Pre-Medicine

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The Department of Biological Sciences offers a Biology degree with a pre-medical option track that is focused on preparing students for a career in medicine. It involves activities that prepare a student for medical school, such as pre-medical coursework, volunteer activities, clinical experience, research, and the application process.

Pre-medical Courses

The Association of American Medical Colleges have a list of required courses that every pre-medical student must take. These are one year of general chemistry, one year of organic chemistry, one year of biology, and one year of physics.

In addition, pre-medical students need to take courses which prepare them for the Medical College Admission Test, the required standardized exam that medical schools use to identify qualified candidates. The MCAT exam has sections covering core competencies for success in medical education and practice:

  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems

  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems

  • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior

To prepare students for the MCAT, pre-medical students are required to take upper level biology and chemistry electives, such as cellular biology, biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics. Students also take general education courses in ethics, psychology and social science in accordance with MCAT requirements.

The suggested curriculum sequence of courses for pre-medical students is given overleaf.

Volunteering and Clinical Experiences

Many pre-medical students volunteer in a health care setting to explore the option of a career in medicine. Past volunteer experience can increase an applicant's chances of acceptance to a medical school. Often volunteer experiences are topics of discussion during medical school interviews. Some students "shadow" a physician, where the student follows a physician, directly observing the doctor as they care for patients.

Pre-health Professional Organization

Murray State University has a student organization to assist in preparing students for their application to medical school. This organization holds regular meetings during the academic year, including presentations from practicing physicians, current medical students and medical school admissions officers. The organization also provides opportunities for students to become involved in community service initiatives, clinical experiences and internships.

Pre-medical Timeline

  • Pre-medical students plan and structure their coursework in their first three years of the program to plan for, and accommodate, the required courses for medical school.

  • Students should register with the Murray State University Pre-health Professionals Organization during their first semester.

  • After the first semester, Pre-medical students should pursue various extracurricular activities that demonstrate a commitment to medicine.

  • In the Spring of the junior year, students apply to the Pre-health Professions Advisory Committee for a MSU recommendation letter to medical school. This letter forms an integral part of the application process.

  • At the end of the junior year, students take the MCAT. Students then make primary applications to Medical schools using the automated American Medical College Application Service system.

  • Over the summer, primary applications are reviewed by AMCAS. The review consists of an evaluation of academic records, MCAT scores, extracurricular activities, work experience, and the students personal statement.

  • Applicants are selected for secondary applications for specific medical schools for which they are qualified.

  • In the Fall of year 4, qualified applicants receive invitations to interview at specific medical schools.

  • Final decisions on acceptance are made by medical schools in early Spring.

NOTE: Students wishing to begin Medical School immediately after graduation should take the MCAT in their junior year. Students can take Zoology and Microbiology prior to transferring to Murray State. This will allow them to add additional coursework in their junior year to help prepare them to score well on the MCAT.

Suggested Curriculum Outline, B.S. in Pre-Medicine

Fall Year 1 (16 hours total)

  • BIO 100T Transitions (1 credit hour)

  • BIO 115 The Cellular Basis of Life (3 credit hours)

  • CHE 201 General College Chemistry (5 credit hours)

  • ENG 105 Critical Reading, Writing & Inquiry (4 credit hours)

  • PSY 180 General Psychology (3 credit hours)

Spring Year 1 (18 hours total)

  • BIO 216 Biological Inquiry & Analysis (4 credit hours)

  • CHE 202 General Chem & Quantitative Analysis (5 credit hours)

  • BIO 221 Zoology: Animal Form and Function (4 credit hours)

  • MAT 150 Algebra & Trigonometry (5 credit hours)

Fall Year 2 (16 hours total)

  • BIO 222 Botany: Plant Form & Function (4 credit hours)

  • CHE 312 Organic Chemistry I & Lab (5 credit hours)

  • PHY 130/131 General Physics I & Lab (4 credit hours)

  • XXX XXX Global Awareness Elective (3 credit hours)

Spring Year 2 (16 hours total)

  • BIO 333 Genetics (4 credit hours)

  • BIO 300 Microbiology (4 credit hours)

  • CHE 320 Organic Chemistry II (3 credit hours)

  • MAT 250 Calculus & Analytical Geometry (5 credit hours)

Fall Year 3 (17 hours total)

  • BIO 321 Cell Biology: Mechanisms (3 credit hours)

  • BIO 322 Animal Physiology (4 credit hours)

  • PHY 132/133 General Physics II & Lab (4 credit hours)

  • BIO 533 Molecular Biology (3 credit hours)

  • SOC 133 Introduction to Sociology (3 credit hours)

Spring Year 3 (12 hours total)

  • BIO 323 Cell Biology: Systems (3 credit hours)

  • CHE 530 Fundamentals of Biochemistry (3 credit hours)

  • PSY 300 Principles & Methods of Statistical Analysis (3 credit hours)

  • SOC 231 Social Problems (3 credit hours)

Fall Year 4 (12 hours total)

  • ENG 204 Advanced Expository Writing (3 credit hours)

  • BIO 308 Ethics in Biology (3 credit hours)

  • COM 161 Intro to Public Speaking (3 credit hours)

  • HUM 211 Western Humanities Tradition (3 credit hours)

Spring Year 4 (14 hours total)

  • BIO 499 Senior Seminar (1 credit hour)

  • BIO XXX Upper Level Biology Elective (3 credit hours)

  • BIO 421 Vertebrate Histology (4 credit hours)

  • BIO XXX Upper Level Biology Elective (3 credit hours)

  • CIV 202 World Civilization II (3 credit hours)

Fall Year 1 Post Associate's Degree (15 total hours)

  • BIO 221 Zoology: Animal Form & Function (4 credit hours)

  • BIO 321 Cell Biology: Mechanisms (3 credit hours)

  • CHE 312 Organic Chemistry I & Lab (5 credit hours)

  • PSY 180 General Psychology (3 credit hours)

Spring Year 1 Post Associate's Degree (15 total hours)

  • BIO 300 Microbiology (4 credit hours)

  • BIO 323 Cell Biology: Systems (3 credit hours)

  • BIO 333 Genetics (4 credit hours)

  • PHY 132/133 General Physics II & Lab (4 credit hours)

Fall Year 2 Post Associate's Degree (17 total hours)

  • BIO 222 Botany: Plant Form & Function (4 credit hours)

  • BIO 322 Animal Physiology (4 credit hours)

  • BIO 533 Molecular Genetics (3 credit hours)

  • CHE 320 Organic Chemistry II (3 credit hours)

  • ENG 204 Advanced Expository Writing (3 credit hours)

Spring Year 2 Post Associate's Degree (16 total hours)

  • BIO XXX Upper Level Biology Elective (4 credit hours)

  • BIO 421 Vertebrate Histology (4 credit hours)

  • BIO 499 Senior Seminar (1 credit hour)

  • CHE 530 Fundamentals of Biochemistry I (3 credit hours)

  • STA 135 Intro to Probability & Statistics (4 credit hours)

Note, the transfer student pathway follows the pre-Biology Curriculum from WKCTC. It assumes that students have taken courses that will transfer as Murray State's BIO 115, BIO 216, CHE 201, CHE 202, MAT 150 and PHY 130/131. See Murray State Transfer Equivalency Tool to help you figure out how courses transfer from your current institution.

For More Information Please Contact:

Dr. Gary ZeRuth

Associate Professor, Houston Endowed Chair of Pre-Medicine
Department of Biological Sciences

2112 Biology Building

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