- General Questions
- Louisiana Residency
- Coursework and GPA
- AMCAS Application
- Secondary Application
- Early Decision Program
- Letters of Recommendation
- Residency Programs
- How can I prepare myself to become a competitive applicant?
- Does LSU Health Shreveport give preference to students who completed degrees in the LSU system?
- How selective is LSU Health Shreveport
- What are the minimum academic standards?
This really begins during your freshman year of college, and sometimes earlier. It is important to work closely with your undergraduate and pre-med advisors. They can help you understand academic requirements and provide suggestions for structuring your academic program. Taking the proper courses in the proper sequence should prepare you to take the MCAT at the earliest possible time. Optimally, students will prepare to take the MCAT during the spring of their junior year in college.
- Do Louisiana residents get preferential treatment?
- What is the definition of a Louisiana resident?
- Can I claim residency in Louisiana and a second state?
- Do you accept international/DACA applicants?
The Admissions Committee reviews and evaluates completed applications from both residents and non-residents of the State of Louisiana. Qualified non-Louisiana residents may be invited to interview. However, as a state-supported institution, LSU Health Shreveport has a responsibility to insure that a substantial majority of each matriculating class is comprised of Louisiana residents.
LSU Health Shreveport will only consider applicants who are U.S. Citizens, Permanent Resident Aliens or Asylees as designated by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Permanent Resident Aliens or Asylees must possess a final INS documentation (green card) before the application will be considered.
- What is the average GPA at your school?
- Which bachelor’s degree or major is required?
- Can I take my required undergraduate courses at any college or university?
- Can I take all of my pre-med courses at a junior college near my home?
- I went to an exclusive school. Does that increase my chances of being accepted?
- I have been out of school for some time and I took some of my pre-med courses, such as chemistry, 10 years ago. Will you accept those credits?
- My freshman GPA was low because I had the roommate from Hell. After that, my GPA steadily improved. Does the Committee look at trends in GPAs?
- I am a Louisiana resident and my undergraduate GPA is a 3.2. How high do I have to score on the MCAT to offset my low GPA and become a competitive applicant?
- I did all of my undergraduate work in a foreign country. Will you accept those credits?
- What about online courses? And CLEP? AP?
- Do I have to have completed all the requirements before I apply?
- What do you mean by "Humanities?"
LSU Health Shreveport does not require any specific bachelor’s degree major. We suggest that you major in an area that is of interest to you. If it is not a science-related major, we strongly suggest that you use your non-major electives to take as many science-related courses as possible. This will help to show the Admissions Committee that you do have an aptitude for the sciences, and will help to prepare you for the MCAT and future academic success in medical school. Regardless of your major, you must complete all required coursework prior to matriculation.
The required hours must be taken in, or through, a college or university located in North America and accredited by a Regional Accrediting Organization. Credits earned at foreign institutions (except study-abroad courses taken while attending a qualified institution) satisfy none of our requirements. It is expected that the required science courses be taken at the senior college level. Applicants whose academic work (especially science coursework) was done predominantly at the junior college level may be at a competitive disadvantage.
Most admissions committees feel that there are differences between junior college and senior college courses. LSU Health Shreveport will accept junior college courses but much prefers that the pre-med courses be taken at the senior college level. Perhaps a more important question to ask yourself is how well courses completed at the junior college level are going to prepare you for medical school.
Yes. We will accept them, but this is something that any admissions committee is going to look at very carefully when making a decision. Better questions to ask yourself are: 1) Will those 10-year old courses give me the current foundation in the sciences that I will need to survive medical school? and 2) Am I prepared to take the MCAT with knowledge that is 10 years old?
Yes. Everybody understands that unpleasant roommates, adjustment to college life, girlfriend/boyfriend problems, problems at home, and a myriad of other things can diminish academic performance. Hopefully, it's a temporary problem. Be prepared to discuss any poor academic performance in your personal statement or in an interview.
If you have completed a Master’s Degree or less at a non-U.S. institution you need to complete, at a minimum, a second Bachelor’s Degree or a Master’s Degree, in-person, at a regionally-accredited U.S. institution. All prerequisites must be completed in the United States. Additionally, foreign graduates would need to demonstrate medical motivation through medical volunteering and shadowing. As with all applicants, the Committee will also look for community service, teamwork/leadership activities and research. Additionally, all applicants must take the MCAT by the application deadline. In order to be eligible to apply you must be a U.S. Citizen, “Final” Resident Alien or have INS approved Asylum in the U.S.
