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Undergraduate Preparation

Preparing for the Future

Your College of Charleston Major

IMPORTANT: Students are urged to plan their schedules with a specific major and general degree requirements at the College of Charleston in mind, in addition to meeting the allied health prerequisites. Students interested in all programs should select a major and work toward a degree at the College. If you are admitted into a program before you graduate, you have not "lost" anything, but if you stay here another year, you will be further along toward a degree. You should be aware that having a Baccalaureate degree weighs favorably in applying to many programs, even if it is not required. Plan your college curriculum as though you have two equal goals---(1st) meeting the allied health requirements and (2nd) earning a degree in a College of Charleston major. There is no "magic major" to insure admission into a program although some clearly provide a better academic preparation and match; you should select an area of inherent interest to you. See the College of Charleston catalog for the General Education Requirements. If you will be at the College during your Junior year, you must declare a College of Charleston major.

Applying to an Allied Health Program

APPLICATION FORMS are available from the admissions office of the school to which you are applying. There may be several options: applying on-line, downloading the form from their web site, requesting that a paper application be sent either by telephoning, visiting in person, or an e-mail request. Each school will provide information on their process. You should apply during summer or early fall for the following academic year. The telephone for MUSC’s Office of Enrollment Services is 843.792.3281. The MUSC application requires you to assemble all of your materials and submit them as a packet; you should allow ample time to complete this important process and also submit it as early as possible. Deadlines may be shifted to an earlier date than in prior years or as listed in this publication. Some programs have "rolling admissions" where they accept the application at any time, but you are still urged to submit early.

You should BE SURE YOUR APPLICATION FILE IS COMPLETE by the deadline. Materials occasionally go astray. Allow plenty of time for transcripts, letters of reference, etc., to be sent or submitted to you. Use a full and correct address for all correspondence. Put your identification number on all items. Specify clearly for which program you are applying. Keep a copy of what you send. After sufficient time has passed that your file should be complete, check to be sure it is. If not, track down the missing items [i.e. check with your references for letters of reference, the registrar for transcripts, etc.] and follow up until your file is complete. If the items were sent, it is possible the receiving office has filed them incorrectly. If all your efforts fail or if you receive no notification of the action taken on your application, see your advisor. MUSC is now using "self-completing" applications, which require you to send much of the material with your application. Be sure to allow at least two weeks (preferably longer) for your references to be written (but don't hesitate to remind your referee you are waiting for it).

Some applications require an ESSAY as a very important part of your packet. Keep a journal of your volunteer and/or relevant work experience. Start preparing early by jotting down points you might like to make in your essay-as they occur to you. Referring to your journal will be much easier than staring at a blank piece of paper waiting for inspiration!!! Examples include: your unique qualities that make you well suited to your chosen profession, work or volunteer experiences, how you reached your decision, people or incidents which influenced your choice, why you want to enter this field (besides the fact that you "want to help people"), special interests or aptitudes, and other ideas which may be appropriate for your essay. Record daily your impressions, emotions, personal reactions, etc., and not just a list of what you did. Then when it is time to write, you can select your strongest points and organize them into an essay which will make the admissions committee take notice. If the essay is part of the interview process (as it is for some programs) instead of part of the application packet, this exercise may still be valuable in preparing for the interview.

STANDARDIZED TEST SCORES are weighted heavily in the determination of your acceptance into most programs at MUSC. MUSC uses the highest score from a single sitting in the ranking process, so that you may take it more than once (after sufficient time has lapsed) without penalty if necessary.

Master’s programs typically require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)-General Test. The GRE-General Test covers Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. MUSC still uses SAT scores only for the Bachelor’s degree programs (i.e. Perfusion Technology), but you should remain alert to the possibility that these may also switch to the GRE. The MUSC College of Health Professions does not require the AHAT (Allied Health Admissions Test), a GRE-Subject Test or MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test). For more information on the GRE, see the GRE website.

Packets for the GRE are available in the Office of Career Services or the Graduate Program office. The GRE General Test is offered in a computerized form. The computer-based tests can be scheduled year-round, subject to site availability, and must be taken in time for the scores to reach the admissions office by the application deadline. Make your appointment well in advance to take the computer-version test since the slots fill up rapidly, especially during the busiest months of November through January. Be sure to use test prep materials designed specifically for the computer test if you are taking the computer-based test. Test prep assistance is available from several sources, including the College Skills Lab, Educational Testing Service (which administers the GRE), test prep books and computer programs, as well as (sometimes very expensive) commercial prep courses. Remember that the best preparation of all is to develop your skills throughout your academic career, but preparation for the style of testing can be beneficial.

Other institutions may have different policies from MUSC; you should learn what they are well in advance so you have time to meet the requirements.