Home > FAQs

FAQs

Q: I’m applying to Texas A&M and want to eventually go to professional school. Can I be advised?
A: Yes! You can walk in at any time and speak to a student advisor working at the front desk. You can also call our office to speak to a student advisor. Our student workers are trained in all professions that OPSA advises for and can answer any questions you have. Due to the volume of students our office advises, we are unable to make appointments to see prospective students. Once you start classes at A&M, you can make an appointment to meet one-on-one with an advisor.

Dental
Q: What should I major in?

A: Honestly, it doesn’t matter. You should major in whatever subject interests you.  There is no general, pre-dental major offered at Texas A&M.  Science majors (like Biology, Biochemistry, and Biomedical Science) are the most common for applicants because the prerequisite courses are included in your degree plan. A non-science major does not put you at a disadvantage. You will have to work with your academic advisor to incorporate some of the prerequisite classes into your schedule, but a non-science major can make you look unique. No one major looks more competitive than another major.  No matter what your major is, you should aim to take about 15 hours each semester to show you can handle a large course load. Know that your GPA in the prerequisite and science courses is particularly important as that is what schools will use to compare between applicants of all majors.

Q: I made a 3/4/5 on my AP test. Should I accept the credit?
A: It depends. Talk to your academic advisor before accepting any AP credit. You want to make sure the credit you are accepting counts towards your degree. It is most often not recommended that you accept AP credit for any prerequisite course, because you will not be given a grade for the course. Non-science classes like history or English are generally less problematic to accept as they do not affect your science GPA. Note that once you accept AP credit, you cannot un-accept it so make sure you meet with your academic advisor and fully discuss this. Depending on what class the AP credit is for, it may or may not be advantageous for you to accept the credit. For example, many students have the option to take AP credit for freshman level chemistry (CHEM 101/111 and CHEM 102/112). This is generally not recommended because accepting this credit would mean the first chemistry course you take at TAMU will be organic chemistry, a notoriously difficult class (CHEM 227 & CHEM 228). In this case, it is often more beneficial for a student to not accept the AP credit and take the freshman level chemistry classes in order to be prepared for harder upper level chemistry. Even if you feel you have a strong grasp on the material, taking a freshman level course you are confident in can earn you an A, which will help boost your GPA and benefit you greatly. Please call our office if you have any questions about the benefits or concerns of accepting AP credit. 

Q: When should I take the DAT?
A: You should take the DAT no later than June of the year you are applying. For students looking to enter dental school in the fall immediately following TAMU graduation, this would be the summer between junior and senior year. Most students take the DAT in the spring semester of their junior year. Taking the DAT early allows you time to retake it if you want to improve your score.
For more information on the DAT, visit http://www.ada.org/en/education-careers/dental-admission-test/.

Q: What scholarship opportunities are available for Texas A&M students accepted into dental school?
A: Click here for the OPSA scholarship page.

Q: What do dental school application committees consider other than my GPA when I apply?
A: The 2 biggest things are GPA and Test score. The other aspects of the application are:
  • Medical/Dental experience
  • Volunteerism
    • Volunteering at a local hospital (St. Joseph’s, the Med, Scott & White) or a clinic (Health for All, Brazos Prenatal Clinic)
    • OPSA has a list of volunteer opportunities for all professions we advise for
  • Shadowing
    • Following around a dentist/observing procedures
      • This is a good way to build a relationship with a dentist that can possibly lead to a letter of recommendation.
      • Try and get a few different experiences in shadowing: a hospital is different than a private practice; A range of experience shows that you are open to all aspects of dentistry.
  • Community service (not medically related)
    • Quality over quantity. Volunteering with one organization (ex: Boys& Girls club, soup kitchen) for a period of several semesters looks better than a long list of one-day or one-time service projects. Try volunteering once a month with a local charity over the course of several semesters. A long-standing relationship looks good and the time commitment is not oppressive.
  • Leadership
    • Look to hold an officer position in one of your organizations by the end of your junior year
    • You don’t need to be president of the pre-dent society. You can be secretary of the Ballroom Dancing club. Any position where you are in charge of and responsible for other people.
  • Letters of recommendation
    • Solid, positive evaluations from the professors and dentists you choose to write your letters can speak volumes to your strength as an applicant. Letters of rec are incredibly important, so be sure to take the time to build relationships with your professors so that you feel comfortable asking them for a letter.


Q: How do I get shadowing hours?
A: Shadowing opportunities are limited in the BCS area due to the large amount of pre-medical and pre-health students. OPSA does offer a shadow program through ECHO and applications open at the beginning of the semester and are available to anyone who is a member of one of the organizations under ECHO. One of the best ways to get shadowing hours is in your hometown. Many student’s shadow their friend’s parents or their old dentists. You can do this over winter break, summer break, or spring break – any time you are at home. In order to get shadowing hours – you have to start asking people! Some hospitals have rules on shadowing and some dentists just don’t like shadows. You are bound to get a few people telling you no, but eventually someone will say yes. All the current practicing doctors had to get shadowing hours when they were in school, so they know what you’re going through.

Application
Q: How can I sign up for a file or application workshop?

A: All workshops that are hosted by OPSA advisors are available for online registration at academicevents.tamu.edu.  Registration for these events is usually available about a month before the workshop date and closes 24 hours before the start of the workshop or once registration is full.

Q: Where can I find the evaluation form for my letter of recommendation writer?
A: The evaluation forms are available online on the OPSA database.

