Deciding to pursue medical school is only part of the battle. The rest of your preparation lies in choosing potential medical schools. With over 150 medical schools in the U.S. alone, it can be pretty overwhelming to develop your list of dream schools. There are so many factors to consider, and you want to make sure you choose the best schools for you.
If you’re considering attending medical school in Louisiana, we can help! Louisiana offers deliciously unique food, a vibrant culture, and three options for medical school. Whether you’re interested in studying medicine in a small, quiet town like Shreveport, or a bustling city like New Orleans, you have a few schools to consider.
From location to tuition and programs offered, there are many things to consider before applying to medical school. We created this guide to show you the benefits of each medical school in Louisiana so you can make an informed decision on the school that best suits your needs.
Louisiana offers varying environments when it comes to its three medical schools; 2 in New Orleans and 1 in Shreveport. If you’re interested in a quiet environment conducive to studying, you could look into attending medical school at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at the Shreveport campus. If you’re interested in studying in New Orleans, you could attend either Tulane University School of Medicine or the New Orleans campus for Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.
Before you begin applying to medical schools, you should decide what you expect to gain from your med school journey. Your needs may differ from the needs of other aspiring med students, so try not to compare yourself to others and focus on what’s best for you.
If you decide to attend med school in Shreveport, you’ll benefit from dealing with less traffic if you choose to live off-campus. Rural areas provide a quiet study environment as well, so you can stay focused on your schoolwork.
Though cities lack the quiet small town environment of rural areas, you have more exposure to the culture of Louisiana if you attend medical school in New Orleans. You also have more off-campus living opportunities. But attending school in a bustling city comes with traffic, and if you’re running late, traffic can cause you to miss a class completely. These are just a few considerations you need to make before you ultimately decide on a school, so be sure to weigh the pros and cons of all your options.
Below you’ll find the three med school options Louisiana has to offer. We’ve compiled a list of all the benefits of each school, plus the prerequisites and other admission requirements so you can make the best decision for your education.
Whether it’s rural or city life you’re after, Louisiana has a few medical school options for you to consider.
From Neurology to Pediatrics, the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center - New Orleans offers an array of specialties for the aspiring med student. This university also provides different clubs, like the Emergency Medicine Interest Group, to help you decide what track within the medical field you would like to pursue.
“Louisiana State University School of Medicine - New Orleans educates medical students, residents, and other learners in an environment that nurtures intellectual curiosity, and that reflects the diversity of its community. The School of Medicine, striving for excellence in medical education, clinically relevant research, and healthcare delivery, partners with other LSUHSC schools, local health care systems, and community organizations, to provide a strong and supportive environment for learners and their faculty”.
Louisiana State University also requires you to take the MCAT and score at least a 510. Make sure you take this exam early, preferably a few months before you apply, so that the school can receive your scores before their set deadlines. You must provide three letters of recommendation as well and they have to be from either math or science professors.
The university offers various residency programs, ranging from Neurosurgery to Radiology, as well as fellowship programs students can pursue.
Louisiana State University offers plenty of scholarship opportunities to help students with the cost of tuition. Many scholarships are merit-based and are determined by the university staff. These scholarships are offered either to students with financial issues or students who perform well academically. To determine your eligibility for these scholarships, contact the Office of Student Affairs.
With plenty of teaching hospitals, the Louisiana State University Health Sciences - Shreveport devotes its resources to providing an outstanding medical education. The university offers plenty of research opportunities to help students decide on a specialty.
“The primary mission of Louisiana State University Health Shreveport is to teach, heal, and discover, in order to advance the well-being of the State, region, and beyond. LSUHSC encompasses the Schools of Medicine, Graduate Studies and Allied Health Professions in Shreveport.”
This university also requires you to take the MCAT, but you can score a 505 and gain acceptance, and they typically accept students with a GPA of 3.6. Students must also provide three letters of recommendation from professors, preferably professors in the sciences.
This university also provides financial aid and scholarship opportunities. The LSU Board of Supervisors Scholarship provides one year of paid tuition for the student of their choice. There are scholarships for military students, as well as veterans benefits.
Standing as the second-oldest medical school in the South, the Tulane University School of Medicine provides an exceptional medical education. Tulane University also offers many residency and fellowship programs. From Obstetrics to Radiology, students have plenty of options when it comes to choosing a specialty.
“We improve human health and foster healthy communities through discovery and translation of the best science into clinical practice and education; to deliver the highest quality patient care and prepare the next generation of distinguished clinical and scientific leaders.”
Tulane University requires you to take the MCAT and score at least a 508. You’re encouraged to take the CASPer test as well. Tulane requires three letters of recommendation from people you know, with one being someone from a science field.
