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While pre-med is not a specific major, BGSU recognizes it as an area of academic interest and professional study for students who intend to apply for a doctoral degree in medicine, either a Medical Doctor (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) program after college.
The BGSU Office of Pre-Professional Programs (PPP) is available to assist pre-med students in selecting a major and complementary courses to best prepare them for the MCAT admissions test and enhance their competitive edge when applying to medical schools.
A student can choose any major and still go to medical school so long as they:
- Successfully complete the courses required for admission to their chosen medical school (criteria vary by school)
- Have a strong science GPA, often called “BCPM GPA” or Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Math GPA
- Have a good overall college GPA
- Can demonstrate a dedicated interest in health care delivery
While there are traditional majors like chemistry or biology that allow for completion of the med school requirements, many other routes are possible. Past students have entered medical school majoring in finance, theology, and history.
The BGSU major in applied health science with a specialization in health science, for example, covers the med school prerequisites and includes additional context subjects like medical ethics or medicine and the law.
Students who already have a clear idea of the branch of medicine they wish to specialize in can tailor their curriculum to neurology, cardiology, or nutrition, for example.
Go Far in your career
- Family Medicine Physician
- Orthopedic Surgeon
- Internal Medicine Physician
Sample Pre-Med Curricula
These sample curricula provide a conceptualization of the required coursework involved. Factors such as placement testing, course prerequisites, and course availability each semester may determine a student's actual navigation of a pre-med track program.
Admission to graduate school medical programs is competitive and is NOT guaranteed. Pre-med students should let their interests and curiosity decide their major from these suggestions or a curriculum developed in consultation with an advisor.
- Biology major - pre-med track degree planning guide
A classic pre-med major and curriculum. Heavily focused on biology theory and lab courses. Math and chemistry also meet medical school requirements. A focus on life systems permeates this sample pre-med pathway through college.
- Chemistry major - pre-med track degree planning guide
Chemistry and its emergent properties form some of the building blocks of life. A slight bias towards chemical studies in this pre-med sample curriculum will appeal to future oncologists and hematologists.
- Biochemistry major 1 & 2 - pre-med track degree planning guide These curricula diverge at the 3rd year, one taking a more living systems focus, one focusing more on the base chemistry of life. Students should let their preference and passions guide their choice.
- Applied Health Sciences major - Health Science Specialization pre-med track degree planning guide
This broad-based pre-med curriculum includes all the prerequisites for many medical schools and practical courses looking at the healthcare industry like the structure of the healthcare industry and the psychology of aging.
- Nutrition Sciences major - pre-med track degree planning guide
This sample curriculum covers all the medical school prerequisites and delves into lifecycle nutritional needs, from infancy to later years.
With so many pre-med educational paths available, knowing where your preference and abilities lie is advantageous and something BGSU PPP advisors can help you discover.
Summer Virtual Academy - BGSU Future Meds: Exploring Health Careers
To help pre-med students find their preference, BGSU runs a Future Meds: Exploring Health Careers Summer Academy to expose high school students to BGSU resources and help make their choices easier.
This program features interactions with current medical students who are BGSU alumni, medical practitioners, and teaching professors. Interactive demonstrations, Q&A’s and laboratory activities can help future pre-med students find their path at BGSU.
Applying to Med School(s)
There are currently 154 M.D. programs and 38 D.O. programs in the United States. Acceptance rates range from 18% to 1.9%. This level of competitiveness means planning your application well in advance and getting input from others is essential.
The AMCAS system makes a single application for multiple programs possible, but there are many moving parts to an application and careful preplanning is advised.
Elements to consider in your application include:
What is the MCAT exam? The Medical College Admission Test® (MCAT®) is a standardized, multiple-choice, computer-based test that has been a part of the medical school admissions process for more than 90 years. Each year, more than 85,000 students sit for the exam. Nearly all medical schools in the United States and several in Canada require MCAT scores.
The MCAT exam tests candidates on the skills and knowledge that medical educators, physicians, medical students, and residents have identified as key prerequisites for success in medical school and practicing medicine. The content is divided into four sections:
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
- Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
The AAMC develops the MCAT exam and administers it multiple times each year, from late January through September, at hundreds of test sites throughout the United States and Canada.
There is a vibrant MCAT practice and prep community, many MCAT focused online discussion boards and, of course, advice available from advisors at BSGU.
Transcripts are required, including original grades for any classes that were retaken. Transcripts also need to match what is entered by the candidate, in chronological order, into the application.
GPA is converted into the AMCAS GPA; this is a standardized GPA that medical schools may use to fairly compare applicants’ academic records from undergraduate and graduate institutions that use different academic calendars and grading systems.
