Study abroad in the fall. Accumulate recommendations from professors, advisors and/or supervisors. Take the MCATs in spring and continue clinical, service, or research work.
Students will decide between attempting to enter Pre Health / Medical School immediately after graduation, or if they will be taking a gap year. Advising meetings are typically scheduled with either Fr. Foster or Dr. Kolberg. Those who intend to matriculate immediately after graduation will initiate the process during their second semester of junior year, and will apply during the summer before senior year. Those taking one or multiple gap years will complete this process a year later, as seniors.
Summer: Apply to schools if you intend to begin immediately after graduation and continue clinical, research, and volunteer work.
Students can study abroad for a semester. It is an opportunity for personal growth and gives students an understanding of a broader global community. If you wish to begin medical or dental school the fall immediately after graduation, the best semester to study abroad is the fall semester of your junior year. Waiting until junior year allows students to complete the four-semester sequence of chemistry without a gap in the sequence. Students should be on campus during the spring semester of their junior year in order to receive the training sessions for the medical/dental school application, ask for letters of recommendation from faculty, study for the MCAT, and have a transcript ready to send in May or June to potential professional schools. There is often significant delay in receiving the transcript from a study abroad program, which delays translating the transcript into Notre Dame courses and grades. Your application cannot be processed by the centralized application services until all complete transcripts are received.
Several study abroad programs provide the opportunity to take science courses. London and Puebla offer Physics I in the fall. Dublin and Western Australia offer upper level science courses. More programs are being added every year. Students in biology, SCPP, ALPP, and SCBU majors, interested in going to another program that does not offer approved science courses, may need to stay at Notre Dame for four weeks in the summer to take Physics I. A few medical schools will not allow requirements to be taken abroad, so please check potential schools to see if there are any restrictions.
If you decide to study abroad during the spring of your junior year, it would be advisable to delay your application for a year, allowing for a year of research, service, etc. between Notre Dame and health professions school. This allows you to fully enjoy the experience of study abroad, receive the full range of support from the advising office as you prepare to apply, and give full attention to your MCAT and application.