It costs around $23,000 for 30 credit hours. Each student pays additional fees per semester. Unfortunately, Tulane does not offer scholarships for their medical program, but students can request loans to help with the cost of tuition.
To gain acceptance into the school of your dreams, you need a plan. This is medical school after all. You don’t want to throw caution to the wind and carelessly submit your application. You want to give yourself the best chance of acceptance, so you need to prepare before you submit. Follow the plan below to succeed in applying to medical school.
Whether you are studying for the MCAT, the CASPer, or your prerequisite classes, make sure you study hard. The medical schools you apply to look at your transcripts to determine if you’re a worthy applicant. Make sure you do well in all of your courses and continue to study your math and sciences as the medical field relies heavily on those areas. Study hard for the MCAT as well, and the CASPer if the school you apply to asks for it. Each medical school has a base score that they’ll accept, so you want to make sure you score high enough for these schools.
Don’t wait until the last minute to take your exams and prepare your applications. Remember that you are competing with thousands of aspiring medical students. Give yourself ample time to take the MCAT so your score is available when you apply. Spend a healthy amount of time on your applications as well. Medical schools choose students who show initiative, students who show that they care. The best way to ensure that is to start working on your applications as soon as you can.
Gain medical experience that can bolster your application by shadowing a doctor. You will get a glimpse into the life of a physician to see if you can survive working in this stressful field. If you are unsuccessful in finding a doctor to shadow, try volunteering at your local hospital. You’ll still learn the lay of the land and gain some experience along the way. Volunteer to ensure that you truly want to pursue the medical field and to boost your application.
Good grades carry a lot of weight in determining your eligibility for medical school but make sure you include some extracurriculars as well. Medical schools look for students who maintain high grades as well as conduct an active social life. The incorporation of these two factors shows a student who can balance work and life efficiently.
Most students have their dream medical school in mind, but you should apply to more than one medical school. You can’t guarantee your acceptance, so applying to only one school severely impacts your chances. The more schools you apply to, the more chances you have to gain acceptance. The U.S. offers plenty of medical school options, and you should conduct research to see if you can find more schools that interest you so you can widen your selection.
Each medical school sets different standards, so you want to make sure you research each school you apply to, but most medical schools set their average GPA requirements to 3.5. Some medical schools require a GPA around 3.7, but the average is around 3.5.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to have an undergraduate degree to apply to medical school. Most med schools require a minimum of 90 hours of college credit, and students must also complete the prerequisites of the medical school they wish to attend, and you can do so without earning a bachelor’s degree. Obtaining an undergraduate degree better prepares students for the rigorous structure that is medical school, but it’s not necessary.
The MCAT remains difficult no matter when you take the exam. Take the exam when you know you are ready. Each student approaches the exam differently. Some require a few weeks of studying, while others devote months to studying before taking the exam. Proceed at your own pace. Take the exam when you feel you’re ready for it. As long as you allow plenty of time for the scores to be made available, you should be fine.
Absolutely not. As long as you take the prerequisite classes, you can apply to medical school with an art degree. The admissions team looks at your overall GPA and your test scores. Don’t choose a major you struggle in just because you think it’ll make you look good.
As long as you meet all of the requirements expected of that particular medical school, you can apply with any undergraduate degree. These universities want to provide equal opportunities for everyone, and they are not going to turn you away due to your undergraduate degree.
The MCAT stands as one of the most important exams in a medical student’s career, so it’s not an obstacle you want to approach lightly. Students can find practice MCAT exams online and websites like CrashCourse that provide in-depth explanations of medical topics to help you prepare.
We’ve also prepared a step-by-step guide you can use to study for the MCAT to ensure you receive your desired score.
If you do not receive an acceptance from the medical school of your dreams, you can certainly try again as long as that particular school allows more than one application. Some medical schools allow up to two applications from the same student, while others allow only one application.
If you receive a rejection from that school, check to see if they accept a second submission. If you choose to apply to the same school for a second time, make sure you’ve made improvements with your grades, your MCAT scores, as well as the application itself. Universities aren’t forthcoming with their reasons for rejection. If you receive a second rejection from the same school, you should pursue a different medical school.
The thought of medical school leaves many students with a feeling of dread, and the application process seems frightening as well. Acceptance into medical school stands as an obstacle between you and your dream career, but don’t let fear hold you back from achieving your dreams.
Though Louisiana only offers three medical schools, each school provides an exceptional medical education that breeds capable doctors and immerses students into a unique culture. Students can find a wide variety of clubs, residency programs, and fellowship programs to meet their needs. Whether you want to attend medical school in a quiet, rural setting or a bustling city, Louisiana provides you with a few different options. Just be sure you meet the requirements of these schools before you apply. Good luck!