By Marian Baker, Staff Writer
New signs in the Chemistry Department feature statistics compiled by Dr. John Banisaukas, Furman’s chief health careers advisor since 2008.
According to the signs, over the past seven years, 98 percent of chemistry majors who applied to medical school were accepted. Only one student out of the fifty was not offered admission.
Dr. Linda Wright, chair of the chemistry department, created the signs. When asked why the department put up the signs, she pointed to the fact that this impressive acceptance rate was not very well known.
“The statistic is not something that has been in any admissions packets,” Wright said. “Not many people know the statistics for our department, because Furman’s medical school acceptance rate is not usually broken down by department. But we have a good story to tell, and we want to put it out there.”
The object of these signs, however, is not advertising for the chemistry department.
“We are not necessarily trying to attract more chemistry majors with these signs. What we are doing is providing people with information that may help with their decision,” Wright said.
“Whatever major a student decides to be, Furman prepares them very well for medical school,” she added. “Students have great resources in Dr. Banisaukas and Ms. Ybarra, and the whole Health Careers Office.”
For the class of 2015, the Furman pre-health website proudly boasts a medical school acceptance rate of 71.9 percent for students from all majors. This acceptance rate is well above the average compared to schools across the nation. For those applicants that completed the required coursework and had a GPA of 3.5 or better, the acceptance rate rose to 81.5 percent.
Wright also clarified that the statistic on the signs does not represent only students accepted on their first try. Some students may have been accepted on their second or third application cycle, but they are included in the statistic.
As for the one student that did not receive an acceptance, she decided to pursue a Ph.D instead and is currently at UNC-Chapel Hill studying biochemistry.
“While she was applying, she decided that it was not for her,” Wright said. “She decided to go in a different direction, and we are immensely proud of where she is now.”