Pre-Medical Studies

Prepare for medical school, podiatry school and osteopathic medical school with our Pre-Med major.

Bellarmine University prepares students for application to professional schools in the various fields of medicine. The medical professions include: traditional medicine (also called allopathic medicine, MD), osteopathic medicine (DO) and podiatric medicine (DPM). Entrance requirements for admission into medical school is extremely competitive and favors students who are highly motivated, self-starting, and committed to achieving their professional objectives early in their college studies.

Why earn your pre-med degree at Bellarmine?

Our Pre-Med Studies program prepares students for application to professional schools in the various fields of medicine. Pre-Med advisors work with Bellarmine students from their first semester onward. Additionally, many science faculty take time to talk about careers informally during labs and at other times.

The faculty at Bellarmine are committed to working closely with students in small classroom, laboratory, and research settings. They are actively engaged in research and offer many opportunities for students to learn first-hand the excitement of scientific discovery.

The collegial nature of faculty-student interactions in an atmosphere of mutual learning is one of the many things that professors enjoy most about teaching at Bellarmine, and it is something students will find across the entire campus.

Program Highlights

Students wishing to enter medical school following their undergraduate studies may major in a variety of fields, though most tend to major in the natural sciences (Biology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Chemistry). We have had applicants from psychology, art, music, history, philosophy, English, economics, exercise science, and medical laboratory science accepted into either allopathic and/or osteopathic medical schools in recent years.

To accommodate a diversity of applicants, the Pre-Medical Advisory Committee (PMAC) recommends the following courses that should minimally prepare students for the MCAT exam taken at the end of the junior year (assuming a four-year graduation path).

  • BIOL 130 Principles of Biology (with lab)
  • BIOL 231 Cell Biology (with lab)
  • BIOL 240 Genetics (with lab)
  • BIOL 314 Vertebrate Physiology (with lab)
  • BMB 301 Biochemistry I (with lab)
  • BMB 302 Biochemistry II
  • CHEM 103 General College Chemistry I (with lab)
  • CHEM 104 General College Chemistry II (with lab)
  • CHEM 205 Organic Chemistry I (with lab)
  • CHEM 206 Organic Chemistry II (with lab)
  • MATH 205 Elementary Statistics (some schools also require calculus)
  • PHYS 201 College Physics I (with lab)
  • PHYS 202 College Physics II (with lab)
  • PHIL 301 Ethics
  • PSYC 103 Introductory Psychology
  • SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology

Due to the sequential nature of many of the science courses, it is important that students schedule these classes as early as possible so they will be on track to apply to medical school before their senior year. We recommend that students talk with a pre-medical advisor early in their academic career to plan a pre-medical curriculum that fits with their major.

Students who think they might be interested in medicine should talk with the pre-medical advisors, science faculty, career services, and professionals in the various fields.

On Campus Experiences

Each spring, Bellarmine students have the chance to present their research projects to the Bellarmine community during our annual Undergraduate Research Week. Students create detailed posters explaining their research project and answer questions for those in the community who attend. You will have the perfect setting to perform research in one of our 13 state-of-the-art teaching, research, science education, and instrumentation laboratories housed in the Norton Health Science Center.

Students are encouraged to join and participate in the departmental clubs in Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, and Medical Laboratory Science. These various department clubs often have special programs dedicated to medical careers, admission processes, and other activities of interest.

We also encourage our students to apply to undergraduate summer research programs all over the United States. Students are eligible for these opportunities during their freshman, sophomore, and junior years. If accepted for the program, students work for 8-10 weeks in the summer doing research in a laboratory setting. Many of these awards include a salary and accommodations. These are excellent opportunities for students to have access to the most state-of- the-art equipment and to experience different approaches to research.

Advisors

David J. Porta, Ph.D. (email)
Chair, Premedical Advising Committee (PMAC)
Biology Department
Pasteur Hall 158 
502.272.8009

Joanne J. Dobbins, Ph.D. (email)
Biology Department
Norton Health Science Center 122 
502.272.8109

Graham W.L. Ellis, Ph.D. (email)
Chemistry Department
Pasteur Hall 212
502.272.8218

Karen Golemboski, Ph.D. (email
Medical Laboratory Science 
Pasteur Hall P108 
502.272.8357

Mary O. Huff, Ph.D. (email)
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Pasteur Hall 155 
502.272.8495

Joseph F. Sinski, Ph.D. (email)
Chemistry Department
Pasteur Hall 254
502.272.8219

Admission into Medical Schools

Entrance requirements for admission into medical school are extremely competitive and favor students who are highly motivated, self-starting, and committed to achieving their professional objectives early in their college studies. The most important academic credentials looked at by admission committees are the MCAT score and undergraduate GPA. Since students apply to medical school the summer before their senior year, the GPA is based on 6 semesters of classes. A GPA of 3.60 or higher is usually the minimum expected. MCAT scores need to be at or above the 67th percentile on each of the four subsections of the test. Since each medical school sets their own standards, it is recommended that students look up the admission criteria for the schools that interest them.

In the past five years, Bellarmine students have attended regional medical schools such as the University of Louisville, University of Kentucky, Indiana University, University of Cincinnati, St. Louis University, Marshall University, and Wayne State University. Students originally hailing from more distant areas often apply to medical schools in their home states. We have had students accepted at Georgetown University, University of Utah, NYU Medical, SUNYSyracuse, SUNY-Brooklyn, SUNY-Stony Brook, Ohio State University, Wake Forest University, University of Toledo, and West Virginia University.

In addition to a strong undergraduate academic record (a GPA of at least 3.60 and acceptable MCAT scores), students must show evidence of familiarity with the day-by-day aspects of medicine by working (or volunteering) in a health care facility (hospital, clinic, etc.) and/or by shadowing physicians for at least 80 hours. Other positive factors for medical school admission include campus activities (especially in leadership posit ions), athletics, research or scholarly accomplishments, honors and awards received, and a documented commitment to community service.

Bellarmine students with competitive academic credentials, a solid extracurricular portfolio, a recommendation from Bellarmine’s Pre-Medical Advisory Committee and a positive Interview with the individual Medical School Admissions Committee have been accepted to medical school. Having a commitment to excellence, the self-motivation to meet objectives, and a dedication to achieve is the recipe for successfully attaining one’s goals.

Entrance Requirements

Each area of medicine has its own specific entrance requirements including: prerequisite course work and GPA standards, pre-admission exam (MCAT), experiences and familiarity with the career (via shadowing, volunteering, and employment), involvement and leadership in extracurricular activities, evidence of a commitment to community service, independent research, letters of evaluation and formal application procedures with interviews. Pre-med students should aim for a minimum 3.6 overall GPA and score at or above the 70th percentile on the MCAT. Students interested in pursuing a medical career should investigate the websites maintained by the professional organizations for current admission requirements.

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