Medical students often go on to pursue careers as physicians, surgeons, researchers, and administrators in the medical profession. A strong undergraduate education in pre-med coursework such as genetics and immunology are typically preferred.
10 Schools with Pre-Medical Programs
These ten schools are consistently ranked as some of the best medical universities in the country, all of which offer some form of pre-med undergraduate education as of 2016. Tuition rates are from the 2015-2016 school year.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|University of Washington||Seattle, WA||4-year, Public||$11,839 for in-state/$34,143 for out-of-state|
|University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill||Chapel Hill, NC||4-year, Public||$8,591 for in-state/$33,673 for out-of-state|
|University of South Florida||Tampa, FL||4-year, Public||$6,410 for in-state/$17,324 for out-of-state|
|University of Nebraska Medical Center||Omaha, NE||4-year, Public||$8,897 for in-state/$26,477 for out-of-state|
|Oregon Health and Science University||Portland, OR||4-year, Public||$18,159 for in-state/$28,779 for out-of-state|
|University of Michigan - Ann Arbor||Ann Arbor, MI||4-year, Public||$13,856 for in-state/$43,476 for out-of-state|
|University of California - Los Angeles||Los Angeles, CA||4-year, Public||$12,763 for in-state/$37,471 for out-of-state|
|University of Colorado||Denver, CO||4-year, Public||$8,692 for in-state/$23,704 for out-of-state|
|New York University||New York, NY||4-year, Private not-for-profit||$47,750|
|University of Minnesota||Duluth, MN||4-year, Public||$13,082 for in-state/$17,032 for out-of-state|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Undergraduate pre-med students will take courses to prepare for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and medical school itself. They will likely need to continue undergraduate learning after completion of a bachelor's degree in order to earn their Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree, followed by residency programs and fellowship programs for additional postgraduate specializations. With this in mind, it is important to consider the following when looking for undergraduate medical schools:
- Students choosing an undergraduate pre-medical school should make sure that the science curriculum is strong, laboratories are up-to-date, and clinical/research work or internships are available.
- Students should also evaluate schools on the basis of their graduates' success rates in getting into medical school.
- Although 'pre-med' is not generally offered as a major, students should make sure to take all the medical school prerequisites between their major requirements and elective courses.
- Medical students should seek out top schools with affiliations with teaching hospitals and clinics.
An undergraduate pre-medical school curriculum is based on the Association of American Medical Colleges' standards, although each school may add classes to their particular program. The more competitive medical schools may favor applicants who have taken advanced undergraduate science coursework. Areas to consider include physiology, genetics, anatomy, microbiology, neurobiology, and immunology, among others. At the more basic level, this curriculum includes two semesters each of:
- Organic chemistry
Undergraduate Medical School Programs
'Undergraduate' here refers to students who hold a bachelor's degree, but have not yet earned their M.D. or D.O. degree. Some universities offer combined B.S./M.D. programs that can be completed in as few as six years of study. Students may also opt for a dual M.D./Ph.D. program in their preferred area of specialization. Medical school curricula take four years to complete, with the first two years consisting of science courses and the last two years being made up of clinical rotations in various areas of medicine. Programs include the study of subjects such as:
While few degrees specifically in 'pre-medical studies' exist, many of the top medical colleges in the United States have programs available for undergraduate students to help enhance their graduate learning and better prepare them for work in the medical field.