Credits earned at foreign institutions while the applicant was studying abroad under the auspices of an accredited college or university located in North America are accepted.
- What is the MCAT average at your school?
- Do I have to take the MCAT exam?
- When should I take the MCAT?
- Will taking the MCAT for the first time in September hurt my chances of getting accepted?
- My first MCAT will be January and I would like to start medical school the next fall...is this too late?
- If I've been interviewed already, is there any use re-taking it in January? Or March?
- I took the MCAT in 2013. Is that OK?
- I've taken the MCAT multiple times. Do you see all of the scores?
- I retook the MCAT and my scores went down. How is that going to affect my application?
No. Scores from the September test usually reach us in mid-October, when we are just beginning the interview process. If you are going to take the MCAT in September, the best thing to do is to send in everything else needed to complete your application way before October. That way, when your MCAT scores arrive in October your application will become instantly complete.
- When is the deadline for applying through AMCAS to LSU Health Shreveport?
- Can I get a deadline extension?
- Should I send a printed copy of my AMCAS application directly to the Office of Admissions to speed up the process?
- My address and phone number have changed since I submitted my AMCAS application. Should I send that information directly to the LSU Health Shreveport?
- Just how important is the Personal Statement on the AMCAS application? Do I need to write one, or can I just leave it blank?
- Is the photograph necessary?
The Personal Statement is incredibly important because it is the first place you have a chance to look like a human being to the Admissions Committee. Never leave the space blank! Follow the AMCAS instructions for writing a Personal Statement. Do not write irrelevant short stories that you would submit for a creative writing class. Write about yourself and why you want to study medicine, the experiences on which your decision is based, and why you think you'd be good if entrusted with the privilege of taking care of people.
- Are all applicants allowed to submit a Secondary Application?
- How/when do I get access to the Secondary Application?
- Do I have to submit a Secondary Application?
- When is the deadline for submitting my Secondary Application?
- What do you mean when you say that all supporting materials must be received by August 3?
- And if my file is incomplete on the August 3 deadline?
- AMCAS has received my application and is waiting for transcripts, and August 3 is a week away, will this hurt my chances for EDP?
- When are EDP applicants interviewed?
On or before August 3, we must have on file the following:
- Verified AMCAS application;
- Completed Secondary application;
- Non-refundable application fee of $50 (unless you received a fee waiver from AMCAS);
- Letters of Recommendation, while optional for 2021, are highly-encouraged; spare no effort to obtain them.
- I'm having trouble getting letters because of COVID-19. What should I do?
- What address should I have my LORs sent to?
- Do I need a Committee letter?
- What sorts of information should be included in letters of recommendation?
- I plan to send letters from my senator, several alumni of the medical school, and physicians whom I have known. Will that help my application?
- I have been out of school for five years and I cannot get letters from my old professors. Are there any substitutes for these required letters?
Given the likelihood of COVID-related disruptions, Letters of Recommendation for the 2020-2021 cycle will be optional. Nonetheless, be fully aware of their ability to enhance your candidacy. We understand that COVID-related disruptions could well complicate the process of obtaining letters from both your Committee and professors. In your best interest, spare no effort or diligence to have a Committee evaluation uploaded. It is always the most helpful. You should do your best to get letters from professors if a Committee evaluation is delayed or not forthcoming.
While not required, we strongly prefer a letter from your Pre-professional Advisory Committee or its equivalent. If you have a Committee evaluation, you need no others. If your Committee sends a packet of letters without a consensus evaluation, then that packet should contain 3-5 signed, dated letters. If your school does not have a Committee, or should you fail to meet their requirements/deadlines, we advise you to get letters from three individual professors. Science professors are preferred.
In certain circumstances, it may prove impossible to get a Committee letter or letters from 3-5 professors. Realize that letters from writers besides your Committee or professors usually provide limited useful information and therefore impact your competitive standing marginally, if at all.
We use the AMCAS Letters Service exclusively, and the only way to add your support to an applicant’s file is via AMCAS Letters Service. Email, US Mail, hand delivery, FedEx, phone calls, etc., will not work.
Applicants are responsible for ensuring that the appropriate letters are provided to AMCAS. Refer to AMCAS for detailed instructions.
The best letters are from faculty members (and others) who know you well enough to comment in some depth not only on your academic performance, but also on your personal qualities for a career in medicine. Both things are equally important! They should mention how long they have known you and in what capacity, and how well they know you. They should also put their remarks about you into some kind of comparative context with others for whom they have written letters.
Letters from elected officials who do not know you personally can prove embarrassing. It might look as if you're trying to substitute influence for excellence, connections for achievement, privilege for accomplishment, and the Admissions Committee generally does not like that. Letters from physicians you have shadowed have a tendency to be uniformly positive and tend to offer committees little help in distinguishing between applicants.
A very important part of our medical center is the Ochsner-LSU hospital which is a major residency training institution with 18 residency training programs and 15 fellowships accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Currently, there are 464 and residents and 91 fellows training in LSUHSC Shreveport residency programs.
- Does LSU Health Shreveport require a personal interview?
- Who will interview me and what is the interview format?
- What kind of things are they trying to assess in the interview?
- So, how do I prepare for a medical school interview?
- Re-What? Re-Interview? Are you serious??? What's that mean?
- How is a re-interview different from my first interview?
At LSU Health Shreveport, applicants are interviewed by members of the Admissions Committee. The format is relaxed and is meant to be a forum for information exchange.
Applicants will have two one-on-one interviews, lasting approximately 30 minutes each. These interviews are “blind,” meaning that while your interviewer will have access to your Personal Statement and biographical data, he or she will not have access your grades, MCAT scores or Letters of Recommendation. “Blind” does not mean that your interviewers know nothing about you when you arrive.
Applicants will have an open-book interview with either the Chairman of the Admissions Committee or the Dean of Admissions (or potentially both) who will review all aspects of your application. These last from a few minutes to as long as needed to clarify any issues. The purpose of this interview is to anticipate any questions that might arise during committee review.
Basically, they are trying to assess those things that are almost impossible to quantify: interpersonal skill level, maturity, depth and source of motivation, soundness of decision-making, experiences, and the like. In general, they are trying to find out what kind of person you are and how motivated you are to study medicine.
Ask ten people, and you may get twelve answers. Consider the following: Since the interviewer is interested in You, the best preparation is to know yourself. Know yourself so well that you can articulate clearly your motivation to become a physician. Be able to detail how your activities support your claim of wanting to be a doctor. Go to mock interviews if you can. Evidence of motivation is the key thing.
Different days, different interviewers, different times, maybe different duration. No cookies, and definitely no tour.
We want you to interview with people who have never heard of you and were not present when your application was reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Re-interviews are scheduled an hour apart when possible, so time is less likely to be a factor. Again, the best thing you can do, is be yourself.
- Can I find out why I did not get in?
- Can I schedule a meeting with Dr. Kennedy so he can go over my application with me?
- I'm going to be in Shreveport a week from tomorrow, and I was wondering if I could drop by and go over my application with the Dean of Admissions while I'm there?
- I'd like to make an appointment with the Dean of Admissions to talk about my application, so he can get to know me a little better. I mean, I'd just like to find out if I'm even heading in the right direction. Can I do this?
- The Dean of Admissions suggested that I should get a Masters degree. If I do, does that mean a guaranteed interview?
- The Dean of Admissions told me I needed to raise my MCAT score, and I did. Why haven’t I been invited to interview?
Not from Dr. Kennedy or Mrs. French. Attempting to detail explicitly “why” leads into treacherous waters, and we will not go there. But, by reviewing the information for Re-Applicants most people can figure out why. A better question is “How can I improve my competitive standing in next year’s application cycle?”
No. This question sends a message you probably would rather not send. If you have availed yourself of advice from this website, your pre-professional advisors, information available from AMCAS, the MSAR (the book, “Medical School Admissions Requirements”) and numerous other sources, and do not know if you are heading in the right direction, then it is doubtful that such an appointment will meet your needs.
Counseling sessions are just that. Advice and suggestions are just that, no more. Counseled applicants must realize that all one can hope for is guidance in identifying possible ways by which an applicant might improve his or her competitive standing in a future applicant pool.
One can think of many similar scenarios, but a true example is the person who was advised to get a Masters degree in order to address a low GPA. He got his degree, was invited to interview, but then performed so poorly in the interview that he never made the Acceptable List.
Note: Addressing one shortcoming does not negate any others. All available information is reviewed in making any decision. This is discussed in more detail in the section for Re-Applicants.