Getting into med school

Students learn about medical pipeline

HARLINGEN — How do I get into medical school?

That’s the question on the minds of many sophomores, and that’s why the Harlingen school district is holding information sessions.

One of those events, the High School 2 Medical School Information Session, took place Wednesday night at the Harlingen School of Health Professions.

“We had quite a few families,” said Tina Garza, principal at HSHP. She and other district administrators, along with representatives from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, spoke to interested students and their families.

It was all about the new medical pipeline from high school to medical school at UTRGV. The district and the university signed a letter of intent in December creating the new pipeline.

“We talked about the design of the program and the intent, which is about student preparation as they go from high school into UTRGV,” Garza said.

More specifically, they talked to students and parents about work ethics. They discussed self assessment because educators want students to be “reflective practitioners,” Garza said.

“We talked about rigorous preparation in their coursework in alignment with preparing for the Mcat, which will be part of their transition into medical school,” she said.

Mcat stands for Medical College Admission Test.

Other topics included the importance of strong written and verbal communication skills.

“Some of the questions that were asked were, did they need to be students at Harlingen School of Health Professions?” Garza said. “The answer was no, they do not.”

Students also asked if they had to take college credit while still in high school to participate in the medical pipeline, and the answer to that question was also no.

The next session is scheduled for the middle of this month.



Education Requirements

Each required course must be completed with a grad of “C” or better. Courses taken with a grading basis of Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit do not count towards meeting the requirement. Advanced placement credit is accepted only if the school granting the credit lists the specific course number(s) and number of semester/credit hours granted per course on an official transcript.

• Applicants must have completed a minimum of 90 semester credit hours (or 135 quarter hours)

• Each prerequisite course must be completed with a grade of “C” or better

• Online courses will not be accepted unless prior special permission is granted

• All prerequisite courses must be taken at an accredited US college or university.

• Minimum overall GPA of 3.0 or higher is required*

• Minimum Science GPA of 3.2 or higher is required*

UTRGV School of Medicine evaluates applications via “Holistic Review”. If an applicant does not meet the minimum requirements, he/she will be reviewed by an admission special evaluation sub-committee. The sub-committee will determine if the application merits consideration.

For more information, check the Harlingen school district website at Those interested can also contact Tina Garza at

Shadowing Experience

UTRGV considers a student’s shadowing experience very valuable. Experience should be on a continuous basis. For more information about shadowing experience, please visit TMDSAS.

Recommendation Letters

Health professions advisers and/or faculty play an important role in helping the admissions committee assess intellectual ability, personal attributes and promise for medicine as a career. Therefore, prospective applicants are urged to get to know their advisers and teaching faculty early in their undergraduate education experience to ensure support of their application

• A minimum of three evaluations or a Health Professions Advisory packet are required. Letters of reference from professors are preferred, however, letters from employment supervisors, physicians, other medical personnel or research mentors are acceptable as well. TMDSAS will authenticate all letters and Health Professions Advisory packets.

Prerequisite Courses


• The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is a requirement for admission

• MCAT scores above the 50th percentile (500), with each section having a score of 122 or higher, will be holistically reviewed and assigned for processing.

• MCAT scores below the 50th percentile will be forwarded to a special admissions sub-committee for evaluation. MCAT scores below 495 will not be considered for admission.

• MCAT scores older than 2013 will not be considered