Q: How do I log into the database on the OPSA website?
A: On the OPSA website, click [name of button]. Use your Net ID or your UIN to log in. Select the application year. You should see your personal information on this page. This page will be periodically updated when we receive more components of your file.

Q: When should I be able to log into the database on the OPSA website?
A: You will be able to log in to the OPSA database after you attend a file workshop and complete the form you are given. Please allow a week to pass after your workshop before you log on as it takes some time for us to update the servers due to the large number of students in attendance.

Q: When is the deadline to turn in all my file components to OPSA?
A: For students who attended a file workshop and are seeking a committee letter, the deadline to turn in all components of a file is [INSERT DATE HERE] at 12:00 pm (noon). For reapplicants, former students, or students who did not attend a file workshop, there is not a file deadline. It is recommended that you complete your file by mid-to-late May, so that you can apply early. OPSA will not send your letters to the application service until your file is complete.

Q: Can I send in file components to OPSA via email or fax?
A: You may submit file components via email through [a certain date]. After [this date], only professors or doctors submitting letters of evaluation will be allowed to email in documents.
Faxing documents to OPSA is not recommended because the documents often come in too dark to read. You should either mail, email, or hand deliver the components of your file.

Q: When should I submit my request to send form to OPSA?
A: We will not accept any request to send forms before you have submitted your application and your OPSA file is complete. If you submit the request to send form before both of these things have taken place, we will shred your form and you will need to submit a new one.

Q: I submitted my request to send form to OPSA. How long will it be until my letters are sent to the application service?
A: OPSA tries to fulfill all requests in a timely manner. During peak application season, our office receives large amounts of application and letter requests each day. We attend to each request in the order that they are received, but there is often some backlog due to the large number of applications that come through our office. For this reason we ask you to wait at least 4 business days after we have received your request to send form before calling the office to check on their status. You will know your letters have been sent when they are marked as received on the application service’s website.  This will not be shown on your OPSA database.

Q: I want to send my letters of recommendation to a program other than medical school. Can OPSA send the letters for me?
A: Your letter-writers need to release their letters to be sent before OPSA can send the letters. If you plan on applying to programs other than medical schools with the letters you obtain for your OPSA file, have the evaluators fill out the release section of the evaluation form (the signature field on the bottom of the page). If your evaluators did not sign this when submitting your letters, you will have to ask them to contact us, by phone or email, and give us permission to release your letters. Once we have permission to release all your letters, you can fill out a request to send form, and bring it by the office along with 3 stamps and a mailing label with the address of the program on it. With the released letters, your request to send form, 3 stamps, and a mailing label, we can forward your letters. 

Q: I applied to dental schools previously and already went to a file workshop. Do I need to go again?
A: The best application to dental school is an early application. For your application to be considered complete, you need to have released your DAT scores. For this reason, our office recommends that you take your DAT no later than July 1 of the year you apply.

Q: I applied to dental schools previously through OPSA. Can I just reuse my letters of recommendation from last year?
A: No. Each year you apply you must get new letters of recommendation. You can ask the same professors to use their same letters if you wish, but the date on the letter must be updated. Many professors save their evaluation letters so asking for an updated letter should not be an issue.
Top of page

Law
Q: What should I major in?

A: Honestly, it doesn’t matter. You should major in whatever subject interests you.  There is no specific coursework required by all applicants before applying to law school, and there is no general pre-law major offered at Texas A&M.  Law school admissions committees do not prefer certain majors over others.  You should major in a field that you believe would lead to a viable career should you choose not to go to law school. No matter what your major is, you should aim to take about 15 hours each semester to show you can handle a significant course load.  Know that your GPA is particularly important as that is what schools will use to compare between applicants of all majors.

Q: Are there any classes I can take at A&M to help prepare me for the LSAT?
A: Introduction to Logic (PHIL 240) is an overview of formal logic rules, which would help prepare a law applicant for the logical reasoning section of the LSAT.  This class also satisfies the university’s core curriculum math requirement.

Q: When should I take the LSAT?
A: The LSAT is offered four times a year, once in each June, October, December, and February.  Students should plan to take the LSAT no later than June after their junior year, but February of the junior year is becoming increasingly popular. This will allow you to receive and assess your scores before sending off your applications. Take the October test in your senior year if you must due to other commitments, such as study abroad or summer internships, or because you weren’t ready for the June test.  If you are planning on applying for early admissions, the June test after your junior year is the latest you should consider taking the LSAT.  Because your LSAT score is so important to gaining admission, preparation for the test is essential!  Keep in mind that the registration deadlines for the LSAT are usually a month in advance of the date that the test is given.

You should never take the LSAT as a practice test. Some schools average your scores if you take the LSAT more than once; many do not favor multiple scores at all, especially if the second score is lower. Mock exams are offered on campus each semester by test preparation companies, and you can take a mock exam as early as your first year.

Q: Are there any classes I can take at A&M to help prepare me for law school?
A: While there are many interdisciplinary classes offered among different academic departments that pertain to the law, the best preparation to become an excellent law student is to enroll in classes that will challenge your speaking, critical thinking, and writing abilities.  All Texas A&M students are required to take English and Communication courses, but any public speaking or writing class that goes beyond the core curriculum will help you to hone the academic skills law admissions committees look for.

