Postgraduate Study bioe 1010 Professional Development So you really love taking classes …

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Postgraduate Study

So you really love taking classes …

  • Majority of BioEs continue coursework with some form of graduate study
    • Necessary to get ahead in many jobs
  • Many options available – med school, grad school, business, law, etc.
  • Keep an open mind (and pay attention …)
    • Many students change their minds about what they want to do
    • Just ask the graduating seniors what they plan on doing after graduation today vs. 2 – 3 years ago

Why medical school?

  • Required to practice medicine as a licensed M.D. or D.O.
    • Both M.D.s and D.O.s can perform surgery and prescribe medication
    • D.O.s typically use chiropractic or holistic methods for diagnosis and treatment of disease
  • Perform basic or medical research in academic or industrial setting
  • Health care administration and public policy

Medical school prerequisites

  • Complete the following courses
    • One year of Biology
    • One year of Physics
    • One year of English
    • Two years of Chemistry through Organic Chemistry
  • Take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
  • Volunteering, extracurricular activities or work experiences (industry or research)


  • Standardized test (like ACT/SAT)
  • Day long (8 hr) test with the following sections
    • Verbal reasoning (comprehension, evaluation, etc)
    • Physical sciences (physics, chemistry & math)
    • Writing sample (grammar, logical thought, etc)
    • Biological sciences (molecular, cellular and human biology; organic chemistry)
  • 15 points / section + separate writing score
  • for more information

AMCAS application

  • Uniform application for medical school admission
  • Can apply to many schools with one application
  • Over 100 schools use AMCAS application
    • Includes all OH & MI medical schools
  • You should still check with individual schools for any additional application requirements
    • Ex: MCO may request secondary application with recommendation letters

AMCAS application

  • Biographical information
  • Essay (one page limit)
    • Why you have selected the field of medicine
    • What should medical schools know about you that is not mentioned elsewhere in the application
    • Special hardships, challenges or obstacles that may have influenced your educational pursuits
    • Explain significant fluctuations in your academic record not mentioned elsewhere in the application
  • Post-secondary experiences – jobs, volunteer positions, awards, extracurricular activities

AMCAS application

  • List schools attended
  • Request official transcripts - use AMCAS form
  • List all post-secondary courses you enrolled in regardless if credit was received
  • GPA calculation – includes transfer credits and repeated courses!
  • See for more details
    • Instructions for students applying for Fall 2003 admission are already available
  • See and for dental school admissions information

What to expect in medical school

  • First two years are spent in class 8 hours per day, 5 days per week
  • First year courses are basic sciences
    • Biochemistry and cell biology
    • Anatomy, histology and immunology
    • Neuroscience and physiology
    • Clinical skills, ethics, etc.
  • Second year courses are medical sciences
    • Pathology, pathophysiology, pharmacology
  • Take Part I of Board Exam after second year

What to expect in medical school

  • Last two years are spent in the clinic
  • Clinical rotations are full-time positions
    • Include nights and weekends on call
  • Required clinical rotations in third year
    • Medicine, surgery, pediatrics, psychiatry and obstetrics/gynecology
  • Elective clinical rotations in fourth year
  • Apply for residency and take Part II of Board Exam

Life after medical school

  • A minimum of three years spent in residency to receive further training in an area of specialization
  • Take board exam for your area of specialization
  • Can do fellowship after residency, usually for research or extreme area of specialization
  • Then earn the big bucks and play golf every Thursday (yeah, right …)

Financial considerations

  • Money should not be your primary goal in becoming a physician
    • Medical school is expensive
    • First real paycheck comes 7 years after graduating from college
    • Requires substantial commitment and desire to become a practicing physician
  • Money should not be obstacle to attending medical school
    • You can repay much of the debt when you are a resident

Why business school?

  • To learn management principles for supervising employees
  • To understand the business aspects (such as finance and marketing) of product development
  • Many engineers obtain M.B.A.s to pursue management positions in larger corporations

Business school prerequisites

  • Required coursework varies by school
    • Your engineering education should be sufficient for most schools
    • You may need an economics course
  • Take the GMAT exam
  • Industrial experience (co-op or full-time) is desirable


  • Half day long (~4 hr) test with the following sections
    • Analytical writing
    • Quantitative reasoning
    • Verbal reasoning
  • Complex scoring - total scores range from 200 – 800
  • See for more information

Business school courses

  • Typically a 1 ½ - 2 year program
  • Curriculum varies widely
    • Investigate coursework before you apply
  • Core courses
    • Accounting, finance, marketing and management
  • Elective courses to specialize in one of the core areas listed above

Why law school?

  • To practice criminal law
  • To practice civil law
  • To work on patents for new products
  • To work on legal and tax issues for corporations
  • Law school results in a J.D. degree

Law school prerequisites

  • A bachelor’s degree in just about any program
  • Take the LSAT exam
  • Standardized application – LSDAS
  • See for more information


  • Half day long (~4 hour) test with the following sections
    • Reading comprehension
    • Analytical reasoning
    • Writing sample
  • Score ranges from 120 – 180
  • See for more information

Law school courses

  • Typically a 3 year program
  • Core courses
  • Electives for specialization
    • Business, civil, criminal, labor, estates, patents, family, property and tax law
  • Must take state bar exam to obtain license to practice law

Why graduate school?

  • To specialize in a technical area
    • Allows you to do more technical work
    • May help you advance in your job
  • To do research in an academic or industrial setting
  • Grad school results in a masters degree or a Ph.D.

Graduate school prerequisites

  • Varies with each program
  • Many programs require the GRE exam
    • Two sections: Verbal and Quantitative
    • Also have engineering subject test
    • Scoring ranges from 200 – 800 for each section, 200 – 1000 for subject test
    • See for more information

Graduate school curriculum

  • Courses vary by program and school
  • Two types of masters programs: coursework intensive and research intensive
  • Research intensive masters program may require a thesis
  • A PhD program is research intensive and requires a thesis

How do I decide on a graduate program?

  • Talk to the experts
    • Students in various programs
    • Professionals in your area of interest
    • Advisors and counselors
  • Visit schools, hospitals, etc.
  • If the classes look interesting, the work probably will be too!

Timeline for graduate study

  • This is a general timeline to apply for graduate study
  • Take home message – start thinking about this at least a year before you graduate
    • Not much time and effort required
    • Can always apply now and decide not to enroll later
    • Easier than not applying now and deciding you want to go later
  • Assumes graduation in Spring of 5th year
    • April of 4th year – take the applicable standardized test(s)
    • Summer of 4th year – retake test(s) if needed
    • Fall of 5th year – obtain recommendation letters if needed
    • Fall of 5th year - send out applications to various programs
    • Fall of 5th year – apply for scholarships if applicable
    • Spring of 5th year – interview and select program to enroll in

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