Western Washington University · Bellingham, Washington
What is the study of ?
What is the study of Pre-Medicine?
At any given time Western Washington University has an estimated 350 students on a pre-medicine track. However, Western does not offer a "Pre-Med" major, and there is no formula for getting into medical school. Pre-Med students are those who identify themselves as such, formally or informally. Applicants are evaluated in five areas by medical school selection committees. All are important: MCAT, cumulative grade point, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, and interview. The objective here is to address some basic issues that arise repeatedly with
Pre-Med advising. It is intended to get you started in planning your Pre-Med track while at Western.
Today, medical schools emphasize the importance of a liberal arts education and do not recruit students from one specific major or discipline. Thus, students have flexibility in planning their Pre-Med educational program. Your undergraduate years offer you the opportunity to explore many academic fields, to develop basic skills and knowledge, and to demonstrate expertise and experience a field of study (major) of your choice. Pick one in which you excel and enjoy. Popular majors for Pre-Med students are Biology and Chemistry, but Pre-Med students have majored in a diverse range of academic disciplines including P.E. (Exercise/Sports Sciences), Psychology, History, Philosophy, Communications, Art History, Speech Pathology/Audiology, and Fairhaven self-designed majors. Some students pursue combined majors such as Anthropology/Biology, Biochemistry, and Cellular & Molecular Biology.
- Take Math Placement Test; begin appropriate math sequence to complete Calculus: MATH 124, 125.
- Begin General Chemistry series as soon as possible: CHEM 121, 122, 123.
- Begin General Biology Series winter or spring quarter: BIOL 204, 205, 206.
- Work on fulfilling GURs, including ENG 101.
- Begin pre-requisite and co-requisite courses for possible major.
- Meet with Pre-Healthcare Advisor to develop a plan of study.
- Continue through Organic Chemistry Series: CHEM 351, 352, 353, 354, & 355 (or 356 for non-Chemistry majors).
- Begin Physics sequence fall quarter: PHYS 114, 115, 116 or 121, 122, 123 (depending upon major).
- Take stats class: MATH 240 (or equivalent in major, if offered).
- Take a second English Composition course: ENG 201 or 202.
- Declare or apply for major.
- Research careers and graduate schools.
- Prepare for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) to be taken the summer after junior year.
- Begin Biochemistry: CHEM 471, 472 or BIOL 471, 472.
- Take a third English composition course: ENG 301 or 302.
- Begin primary application to the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS).
- Draft personal statement.
- Request letters of recommendation from professors and professionals.
- Prepare for possible medical school interview with a mock interview (or do spring of junior year).
- Complete major, GUR, WP & other graduation requirements.
- Two quarters before graduation, meet with faculty advisor for major evaluation and apply for graduation.
Note: Advanced Placement is generally not recognized by professional schools as college-earned credit. It is expected that students gain at least 40 hours experience shadowing a physician.
MCAT—The Medical College Admission Test is offered several times per year (January through September). Applicants must take the exam no later than August of the year preceding anticipated admission. There are various ways to prepare for the MCAT, and each student takes an individualized approach toward this. MCAT information, including registration, is available at www.aamc.org/students/mcat/.
- Osteopathic Medicine
- Naturopathic Medicine
- Chiropractic Medicine
- Veterinary Medicine
- And More