Pre-Medical

Meet Our Students

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.

Suggested Curriculum Outline, BS in Pre-Medicine


For First-Time Freshman (Scroll Down for Transfer Students)

Course Credit Hours
Fall Year 1 16 hours total
BIO 100T Transitions 1
BIO 115 The Cellular Basis of Life 3
CHE 201 General College Chemistry 5
ENG 105 Critical Reading, Writing & Inquiry 4
PSY 180 General Psychology 3
   
Spring Year 1 18 hours total
BIO 216 Biological Inquiry & Analysis 4
CHE 202 General Chem & Quantitative Analysis 5
BIO 221 Zoology: Animal Form and Function 4
MAT 150 Algebra & Trigonometry 5
   
Fall Year 2 16 hours total
BIO 222 Botany: Plant Form & Function 4
CHE 312 Organic Chemistry I & Lab 5
PHY 130/131 General Physics I & Lab 4
XXX XXX Global Awareness Elective 3
   
Spring Year 2 16 hours total
BIO 333 Genetics 4
BIO 300 Microbiology 4
CHE 320 Organic Chemistry II 3
MAT 250 Calculus & Analytical Geometry 5
   
Fall Year 3 17 hours total
BIO 321 Cell Biology: Mechanisms 3
BIO 322 Animal Physiology 4
PHY 132/133 General Physics II & Lab 4
BIO 533 Molecular Biology 3
SOC 133 Introduction to Sociology 3
   
Spring Year 3 12 hours total
BIO 323 Cell Biology: Systems 3
CHE 530 Fundamentals of Biochemistry 3
PSY 300 Principles & Methods of Statistical Analysis 3
SOC 231 Social Problems 3
   
Fall Year 4 12 hours total
ENG 204 Advanced Expository Writing 3
BIO 308 Ethics in Biology 3
COM 161 Intro to Public Speaking 3
HUM 211 Western Humanities Tradition  3
   
Spring Year 4 14 hours total
BIO 499 Senior Seminar 1
BIO XXX Upper Level Biology Elective 3
BIO 421 Vertebrate Histology 4
BIO XXX Upper Level Biology Elective 3
CIV 202 World Civilization II 3

For Transfer Students with an Associate's of Science degree

Note, this 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. 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.

Course Credit Hours
Fall Year 1 Post Associate's Degree
15 total hours
BIO 221 Zoology: Animal Form & Function 4
BIO 321 Cell Biology: Mechanisms 3
CHE 312 Organic Chemistry I & Lab 5
PSY 180 General Psychology 3
   
Spring Year 1 Post Associate's Degree 15 total hours
BIO 300 Microbiology 4
BIO 323 Cell Biology: Systems 3
BIO 333 Genetics 4
PHY 132/133 General Physics II & Lab 4
   
Fall Year 2 Post Associate's Degree 17 total hours
BIO 222 Botany: Plant Form & Function 4
BIO 322 Animal Physiology 4
BIO 533 Molecular Genetics 3
CHE 320 Organic Chemistry II 3
ENG 204 Advanced Expository Writing 3
   
Spring Year 2 Post Associate's Degree 16 total hours
BIO XXX Upper Level Biology Elective 4
BIO 421 Vertebrate Histology 4
BIO 499 Senior Seminar 1
CHE 530 Fundamentals of Biochemistry I 3
STA 135 Intro to Probability & Statistics 4
For More Information Please Contact:
Dr. David Canning
Department of Biological Sciences
2112 Biology Building
Murray, KY  42071
dcanning@murraystate.edu
270.809.2786

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