How do I choose a major?
Most Stonehill students intending to apply to professional health programs choose to major in either Biology or Biochemistry. However, it is not necessary or even preferable that you major in the sciences if you consider entering health care. Admission committees do not favor one major over another, as long as the applicant has performed well in his or her professional program prerequisites. In fact, committees look favorably upon applicants who seek to become well-rounded by taking a variety of courses outside of the sciences.
How do I stay motivated?
Fulfilling professional program prerequisite science courses is often challenging and even frustrating. However, keep in mind that your science coursework is not directly related to the practice of health care. If you are worn out by long hours of study, and even if you do not find your science courses stimulating, do not give up! If you are driven and truly committed to pursuing a career in health care, persevere and continue to pursue your goal.
Are extracurricular activities important in my application?
Extracurricular activities demonstrate to admission committees your interest in non-academic pursuits. However, they are also important to ease stress and help you to enjoy your time at Stonehill. It will be most beneficial to make a solid commitment to a few activities that spark your interest. Do not sacrifice your GPA for a long list of extracurriculars, and do not aim at a 4.0 GPA at the expense of your personal enjoyment.
Do I need a 4.0 GPA to apply to professional health schools?
The average successful pre-health student at Stonehill has an overall GPA of 3.6 and a science GPA of 3.5. It is unnecessary to have a near-perfect academic record because grades are only a part of what professional schools consider in your application. However, it is important to avoid receiving a D or an F because it will significantly lower your GPA. If you are nearly failing a course, you should consider withdrawing and retaking the course at a later time. In addition, you should not retake a course in which you have earned a poor, but passing grade because it is improbable that you with earn an A. A better strategy is to take an additional course in a similar area to demonstrate improvement in that field.
How many hours of clinical experience do I need?
There is no magic number. The quality of the experience is essentially more important than the quantity of hours you perform. Remember: you gain clinical experience not only so you can include those hours on your resume, but so that you are personally changed or altered in the process. Clinical experience is the most valuable way to validate your choice of career and increase your motivation to pursue that career. Use it as an experience to learn and as an important point to draw from when demonstrating to an admissions committee why you are devoted to your desired program. With that said, there is a reasonable range of hours to perform. Use your common sense. Twenty hours is considered insufficient, whereas five hundred is more than what is expected.