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Medical College Admission Test

Medical schools require candidates to take the MCAT exam. It is the greatest single determining factor in whether a student gains admission to medical school. The exam is given multiple times each year, but is best taken in the spring of your junior year. Plan your schedule so that you have taken the required classes by that time. 

For more information, contact:
MCAT Program
P.O. Box 4056
Iowa City, IA 52243-4056
Phone: (319) 337-1357

Dental Admission Test

All dental schools require candidates to take the DAT. This computerized test may be taken on virtually any day of the year and is offered at Kaplan Learning Centers.

The test is designed to measure general academic ability in biology, general and organic chemistry, comprehension of scientific information and perceptual ability. It is best taken in the spring of your junior year and no later than the summer between your junior and senior years.

For more information, contact:
American Dental Association
Division of Educational Measurements
211 East Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611-2678
Phone: 1-800-621-8099

Visit these links for more information about the DAT:

Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service

The TMDSAS processes the common application for those applying to any Texas medical and/or dental school, except for Baylor College of Medicine.

The application process may now be completed online at the TMDSAS website. You may also contact the application service at (512) 499-4785.

Optometry Application Process

The requirements for admission into a college of optometry are:

  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree
  • Satisfactory completion of the Optometry Admission Test (OAT)
  • Completion of all prerequisite courses prior to enrollment

The OAT is administered in October and February at testing centers throughout the U.S. Applications for the exam should be mailed at least one month before you plan to take it. You must take the test no later than the fall of the year preceding your desired admission date to optometry school.

For more information and an application, contact:
Optometry Admission Testing Program
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 440-2693 

Optometry at the University of Houston
The University of Houston is the only school of optometry in the state of Texas. Founded in 1952, it is located in one of the world’s finest optometric teaching complexes and features an expert faculty of clinicians and scientists.

In addition to in-house training and work through the University Eye Institute, students gain clinical experience through worldwide internships. During the four-year program, students are trained through a combination of lectures, clinical experience, clinical rotations and residencies.

For more information, contact:
University of Houston College of Optometry
Office of Student Affairs and Admissions
505 J Davis Armistead Bldg.
Houston, TX 77204-2020
Phone: (713) 743-2047

For information about optometry schools outside of Texas, go to:
U.S. Schools and Colleges of Optometry

Physician Assistant

Physician assistants, frequently called PAs, have a broad scope of duties and responsibilities that are largely governed by the medical setting where they work.  PAs are regulated by the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners and work under the supervision of physicians. Texas requires that supervising physicians register with the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners and that PAs be licensed.

Six civilian physician assistant educational programs exist in Texas. On average, the physician assistant programs take about two years to complete.

At these five institutions, a master’s degree is awarded to the student after the successful completion of all course work:

  • Baylor College of Medicine, University of Texas and UT-Southwestern in Dallas each require a baccalaureate degree to be eligible to apply to their programs.
  • Texas Tech University and the University of North Texas require varying undergraduate hours prior to entering.

The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio requires a minimum of 65 hours before matriculation into the professional curriculum and is currently the only program in Texas from which a candidate will graduate with a bachelor’s degree.

Upon graduation from any of the aforementioned schools, a physician assistant is eligible to take the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants examination.

The American Academy of Physician Assistants has developed a unified application for programs around the country as well as a complete list of programs in the U.S.

The Central Application Service for Physician Assistants is necessary for entry into these programs.

Chiropractic Medicine

To become a licensed chiropractor in Texas, an applicant must graduate from a college that is accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE). The educational requirements call for a minimum of two years of college-level study at an accredited institution of higher learning and graduation from a four-year college of chiropractic that meets the standards of professional education.

Before graduating, a chiropractic student must also complete a program in clinical experience. Upon acceptable completion of the chiropractic college program, the degree of D.C. (doctor of chiropractic) is awarded.

Doctors of chiropractic must become licensed in the state where they plan to practice. In Texas, chiropractors are licensed by the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners (TBCE).

To receive a license, a chiropractor must pass a three-part exam administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners and a state exam administered by the TBCE. In addition, there are continuing education requirements to maintain licensure.

Texas has two chiropractic programs, Parker College of Chiropractic Medicine in Dallas and Texas Chiropractic College in Pasadena (near Houston). Prerequisites are similar to other pre-health professions listed above. If you choose to do just the prerequisites, you may obtain a bachelor’s degree from either of these colleges.  Please consult their websites for applications procedures:


For entry into a podiatry program, a number of factors are considered, including the applicant’s grade point average, letters of recommendation, extracurricular and community activities, a personal interview and performance on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

Traditionally, the MCAT has been the only test required for admission, but recently, the California College of Podiatric Medicine, Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine and Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine have begun to accept GRE scores.
While 90 percent of the students accepted into any of these colleges hold bachelor’s degrees, completion of only three years of undergraduate work is required.

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