Academics at Utica College
Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Medicine, Pre-Optometry, Pre-Podiatry, Pre-Veterinary, Pre-Law
The College offers a pre-law preparatory and advising program. Periodically pre-law meetings are held by the pre-law adviser. Students interested in law school should be in constant touch with the pre-law adviser and make use of the pre-law library available from the Office of Career Services.
Pre-Professional Medical Program
The pre-professional medical program at Utica College is designed to assist students who plan to enter schools of medicine, dentistry, optometry, podiatry, osteopathy, chiropractic, or veterinary medicine following their undergraduate education. Utica College students are offered assistance through formal course work, support, and advice from a committee of Utica College faculty and community health professionals.
Students seeking admission to a professional school must maintain a strong grade-point average (GPA). Although many schools state in their catalogs that prospective medical school students are expected to maintain a GPA of 3.0, 3.2, or 3.4, students who maintain a GPA of 3.5 or better have the best chance of acceptance. Competition is keen, and those applicants with the strongest records will compete most successfully for admission.
The other challenge is the pre-entry exam, MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) or DAT (Dental Admissions Test). These examinations are often the first item considered in the evaluation process, and students with outstanding qualifications in every other respect may not receive further consideration if their scores do not meet the criteria. Professional schools vary in admission requirements, and students should note those of the school they desire to enter early in their Utica College career.
Students may major in any liberal arts subject, although most select biology or chemistry. All professional schools in the health field require a minimum of a year each of biology and physics and two years of chemistry.
Students generally take pre-professional exams and apply to professional schools in the spring of their junior year. Some Utica College students are admitted to professional school by the beginning of their senior year; others are busy in the fall and winter of their senior year traveling to professional school interviews.
The Advisory Committee for the Health Professions (ACHP) supports and advises students in Utica College's pre-professional medical program. The committee includes professors of biology and chemistry as well as members of the Mohawk Valley professional community, including at least one physician, dentist, optometrist, podiatrist, chiropractor, and veterinarian. Each student meets with committee members at least twice a year, beginning with a large get-together in the fall and followed by individual or small group meetings during the year.
Through this committee, students are given the opportunity to ask questions, receive advice, uncover opportunities to volunteer in hospitals and clinics with practicing professionals, and keep informed of dates for exams such as the MCAT and DAT. Mock interviews are given at the request of students to help them prepare for professional school interviews.
ACHP and the academic advisers at Utica College share in the challenge of helping UC students find careers, set appropriate goals, and acquire the skills to achieve them. The committee's role is to expose students to the world of opportunities in the health field and to help them achieve success in the careers they choose.
Although an important part of student/committee meetings is to assist students with their career path, the gatherings also are designed to give the ACHP members an opportunity to get to know the students. The advisory committee will write letters of recommendation, and the committee must know students well if these letters are to be informed, strong, and personal.
Utica College is a member of the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions.
Utica College has many alumni now practicing as physicians, dentists, veterinarians, optometrists, podiatrists, and chiropractors.
Five Utica College alumni received doctor of osteopathic medicine degrees from a single school in 1996, a tribute by professional schools to the excellent preparation students receive at Utica College.
Philip Mondi '88, M.D., has been honored with awards as the Outstanding Resident of the Year and Chief Resident of the Year for 1996, and also received the Martin Levy Humanitarian Award for demonstrating the highest ideals of professionalism in the practice of internal medicine. He is in private practice in North Carolina.
Constance Colangelo '93, M.D., a mother of three in her mid-30s, graduated from medical school in 1997 and is planning a career in surgery. Another returning adult student was offered admittance into several schools of veterinary medicine. She chose Cornell University and graduated in 1996 with a D.V.M. degree.
Many Utica College students enter dental school. Two Utica College graduates now serve on the ACHP. Every year at least one of UC's former students returns to Utica for dental residency at St. Luke's Hospital, located across the street from the College. The professionals at St. Luke's Hospital are always willing to meet with prospective students, and students often find that these practitioners offer excellent insight to undergraduates anticipating a dental career.