Pre-Med Program

Programs of Study
Pre-Medical and Dental Emphasis

Medical (MD, DO) and dental schools today are seeking students who are not only prepared for the rigors of the professional school classroom, but who are also able to interact with patients in a sincere and understanding manner. Successful candidates must demonstrate competent course work in the sciences, a strong background in the liberal arts, and a commitment to the health and well being of others through clinical and community service experiences. GVSU continues to place students in professional schools at well above the national average. Most GVSU graduates attend one of seven medical schools or one of three dental schools in Michigan, where residency and tuition considerations are more favorable for admission. Pre-medical and pre-dental      students typically follow similar programs of study. In order to complete coursework in time to successfully take the standardized tests (MCAT, DAT), students are encouraged to decide on their major as soon as possible in their undergraduate career. Careful consultation with the faculty advisor throughout the undergraduate program is strongly advised.        

Pre-professional students should plan to complete the following courses in addition to meeting the core and other requirements for the Biology major:

CHM 241 (5 cr.) & CHM 242 (5 cr.) Organic Chemistry I & II
CHM 461 (4 cr.) or CHM 232 (4 cr.) Biochemistry
MTH 122 (3 cr.) & MTH 123 (3 cr.) College Algebra & Trigonometry (some schools require calculus)
PHY 220 (5 cr.) & PHY 221 (5 cr.) General Physics I & II

Complete CHM 115/116, CHM 241/242, CHM 461, BIO 405/406, & PHY 220/221 prior to taking the MCAT.

Courses strongly suggested as electives:

BIO 328 (3 cr.) Biomedical Ethics
BMS 208 (3 cr.) & BMS 309 (1 cr.) Human Anatomy & Laboratory*
BMS 212 (3 cr.) & BMS 213 (1 cr.) Introductory Microbiology & Laboratory*
BMS 290 (3 cr.) & BMS 291 (1 cr.) Human Physiology & Laboratory*
BMS 410 (3 cr.) Immunology
PSY 101 (3 cr.) Introductory Psychology
* These courses count towards the biology major

Other courses to consider as electives:

BIO 302 (4 cr.) Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
BIO 411 (3 cr.) Genetics of Development and Cancer
BIO 414 (3 cr.) Molecular Biology of the Gene
BIO 422 (3 cr.) Embryology
BIO 432 (4 cr.) Comparative Animal Physiology

BMS 222/223 (6 cr.) Public Health
BMS 305 (3 cr.) Clinical Nutrition
BMS 310 (3 cr.) Basic Pathophysiology
BMS 311 (3 cr.) Pharmacological Aspects of Biomedical Science                      BMS 412/413, BMS 431, BMS 432, BMS 433

COM 202 (3 cr.) Critical Interpretation
PSY 364 (1-3 cr.) Life Span developmental Psychology

Other considerations:

Volunteer work/internships/patient contact experience. Critical!

Research experience - Certain schools look for this. BIO 490, BIO 499, or summer work.

Consult with individual medical schools to assure that you are meeting their specific requirements!


All preprofessional students should enroll in BMS 485, the Preprofessional Seminar, in the winter of their junior year. This one credit course reviews application and examination procedures for medical and dental schools and provides some group support for preprofessional students at GVSU. Both medical and dental schools require applicants to take a standardized admissions exam. Students normally take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) in April of their junior year or the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) at a time of their choice in their junior year. Students should plan their course scheduling so that they have met all required science courses before taking these tests.

An interdisciplinary Preprofessional Committee, composed of faculty members in the departments of biology, chemistry, health sciences, and the Office of Cooperative Education and Placement, aids pre-medical and pre-dental students in their preparations for professional school application. The Health Professions Advising Office at 114 Ott Living Center (616 895-3094) serves the needs of preprofessional students, and also maintains its own website and electronic bulletin board. Students additionally may want to participate in the activities of the Pre-Professional Scholars Club on campus. Pre-medical students should check the AAMCMCAT and AMCAS (the medical college application service). Pre-dental students might check out the ADEA website, AADS's Dental Schools Application Service, and ADA's DAT testing site for additional information.

Suggested schedule of courses


Page last modified October 31, 2014