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Pre-Professional Programs: Pre-Medicine

Students preparing to enter professional schools of medicine will need to complete the following courses. In addition to the required science courses, a broad humanities and liberal arts background is encouraged. Although pre-medical students usually major in Biology or Chemistry, any arts and sciences major is totally acceptable.

College coursework required by most medical schools:

MATH 172, 173 (Calculus)                                                                                                                                                 
PHYS 111, 112, 113 (Introductory Physics) or PHYS 180 Series
BIOL 181, 182, 183 (General Biology)
CHEM 181, 181Lab, 182, 182Lab, 183, 183Lab (General Chemistry)
CHEM 361, 361Lab, 362, 363, 363Lab (Organic Chemistry)
Knowledge of Biochemistry is required by the University of Washington

Recommended electives (not required):

BIOL 213 (Introductory Biostatistics) OR other statistics course
BIOL 430 (Cell Biology)
BIOL 321 (Genetics)
BIOL 353 (Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy)
BIOL 354 (General Vertebrate Embryology)
BIOL 355/356 (Human Anatomy and Physiology)
CHEM 431, 432 (Biochemistry and Lab)
ANTH 357 (Medical Anthropology)4
Humanities and Social Sciences Electives

Humanities examples include:  PHIL 210* (Current Ethical Issues), PHIL 308 (Medical Ethics)

Social Sciences examples include:  SOC 107* (Principles of Sociology),       PSY 101* (General Psychology) or other courses covering the diversity of people and cultures.   

*these courses also count toward General Education Requirements

Which recommended electives students take depends on several factors, including choice of major, any previous coursework, space available, and personal interest. See the pre-medical advisor for help in selecting courses from the recommended electives list.

Sample course plan

The required pre-medical courses are generally completed by the end of the 3rd year of undergraduate study. At the end of the 3rd year, students usually take the MCAT and apply to medical school. The exact order in which students take the required pre-medical courses depends on several factors, including choice of major, any previous coursework, and space available. The sample schedule below is a general guideline for completing the necessary coursework.

Year 1CHEM 181 (4) 
CHEM 181Lab (1)
BIOL 181 (5)
MATH (5)
CHEM 182 (4)
CHEM 182Lab (1)
BIOL 182 (5)
MATH (5)
CHEM 183 (4)
CHEM 183Lab (1)
BIOL 183 (5)
MATH (5)
Year 2CHEM 361 (3)
CHEM 361Lab (2)
BIOL 213 (5)
ENGL (5)
CHEM 362 (3)
ENGL (5)
CHEM 361 (3)
CHEM 363Lab (2)
BIOL 321 (5)
Year 3BIOL 355 (5) 
PHYS 111 or 181 (4)
PHYS 111Lab or 181Lab (1)
CHEM 431 (3)
CHEM 431Lab (2)
BIOL 356 (5) 
PHYS 112 or 182 (4)
PHYS 112Lab or 182Lab (1)
CHEM 432 (3)
PHYS 113 or 183 (4)
PHYS 113Lab or 183Lab (1)

For further information and/or material on course of study, admissions test, preparation and application to professional schools and Central's Pre-Medical Evaluation Committee (which may be used when applying to medical school), please contact the Pre-Medical Co-Advisors:

Dr. Levente Fabry-Asztalos
Chemistry Department 
Science 302J
email at
(509) 963-2887


Dr. Blaise Dondji
Department of Biological Sciences 
Science 338H 
(509) 963-2715

Pre-medical students should maintain contact with the pre-medical advisor for current information.

Factors Bearing on Admission to Medical School

  1. College Coursework Required by Most Medical Schools: 

    (one year = three quarters = two semesters)

    1 year General Chemistry with Lab
    1 year Organic Chemistry with Lab
    1 year Introductory Biology with Lab 
    1 year Physics with Lab

    In addition, many medical schools require two or three quarters of English and Calculus so we recommend:

    1 year Calculus
    1 year English (Combination of Composition and Literature)

    We also recommend that students complete a statistics course in addition to calculus.