Food and Agricultural Law [AGEC 344]
Business Law [MGMT 212]
Practice & Principles of Science and Law [FIVS 415]
Law and Economics [ECON 420]
Law & Legislation [POLS 356]
Fish & Wildlife Laws and Administration [WFSC 303]
Philosophy of Law [PHIL 334]
Sociology of Law [SOCI 445]
Urban Planning Law [URPN 302]
Mass Communication, Law, and Society [JOUR 307]
Construction Law [COSC 463]
Advanced Construction Law [COSC 465]
Economics of Antitrust and Regulation [ECON 426]

Q: I used freshman grade exclusion to exclude a grade on my TAMU transcript. Will the professional schools that I apply to be able to see it?
A: Yes. Freshman Grade Exclusion is a specific service offered through Texas A&M University.  While Freshman Grade Exclusion can help your TAMU GPA, the class is still recorded on your transcript. Graduate and professional schools are still able to see the grade you received in an excluded class on your academic transcript.

When applying to law schools, you will need to provide transcripts from every institution you have attended. The Law School Credential Assembly Service (LSCAS) will compile all of the grade point averages from those institutions, which will include classes you Q-dropped, withdrew from, or excluded.

Q: How can I sign up for an application or personal statement workshop?
A: All workshops that are hosted by OPSA advisors are available for online registration at academicevents.tamu.edu.  Registration for these events is usually available about a month before the workshop date and closes 24 hours before the start of the workshop or once registration is full.

Q: Where can I sign up for the LSAT or for an account through LSAC?
A: You must have an account through LSAC before you can register and pay for the LSAT.  To create an account with LSAC or for more information about the application process and testing registration, go to lsac.org. A typical, complete law school application consists of all academic transcripts, LSAT score, a personal statement, resume, and between 1-4 letters of recommendation.  Different schools’ applications can vary slightly, but this is what is generally required.

Q: What scholarship opportunities are available for Texas A&M students accepted into law school?
A: Click here for the OPSA scholarship page

Q: Does the Texas A&M Law School have a preference for Texas A&M undergraduates?
A: No. The Texas A&M Law School does not show preference to Texas A&M undergraduates. However, like all professional schools, TAMU Law is always looking for intelligent, compassionate, and capable applicants. An undergraduate education at Texas A&M is a great foundation for a competitive law school application. TAMU’s strong academic reputation and emphasis on selfless service provide great opportunities for you to excel as an applicant.

Q: What do law school application committees consider other than my GPA when I apply?
A: Law school admissions committees consider your cumulative GPA, LSAT score, personal statement, resume, and letters of recommendation.  A competitive resume will include work history, leadership skills demonstrated through on and off campus involvement, community service and involvement, and academic achievements and awards.  Your application should paint a picture of you as an individual, highlighting your professional, academic, and personal qualities.
Top of page

Medical
Q: What should I major in?

A: Honestly, it doesn’t matter. You should major in whatever subject interests you.  There is no general, pre-dental major offered at Texas A&M.  Science majors (like Biology, Biochemistry, and Biomedical Science) are the most common for applicants because the prerequisite courses are included in your degree plan. A non-science major does not put you at a disadvantage. You will have to work with your academic advisor to incorporate some of the prerequisite classes into your schedule, but a non-science major can make you look unique. No one major looks more competitive than another major.  No matter what your major is, you should aim to take about 15 hours each semester to show you can handle a large course load. Know that your GPA in the prerequisite and science courses is particularly important as that is what schools will use to compare between applicants of all majors.

Q: What classes should I take at A&M before I take the MCAT?
A: With the new 2015 MCAT in place, several TAMU classes can benefit you on the MCAT. It is highly recommended that you take both semesters of lower level biology and chemistry (BIOL 111 & 112, CHEM 101/111 & CHEM 102/112) as well as organic chemistry (CHEM 227 & CHEM 228) before you take the MCAT.  In addition, physics is heavily tested on the MCAT, so having at least one semester of physics done is recommended, if not both semesters (PHYS 201 & PHYS 202). Sociology and Psychology are now being tested on the MCAT. You can likely learn all the basic information you need for the MCAT during your MCAT studying, but we do recommend taking an intro level class in one of the subjects (PSYC 107 or SOCI 205). With the new 2015 MCAT, biochemistry is included so it is highly recommended that you take a biochemistry class (BICH 410). If you cannot fit a biochemistry class into your schedule before the MCAT, be sure to devote extra time to it during your MCAT studying. Check out the AAMC website to find detailed information on the various sections of the MCAT.

Q: When should I take the MCAT?
A: The best application to medical school is an early application. For your application to be considered complete, you need to have released your MCAT scores. MCAT scores are released one month after you take the exam. Applications come out May 1 and we recommend that you submit by early June. For this reason, our office recommends that you take your MCAT no later than May of your junior year.

Most students take their MCAT in August, January, or March. You never want to take the MCAT ‘just for practice’ because medical schools can see every MCAT you’ve ever taken (unlike the SATs or ACTs). Only take the MCAT after you have dedicated several months of studying. The two most common timelines for students to take the MCAT are to study intensively the summer after sophomore year and before junior year and take the MCAT in August or September of your junior year. The other common option is to study over the course of the fall semester of your junior year, study intensively over winter break, and take the MCAT in either January or March of your junior year. Taking the MCAT during any of these times also allows you to get your score back and potentially retake the exam, if needed, before applying.

