Students can apply to medical school with any major, including non-science areas, as long as they take the required courses listed by the school to which they apply. Generally these include a year each of General Chemistry, General Biology, General Physics, and Organic Chemistry. (OHSU and other schools also require Genetics and Biochemistry). Other classes such as PSY 201 & 202, SOC 204, and statistics are also highly recommended, especially as they are covered on the MCAT. Liberal arts requirements often include a year each of humanities, social sciences and writing. The following majors would include the required premedical science sequences; additional coursework for each major is listed below.

Common Science Majors of Premedical Students:

Biochemistry/Biophysics 

Biochemists and Biophysicists solve problems at the intersection of biological and physical sciences. Biochemists focus their questions on cell-level processes. Biophysicists use the physical sciences to study life processes at the molecular level. Students receive thorough training in biochemistry, chemistry, physics, biophysics, mathematics and computational sciences.

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB)

Molecular biologists  address  the same questions as the Biochemistry and Biophysics  major, but with a specific emphasis on life processes  at the molecular level. Students are trained in the molecular biological  advances  that are having a powerful impact on our world. This major does have an official Pre-Medicine option students can declare. 

BioHealth Sciences (BHS)

The BioHealth Sciences (BHS) major (formerly known as General Science prior to Fall 2014) consists of a comprehensive core with a strong biological and physical science foundation combined with a variety of health and social sciences courses in a unique blend formulated to meet the needs of students interested in a career in the health care field.  BioHealth Sciences majors receive excellent training for a variety of professional programs. This major does have an official Pre-Medicine option students can declare. 

Biology

Biology is a broader life science curriculum covering coursework ranging from biochemistry and molecular biology  to organismal biology, ecology, and evolution. This major does have an official Pre-Medicine option students can declare. 

Chemistry 

Chemists study molecules and materials. Research could include that for curing and treating human disease. This major does have an official Pre-Medicine option students can declare. 

Microbiology

Microbiologists study a large and diverse group of microorganisms- bacteria, viruses, protozoa, algae, and fungi. Study the world’s smallest organisms to solve the world’s biggest problems from health, safety, food, and the environment. This major does have an official Pre-Medicine option students can declare. 

Other Majors

Other common majors for premed students include those in Engineering (e.g,, Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Health Physics, etc.), Public health and Human Sciences (e.g., Kinesiology, Nutrition, Public Health), Agricultural Science (e.g, Bioresource Research), and Liberal Arts (e.g., Philosophy, Psychology, Spanish, etc.). Medical schools are looking for academic rigor and depth, so choose a major that interests you.

It is important to begin serious study of the liberal arts early in your program as preparation for the MCAT, which contains a Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills section in addition to sciences. Baccalaureate Core Courses which require writing are especially useful. Broad reading is also important.


Other important information for premedical students

1. Premedical Listserv: Important information is sent to students on a regular basis about scholarships, meetings, work opportunities, deadlines, seminars, etc. To subscribe: send a blank email using your official OSU email address to premedclub-join@lists.oregonstate.edu, and reply to the automated response to confirm your subscription.

2. Student Clubs: OSU has the Premedical Society and other health-related clubs on campus. For more information, see this list of clubs (pdf). 

3. The Premedical Orientation Class, BI 109 (Health Professions: Medical), is offered every spring term. General information is provided about the application process, the MCAT, admissions, volunteer opportunities, etc. and various speakers are also included.

4. Application Seminar Series: During the year in which you apply to medical school, attend the application seminars in November and Winter (and maybe also Spring) terms. Dates are announced via the premed listserv. 

5. An excellent source of general and specific information on medical school is the website of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM)

Questions: email premed-committee@oregonstate.edu

Premedical FAQ's