It also includes a biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics GPA. Grades from these essential subjects are used to calculate the AMCAS BCPM GPA.
Socioeconomic Status (SES) and Disadvantaged applicants
You might consider yourself disadvantaged if you grew up in a medically underserved area or had insufficient access to social, economic, and educational opportunities. If you believe you are a disadvantaged applicant, you will have a section in the application to explain why you consider yourself a disadvantaged applicant. This has no impact on the Socioeconomic Status (SES), which is calculated automatically.
Strong pre-professional experience
Your extracurricular activities will be added to the Work/Activities section of the application. The section is designed to give you the opportunity to highlight your work experience, volunteer activities, awards, honors, or publications that you would like to bring to the attention of the medical schools to which you are applying.
BGSU Pre-Professional Program Advisors have the latest information on available professional experiences and research opportunities throughout the country. Personal connections, however, are one of the most common ways to find meaningful pre-professional experiences in the medical area.
Most meaningful experiences
Medical school candidates may identify up to three experiences that they consider to be meaningful. One must be chosen as the most meaningful, though. If there is a logical tie to pre-professional experiences or extra-curricular activities, the application will be stronger.
Selecting and writing strong experience statements is a perennial challenge that is difficult to accomplish on your own. Seeking editing assistance from someone who knows you well will help you to explain why the experience was particularly meaningful to you.
Letters of evaluation
These are letters written by a recommender that assesses your qualities, characteristics, and capabilities. They can come from committees of tutors or individuals and can be targeted to individual schools. Think about how they align with your meaningful experiences and extracurricular activities.
What if I don’t get in?
Students who decide not to go to medical school or who are not admitted the first time they apply have many other options. Some go on to earn an advanced degree and do research in that area. Others decide to work as a chemist, biochemist, microbiologist, etc. Still others obtain teaching certificates or pursue other health fields. Applicants whose primary interest is medical school take gap years and are often able to strengthen credentials and reapply successfully.
Once admitted into medical school, med students can expect the first two years to be a mix of lectures and labs. Years 3-4 are spent in clinical rotations, working under close supervision in various medical settings affiliated with the medical school.
Students can try out medical specialties. They tend to work long hours and do a mix of basic medical tasks and challenging new procedures. It can be an exceptionally emotional and taxing period.
Most students make it through the rotations and the two parts of the board exams and become the new owner of an M.D. or D.O. qualification. Before practicing medicine, however, new doctors will still need to spend three to seven years as a resident in a teaching hospital, helping new medical students perfect their craft. Finally, all medical students must pass the final USMLE board exam to become a qualified doctor.
The medical profession has an almost endless variety of specialties and provides challenges that can sustain several careers across a working life. The chance to work with patient groups from across every section of society make for rewarding and meaningful work.
The high-value society puts on health means doctors can be well rewarded. From Doctors Without Borders to lucrative elective cosmetic procedures, the levels of responsibility are high, as are the rewards.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics found the median annual salary of doctors in 2020 was $208,000 per year or $100.00 per hour.
The BLS also predicts that although new positions will become available at an average rate of growth (4% over 2019 to 2029), the need for new doctors will rise due to an aging patient population and the retirement of current doctors. One recent study found that more than 2 of 5 active physicians will be 65 or older within the next decade.
Natural and Health Science Learning Community
Students enrolled in health-centric majors at BGSU may enter the Natural and Health Science Residential Community (NHSRC), an on-campus learning community. The extra academic support received within the community is a significant advantage for gaining admission to health-related and science-related programs with competitive entrance requirements.
Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (MAPS)
Through our community service and our dedication to eliminating ethnic health disparities, MAPS strives to provide ourselves and those around us with a larger sense of being. Also, we anticipate helping minority pre-med/health students explore various opportunities within the health profession by implementing informational programs, providing helpful academic resources, and organizing volunteer opportunities.
American Medical Women's Association
The BGSU chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association aims to foster an enriching environment for women in science and the medical profession. We hope to give back to the community through various events spreading awareness about women’s health issues. We also strive to provide resources for pre-health students at BGSU, including (but not limited to): pre-med, pre-PA, pre-PT, pre-optometry, pre-pharm, and nursing.
Alpha Epsilon Delta
The national pre-medical honor society has over 144,000 members nationwide.
Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012 - 2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.
Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.
Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state.
* Job placement and salary information was compiled by the Office of Academic Assessment through the Graduation Survey from AY2015-2018. The data are gathered around the time of Commencement and a follow-up survey six months post Commencement. For the salary question, data for programs with fewer than fifteen responses are not included. Salaries for those programs are from the National Association of Colleges and Employers Summer 2019 Survey. For questions regarding the data, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated: 09/26/2022 02:00PM