Q: I made a 3/4/5 on my AP test. Should I accept the credit?
A: It depends. Talk to your academic advisor before accepting any AP credit. You want to make sure the credit you are accepting counts towards your degree. It is most often not recommended that you accept AP credit for any prerequisite course, because you will not be given a grade for the course. Non-science classes like history or English are generally less problematic to accept as they do not affect your science GPA. Note that once you accept AP credit, you cannot un-accept it so make sure you meet with your academic advisor and fully discuss this. Depending on what class the AP credit is for, it may or may not be advantageous for you to accept the credit. For example, many students have the option to take AP credit for freshman level chemistry (CHEM 101/111 and CHEM 102/112). This is generally not recommended because accepting this credit would mean the first chemistry course you take at TAMU will be organic chemistry, a notoriously difficult class (CHEM 227 & CHEM 228). In this case, it is often more beneficial for a student to not accept the AP credit and take the freshman level chemistry classes in order to be prepared for harder upper level chemistry. Even if you feel you have a strong grasp on the material, taking a freshman level course you are confident in can earn you an A, which will help boost your GPA and benefit you greatly. Please call our office if you have any questions about the benefits or concerns of accepting AP credit. 

Q: I want to take a prerequisite course at a community college or junior college. Is that okay?
A: It is not recommended to take a prerequisite course at community college. Any non-science course is okay (history, political science, English, etc). Use caution when taking any science course at community college. Know that while the grade earned at a community college does not count on your TAMU transcript, the grade earned will be calculated into your GPA when you apply. So any course you take at community college will count towards your GPA. Use this to your advantage and get A’s in any courses you take at community college to help raise your GPA.  Students commonly want to take PHYS 201 & PHYS 202 at community college. If this is the only prerequisite course you take away from TAMU and your science GPA is strong, this might be okay. It is beneficial to check in with our advisors before you finalize this decision. You want to take as many of your sciences as you can at TAMU because TAMU has an excellent reputation for the rigor of academic courses. Taking a class at TAMU is more impressive than taking the same class at community college.  If you are particularly worried about your success in a class at TAMU, consider registering for the course during the summertime when classes are smaller and tutoring services are less crowded.

Q: I used freshman grade exclusion to exclude a grade on my TAMU transcript. Will the professional schools that I apply to be able to see it?
A: While freshman grade exclusion can help your TAMU GPA, the class is still recorded on your transcript, which means that the professional schools will be able to see it. While the class will not affect your TAMU GPA, medical schools consider all classes taken when looking at your grades, meaning they will calculate in the excluded grade. If this grade is in a science course, this could be particularly important.

Q: What factors do medical school application committees consider other than my GPA?
A: The 2 biggest things are GPA and Test score.The other aspects of the application are:

  • Medical/Dental experience
  • Volunteerism
    • Volunteering at a local hospital (St. Joseph’s, the Med, Scott & White) or a clinic (Health for All, Brazos Prenatal Clinic)
    • OPSA has a list of volunteer opportunities for all professions we advise for
  • Shadowing
    • Following around a doctor/observing surgeries
    • This is a good way to build a relationship with a doctor that can possibly lead to a letter of recommendation.
    • Try and get a few different experiences in shadowing: a hospital is different than a private practice; a cardiologist is different than a pediatrician. A range of experience shows that you are open to all aspects of medicine.
  • Community service (not medically related)
    • Quality over quantity. Volunteering with one organization (ex: Boys& Girls club, soup kitchen) for a period of several semesters looks better than a long list of one-day or one-time service projects. Try volunteering once a month with a local charity over the course of several semesters. A long-standing relationship looks good and the time commitment is not oppressive.
  • Leadership
    • Look to hold an officer position in one of your organizations by the end of your junior year
    • You don’t need to be president of the pre-med society. You can be secretary of the Ballroom Dancing club. Any position where you are in charge of and responsible for other people.
  • Letters of recommendation
    • Solid, positive evaluations from the professors and doctors you choose to write your letters can speak volumes to your strength as an applicant. Letters of rec are incredibly important, so be sure to take the time to build relationships with your professors so that you feel comfortable asking them for a letter.

Q: How do I get shadowing hours?
A: Shadowing opportunities are limited in the B/CS area due to the large amount of pre-medical and pre-health students. OPSA does offer a shadow program through ECHO and applications open at the beginning of the semester and are available to anyone who is a member of one of the organizations under ECHO. One of the best ways to get shadowing hours is in your hometown. Many student’s shadow their friend’s parents or their old pediatricians, or the like. You can do this over winter break, summer break, or spring break – any time you are at home. In order to get shadowing hours – you have to start asking people! Some hospitals have rules on shadowing and some physicians/dentists just don’t like shadows. You are bound to get a few people telling you no, but eventually someone will say yes. All the current practicing physicians had to get shadowing hours when they were in school, so they know what you’re going through.

Application
Q: How can I sign up for a file or application workshop?

A: All workshops that are hosted by OPSA advisors are available for online registration at academicevents.tamu.edu.  Registration for these events is usually available about a month before the workshop date and closes 24 hours before the start of the workshop or once registration is full.

Q: Where can I find the evaluation form for my letter of recommendation writer?
A: The evaluation forms are available online on the OPSA database.

Q: How do I log into the database on the OPSA website?
A: On the OPSA website, click "Med/Dent Files". Use your Net ID or your UIN to log in. Select the application year. You should see your personal information on this page. This page will be periodically updated when we receive more components of your file.

Q: When should I be able to log into the database on the OPSA website?
A: You will be able to log in to the OPSA database after you attend a file workshop and complete the form you are given. Please allow a week to pass after your workshop before you log on as it takes some time for us to update the servers due to the large number of students in attendance.

