What should my major be?

Medical schools do not have a preference for any specific majors. Therefore, you may major in almost anything. You should consider a major that you enjoy and in which you perform well or that might serve as a basis for further graduate work or employment in the event you do not go to medical school. Many applicants majoring in non-science areas are successful applicants to medical school. Nevertheless, you must meet the specific requirements for the medical schools you are considering, regardless of your major.

But Marquette doesn't have a medical school?

Marquette doesn't have a medical school, but we do work closely with the Medical College of Wisconsin. Many of our students pursue internships and independent research with Medical College faculty. The longest standing internship program is our Bioethics Internship run with the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities.

The Association of American Medical Colleges website for students is a great resource to get you started.

What are the minimal admission requirements of medical schools?

Most medical schools require one year each of general chemistry, organic chemistry, biology and physics. All courses must have laboratory components. At Marquette, these requirements are met by completing:

  • Chemistry 1001, 1002, 2111 and 2112
  • Biology 1001, 1002, and 2001
  • Physics 1001 and 1002 or Physics 1003 and 1004

Some schools' admission committees also require or recommend college mathematics through calculus. Wisconsin residents also need to be aware that the University of Wisconsin Medical School requires an additional course, an upper-level biochemistry course (Biology 4101), for Marquette students. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Medical School Admission Requirements webpage is a great resource.

What if I have Advanced Placement, IB or college credit?

Medical schools look very closely at your college transcript, especially at your science course work. They prefer to see course work taken at the college level, even if you show proficiency in that area of study through AP or IB credit. It's best to weigh your options with the Pre-health Professions adviser before making any decisions about accepting these credits. You don't want to find out too late that taking credits (instead of taking the courses) may negatively impact your medical school application.

What is the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)?

The MCAT is a standardized, multiple-choice examination designed to assess your problem solving, critical thinking, and knowledge of natural, behavioral, and social science concepts and principles prerequisite to the study of medicine. The four sections of the test are:

  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

More information on each section of the test can be found on the AAMC's website.

When should I take the MCAT?

You are strongly urged to take the MCAT in the spring before the year of application to medical school (usually in April of the junior year).

What factors do medical schools consider when evaluating applicants?

A number of factors may be considered by medical school admission committees. Factors differ by school but will probably include academic credentials, MCAT scores, a personal interview and letters of recommendation, as well as demonstrated knowledge of and commitment to the profession. Some schools interview only those applicants meeting certain initial requirements such as residency, GPA and MCAT standards.

Are extracurricular activities important?

In addition to high levels of academic achievement, medical schools look for many traits in applicants. These include motivation, evidence of a commitment to serve others, responsibility, maturity, leadership, breadth of interest, good judgment and the ability to manage multiple tasks. These attributes may well be developed in activities beyond the classroom. Students are encouraged to participate actively but not to substitute activities for academic excellence. There are many volunteer opportunities available at Marquette. Community activities that relate to social concerns or health issues might be of particular interest to those who profess an interest in a health care career. When you apply to medical school, you will be asked about achievements during your undergraduate years, and that question will relate to attainments inside and outside the classroom.

Do I need letters of recommendation?

Yes. Letters of recommendation, which indicate personal knowledge of your abilities, are extremely important. Most medical schools require at least three academic letters (usually two from science professors and one from a non-science professor). In addition, some schools also request one or two non-academic letters. Ask the Pre-Health Professions adviser for more information.

How are letters of recommendation generally submitted to medical schools?

The American Medical College Application Service accepts letters of evaluation/recommendation for these participating medical schools. This service enables medical schools to receive all letters electronically via the AMCAS Letter Writer Application. Osteopathic Medical Schools can receive all letters electronically via the Centralized Application Service.


The American Medical College Application Service and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine are nonprofit, centralized application processing services that are only available to applicants to the first-year entering classes at participating U.S. medical schools. Most medical schools use AMCAS and AACOM as the primary application method. Regardless of the number of medical schools to which you apply, you submit just one online application to AMCAS or AACOM. AMCAS and AACOM do not render any admission decisions and do not advise applicants where to apply.  Advanced-standing and transfer applicants should contact the medical schools directly for assistance.

Is financial aid available for medical schools?

Amounts and types of financial aid vary widely from school to school. You should investigate the costs of medical school during your undergraduate career, as well as the types of loans and scholarships typically available.

How do I make an appointment with an adviser?

Contact us:
Office of Pre-professional Studies
Sensenbrenner Hall, Suite 005
(414) 288-5989