic foundation for the rest of your time in college. If you’re having trouble with anything, ask for help! 

Meet with the Pre-Health Professions Advisor during your first semester at Loyola.

Get involved in community service! Service and clinical experiences are important components of your preparation for a health career. If it doesn’t impact your studies, try to get involved in one or two service programs that you might be interested in continuing throughout college. See [Opportunities]… for ideas.

Get to know your professors! Take advantage of the collegial atmosphere at Loyola and get to know your professors—you might be interested in getting involved in research in a year or two. Additionally, you will need professors who can write letters of recommendation for you, so get to know your professors starting during your first semester.


  • Decide if you want to take any courses over the summer.
  • If you haven’t already, this is a good time to begin gaining clinical experience. Try to shadow a healthcare provider during the summer after your first year. For medical school, 50 hours of physician-shadowing is recommended.
  • If you’re interested in working or volunteering part-time in healthcare, begin to research opportunities to see if you need additional training for any you might be interested in  (for example, phlebotomist, anesthesia tech, scribe, EMT, etc.) 
  • Apply for summer research and medical internship programs see [Opportunities]. These programs are paid and offer invaluable experiences. Note: Application deadlines are typically in the early spring.
  • Volunteer! Try to gain volunteer experiences that expose you to diverse cultures. It doesn’t need to be clinical. For some organizations in the New Orleans area see [Opportunities]
  • Work! Health professional programs recognize that some students need or want to work during college. This will not be held against you and can often be an asset.


Second Year

  • Choose a major.
  • Meet with the pre-health advisor to see how you’re progressing and what you need to do to stay on track.
  • Make sure you’re keeping up with any required courses as you begin to decide if you want to apply as a junior or senior. If you want to apply as a junior, you will probably need to take two sciences sequences this year and might need to take some courses over the summer.
  • Keep up with your academic work and keep getting to know your professors.
  • Get or stay involved in community service, if possible.


 Third Year

  • Fall semester: meet with the pre-health advisor and decide if you want to apply this year. If you decide to apply as a junior, make sure you’re on track to meet the PHPC’s Committee letter requirements (available on Pre-Health Canvas site) and are aware of all deadlines. 
  • Make sure you will have taken enough science courses to be prepared to take the MCAT (or other entrance exam) in the spring or summer. Keep in mind you will also need to set aside time to study additionally for these exams for at least a couple of months.


Junior applicants: 

  • Complete the intent to apply form (available on this website from October to January) to be considered to receive a Committee Letter from the PHPC. 
  • Follow all deadlines from the PHPC regarding your committee letter
  • Ask faculty for letters of recommendation
  • Plan to take the MCAT(medical school and doctor of osteopathy school applicants)  by early July.
  • Submit your application in the early summer.
  • Note: If you plan on applying your senior year, keep doing well in your courses and stay involved in community service.


Fourth Year


Junior-year applicants:

  • Submit secondary applications and prepare for interviews (if you haven’t already)
  • Keep up the hard work—most schools accept application updates and will consider what you’re doing during your senior year in their admissions decisions.
  • Plan to begin medical school in the summer following your senior year!


Senior-year applicants:

  • Meet with the pre-health advisor to make sure you’re on track and aware of all dates and deadlines for your applicant year. 
  • Complete the intent to apply form (available on this website from October to January) to be considered to receive a Committee Letter from the PHPC. 
  • Ask faculty for letters of recommendation.
  • Plan to take the MCAT by early July.
  • Submit your application in the early summer.
  • Make plans for your gap year—keep in mind that what you do with this year has the potential to make you a more competitive applicant. Keep the schools you apply to updated with your gap year accomplishments.
  • Plan to begin medical school the summer following your gap year!