Since medical schools do not require any specific major, pre-med students may choose any course of study they desire. Most students prepare for medical schools by majoring in biological sciences or chemistry, but medical schools look for a well-rounded background in humanities, social sciences and service. EIU students should list pre-medicine as a "second major" used to track student interest in the career.
All students interested in a career in medicine should consult the chair of the Medical Professions Committee for information regarding admission requirements for specific medical schools. Due to the intense competition for admission, students will need to complete a baccalaureate degree before entrance.
Advisement checklist and suggested course sequence (PDF) Revised Fall, 2012
Tentative course offerings
Check out our tips for premeds and general timeline for more information. Information from the national associations of allopathic, osteopathic, and podiatric medicine can be found at http://www.aamc.org, http://www.aacom.org and http://www.aacpm.org.
Necessary Undergraduate Coursework
Regardless of the choice of major, a student wishing to enter a medical school should (at a minimum) complete the following courses, preferably during his/her freshman and sophomore years:
|BIO 1100 - General Biology||Four Hours|
|BIO 1300G - Animal Diversity||Four Hours|
|CHM 1310 and 1315; 1410G and 1415G - General Chemistry||Eight Hours|
|CHM 2440, 2445, 2840 and 2845 - Organic Chemistry||Eight Hours|
|PHY 1151 and 1152, 1161G and 1162G - General Physics||Eight Hours|
|MAT 1400 - Pre-Calculus (Required by some medical schools and the EIU biology major.)||Three Hours|
BIO 3100 (Cell and Molecular Biology), BIO 3200 (Genetics), BIO 3520 (Animal Physiology), and CHM 3450 (Biochemistry) should all be taken as they will help on the MCAT, but the development of a strong vocabulary (in and out of the sciences) and communication skills are as important as any particular class. The best way to do this is to READ, READ, READ!!! Additional electives such as Anatomy, Microbiology, Embryology, Histology, Immunology, and a variety of advanced chemistry and biology courses will count toward the Biology major, and will help during the first year of medical school.
Volunteer service and extracurricular activities are also important in demonstrating your leadership skills and "fit" for the profession and will help you decide if that is really what you want to do.
Students must take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) at least a year in advance of the date they wish to enter medical school. This is an online exam administered at multiple sites, and you will need to pre-register for it. You should begin preparing for the exam as a freshman. If you hope to go directly to medical school after a four-year undergraduate degree, you should take it during the spring semester (April) of your junior year, or immediately thereafter. Taking the test later than this will delay your application process. Application is done through a centralized service. Be aware of application dates and APPLY ON TIME.
In general, applications should be submitted during the summer between your junior and senior years. Do not take the MCAT until you have taken the prerequisite courses, and had practice with the exam, even if this means delaying application for a year. Candidates for admission to a medical school must score well on the MCAT and have a grade point average of around 3.5 or better on a four-point scale to merit serious consideration. Grades in science courses are expected to be especially good. EIU students meeting these standards have been very successful.