University's early med school admission rate surpasses national average

University's early med school admission rate surpasses national average

Jaci Gustafson advises a student in Nebraska's Explore Center. The center is the academic advising home for students who are undecided on a major, transitioning between majors, pre-health or pre-law.
Craig Chandler | University Communication
Jaci Gustafson advises a student in the Explore Center. The center is the academic advising home for students who are undecided on a major, transitioning between majors, pre-health or pre-law.

Undergraduates at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are readily surpassing national averages for admission rates to medical schools.

Since 2012, an average of 66 percent of Nebraska pre-med students that take part in the early decision program, which allows students to potentially gain medical school acceptance earlier in the admissions cycle, have been granted early admission. That total includes an 82 percent acceptance rate this year and a 76 percent tilt in 2013.

The overall national acceptance rate for applicants is less than 50 percent, said Jaci Gustafson, coordinator of pre-professional advising services at Nebraska's Exploratory and Pre-Professional Advising Center.

"We've consistently had a talented group of students who are well prepared when they apply for early admission to medical school," Gustafson said. "Participation in our pre-professional advising program is optional, but a lot of the pre-med students applying for early admission utilize our services."

Nebraska launched the Explore Center in 2012. The center offers a variety of advisers to help students, including eight trained to work with undergraduates seeking future employment in health-related fields.

Other services offered by the center to pre-health undergraduates include one-on-one meetings with medical school representatives and workshops on best practices for applying for and completing applications to medical schools.

Early decision classes generally include highly competitive applicants who have earned outstanding Medical College Admission Test scores and undergraduate grade-point averages. They are also well-rounded students, having taken part in a variety of extracurricular activities.

Katelyn Dickes is one of the 23 students to gain medical school acceptance this year through the early decision program. Through her work as a certified nursing aide, the Nebraska senior identified the University of Nebraska Medical Center as her target institution. She prepared to gain early medical school acceptance by maintaining a strong GPA; pursuing competitive volunteer, shadowing and involvement hours; and using the services of the Exploratory and Pre-Professional Advising Center.

"I also got involved with research at UNMC, and I think that was another big thing in my favor," Dickes, a nutrition and health sciences major, said. "It was called the UNMC Summer Undergraduate Research Program. I basically got to follow a doctor around about a day a week while spending the rest of my time completing research."

Dickes will begin professional study at UNMC next fall.

For more information on services offered by Nebraska's Exploratory and Pre-Professional Advising Center, click here. Details about pre-health programs at Nebraska are also available online.