Montclair State University Launches Undergraduate Pre Medical Program
Montclair State University has launched a new Pre Medical Program for the fall 2021 semester, creating new opportunities for students by preparing them to pursue careers in medical fields, take the MCAT exam, and apply to medical school.
The program will be an interdisciplinary offering in which students in any major can pursue the Pre Medical track. Students will receive focused preparation and advising, ensuring they take the courses best suited to prepare them for the MCAT exam. The dedicated course of study will be paired with structured coaching to help ensure students are competitive in the medical school application process.
“The creation of our premedical support will fill a special need for our current students, have the potential for significant impact on the success of our graduates, and will help create diversified pools of qualified medical school applicants,” says Lora Billings, dean of the University’s College of Science and Mathematics (which will house the program).
The program will welcome a new director that will oversee all aspects of the program and will supersede the role of a student’s academic advisor. The director will be responsible for providing students with a variety of critical services, including transitioning from high school to college, course selection guidance in preparation for the MCATs, helping to secure a Pre-Health Committee letter (required for competitive applications), and preparing for interviews with medical admissions committees.
In addition, the director will partner with the University’s Career Services division to facilitate career coaching and educational opportunities.
“Our new director will serve a crucial role in facilitating the success of our Pre Medical students,” says Billings. “In addition to ensuring academic progress, they will be creating programming including internship opportunities, networking events, and trips to partnering medical facilities. We want this to be a truly holistic experience for students that will not only prepare them, but help them grow.”
Montclair State is also uniquely positioned to help address the inequities in representation of underserved populations in medical professions.
A Hispanic-Serving Institution, Montclair State’s student body currently comprises a large number of underrepresented minority students in biology, molecular biology, chemistry, and biochemistry, who will become a significant source of diverse and competitive applicants to medical schools. The Pre Medical Program will help create a pipeline to increase entrance of historically underrepresented students into medical school cohorts and ultimately into the medical profession.
“The pandemic has really brought to light the disparities in minority participation in medical fields,” says Billings. “The communities served by Montclair State University make this resource a critical initiative in addressing these trends. It is our duty as educators to provide students with the tools and services needed to succeed in the world, and to make their communities stronger for years to come.”