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Pre Medicine

Pre-Medicine Coursework

Medicine is the science and practice of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. Contemporary medicine applies biomedical sciences and research, genetics, and medical technology to diagnose, treat, and prevent injury and disease.

SMSU provides the required pre-professional coursework for students who intend to enroll in an allopathic (M.D.), osteopathic (D.O.), or podiatric (D.P.M.) medicine program. Students entering any of these programs need to complete a bachelor’s degree. Undergraduate students do not have to major in one of the sciences. However, much of the pre-professional coursework is science focused and so most students major in one of the science areas. We encourage students to pursue a major that they find interesting so they will be successful.

In addition to academic course work, students must take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). This tests includes sections on biological and biochemical foundations; chemical and physical foundations; psychological, social and behavioral foundations; as well as critical reasoning skills. Information regarding the MCAT may be found at


Acceptance to medical school is highly competitive. High GPA, high MCAT scores, an impressive personal statement, and good recommendations are critical. Good applicants also have research experience, have clinical experience through job shadowing or internships, and participate in university/community service.

Science Department Office

SM 178
Southwest Minnesota State University
1501 State St.
Marshall, MN 56258

Course Guidelines

Pre-medicine course work should emphasize quantitative literacy, an understanding of behavioral and social sciences, and basic foundations of biological, chemical, and physical sciences. Due to variation in each school’s curriculum, the following is merely a guideline of typical requirements. To determine the exact requirements for each program, the student should work with their academic advisor to review each school to which he/she is applying.

Typical Course Requirements
SMSU Course Number Pre-Requisite courses for Program Semester Credit Hours
Biol 200 Introduction to cellular biology with lab 4
Biol 201

Introduction to Biodiversity and Evolution

Additional Biology courses Four courses (with labs) from the following recommended list: Zoology, Anatomy and Physiology I and II, Microbiology, Genetics, Immunology, Biochemistry 14+
Chem 231/232 General Chemistry I and II with lab 10
Chem 351/352 Organic Chemistry I and II with lab 10
Chem 473 Biochemistry 3
Phys 141/142 College Physics I and II 8
Psyc 101 General Psychology (some may recommend additional psych courses) 3
Math XXX College algebra, calculus, or Statistics 3-5
Eng 151 Academic Writing 4
Eng 251 Writing in the Professions 3
Liberal Arts Electives

Courses in the social sciences that are considered “writing intensive” or emphasizing communication skills are often required.

Elective courses should be selected to achieve as broad and liberal an education as possible. Additional electives can be chosen from among the following recommended subject areas: Ethics, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Humanities, Foreign Language, and Communication.


Courses in biology, chemistry, and physics may be considered outdated if taken more than five years before the time of application.


  • Complete Application
  • $20 Non-refundable Application Fee
  • Official High School Transcript(s)
  • ACT or SAT Test Scores

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  • Rank in the upper half of graduating class
  • or
  • Score a composite of 21 or above on the ACT or 990 on the SAT

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Last Modified: 8/21/23 5:05 PM | Website Feedback