The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

59° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Law, med school apps. reach record”

    Director of admissions Tanisha Johnson takes calls Friday afternoon in the admissions office for the College of Medicine. Johnson has been especially busy this year with an unusually large number of applicants to the college.
    Director of admissions Tanisha Johnson takes calls Friday afternoon in the admissions office for the College of Medicine. Johnson has been especially busy this year with an unusually large number of applicants to the college.

    The UA’s colleges of medicine and law are experiencing an unusually high volume of applicants, which will result in an even more competitive selection process than before, according to officials.

    Last year, 502 medical school applicants vied for 110 spots, said Tanisha Price-Johnson, the director of admissions for the UA College of Medicine.

    This year, the figure jumped to 650 applicants, as the College of Medicine opened a new campus in Phoenix that will take 24 students in its inaugural class, putting the total number to be admitted at 134.

    The James E. Rogers College of Law has also seen an increase in its applicant pool during the past 12 years.

    In 1995, 2,090 people applied, while last year, 2,482 applied, said Terry Sue Holpert, assistant dean of admission for the College of Law. About 450 to 600 students are admitted to the College of Law every year.

    Although both medicine and law are seeing an overall increase in applicants, the yearly trend between the two is closely related.

    “”When medical schools have a decrease in applicants nationwide, there has been an increase in law school and business school applicants and the inverse is true too,”” said Dr. Stuart Flynn, associate dean of student affairs for the College of Medicine Phoenix campus.

    The second-highest number of applicants to medicals schools, recorded in 1975, was surpassed about three years ago. Just prior to 2004, medical schools had the lowest number of applicants ever, illustrating the fluctuating cycle of post-baccalaureate schools, Flynn said.

    “”I believe the economy has to do with that,”” said Flynn.

    Price-Johnson said she believes the increase in medical school applicants is due to the new Phoenix campus and the new College of Medicine curriculum being implemented.

    “”We surveyed students who applied and found that those were their top two reasons for applying,”” Price-Johnson said.

    Doug Hartz, a fourth-year medical student, said he believes more people are interested in medicine.

    He also cited the College of Medicine’s new faculty and new campus and its effort to invite more people into the program.

    The college has encouraged applicants because there is a need for physicians, especially in rural areas and on American Indian reservations, Price-Johnson said.

    “”There is an overall shortage of physicians, and students are now reapplying or making a decision to apply at a much more rapid rate,”” she said.

    In the next five years, the Phoenix campus plans to grow from 24 to 150 students, although there are no plans to expand the Tucson campus, Price-Johnson said.

    The College of Law will also not accept additional students.

    “”We just could not provide the nature of the law school experience we are committed to, including small section classes in the first year of 25 students, with hundreds of additional students,”” Holpert said.

    Holpert said there are various reasons the College of Law applicant pool has grown by 500 in the past decade, such as the improving quality of Arizona law practice.

    Of course, the result of more applicants is a competitive admissions process, Price-Johnson said. Medical College Admission Test, or MCAT, scores are getting higher, in addition to more student involvement with research and volunteering, she said.

    “”It shows that the UA is a strong campus and provides a good education to medical students”” Hartz said.

    Shahan Fernando, a second-year medical student, said the UA’s application process is easier than other medical schools in the nation.

    “”When I was applying, UA seemed like it had an extremely supportive environment for students,”” Fernando said.

    The deadline to submit secondary materials for the College of Medicine is today. The deadline for the College of Law is Feb. 15.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search