Pre-Med

Are you thinking about entering into a health profession after graduation? If you are interested in providing leadership in the diagnosis and treatment of disease as well as promotion of health, you may want to pursue medicine.

In the past ten years, 140 Luther students have been admitted to medical school, 101 graduates have entered allopathic (MD) medical colleges, and 39 graduates have entered osteopathic (DO) medical schools.

Medical School Curriculum Requirements

Pre-medicine students often pursue a biology or chemistry major although a major in another discipline is possible after consultation with a pre-med advisor. Almost all medical schools require a baccalaureate degree for admission to medical school.

Most medical schools in the United States require a basic lab science curriculum including:

  • one year of general biology (Biology 151-152)
  • one year of general chemistry (Chemistry 151-152)
  • one year of organic chemistry (Chemistry 241-242)
  • one year of general physics (Physics 151-152)

Other courses that may be required include biochemistry, college level mathematics or calculus, college level English, advanced biology such as genetics, humanities and behavioral science courses.

Medical School Application Requirements

Medical schools require premed students to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). This exam has four components: physical sciences, biological sciences, verbal reasoning, and a writing sample.  The MCAT is usually taken during the summer between the junior and senior years of college. It is administered at computer testing centers 26 times during the year. Most pre-medical students apply for admission to medical school during the summer between their junior and senior years. Application is done on computer to AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service) for MD programs or to AACOMAS (American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine) for DO programs. Premedical faculty advisors are available to assist students in the application process. Health Sciences Club also provides pertinent information for students planning a medical career.

Internship and Research Opportunities

Luther grants academic credit for health-career internships (Biology 380B) and for directed research (Biology 389). Most internship experiences are arranged during January term. Internships are primarily observational, but they provide a very practical introduction to the medical profession. Most medical schools expect applicants to have some clinical experience such as an internship would provide.

Although not required, many medical students have had research experience. Luther offers students the opportunity to do research with faculty members. Current research opportunities at Luther include cardiovascular physiology, pulmonary physiology, biofilm bacteriology, genomics, evolution of genome size and developmental mutations. Directed research can be done during the semester for academic credit or during the summer at Luther or at other institutions.

Sample Pre-Medicine Curriculum: Biology Major Plan

First Year

Fall Semester

Paideia I (English and History)
Chemical Principles or Principles of Biology
Mathematics
Foreign language
Personal Fitness and Wellness

Spring Semester
Paideia I
Chemical Principles or Principles of Biology
Religion
Additional mathematics, foreign language or elective
Physical Education Skills

Sophomore Year

Fall Semester
Principles of Biology or Chemical Principles
Organic Chemistry or upper level biology
Human Behavior course such as psychology
Human Expression course

Spring Semester
Principles of Biology or Chemical Principles
Organic Chemistry or upper level biology
Human Behavior course
Elective or Intercultural course

Junior Year

Fall Semester
General Physics
Upper level biology or Organic Chemistry
Religion
Elective or History course

Spring Semester
General Physics
Upper level biology or Organic Chemistry
Human Expression course such as English composition
Elective or directed research

Senior Year

Fall Semester
Upper level biology
Paideia II
Upper level biology
Senior project

Spring Semester
Upper level biology
Biochemistry
Elective
Elective

Although students can choose any upper level biology courses to fulfill a biology major, courses that are often chosen by premedical students at Luther include microbiology, genetics, cell, developmental biology, molecular biology, physiology, biostatistics, histology, immunology, endocrinology, neuroscience, and human dissection and anatomy.

Find Your Niche

Do you want to study Medicine but are not exactly sure what you want to do? There are so many areas of medicine to study and careers in the medical field.