Pre-Medicine program

Become a medical doctor

Physicians diagnose and care for people of all ages who are ill or have been injured, and also work to prevent health problems before they occur. If you are interested in the intricacies of the human body’s systems, leadership, and helping others, medicine may be right for you. Medical doctors fill a variety of roles in a variety of settings.

Pre-Medicine is NOT a major at UW-La Crosse. It is a statement of your intention to apply to medical schools. In addition to selecting the pre-med track, students at UWL may also be interested in pursuing the track of a Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, or D.O. Like physicians, D.O.s practice in all areas of medicine with an emphasis on the health of the whole person. A specific branch of medicine, podiatry, is also an option where providers focus on the feet and lower legs.

Regardless of the pre-health track selected, students will still need to select a major to complete a degree at UWL. 

Pre-med advising Q & A

Coursework

Make your intention to pursue medicine official by adding it as an "intended pre-professional track."

UW-La Crosse pre-medicine curriculum satisfies the minimum requirements for UW-Madison and the Medical College of Wisconsin, with additional considerations for MCAT content.

For specific information on prerequisites, refer to the websites for each school to which you plan to apply. Note that a given school may require less math, or less chemistry than what is listed to the right. In some cases, a school might require a class not listed here. It is the student's responsibility to plan ahead.

UW-Madison and U of Minnesota have usually required an additional “writing-intensive course”

  • Update, June 2020: UW-Madison has temporarily changed their "writing intensive" requirement; as of now, students applying to UW-Madison no longer need to provide verification that they completed an extensive research paper in an upper level social sciences/humanities course; UM-Twin Cities still requires verification of a 10+ page research paper in social sciences/humanities course; UM-Duluth does not have a writing-intensive requirement.
  • Always check with med schools to verify a class is sufficient, as laid out in the syllabus; and let your instructor for any of the classes listed to to the right to know you are taking the class to fulfill the requirement for medical school "writing intensive courses."
Biology
  • General Biology (BIO 105)
  • Genetics (BIO 306) or Cellular Biology (BIO 315)
  • Anatomy & Physiology I & II (BIO 312 & BIO 313)
Chemistry/Biochemistry
  • General Chemistry I & II (CHM 103 & CHM 104)
  • Fundamental Organic Chemistry (CHM 300) or Organic Chemistry Theory I & II (CHM 303 & CHM 304); plus laboratory (CHM 302 or CHM 305). Most medical schools require only one semester with a lab (the Fundamental option), but students need to check with admissions from their target schools.
  • Fundamental Biochemistry (CHM 325) or Biochemistry I & II (CHM 417 & CHM 418​)
Mathematics & Statistics
  • Calculus I (MTH 207) recommended, or Calculus II (MTH 208) also acceptable; Precalculus (MTH 151) sometimes acceptable
  • Elementary Statistics (STAT 145) or Mathematical Models in Biology (MTH 265) 
Physics
  • Fundamental Physics I & II (PHY 103 & PHY 104) or General Physics I & II (PHY 203 & PHY 204)
Social Sciences
  • General Psychology (PSY 100)
  • Introduction to Sociology (SOC 110)

Grow through experiences

Explore resources

In addition to exploring the Pre-Health Student Resource Center's page on gaining experience, students should check out the Association of American Medical College's page for a deeper dive on experiences that are relevant to medicine.

Join the club

Students are encouraged to join UWL's Pre-Med Club: Pre-Med Chapter of American Medical Student Association and the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (AMSA and SOMA).

Participate in Medical Mock Interview Day

Medical Mock Interview Day is a simulation of a medical school interview, including traditional and MMI formats. Students' applications to participate are collected by Pre-Med Club and the Pre-Health Center between April and August. Student volunteers are also needed. The experience is facilitated by UWL's alumni physicians, Drs. Milt and Yvonne Datta (alum, '82). A special thanks to them, the UWL Foundation and College of Science and Health for their support. Email prehealth@uwlax.edu to learn more.

Learn about the Pre-Med Committee and applying to med school

The Pre-Medicine Committee is a group of faculty advisors and Pre-Health Center staff, brought together to aid pre-med students on their journey to medical school. The committee created a document with in-depth information regarding the committee itself and the process of applying to medical school. All pre-med students are expected to read this document. Additionally, in order to receive a letter of recommendation from the committee, students are required to attend a Pre-Med Advising Meeting at least once during their time at UWL. These are usually offered once per year in February.

Prepare to apply

Timeline

Applications are collected via AMCAS (for MD), AACOMAS (for DO), and TMDSAS (for Texas medical schools). Generally, AMCAS opens in May, and you can submit your application starting in early June. It is important to submit your application early in the cycle, as competition gets stronger and there are fewer interview invites/offers available later in the summer. DO applications tend to run later than MD applications, however.

Tips, via NAAHP, AAMC, and experiences from past students
  • Choose the right application cycle/year for you, and apply early within that cycle; competition increases as you apply later in the summer!
  • Early in your pre-med career, develop a list of schools to which you plan to apply; make sure that the majority on your list are schools where your statistics (GPA/MCAT) are at or above the average admitted student profile (not the "minimum").
  • Plan to set aside plenty of time to study and prepare for the MCAT. Students will often take the exam during spring or early summer of their junior year.
  • Know that you will have "primary" (via AMCAS and/or AACOMAS and/or TMDSAS) and "secondary applications" (via the specific medical schools to which you applied).
  • Get your letter writers in order as early as possible. If you plan to use the Pre-Med Committee's services, be sure to attend the mass advising meeting (usually in February), and make contact with members of the committee. By attending the mass advising meeting, you will be given access to the pre-med committee's Canvas course.
  • Be prepared for the possibility of re-applying next cycle, and know that you should seek out mentors for feedback
  • Gap years can be a good thing for personal and professional development!
  • Consider paying for the MSAR subscription (~$20) to get advanced statistics and information on medical schools. This will help you make a better decision on where to apply. For osteopathic medicine schools, use the free Choose DO Explorer.