Q: When is the deadline to turn in all my file components to OPSA?
A: For students who attended a file workshop and are seeking a committee letter, the deadline to turn in all components of a file is [INSERT DATE HERE] at 12:00 pm (noon).
For reapplicants, former students, or students who did not attend a file workshop, there is not a file deadline. It is recommended that you complete your file by mid-to-late May, so that you can apply early.

Q: Can I send in file components to OPSA via email or fax?
A: You may submit file components via email through [a certain date]. After [this date], only professors or doctors submitting letters of evaluation will be allowed to email in documents. Faxing documents to OPSA is not recommended because the documents often come in too dark to read. You should either mail, email, or hand deliver the components of your file.

Q: When should I submit my request to send form to OPSA?
A: We will not accept any request to send forms before you have submitted your application and your OPSA file is complete. If you submit the request to send form before both of these things have taken place, we will shred your form and you will need to submit a new one.

Q: I submitted my request to send form to OPSA. How long will it be until my letters are sent to the application service?
A: OPSA tries to fulfill all requests in a timely manner. During peak application season, our office receives large amounts of application and letter requests each day. We attend to each request in the order that they are received, but there is often some backlog due to the large number of applications that come through our office. For this reason we ask you to wait at least 4 business days after we have received your request to send form before calling the office to check on their status. You will know your letters have been sent when they are marked as received on the application service’s website.  This will not be shown on your OPSA database.

Q: I want to send my letters of recommendation to a program other than medical school. Can OPSA send the letters for me?
A: Your letter-writers need to release their letters to be sent before OPSA can send the letters. If you plan on applying to programs other than medical schools with the letters you obtain for your OPSA file, have the evaluators fill out the release section of the evaluation form (the signature field on the bottom of the page). If your evaluators did not sign this when submitting your letters, you will have to ask them to contact us, by phone or email, and give us permission to release your letters. Once we have permission to release all your letters, you can fill out a request to send form, and bring it by the office along with 3 stamps and a mailing label with the address of the program on it. With the released letters, your request to send form, 3 stamps, and a mailing label, we can forward your letters. 

Q: I want to send four letters of recommendation to the medical schools I am applying to. Will OPSA only send three for me?
A: No matter how many letters you turn in, OPSA will only send the first 3 that are in your file. Medical schools typically do not want more than three letters. If you for some reason no longer want to use a letter you originally asked for and replace it with a letter from another professor, OPSA will need written consent from the letter-writer whose letter we are removing from the file. This is a professional courtesy as writing a letter of recommendation is a time-intensive process and evaluators deserve to know the letters they take time to write are indeed being used.

Q: I applied to medical schools previously and already went to a file workshop. Do I need to go again?
A: No. Reapplicants do not need to attend a file workshop. Note that if you made a file but did not actually apply, then you are not considered a reapplicant.

Q: I applied to medical schools previously through OPSA. Can I just reuse my letters of recommendation from last year?
A: No. Each year you apply you must get new letters of recommendation. You can ask the same professors to use their same letters if you wish, but the date on the letter must be updated. Many professors save their evaluation letters so asking for an updated letter should not be an issue.

Q: I applied to medical schools previously through OPSA. Do I have to notify OPSA if I am applying again and wish to get a committee letter?
A: Yes, reapplicants and former students can get a committee letter sent from OPSA if you complete your file through our office. Once your file is complete, we will write your committee letter. You can get your letter sent by filling out and turning in the request to send form.

Q: What scholarship opportunities are available for pre-med students at Texas A&M?
A: Click here for the OPSA scholarship page.
Top of page


Nursing
Q: What should I major in?

A: Honestly, it doesn’t matter. You should major in whatever subject interests you.  There is no general, pre-nursing major offered at Texas A&M.  Majors like Allied Health and Nutrition are the most common for applicants because the prerequisite courses are included in your degree plan. A non-science major does not put you at a disadvantage. You will have to work with your academic advisor to incorporate some of the prerequisite classes into your schedule, but a non-science major can make you look unique. No one major looks more competitive than another major.  Know that your GPA in the prerequisite and science courses is particularly important as that is what schools will use to compare between applicants of all majors.

Q: Can I take a course at a community college?
A: Yes, taking a class at community college is acceptable. Know that while the grade earned at a community college does not count on your TAMU transcript, the grade earned will be calculated into your GPA when you apply to nursing school. So any course you take at community college will count towards your GPA. Use this to your advantage and get A’s in any courses you take at community college to help raise your GPA. Know that you should never take a science class online as that reflects poorly on your transcript.

Q: Should I take the TEAS, HESI, or both?
A: Different schools require different tests. Research the different nursing schools you are interested in applying to and find out which test they require. Then make the decision as to whether you want to take the TEAS, HESI, or both.
To find more information about the TEAS, visit this website
To find more information about the HESI, visit this website

Q: When should I take the TEAS or HESI?
A: The TEAS and HESI should be taken during the season you are applying.

Q: I made a 3/4/5 on my AP test. Should I accept the credit?
Accepting AP credit can be beneficial. Talk to your academic advisor before accepting any AP credit. You want to make sure the credit you are accepting will not affect your degree.  Note that once you accept AP credit, you cannot un-accept it so make sure you meet with your academic advisor and fully discuss this. Accepting AP credit will not detract from a nursing school application.

