Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology
with a Concentration in Health Sciences
The pre-medicine program at Marian University is an undergraduate track that prepares you to be a competitive candidate for admission to the medical school(s) of your choice after completing your bachelor's degree.
Primary care physicians, surgeons, and specialists care for people of all ages to maintain health and wellness. They treat those who are ill or have been injured, perform physical examinations, conduct diagnostic testing, and recommend and provide treatments.
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), becoming a doctor requires a serious educational commitment:
- Four years of college in an undergraduate school
- Four years of medical school
- Three to eight years of training (or "residency") in a specialty area
Once you've earned a medical license and are a practicing doctor, you'll also be required to periodically complete a certain number of professional development courses in order to renew and maintain your license.
But the time and effort you put into becoming a doctor is well worth the hard work you'll complete along the way:
- In 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that physicians and surgeons earned an average of $208,000 per year.
- The employment outlook through 2026 is strong with a projected, faster-than-average 13 percent growth rate.
In the United States, physicians and surgeons can have either of two degrees:
- Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)
- Doctor of Medicine (MD)
In 2018, there are 31 DO-granting and 141 accredited MD-granting colleges and universities. The state of Indiana is fortunate to have one of each: the Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Admission to any medical school is highly competitive. Most aspiring doctors apply to multiple schools in order to be accepted by at least one of them. According to AAMC data for the 2016-17 academic year, 40 percent of applicants were matriculants (admitted and enrolled students).
Why choose the pre-medicine program at Marian?
Marian University's pre-medicine track is very intentionally and specifically structured to increase your chances of gaining admission into the medical schools of your choosing. In short, it takes the guesswork out of preparing to apply for medical school so you can focus on your academic success.
Some universities weigh their admission decisions on certain areas of your application and your academic preparation more heavily than others. These strengths, listed in decreasing order of importance, are among those typically ranked more highly than others.
1. Completion of prerequisite coursework
- The majority of medical schools will not accept a student who has not completed required prerequisite courses.
- At Marian, you will complete all required prerequisites by the end of your junior year. Most medical schools and academic advisors recommend applying for admission in June of the year before you want to begin fall classes. Marian's program follows this approach.
2. Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)
- Marian's program will prepare you to successfully complete and score well on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), which is required for admission to medical school. Our curriculum, combined with carefully selected general education requirements, maximizes your exposure to content, problem-solving, and critical analysis covered on the MCAT.
- According to AAMC, recent total (mean) MCAT scores for applicants to and matriculants in U.S. medical schools 501.8 in 2016-17 and 504.7 in 2017-18.In general, we recommend you strive for scores of 126 or higher on each individual section of the MCAT.
3. Grade point average (GPA)
- Our curriculum is specifically sequenced to gradually challenge you at increasing levels of difficulty. Faculty and peer tutors will support and help you learn the knowledge and skills required to master your coursework.
- According to AAMC, the mean GPA for applicants to and matriculants in U.S. medical schools in 2016-17 and 2017-18, respectively were:
4. Research experience
- While estimates and sources vary, AAMC News reports as many as 77 percent of admitted medical school students in 2017 had undergraduate research experience. U.S. News & World Report finds applicants can "elevate" their applications with research experience, noting admission committees look favorably on students who have sought relevant research opportunities.
- Marian's "Research Across the Curriculum" model embeds an authentic scientific research experience within our undergraduate core curriculum, enabling you to become familiar with the scientific process, develop the ability to critically read scientific and medical research and contribute in a meaningful way to evidence-based health sciences.
- At Marian, you will have opportunities to work side-by-side with faculty on research projects within the College of Arts and Sciences and/or the College of Osteopathic Medicine, presenting your work at on- and off-campus undergraduate research symposia and conferences.
- By embedding research experience in your freshman and sophomore years, you'll also have more time to get clinical experience during your junior and senior years.
5. Clinical experience
- AAMC News reports 77 percent of 2017 medical school applicants had volunteered in a medical or clinical community setting.
- Our faculty and staff can advise you about how to gain valuable clinical experience by working as a hospice volunteer, medical scribe, certified nursing assistant (CNA), or intern at an organization like the Indiana Eye Clinic. You can also pursue clinical shadowing experiences with local doctors and through study-abroad opportunities.
6. Letters of recommendation
- As a student in the Department of Biology at Marian University, you will work closely with teaching and research faculty, building the personal relationships needed for strong letters of recommendation for medical school admission.
- Through employment, internships, volunteering, and other clinical opportunities you can draw from these experiences to seek letters of recommendation from practicing physicians, doctors, specialists, and other medical professionals to submit with your admission applications.
What will you study?
Pre-Medicine Four-Year Plan (pdf) Pre-Medicine Checklist (pdf)
For information about internships suitable for the pre-medicine track, talk to your faculty advisor and staff at The Exchange.