Pre-Medical Studies in Biomedical Sciences

Why pre-med in biomedical sciences at Marquette?

  • Medically focused curriculum. The opportunity to study distinctively human medical science courses at the undergraduate level is exceedingly rare. In fact, the Marquette biomedical sciences curriculum, taught by faculty scientists, is unique.
  • Build a strong foundation in human anatomy. Learn the human body through an intensive two-course sequence in human anatomy and human gross anatomy in your sophomore year. This will lay the groundwork for subsequent courses focused on human physiology and cellular and molecular biology that you will encounter in the biomedical sciences major.
  • Develop your critical-thinking capacity. The background provided by your curriculum will allow you to ask key questions and learn to arrive at answers by thinking critically in the context of scientific and clinical problem-solving.
  • Powerful combinations = competitive candidates. Marquette’s biomedical sciences major, together with the university’s core curriculum, produces graduates with a breadth and depth of knowledge uniquely suited for the study of medicine and dentistry.
  • Outstanding advising. Our program includes a multitiered system of advising to ensure your greatest success at navigating the application process for medical or dental school. Topics covered include: where to apply, letters of recommendation, the MCAT/DAT, interviewing techniques and much, much more. You will be fully informed.
  • Learn science from scientists. Our faculty scientists are actively engaged in cutting-edge biomedical research and routinely welcome undergraduates to participate in research. We also offer a 10-week intensive research program in the summer.

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:

  • CHEM 1001, 1002, 2111 and 2112
  • BIOL 1001, 1002 and 2001
  • BISC 3213
  • PHYS 1001 and 1002

Other recommendations:

  • MATH 1410 OR 1450
  • Statistics
  • BISC 4340 (MCAT 2015)
  • PSYC 1001
  • SOCI 1001 (MCAT 2015)

You should consult medical school admission requirements, published by the Association of American Medical Colleges, for the specific requirements for each school. The Department of Biomedical Sciences has copies. Please ask your adviser to view one. If you are interested in a particular school, you should learn as much as possible about that school as early as you can.

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 your adviser and pre-health adviser before making any decisions about accepting these credits.

What is the MCAT?

The Medical College Admission Test is a standardized test that measures aptitude and achievement in science and other areas related to the study of medicine. We strongly urge looking at the MCAT website as early as your freshman year to plan a thorough review of materials encompassed by the test. Understanding what topics and skills the test measures might affect the way you study/learn in your course work.

The four sections of the test are:

  • Verbal reasoning: measures your ability to understand, evaluate and apply information found in prose texts
  • Physical sciences: covers topics addressed in general biology, general chemistry and organic chemistry, and general physics
  • Biological sciences: covers topics addressed in general biology, general chemistry and organic chemistry, and general physics
  • Writing

Please keep in mind: The format of the MCAT will be changing in 2015. Topics like sociology and biochemistry will be added, and the writing sample will be dropped. Your advisers will make suggestions for how to prepare for MCAT 2015.

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). We recommend discussing this with your adviser and working out a plan to ease your work load during the MCAT.

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 related 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. The College of Health Sciences Office of Pre-health Studies provides a Letters of Recommendation Service. Ask the pre-health professions adviser for more information.

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.

Other resources: