Tufts Pre-Health

Anecdotes and advice about preparing for a career in health

Category: Uncategorized (page 3 of 4)

Taking Science Requirements Over the Summer

Tufts summer registration is currently open. If you’re a Tufts undergrad, here are some things to keep in mind if you’re considering taking summer classes here or elsewhere. Make sure to limit the number of premed requirements you take in the summer.


  • Allows you to make progress on requirements
  • May allow more focus since you are only taking one course


  • Limits time for important health-related experiences
  • Costs money
  • May not give you the mental break you need over the summer

If you take classes somewhere other than Tufts:

  • May not give you the rigorous prep you need for tests like MCAT
  • May not give you the foundation for future Tufts courses
  • You will need to transfer the credits

Transfer Credit Process

  • Log on to SIS, then Classes, then Request a Transfer Credit
  • University must be must be a four-year bachelor’s degree-granting institution, and the course may not be distance-learning
  • Earn a C- or better and then have an official transcript sent to the Tufts registrar
  • Transfer credit is ONLY the credit, NOT the grade. You will send the original school transcript to med, dent, vet and other schools when you apply, and the grade will be part of your total undergraduate application record.

Tisch Library entrance at Tufts

By HereToHelp (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Join the Tufts Research Magazine

If you’re interested in research, consider joining the undergraduate research magazine, “Tufts Breakthrough.” One of the publication’s leaders, Josh Lee, tell us what it’s all about:

Do you wonder how electrochemical properties of the neurons could lead to inventions of tools for enhancements in cognition, or how the underlying mechanisms of relapse in animal models could be used to treat patients in the future? Want to understand the implications of making a robot that could deny human command?

These are a few questions that I’ve addressed in my recent and upcoming blog posts for the Tufts undergraduate research magazine, Tufts Breakthrough.

Whether you are a freshman who wants to develop relationships with professors that you would like to work with or are a junior already working in a lab, Tufts Breakthrough is a great opportunity to contribute to the growing public knowledge of science and learn more about the research community at Tufts.

We are a group of researchers who can not only offer tips on how to get into labs, but also on how to write and edit scientific research for the public. We require no background in scientific writing and would be more than willing to help you better your writing and editing skills.

If you are interested in research or want to develop a deeper understanding of your own current research projects, help us write and edit research articles and create an open scientific dialogue on campus across all disciplines by highlighting Tufts STEM research at all levels, on-campus groups, events, and more!

We have made a recent transition from publishing magazines to publishing blog posts to make it more accessible to the public. Check out our blog or contact us for more information about getting involved at tuftsresearch@gmail.com.

Breakthrough logo

Making Your Major Decision

If you’re an engineering freshman or liberal arts sophomore, you have to declare your major by the end of this semester. With the wealth of options available, you might be wondering what the best major is for your future health career.

There is no “premed major” at Tufts; this is true of all selective colleges and universities. Medical and other health professions schools look for a well-balanced college program, and do not favor one major over another. Biology majors comprise at least half of the applicant pool but statistically they have a slightly lower rate of admission than many other majors, including many non-science majors. In fact, some Admissions officers may find someone who has majored in a non-science area and still done well in the premedical requirements to be more interesting.

"Major in what excites you" pull quoteMajor in what excites you; chances are you will do your best and enjoy your time at Tufts more by concentrating in an area you enjoy. If you do choose a science major, remain well-rounded by taking a variety of courses outside your major.

If you major in a non-science, be certain to demonstrate your science aptitude by performing well in your premedical courses. It is advisable to elect an additional biology course or two if you are a non-science major to allow for a smoother transition to your graduate studies.

Most commonly recommended courses include biochemistry (typically Bio 152), cell biology, molecular biology. Other options include physiology, genetics, microbiology or immunology. If you are inclined to double major, be aware it will greatly reduce your freedom to take electives, and not necessarily impress admissions officers.

Learn more about the major declaration process and download the form on the Student Life website.

Career Fair on Wednesday

Careers and Guidance sign

(Andrew Bowden)

The following organizations related to healthcare, science and research will be attending the Spring Career Fair this Wednesday, February 10:

  • AIR Worldwide
  • Americorps at Phoenix Charter Academy
  • Aramco
  • Corporate Accountability International
  • Epic
  • Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers
  • MIT Lincoln Laboratory
  • MITRE Corporation
  • Peace Corps
  • Ramboll Environ
  • Riverside Community Care
  • Rockefeller University
  • Tufts University
  • University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Walden Street School

More than 180 organizations are coming to recruit students for both internships and jobs. You can view the entire list. (Or you can download the free app for Apple or Android.) The career fair is just two days away from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Gantcher Center.

To get ready for the fair, the Career Center is offering one more Resume Critique Day session today (February 8) from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Dowling Hall Milmore Room. No appointment is needed; just bring a one-page paper copy of your resume.

Finding Summer Opportunities: Gregory Zhang

In our last post, Jasper Du talked about conducting summer research for Ira Tabas. This week, Gregory Zhang discusses designing his own research through the Summer Scholars Program. If you’re interested in Summer Scholars, the application is currently open and due March 4.

After I had worked abroad as a research intern in Nepal after freshman year, and served as a research assistant in a Boston area hospital the summer after sophomore year, I wanted to push one step further for my final summer at Tufts and actually conduct my own independent research.

I had been working as a research assistant for a professor on campus during that year, and I had talked to her about how I at some point wanted to do my own independent research project. When the Summer Scholars Program application came out, my professor reached out to me and asked if I would like to design and create a project under her supervision for the program. We worked on the application jointly, and I had a chance to really think and dig deep into the literature about what I wanted to study, working all the while with an advisor who was not only passionate about her subject area, but also passionate about pushing me to be my best as I pursued my own subject area.

My application was accepted and I was officially a Summer Scholar, meaning that not only could I do my own research on campus that summer; I also had a $3500 living stipend and a $1000 research budget. The research budget in particular was tremendously helpful in giving me the tools and resources necessary to complete my research, and I am still using it to help complete my senior thesis research.

The program gave me an incredible range of opportunities both in terms of conducting my own research and in terms of sharing and learning what others were doing on campus. The Summer Scholars program was an incredible opportunity that helped me to push my limits and dig deep into an area I was interested in, all while providing me the institutional and financial support to do so. I would highly recommend anyone who is interested in pursuing research to look into the Summer Scholars Program.

West Hall, Tufts

Editor’s Note: February 22, 2016

This post originally misstated the application deadline for the Summer Scholars program as March 1. The deadline has been corrected to March 4.

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