Advising

Advising for all of OU’s residential undergraduates is two-fold: they receive general, intensive advising through the Adawe LifePlan Center, focused on success in the first and second years; as they approach graduation, they also work with faculty advisors who teach within their chosen majors.

Striving for Excellence
Medical schools set high expectations for applicants’ academic achievement, and Grade Point Average (GPA) is an important element in their calculations. Advisors and faculty work closely with students to clarify course assignments and learning outcomes, to design each semester for success, and to guide learning strategy development, with a “hands on” approach to advising. The admissions coordinator for the University of Kansas’ School of Medicine visits OU’s campus regularly, biology faculty attend advisor workshops, and students are encouraged to pursue shadowing opportunities and pre-professional workshops.

Self-Assessment
The Adawe LifePlan Center’s Career Development program [link] provides many opportunities for students to appraise their professional qualities, character traits, academic skills, and interests. Self-assessment is an important first step as students decide to dedicate themselves to the study of medicine. The Adawe Center also collaborates with the Biology Department to provide mock interviews.

Building Relationships
Because OU’s residential undergraduates enjoy low student-to-instructor ratios, students have unique opportunities to build professional relationships with their professors. These relationships prepare students to enter medical school as active and confident participants who seek out mentors, ask critical questions, and think independently. And when students work in OU’s laboratory groups and seminars to demonstrate their intellectual strength, their scientific grit, and their creative potential, professors are well positioned to provide substantive and personal letters of recommendation.

Testing Performance
Students applying to medical, dental, and optometry schools must take professional admission exams, divided into sections, as follows:

  • Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
    • Physical Sciences
    • Verbal Reasoning
    • Biological Sciences
    • Trial Section (optional: covers either biochemistry, biology, chemistry, and physics or psychology, sociology, and biology)
    • NOTE: Psychology and sociology content are major components of the MCAT since 2015
  • Dental Admission Test (DAT)
    • Survey of the Natural Sciences
    • Perceptual Ability
    • Reading Comprehension
    • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Optometry Admission Test (OAT).
    • Survey of the Natural Sciences
    • Reading Comprehension
    • Physics
    • Quantitative Reasoning

View more information about preparing for these professional admissions exams.

Applying for Admission to Medical Schools
For students preparing for medical school, the application process can seem daunting, especially with many schools’ deadlines scheduled during the height of the final Fall semester, when grades are most critical. Through workshops and one-on-one sessions, OU’s advisors—both in the disciplines and in the Adawe Center—provide strategies and support for deciding where to apply, organizing multiple applications, obtaining letters of reference, practicing interview skills, and writing statements of purpose. Medical, dental, and optometry schools are looking for broadly-educated, articulate, analytical, and informed applicants who are knowledgeable and curious about advancements and controversies in medicine.