CBU M1 (first year medical) students at White Coat ceremony at UTHSC
At CBU, we strive to give each and every student the best opportunity for success. Sometimes that means helping students get into professional or graduate school to further pursue their ambitions. Sometimes that means helping students determine a “Plan B” if their initial plan was not really suited to their talents and/or initial expectations. Other times, it means helping a student determine what are the possibilities out there that match up with their interests and talents.
In the last five years (classes of 2011 to 2015):
- We had 26 of our graduates accepted into medical school (93%*acceptance rate)
- We had 28 of our graduates accepted into pharmacy school (93% acceptance rate)
- We had 12 of our graduates accepted into physicians assistant programs (80% acceptance rate)
- We had 13 of our students accepted into nursing school (93% acceptance rate)
- We had 25 of our graduates accepted into various other health professional schools such as dentistry, veterinary, optometry, physical therapy, and chiropractic.
- We had 22 of our graduates accepted into graduate (M.S. or Ph.D.) programs in the sciences.
* In reviewing these percentages, please note that we do not pre-screen our applicants to the various professional or graduate schools as some institutions do. Some of our students were initially rejected but were accepted in a following year. If a student was accepted in one area and rejected in another, we only count the acceptance and not the rejection since we concentrate on student success.
For comparison purposes with medical school acceptances at UT, East Tennessee, U of Arkansas and nationwide (data for 2014, source is data from aamc):
• UT-Memphis accepted 165 out of 1,714 applications (9.6% acceptance rate).
• East Tennessee Quillen accepted 72 out of 1,929 applications (3.5% acceptance rate)
• University of Arkansas accepted 168 out of 2,329 applications (7.2% acceptance rate).
• Nationwide, 20,343 are accepted out of 731,595 applicants with each person giving 15 applications on average for an overall acceptance rate per person of 42%.
For pharmacy schools, the average acceptance rate for 2014 was about 18% for each school (5.5 applications per acceptance), but since students often apply to more than one school, we obtained information a couple years ago that 50.2% of all PharmCAS applicants received at least one acceptance. (data for 2014 is from AACP)
J.D. Wolfe at his white coat ceremony at UAMS.
CBU’s Steps for Success
To get into competitive professional (e.g., medical, pharmacy, dental) schools, there are five things that are important:
1. Grades At CBU. Most of our science courses have labs associated with them, and the instructor for the lecture is usually the instructor for the lab. Our professors have at least 10 office hours each week to help students both with their coursework and with advising for their career plans.
2. Entrance tests (e.g., MCAT, PCAT, DAT). The excellent courses supported by well equipped labs prepare our students for these tests. In addition, the CBU Career Center offers practice tests to try to help prepare our students.
Aisha Rallings at her blue coat ceremony at Chiropractic school.
3. Experience in the field. At CBU we provide our students with many opportunities to gain experience in their chosen field. Our student groups, particularly the Biology group, Beta Beta Beta, and the Chemistry group, Student Members of the American Chemical Society, provide opportunities to see and interact with institutions and people in the local health community. In the freshmen Principles of Biology courses, we have a discussion section that spends some time talking about what it takes to get into various fields. In the junior year we have a Junior Seminar course that brings researchers onto campus to talk about their research. All of our majors have a senior capstone research or internship course. This experience is viewed very positively by the various health professional schools.
Dr. Indre Augustinaite with her doctorate in nursing.
4. Recommendations from your professors and the supervisors of your work in the field. At CBU, you are encouraged to really get to know your professors. If you take advantage of this, the professors will be able to write very specific letters of recommendation for you.
5. Interviews. As part of the admissions process for professional schools, students are required to attend an interview. At CBU, we help students prepare for this opportunity by holding mock interviews staffed by our alumni and other health professionals.
To help and guide you in your preparation for pursuing any of the health careers, we have a Pre-Professional Heath Director, Dr. Stan Eisen. He has a very extensive set of web pages on the various health careers and what it takes to get into these professional schools.