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October 3, 2003 Feature

Utah State Students See 85 Percent Acceptance Rate to Medical School

Research photoPreparation. That's what it takes to get accepted to medical school, and Utah State University's pre-health professions advisers work hard to ensure that Utah State students receive those acceptance letters. In fact, Utah State's medical school acceptance rate soared this year to an incredible 85 percent, said Susan Haddock, the pre-health professions coordinator and adviser.

While most schools around the country see about a 45 percent acceptance rate for students applying to medical school, Utah State usually sees percentage rates in the 60 to 70 percents. But this year exceeded everyone's expectations, she said, when 28 of the 33 Utah State students who applied were accepted into medical schools all over the country.

"Medical schools are looking for exceptional students," said Haddock. "They want students who are bright but who are also well-rounded."

Haddock said students wanting to apply to medical school must begin preparing for the application process as a freshman. Students preparing to attend medical school can choose any undergraduate course of study they like, just as long as they choose their major early. While 60 percent of students applying for medical schools have a science background, the other 40 percent come from such areas as English, liberal arts, psychology, business or education. Utah State's pre-health advisers ensure that students coming from any major have completed the required coursework in the sciences so they may successfully apply to medical school. The advisers also urge students considering medical school to have a strong background in undergraduate research and other extracurricular activities, including leadership experience, service hours and physician observation.

While the list of qualifications may seem daunting to new students entering a university, Utah State makes the process as easy as possible for those who want to someday become doctors, Haddock said. According to pre-health adviser and professor Andy Anderson, Utah State’s medical school acceptance rates are high because the university has great students as well as good advisers who help the students prepare for application to medical school beginning their freshman year.

The students receive weekly emails giving details about meetings, special presentations, visiting lecturers, medical school representatives, deadlines and upcoming classes. They also are given a reference guide detailing preparation for health professional schools, including information on the medical school admissions test, application service information, letters of recommendation information, suggestions on learning cultural literacy and words of wisdom from the pre-health advisers.

One-and-a-half years before entering a medical school students meet with the Utah State Pre-Health Professions Evaluation Committee. The committee is comprised of faculty from around campus who help the students by interviewing them, after which they provide a letter of recommendation. Before entering an interview, students meet with Haddock for advice on how to present themselves and what to wear for an interview, as well as help to prepare them for possible questions.

Anderson and Haddock said they are proud of each student who receives an acceptance letter.

"Utah State is doing something good," said Anderson. "We are benefitting the community and the nation by providing a top-quality undergraduate experience for those wanting to attend medical school and some day serve the community."

The biology department in the College of Science at Utah State houses the pre-health advisers and offers the service to any student interested in the medical, dental or any other health professions. Anyone interested in receiving advising in these areas can call Anderson or Haddock at (435) 797-3203, or stop by the Biology-Natural Resources Building on the Utah State campus in room 101 to set up an appointment or meet with one of the student peer advisers.

Contact: Susan Haddock,, (435) 797-2577 or
Andy Anderson,, (435) 797-1913
Writer: Maren Cartwright,, (435) 797-1355

Utah State University Boasts Competitive Vet School Acceptance

This year, 85 percent of Utah State University's graduating bioveterinary students who applied to veterinary school were accepted. And 65 percent of all students who applied from across campus were accepted, while only 33 percent of students nationwide were accepted.

"These statistics show Utah State's commitment to quality education," said veterinarian Stan Allen, who coordinates preveterinary medical advisement for students.

"The qualities that admission committees look for in applicants include academic skills, experience with animals, and hands-on knowledge of veterinary medicine as a profession and good communication skills," Allen said.

And the applicant pool has seen dramatic changes, Allen said. Twenty years ago, 95 percent of veterinary school applicants nationally were male. Today, 70 percent are female.

Utah State's department of animal, dairy, and veterinary sciences offers a wide variety of research options for students, including animal nutrition, breeding and genetics, molecular biology, reproductive biology, animal and dairy management, animal health-related programs and toxicology.

For more information about Utah State's department of animal, dairy and veterinary sciences, contact Tami Spackman at (435) 797-2150 or

Contact: Tami Spackman,, (435) 797-2150
Writer: Matt Hawks,, (435) 797-1350




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