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Pre-Medicine (M.D. or D.O. Degree)

What is "pre-med"?

"Pre-med" is a term used to describe students who plan to enter medical school after graduating from college. You should know that there is rarely if ever a "pre-med" major at any college. When a student is "pre-med", he or she is not only taking the classes required for admission to medical school, but also has a major in a specific subject matter area. A student can choose any major and still go to medical school so long as he or she has 1) successfully completed the courses required for admission to medical school, 2) has both a strong science and overall college GPA, and 3) has demonstrated a dedicated interest in health care delivery.

What courses are required for admission to medical school?

Typically, medical school admissions committees require the following courses to be taken in college. The equivalent courses offered at Bowling Green State University are indicated in parentheses:

  • One year of biology with laboratory components (BIOL 2040-2050).
  • One year of anatomy and physiology (BIOL 3310-3320).*
  • One year of general chemistry with laboratory components (CHEM 1250-1270/1280 or 1350-1370/1380).*
  • One semester of biochemistry (CHEM 3080)
  • One year of organic chemistry with laboratory components (CHEM 3410-3440/3450 or 3460).*
  • One year of physics with laboratory components (PHYS 2010-2020).

Medical school admission committees often also require Calculus (MATH 1310 or 1340-1350) and genetics (BIOL 3500).

*pre-requisites required for this course

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, all the courses required for medical school admission are available at BGSU. Many other useful (but not required) courses for medical school, such as biochemistry and microbiology, are offered at BGSU.

Pre-med students often choose science majors, as these majors usually include some of the courses required for medical school admission. However, remember that a student can choose ANY major and still go to medical school, so long as he or she has 1) completed the courses required for medical school admission, 2) has a strong college GPA, and 3) has demonstrated a true interest in health care delivery.

Typically, a student's overall college GPA should be a 3.5 or better in order to be a strong candidate for admission to medical school. Medical school admission committees also consider a student's GPA in the required prerequisite science courses.

No. In addition to a high GPA, a student applying to medical school must also take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). This test has four sections: physical science, biological science, verbal reasoning, and an essay. The MCAT is usually taken in April of the junior year of college. Further, students interested in medical school should attempt to gain scientific research experience as well as clinical internships, hospital volunteer positions, or other opportunities working with people. Admissions committees look for evidence of leadership experience and a strong commitment to the field of medicine.

Whether or not you major in a science, you should begin your basic pre-medical course work as early as possible in your college career. Ideally, your basic requirements for medical school admission should be completed by the end of your junior year of college, since you will want to take the MCAT in spring of your junior year; you may begin applying to medical school in the summer before your senior year of college.

If possible, you should take biology , general chemistry, and english in your freshman year. In your sophomore year, you should take organic chemistry and calculus. Physics should be taken no later than the junior year. Obviously, you also need to complete all other major, college, and general education requirements before you can graduate.

Yes. Alpha Epsilon Delta, prehealth honorary society, and Minority Association of Pre-medical Students encourages any student interested in healthcare delivery to attend their meetings. The Biological Sciences Honorary Beta Beta Beta, and the American Chemical Society Student Affiliate are also available to dedicated science students. These organizations not only provide opportunities to attend lectures given by health care and other professionals but also give students a chance to more deeply explore their intended professions.

The M.D. degree is granted by allopathic medical schools, while the D.O. degree is conferred by osteopathic medical schools. It is important to note that M.D.-granting and D.O.-granting institutions are both considered to be medical schools. 

So, what is the difference between the M.D. and the D.O. degree? The difference is largely one of philosophy. In osteopathic medical school, there is a dedicated focus to the entire patient, including the mind and spirit. Further, osteopathic medical schools emphasize the importance of the musculoskeletal system as a key component to human health.

The application process for osteopathic medical school is similar to the process for allopathic medical school. You need to take the MCAT to get into both allopathic and osteopathic medical schools.

Medical school is a four year commitment after graduating from college. When you graduate from medical school, you will have your M.D. or D.O. degree. You will then enter a clinical residency in the field of medicine you intend to practice; a residency ranges from 3 to 7 years after medical school.

BGSU offers students two advisors in the science departments, Lee Meserve, Ph.D. (Biological Sciences) and Steve Chung, Ph.D. (Chemistry). Students can also consult with an academic advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences Office.

Contact Information

Lee Meserve, Ph.D.

Distinguished Teaching Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
Pre-Health Professions Advisor
419-372-8361
lmeserv@bgsu.edu

Lee Ann Koenigbauer 

College of Arts and Sciences
Academic Advisor
419-372-2015
annkoen@bgsu.edu

Steve Chung, Ph.D.

Lecturer
Department of Chemistry
Pre-Health Professions Advisor
419-372-2031
schung@bgsu.edu

Shai Collier

College of Arts and Sciences
Academic Advisor
419-372-2015
shaic@bgsu.edu