Q: I used freshman grade exclusion to exclude a grade on my TAMU transcript. Will the professional schools that I apply to be able to see it?
A: While freshman grade exclusion can help your TAMU GPA, the class is still recorded on your transcript, which means that the professional schools will be able to see it. While the class will not affect your TAMU GPA, professional schools consider all classes taken when looking at your grades, meaning they will calculate in the excluded grade. If this grade is in a science course, this could be particularly important. Do not rely on freshman grade exclusion to save your GPA.  Note that freshman grade exclusion does not affect students who entered TAMU after Fall 2013.

Q: What factors do nursing school application committees consider other than my GPA?
A: Other than GPA, test score is the next best indicator of your academic capabilities. Beyond the numbers, though, leadership and community service are important factors. A competitive application will include work history, leadership skills demonstrated through on and off campus involvement, community service and involvement, and academic achievements and awards.  Your application should paint a picture of you as an individual, highlighting your professional, academic, and personal qualities.

Q: How do I get shadowing hours?
A: For nursing school, absolutely any medical experience can help strengthen your application. You can work or volunteer at a doctor’s office or clinic. Look into volunteer programs at local hospitals and clinics, either in College Station during the school year or in your hometown over summer breaks. You should look for exposure to the nursing field to make sure it is the career you want to pursue.

Q: What scholarship opportunities are available for pre-nursing students at Texas A&M?
A: Click here for the OPSA scholarship page.

Q: Does the Texas A&M Health Science Center have a preference for Texas A&M undergraduates?

A: No. The Texas A&M Health Science Center does not show preference to Texas A&M undergraduates. However, like all professional schools, TAMHSC  is always looking for intelligent, compassionate, and capable applicants. An undergraduate education at Texas A&M is a great foundation for a competitive application. TAMU’s strong academic reputation and emphasis on selfless service provide great opportunities for you to excel as an applicant. Although there is no preference during the application process, each year the majority of students accepted into TAMHSC’s Nursing program are A&M students.
Top of page


Pharmacy
Q: What should I major in?

A: Honestly, it doesn’t matter. You should major in whatever subject interests you.  There is no general, pre-pharmacy major offered at Texas A&M.  Majors like Health, Nutrition, Psychology, and Biomedical Science are the most common for applicants because the prerequisite courses are included in your degree plan. A non-science major does not put you at a disadvantage. You will have to work with your academic advisor to incorporate some of the prerequisite classes into your schedule, but a non-science major can make you look unique. No one major looks more competitive than another major.  Know that your GPA in the prerequisite and science courses is particularly important as that is what schools will use to compare between applicants of all majors.

Q: Can I take a course at a community college?
A: Yes, taking a class at community college is acceptable. Know that while the grade earned at a community college does not count on your TAMU transcript, the grade earned will be calculated into your GPA when you apply. So any course you take at community college will count towards your GPA. Use this to your advantage and get A’s in any courses you take at community college to help raise your GPA.

Q: I made a 3/4/5 on my AP test. Should I accept the credit?
A: Accepting AP credit can be beneficial. Talk to your academic advisor before accepting any AP credit. You want to make sure the credit you are accepting counts towards your degree.  Note that once you accept AP credit, you cannot un-accept it so make sure you meet with your academic advisor and fully discuss this. Accepting AP credit will not detract from a pharmacy school application.

Q: I used freshman grade exclusion to exclude a grade on my TAMU transcript. Will the professional schools that I apply to be able to see it?
A: While freshman grade exclusion can help your TAMU GPA, the class is still recorded on your transcript, which means that the professional schools will be able to see it. While the class will not affect your TAMU GPA, professional schools consider all classes taken when looking at your grades, meaning they will calculate in the excluded grade. If this grade is in a science course, this could be particularly important.

Q: When should I take the PCAT?
A: You should take the PCAT during the application process of pharmacy school. Take the PCAT between January and September of the year you are applying. This is commonly the spring semester of your junior year through the fall of your senior year (if you are looking to matriculate to pharmacy school directly after graduation from TAMU).
Refer to the official PCAT website for more information.

Q: What do pharmacy school application committees consider other than my GPA when I apply?
A: For a competitive application, a high GPA and PCAT score are required. Other than that, schools will look at pharmacy experience, community service, and leadership. A competitive resume will include work history, leadership skills demonstrated through on and off campus involvement, community service and involvement, and academic achievements and awards. Your application should paint a picture of you as an individual, highlighting your professional, academic, and personal qualities.

Q: How do I get shadowing hours?
A: Look into volunteer programs at local hospitals and clinics. Many students get jobs working in pharmacies at supermarkets and drug stores. Most jobs or volunteer opportunities for pre-pharmacy students require that you become a licensed pharmacy technician.

For more details on becoming a registered Pharmacy Technician, visit this website

Q: What scholarship opportunities are available for pre-pharmacy students at Texas A&M?
Click here for the OPSA scholarship page.
Top of page 

Physical Therapy
Q: What should I major in?

A: Honestly, it doesn’t matter. You should major in whatever subject interests you. There is no general, pre-physical therapy major offered at Texas A&M.  Majors like Health, Nutrition, and  Kinesiology are the most common for applicants because many of the prerequisite courses are included in your degree plan. A non-science major does not put you at a disadvantage. You will have to work with your academic advisor to incorporate some of the prerequisite classes into your schedule, but a non-science major can make you look unique. No one major looks more competitive than another major.  Know that your GPA in the prerequisite and science courses is particularly important as that is what schools will use to compare between applicants of all majors. PT schools put a large emphasis on the last 60 hours of a student’s academic career. This means you want to pick a major that you like because schools pay particular attention to your upper level classes.