  2. College Major:

    Although a bachelor's degree is not required by most medical schools, over 90% of the students accepted have completed a degree. It is not necessary for the pre-medical student to major in an area of science, nor does it increase the student's chances of admission to do so. In addition to the required science courses, a broad humanities and liberal arts background is encouraged. The major should be considered as the basis for future career or for graduate study in the event the student is not accepted to medical school.

  3. GPA:

    The mean overall GPA for entering medical school students in the last decade has been approximately 3.60 - 3.70 nationwide. Students with significantly lower GPAs will have a more difficult time gaining admission to medical school, although admission committees will take into consideration any extenuating circumstances and will look for other demonstrated characteristics considered desirable for medicine. The student must present a record of consistently high performance; that is, a high GPA, and very few withdrawals, incompletes, or repeated courses. The mean overall GPA for the class entering the University of Washington Medical School is usually around 3.70.

  4. MCAT Scores:

    Applications to medical schools must be accompanied by Medical College Admissions Test scores. The exam is offered many times throughout the year and is usually taken at the end of the Junior year. The day-long MCAT covers four areas: reading skills analysis, including literature, social science, and natural science passages; biological science problem solving; physical science problem solving; and two essays. The mean overall MCAT score for the class entering the University of Washington Medical School is usually 10.5 on a scale of 1-15 and a "Q" in the writing sample.

  5. Recommendations:

    As part of the selection process, admission committees consider academic and character recommendations that applicants obtain from faculty members and other persons. Letters of recommendation should discuss and evaluate critically the student's academic ability, strengths and weaknesses, motivation for medicine, maturity, difficulty of coursework attempted, and special attributes and assets. The recommendations are usually written between the applicant's third and fourth year of college.

  6. Experience:

    Volunteer work experience in some type of health care facility is highly recommended. Exposure to health related setting (e.g. hospital, clinic, doctor's office. etc.) is becoming increasingly important as an admission factor. It is assumed that a qualified applicant will have not only a general understanding of the profession, but also a demonstrated interest and knowledge of what medicine is about.

  7. Personal Characteristics:

    Although applicants are first screened according to academic performance, the final choice is made after the applicants have been interviewed by the medical school. During the interview the student's motivation, maturity, poise, humanitarianism, and ability in expression are examined. A broad background in biological sciences and humanities, a knowledge of and exposure to the needs of individuals and society, and an awareness of health care delivery systems are desirable. As the final step of evaluation, the interview is very important. Medical schools have repeatedly rejected students who present strong academic records but lack maturity or have only confused motivation for medicine.

  8. Residency:

    Usually a state-supported medical school is required by law to give preference to residents of that state. Many schools, both public and private, also indicate some preference of residents of neighboring states, and some schools participate in interest and regional agreements. Applicants should recognize that their best chances for admission are at medical schools within their own state or at private medical schools.

  9. Reference Material:

    Medical School Admission Requirements can be purchased from the Association of America Medical Colleges, 2450 N Street, NW, Washington D.C., 20037-1126 ( Copies are also available for your perusal from the pre-medical advisors.

  10. Websites to visit

    American Medical Association (
    Association of American Medical Colleges (
    American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (
    American Medical Student Association (

    List of allopathic medical schools in the U.S. and Canada with links to their home pages: 
    Association of American Medical Colleges (click on "member medical schools")

  11. MCAT preparation courses

    Kaplan (
    Berkley Review (
    Columbia Review (
    Princeton Review (

  12. Dennis W. Farrell Pre-Medical Scholarship

    If you are a sophomore, junior or senior declared pre-medical student who is a full time matriculating student on the Central Washington University campus and have a 3.5 GPA in the biological and physical sciences and mathematics, you may qualify for the Dennis W. Farrell Pre-Medical Scholarship. For further information about this scholarship contact the pre-medical advisor.