What is Pre-Med?

To be "pre-med" means you are embarking on a course of study aimed at preparing you for application to a medical school. It is not a major.

What are the types of medical practice?  

Physicians diagnose illnesses and prescribe treatment for people suffering from injury or disease. They work in one or more of several specialties, including, but not limited to, anesthesiology, family and general medicine, general internal medicine, general pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, and surgery.

There are two types of physicians: M.D. (Medical Doctor or Allopathic physicians) and D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine). While both M.D.s and D.O.s may use all accepted methods of treatment, including drugs and surgery, D.O.s place special emphasis on the body's musculoskeletal system, preventive medicine, and holistic patient care.

What type of education is required?  

An undergraduate degree followed by a four-year professional program.

What should I major in at NDSU, if I want to go to medical school?

Please be aware that pre-med is not a major. The students are encouraged to select a major based on their area of interest. Most medical schools seek applicants with a strong foundation in the natural sciences and have completed the pre-requisites for admission.

Coursework required for most medical schools*  

  • 1 Year General Biology - BIOL 150/L, BIOL 151/L
  • 1 Year General Chemistry - CHEM 121/L, CHEM 122/L
  • 1 Year Organic Chemistry - CHEM 341/L, CHEM 342/L
  • 1 Year General Physics - PHYS 211/L, PHYS 212/L
  • 1 year English - ENGL 120 and upper division writing course (ENGL 324)
  • 1 semester  of Calculus - MATH 146
  • 1 semester of Statistics - STAT 330
  • 1 Semester Biochemistry - BIOC 460
  • 1 semester of Psychology - PSYC 111
  • 1 semester of Sociology - SOC 110

* Although this coursework will meet the requirements for many schools, students should check for additional requirements of the schools to which they hope to apply. Most schools want the applicant to have completed the required courses prior to applying. Also, note that many schools will not accept AP credit in lieu of the required courses (even if accepted by NDSU). The student must then substitute advanced science courses from NDSU for the traditional requirements satisfied with AP credits.

Recommended courses  

  • Genetics - BIOL/PLSC 315/L
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology- BIOL 220/L, BIOL 221/L
  • Cell Biology- BIOL 370
  • Microbiology- MICR 350
  • Vertebrate Histology- BIOL 444
  • Animal Physiology- BIOL 460
  • Immunology- MICR 460

What do medical schools look for in applicants?



Applicants should consider volunteering at a local hospital or clinic to gain practical experience in medicine. A well-rounded sampling of extra-curricular activities or work experiences, both related and unrelated to medicine, will help broaden an applicant's knowledge and development.

Pre-med students are encouraged to participate in student organizations at NDSU such as the Pre-Med Club and American Medical Student Association and Allied Health (AMSA). These organizations are run by students with similar career goals and provide an opportunity for others to discuss career plans and gather details about the professions they are interested in.

The Application Process

The timeline for admission/application into medical school is available here.


Here are some helpful websites to learn about the medical field, the application process and more:

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