Q: Can I take a course at a community college?
A: It is not recommended to take a prerequisite course at community college. Any non-science course is okay (History, Political Science, English, etc). Use caution when taking any science course at community college. Know that while the grade earned at a community college does not count on your TAMU transcript, the grade earned will be calculated into your GPA when you apply. So any course you take at community college will count towards your GPA. Use this to your advantage and get A’s in any courses you take at community college to help raise your GPA.   You want to take as many of your sciences as you can at TAMU because TAMU has an excellent reputation for the rigor of academic courses. Taking a class at TAMU is more impressive than taking the same class at community college.  If you are particularly worried about your success in a class at TAMU, consider registering for the course during the summertime when classes are smaller and tutoring services are less crowded. It is highly recommended that you do not take any of your science classes online.

Q: I made a 3/4/5 on my AP test. Should I accept the credit?
A: Accepting AP credit can be beneficial. Talk to your academic advisor before accepting any AP credit. You want to make sure the credit you are accepting counts towards your degree.  Note that once you accept AP credit, you cannot un-accept it so make sure you meet with your academic advisor and fully discuss this. Accepting AP credit will not detract from a PT school application.

Q: I used freshman grade exclusion to exclude a grade on my TAMU transcript. Will the professional schools that I apply to be able to see it?
A: While freshman grade exclusion can help your TAMU GPA, the class is still recorded on your transcript, which means that the professional schools will be able to see it. While the class will not affect your TAMU GPA, professional schools consider all classes taken when looking at your grades, meaning they will calculate in the excluded grade. If this grade is in a science course, this could be particularly important. Note that freshman grade exclusion does not affect students who entered TAMU after Fall 2013.


Q: When should I take the GRE?
A: Students should take the GRE the summer that they apply to physical therapy school. For students looking to begin their professional program immediately after graduation from TAMU, this would be the summer between junior and senior year. You can test here on campus at the MARS Center in the General Services Complex, offered multiple times a week. Visit this website for more information on the GRE.

Q: What factors do physical therapy school application committees consider other than my GPA?
A: Besides GPA and GRE scores, the most important aspect of your application is PT experience. PT schools require a minimum of 50 PT shadowing hours, but for a competitive application you should aim to have approximately 250 hours. Community service is another important part of your application.  A long term history of volunteerism strengthens an application. A competitive resume will include work history, leadership skills demonstrated through on and off campus involvement, community service and involvement, and academic achievements and awards.  Your application should paint a picture of you as an individual, highlighting your professional, academic, and personal qualities.

Q: How do I get shadowing hours?
A: Volunteer programs at hospitals are a common way to get shadowing hours. This is a good way to work in shadowing hours over a semester. Hospitals commonly ask you to commit 4 hours per week for a whole semester. Privately owned physical therapy clinics are another source to look at for shadowing opportunities as are nursing homes and home healthcare agencies. Contact an establishment directly with your interest in shadowing and ask if they have a process set up for shadows or volunteers. Seek opportunities over the summer to shadow a PT from your hometown. It is often easier to get hours this way due to the large number of students pursuing limited spots in College Station.

Q: What scholarship opportunities are available for pre-PT students at Texas A&M?
Click here for the OPSA scholarship page.
Top of page 

Physician Assistant
Q: What should I major in?

A: Honestly, it doesn’t matter. You should major in whatever subject interests you.  There is no general, pre-PA major offered at Texas A&M.  Majors like Allied Health, Biomedical Science, Biology, and Nutrition are the most common for applicants because many of the prerequisite courses are included in your degree plan. A non-science major does not put you at a disadvantage. You will have to work with your academic advisor to incorporate some of the prerequisite classes into your schedule, but a non-science major can make you look unique. No one major looks more competitive than another major.  Know that your GPA in the prerequisite and science courses is particularly important as that is what schools will use to compare between applicants of all majors.

Q: Can I take a course at a community college?
A: It is not recommended to take a prerequisite course at community college. Any non-science course is okay (History, Political Science, English, etc). Use caution when taking any science course at community college. Know that while the grade earned at a community college does not count on your TAMU transcript, the grade earned will be calculated into your GPA when you apply. So any course you take at community college will count towards your GPA. Use this to your advantage and get A’s in any courses you take at community college to help raise your GPA.   You want to take as many of your sciences as you can at TAMU because TAMU has an excellent reputation for the rigor of academic courses. Taking a class at TAMU is more impressive than taking the same class at community college.  If you are particularly worried about your success in a class at TAMU, consider registering for the course during the summertime when classes are smaller and tutoring services are less crowded.

Q: When should I take the GRE?
A: Students should take the GRE the summer that they apply to PA school. For students looking to begin their professional program immediately after graduation from TAMU, this would be the summer between junior and senior year. Some students take the GRE in the spring semester of their junior year.
Visit this website for more information on the GRE.

Q: I made a 3/4/5 on my AP test. Should I accept the credit?
A: Accepting AP credit can be beneficial. Talk to your academic advisor before accepting any AP credit. You want to make sure the credit you are accepting counts towards your degree.  Note that once you accept AP credit, you cannot un-accept it so make sure you meet with your academic advisor and fully discuss this. Accepting AP credit will not detract from a PA school application.

Q: I used freshman grade exclusion to exclude a grade on my TAMU transcript. Will the professional schools that I apply to be able to see it?
A: While freshman grade exclusion can help your TAMU GPA, the class is still recorded on your transcript, which means that the professional schools will be able to see it. While the class will not affect your TAMU GPA, professional schools consider all classes taken when looking at your grades, meaning they will calculate in the excluded grade. If this grade is in a science course, this could be particularly important. Note that freshman grade exclusion does not affect students entering A&M after Fall 2013.

