Pre-Medicine | Kent State University

Pre-medicine

Students with the intention of going to medical school can declare any undergraduate major in which they have interest and aptitude.  The most common degrees are usually in the sciences such as Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Physics and Psychology. In these degree programs, students will declare a pre-medicine concentration. Medical schools will accept any major as long as the student has taken the prerequisite course work, and also completed the necessary extracurricular experiences such as shadowing and volunteering.  Due to the extensive application preparation, students pursuing a pre-medicine concentration are highly encouraged to seek out their assigned faculty advisor immediately.

IS THIS CAREER RIGHT FOR YOU?

  • Are you are interested in the sciences and learning about how the body works? 
  • Do you care about people? 
  • Are you a good listener? 
  • Do you like a challenge? 
  • Do you mind studying and working long hours?

Undergraduate Timeline

First Year

  • Select a major that interests you and in which you will perform well.  If your major does not include medical school prerequisite courses, be sure to take them as electives. 
  • Connect to tutoring, supplemental instruction, attend professor’s office hours to ensure you are mastering the material covered in all courses.
  • Establish a strong GPA from your first semester.
  • Start shadowing a physician.
  • Become familiar with medical school admission requirements. 
  • Become involved on campus through social and academic organizations.

Second Year

  • Continue keeping a strong GPA and building relationships with faculty.  Start thinking about who you will ask for letters of recommendation.
  • Consider becoming involved in undergraduate research.
  • Gain additional shadowing experience in a variety of medical settings.
  • Begin to research and identify the medical schools to which you think you will apply. 

Third Year

  • Ideally, complete the courses necessary to be successful on the MCAT
  • Study for the MCAT throughout the third year.
  • Register for the MCAT.
  • Continue gaining shadowing experience.
  • Visit the medical schools to which you plan on applying.
  • Line up and submit letters of recommendation.
  • Begin working on your personal essay.  Have a faculty member read over your essay before submitting.
  • If all materials are ready, apply through AMCAS in summer between junior and senior year.

Fourth Year

  • Be sure to submit secondary application materials, if necessary.
  • Prepare for interviews.
  • Research alternative graduate programs, post baccalaureate premedical programs, and jobs to have parallel plan if not accepted by a medical school on the first attempt. 
MAJOR

Most medical schools don’t require any particular major. Students planning to attend medical school should choose a primary major that best fits their interests. Regardless of major, medical programs are looking for students who have done well in their coursework and demonstrate intellectual curiosity. Be certain to incorporate all necessary prerequisite coursework into your degree either through the major itself or as electives.

PROFESSIONAL DEGREE

Allopathic medical schools award the M.D. degree after four years of study, while Osteopathic Medical Schools award the D.O. Degree. Although the medical training programs are very similar for each, and graduates often complete residencies side-by- side, they have two very different approaches.

Physicians with an MD practice allopathic medicine, considered to be the classical form of medicine, which focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases, while DO Physicians practice osteopathic medicine which is centered around a more holistic view of medicine in which the focus is on seeing the patient as a “whole person” to reach a diagnosis, rather than treating the symptoms alone.

Depending on your interests, Dual Degree programs are also great options. While dual degrees typically take longer to complete, such as earning a M.D./Ph.D. or D.O./Ph.D., note that it will take less time than completing each degree separately.

LENGTH OF PROFESSIONAL TRAINING

Becoming a doctor is a major commitment, and requires serious dedication. It could take anywhere from 11 to 16 years to complete your education. This includes four years of undergraduate work. Most medical school programs last four years. After completing your medical degree, you will be required to complete a mandatory residency that can last three to eight years for M.D.s and D.O.s, depending on the specialty that is chosen. It is especially important to note that in order to maintain a medical license, physicians are also required to continue taking courses and learning about advancements in their field throughout their career.

PREREQUISITE COURSEWORK

Biology

  • BSCI 10120 Biological Foundations
  • BSCI 30140 Cell Biology
  • BSCI 30156 Elements of Genetics
  • BSCI 30171 General Microbiology
  • BSCI 30030 Human Physiology
    • Or Choose: 40430 Animal Physiology

Chemistry

  • CHEM 10060, 10061 General Chemistry I and II
  • CHEM 10062, 10063 General Chemistry I and II Laboratory 
  • CHEM 30475, 30476 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I and II
  • CHEM 20481, 20482 Basic Organic Chemistry I and II
    • Or Choose: CHEM 30481, 30482 Organic Chemistry I and II
  • CHEM 30284 Introductory Biological Chemistry
    • Or Choose: CHEM 40245 Biochemical Foundations of Medicine

Mathematics

  • MATH 12002 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I
    • Or Choose: MATH 12021 Calculus for Life Sciences
  • MATH 30011 Basic Probability and Statistics
    • Or Choose: MATH 12022 Probability and Statistics for Life Sciences

Physics

  • PHY 13001, 13002 General College Physics I and II
  • PHY 13021, 13022 General College Physics Laboratory I and II

Or Choose: PHY 23101, 23102 General University Physics I and II

Social Sciences

  • PSYC 11762 General Psychology
  • SOC 12050 Introduction to Sociology

Additional Recommended Courses

  • BSCI 30518 Vertebrate Anatomy
  • BSCI 40174 Immunology
  • BSCI 40517 Medical Histology

View the Pre-Medicine Advising Program catalog requirements here.

TESTING REQUIREMENTS: MCAT

The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is offered several times per year and has four sections:

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

Practice materials:

APPLICATION SERVICES

Whether you apply to allopathic medical schools, osteopathic medical schools, or both, you will need to fill out a primary application for each centralized application service.

  • For M.D. schools: AMCAS: American Medical College Application Service. The AMCAS application typically opens during the first week of May each year for the following year’s medical school class.
  • For D.O. schools: AACOMAS: American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service. The AACOMAS application typically opens during the first week of May each year for the following year’s medical school class.

Check the AMCAS and AACOMAS systems often to review their timelines for applying.

Reference Guide for School Selection:

Contact your faculty advisor to discuss the appropriate number of medical schools to which you should apply.

 

ADVISING FOR PRE-MEDICINE

There are several individuals ready to assist you with advising for Pre-Medicine. Please select below based on your college and major/concentration:

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS