The Pre-Podiatry program of study is not a degree-granting major. Rather, it is a program of study pursued by students who intend to apply to Podiatric Medicine programs. Pre-Podiatry students are able to choose a major in any discipline provided they successfully complete all prerequisite courses in the Pre-Podiatry program of study and take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) or, in some cases, the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Podiatry students work with a pre-podiatry advisor who helps with course sequencing and academic preparation for podiatry school.
Required courses for admission to Podiatric Medicine program are as follows:
- English: all schools require 6-8 semester hours of English; also, there may be required composition, literature, and rhetoric courses to complete a Bachelor's degree.
- Mathematics: trigonometry, pre-calculus, or calculus provide a foundation for successful completion of chemistry and biology courses.
- Sociology: while not typically required as a prerequisite for most podiatry schools, topics from sociology will form 30% of one section of the MCAT.
- Psychology: required for adequate preparation for MCAT as psychology comprises 60% of one section of MCAT.
- General or Inorganic Chemistry: two semesters (8 semester hours)
- Organic Chemistry: two semesters (8 semester hours)
- Biochemistry: One semester course (minimum 3 semester hours) covering basic concepts of biochemistry and molecular biology is necessary preparation for the MCAT
- Biology: one year (8 semester hours), including some laboratory work
- Advanced Biology: at least one advanced biology course (with lab) is required at some podiatry schools
- Physics: two semesters of either calculus based or non-calculus based options (8 semester hours). See your academic advisor for help in choosing the appropriate sequence for your major.
- Additional advanced biology courses
Podiatric Medicine is a specialized field within the health sciences focused on the prevention, diagnosis, care and treatment of ankle and foot disorders. Podiatrists have a variety of career opportunities available to them. As a podiatrist, you could work in a variety of settings such as:
- Private Practice
- Sports Medicine Clinics
- Managed Care Facilities
- Nursing Homes
- Rehabilitation Hospitals and Clinics
- Research Centers
- Orthopedic Units
Explore Podiatric Medicine by checking out the following websites:
- American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine (AACPM): www.aacpm.org
- American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA): www.apma.org
- Podiatric Medicine Programs in the United States:
Students apply to Podiatric Medical schools through a centralized, online system managed by the American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine (AACPM) Application Service. Students access the application service online via the following website: http://www.e-aacpmas.org
The timeline for Podiatric schools may vary with many schools offering rolling admission to their programs; students are advised, therefore, to research admissions requirements for individual programs. As a general rule, it is recommended for students to apply the September prior to the year for which they seek admission. Some schools are willing to accept applications up until July. Because many programs have rolling admissions, however, it is in the student’s best interest to apply early.
Note that all prerequisite courses must be completed by the time of matriculation. All applicants must take the MCAT (some programs accept GRE or DAT scores in place of MCAT, so students are advised to research examination requirements at individual schools). MCAT or other examinations are usually taken after completing all prerequisite coursework. The MCAT consists of four sections: Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems; Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems; Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior; and Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills. Preparation for MCAT consists of successful completion of the pre-medical courses, as well as self-study, taking MCAT practice tests and/or participating in a formal MCAT test preparation course.
- The admissions profile posted in 2017 by the American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine are as follows (please note that individual schools post profiles of their students on their websites which may differ from the national averages):
- 600 students matriculated
- GPA Averages: Cumulative 3.1; Science 3.3
- MCAT Averages:
- CARS 123
- PSBB 124
- CPBS 124
- BBFL 124
- Some schools require at least a “C” in each of the prerequisite courses, which are listed under the “Coursework” section of this document.
- Competitive Candidates:
- Care about serving others
- Demonstrate integrity
- Possess excellent interpersonal skills
- Feel committed to health care, broadly defined
- Demonstrate leadership
- Explore professional opportunities and education with a spirit of curiosity and enthusiasm
- Volunteer in health care settings
- Seek job shadowing opportunities with multiple podiatrists in multiple settings
- Cultivate strong letters of reference from science faculty, podiatrists, research mentors, volunteer coordinators and/or academic advisors, anyone who can articulate a student’s commitment and potential for success
- Some questions to ask yourself when considering podiatric medicine:
- Do I have empathy for others?
- Am I committed to serving others?
- Do I have a strong interest in science?
- Do I enjoy working with people?
- Am I a team player?
- Do I enjoy working with my hands and problem-solving?
- Am I a good listener?
- Have I shadowed a podiatrist?
- Am I interested in the work podiatrists do?
- Am I committed to the time, money and effort involved in podiatric medicine education?
- Can I see myself working with people who may be in pain or who feel afraid?
- Do I have a parallel plan outside of podiatric medicine?
- How to get started:
- Meet with your Pre-Podiatry academic advisor
- Check out the American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine (AACPM) at this website: www.apma.org
- Find a Podiatric Medicine Mentor at: www.aacpm.org/contactpod