Q: What factors do physician assistant school application committees consider other than my GPA when I apply?
A: Besides GPA, PA experience is the next significant element of your application. PA schools want to see that you have spent time shadowing, volunteering, or working with a PA. You need at least 50 hours of shadowing experience, but competitive applicants often have more than 200 hours. PA schools want to see that you have had significant patient contact.  Leadership and community service are important factors as well. A competitive resume will include work history, leadership skills demonstrated through on and off campus involvement, community service and involvement, and academic achievements and awards.  Your application should paint a picture of you as an individual, highlighting your professional, academic, and personal qualities.

Q: How do I get shadowing hours?
A: Seek opportunities over the summer or winter breaks to shadow a PA from your hometown. It is often easier to get hours this way due to the large number of students pursuing limited spots in College Station. Volunteer programs at hospitals are a common way to get shadowing hours. This is a good way to work in shadowing hours over a semester. Hospitals commonly ask you to commit 4 hours per week for a whole semester. Privately owned medical practices or clinics are another source to look at for shadowing opportunities. Contact an establishment directly with your interest in shadowing and ask if they have a process set up for shadows or volunteers.

Q: What scholarship opportunities are available for pre-PA students at Texas A&M?
A: Click here for the OPSA scholarship page.
Top of page

Veterinary
Q: What should I major in?

A: Honestly, it doesn’t matter. You should major in whatever subject interests you.  There is no general, pre-vet major offered at Texas A&M.  Majors like Animal Science, Biomedical Science, and Wildlife and Fisheries are the most common for applicants because many of the prerequisite courses are included in your degree plan. A non-science major does not put you at a disadvantage. You will have to work with your academic advisor to incorporate some of the prerequisite classes into your schedule, but a non-science major can make you look unique. No one major looks more competitive than another major.  Know that your GPA in the prerequisite and science courses is particularly important as that is what schools will use to compare between applicants of all majors.

Q: Can I take a course at a community college?
A: Yes, taking a class at community college is acceptable. Know that while the grade earned at a community college does not count on your TAMU transcript, the grade earned will be calculated into your GPA when you apply. So any course you take at community college will count towards your GPA. Use this to your advantage and get A’s in any courses you take at community college to help raise your GPA.

You want to take as many science courses at A&M as possible. Veterinary school prerequisites include a large number of upper level science courses, so even if you take a few courses at community college to help ease your schedule, you should be able to accumulate a large number of science classes taken at TAMU.

Q: I made a 3/4/5 on my AP test. Should I accept the credit?
A: Accepting AP credit can be beneficial. Talk to your academic advisor before accepting any AP credit. You want to make sure the credit you are accepting counts towards your degree.  Note that once you accept AP credit, you cannot un-accept it so make sure you meet with your academic advisor and fully discuss this. Accepting AP credit will not detract from a veterinary school application.

Q: I used freshman grade exclusion to exclude a grade on my TAMU transcript. Will the professional schools that I apply to be able to see it?
A: While freshman grade exclusion can help your TAMU GPA, the class is still recorded on your transcript, which means that the professional schools will be able to see it. While the class will not affect your TAMU GPA, professional schools consider all classes taken when looking at your grades, meaning they will calculate in the excluded grade. If this grade is in a science course, this could be particularly important. Do not rely on freshman grade exclusion to save your GPA.

Q: When should I take the GRE?
A: You should take the GRE in the spring or summer of the year you are applying. For students looking to matriculate to vet school in the fall immediately following graduation, this would mean taking the GRE in the spring of your junior year or the summer before senior year. Visit this website for more information on the GRE.

Q: What do veterinary school application committees consider other than my GPA when I apply?
A: The biggest factor in a veterinary school application besides GPA and GRE score is animal experience. The vet school is looking for both animal care and veterinary experience. You must have experiences with both large and small animals in each of these categories. Animal care includes general time spent with animals like volunteering at a shelter. Veterinary experience must be supervised by a DVM. A competitive application will include work history, leadership skills demonstrated through on and off campus involvement, community service and involvement, and academic achievements and awards.  Your application should paint a picture of you as an individual, highlighting your professional, academic, and personal qualities.

Q: How do I get shadowing hours?
A: The best way to get shadowing hours is to do it in your hometown. The opportunities in College Station are limited because there are a large number of students in the BCS area. If you know any veterinarians, ask them if you can shadow them. Volunteer at an animal shelter or a zoo and find out who their veterinarian is. Try to schedule yourself during times that the vet will be there and build a relationship with the veterinarian so that you can continue to gain veterinary experience. It takes some networking and outreach on the student’s part to find opportunities to gain animal care and veterinary experience. Start early and try to get a wide variety of experiences.

Q: What scholarship opportunities are available for pre-vet students at Texas A&M?
A: Click here for the OPSA scholarship page.

Q: Does the Texas A&M Veterinary School have a preference for Texas A&M undergraduates?
A: No. The Texas A&M College of Veterinary medicine does not show preference to Texas A&M undergraduates. However, like all professional schools, TAMU Veterinary School is always looking for intelligent, compassionate, and capable applicants. An undergraduate education at Texas A&M is a great foundation for a competitive veterinary school application. TAMU’s strong academic reputation and emphasis on selfless service provide great opportunities for you to excel as an applicant. Although there is no preference during the application process, each year 50-60% of the vet school entering class are A&M students.
Top of page