Sophomore year is busy. Your are now well underway with your science classes but not ready to take the MCATs. This year you will be selecting a major if you have not already done so, deciding if you are going to study abroad, finding meaningful research opportunities and building your leadership portfolio.
Meet with general Academic Advisor in September. Meet with your Major Advisor if you have declared a major.
Meet with Premed/Prehealth Advisor to Check in. Get feedback on how your are progressing with your coursework, activities and how competitive do you look at this point? Do they see any weakness or areas that need attention? If you don't have a premed advisor, ask Newport for assistance.
If you have not declared your major yet, seriously consider this decision ASAP. Seek advising, create preliminary course planning sheets to map out courses. This should be a priority during the early part of the fall semester.
After attending class for a few weeks, select 2-3 faculty that you will get to know WELL this semester. (This is important because you will most certainly need at least ONE science recommendation from SOPH year for your medical school application.)
If you are considering studying abroad, please visit your study abroad office and review your plans with your advisor. Study abroad can be life changing so PLEASE consider this option seriously. It does not mean that you have to delay applying either. Refer to the page entitled Study Abroad as a Premed for more details as well as the Overseas Opportunities page.
Build Medical School Resume
Investigate Career Center activities, fairs and resources. Be on the look out for summer opportunities. Many require recommendations so plan ahead. Start your research in OCTOBER. Some applications open up in Nov/Dec and deadlines can be as early as first week in January but for the most part deadlines fall in February. Check out Newport's Summer and Research page for an extensive list of opportunities.
Attend Student Activities Fair. Sign up for new clubs or represent your club. Seek out leadership positions in clubs and activities that you feel passionate about. Don't always be a participant; rise to be a leader.
Broaden and deepen your clinical exposure. Up your volunteer hours. Keep up your regular volunteer work. Stay busy, stay balanced but not overwhelmed.
If you have not done so already, seek out a research opportunity. Find these through your major advisor, prehealth advisor, network with your faculty, look on bulletin boards, targeted internet searches and the career center. Think broadly about research opportunities. Many universities have classes on what is research or how to do research so seek out these courses.
Research can be scientific or not. It can be medically related or not. It can be wet or dry lab work, clinical research with patients even anthropology research related to your interests or major. The idea is that you are actively engaged in gathering data, collaborating with others on a new idea or way of thinking. The process of doing research enhances your critical thinking skills and contributes to collaborative learning. Although research is not a requirement for medical school, it is very helpful and brings many intellectual benefits to your academic perspective and your application.
Identify summer plans. Deadlines for competitive summer programs such as SHPEP are quite early so don't delay.
- Continue to document your summer activities including your reflections about the experience. Write about experiences that inspired you, changed your perspective and shaped your thinking.
- Check out Newport's Summer and Research page for an extensive list of opportunities. Refer to Freshmen Year page for summer suggestions at the bottom.
- Make sure you make room for clinical work this summer. This is a MUST!
- Take summer coursework if necessary to catch up or accelerate. If you are studying abroad next year, perhaps summer coursework is a good idea.