Thomas Jefferson University

Frequently Asked Questions

What medicine & health pathways are available at Jefferson?

Jefferson offers a variety of medical and health programs, like athletic training, community and trauma counseling, disaster medicine and management, midwifery, occupational therapy and physician assistant studies. Jefferson also offers affiliation and articulation agreements with numerous other medicine and health programs to offer pathways to options like becoming a family counselor, chiropractor, medical or osteopathic doctor, dentist, nurse, pharmacist, physical therapist, public health professional or veterinarian.

Do I need to go to medical school to have a medicine or health career?

No—there are numerous career options in medicine and health that do not require medical school, like occupational therapy, nursing, counseling, public health and more!

Please email our Admissions office to get in touch with our advisors and learn more about different routes to medical or health career.

What is the difference between pre-professional and professional programs?

Pre-professional programs are the foundational parts of a medical or health education. It is essential to meet the GPA and experience qualifications at the pre-professional level to progress to the professional phases of programs.

Professional programs provide the education and experience for professional licensure and practice.

Explain what the application process is like for health and medical professional academic programs.

Medical School: Students should begin the medical school application process their senior year. Most U.S. Medical Schools subscribe to the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS), a centralized medical school application processing service. Applicants can send one set of references and transcripts to AMCAS indicating which schools they would like them sent to. Additionally, AMCAS can send MCAT scores to designated schools. Visit to learn more.

Graduate Health Programs: Health and medical programs that do not require medical school have a variety of different requirements for admission and eventual licensure—research specific programs of interest, or get in touch with one of our advisors to learn more.

What are medical schools looking for in a successful applicant?

Academic Excellence: Successful applicants should aim for a science grade point average (G.P.A.) of 3.5 and above depending on the school.

MCAT Score*: Students need to perform well on the Medical Colleges Admissions Test or MCAT, which predicts how well students will perform in medical school.

Well-rounded Development: A successful applicant should have qualities, other than academics, that include extracurricular activities (a sport or hobby) and organizational leadership experience in health care or service programs.

How many students does each medical school accept?

The competition for each seat is intense. Most schools receive 2,000-8,000 applications for 100 and 250 openings. When applying, check the ratio between acceptances and applicants and always include a “safe” school (i.e., one with a higher number of successful applicants).

What is the difference between allopathic (MD) and osteopathic medicine (DO)?

Both types of doctors can specialize in the same areas of medicine in a hospital or general practice setting. Allopathic and osteopathic medical schools have a four-year, basic medical sciences curriculum consisting of two years of basic science followed by two years of clinical training.

The main difference lies in philosophy and use of manipulation. Osteopaths believe that the body has intrinsic healing mechanisms in which patient health involves the whole person. In addition, osteopathic physicians may use manipulation of bone or soft tissues to promote health.