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. Physicians 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. Students on the pre-med track may apply to both Allopathic (MD) and Osteopathic (DO) medical schools. Like MDs, DOs practice in all areas of medicine with an emphasis on the health of the whole person. Additionally, students may consider Podiatric Medicine, where providers focus on the feet and lower legs.

Students will still need to select a major to complete a degree at UWL. 

Pre-med advising info and FAQs



  • General Biology (BIO 105)
  • Genetics (BIO 306) or Cellular Biology (BIO 315)
  • Anatomy & Physiology I & II (BIO 312 & BIO 313)
  • 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
  • Elementary Statistics (STAT 145)or Mathematical Models in Biology (MTH 265) 
  • One additional math course, as required by your major
    • College Algebra (MTH 150) or Precalculus (MTH 151) often acceptable; Calculus I (MTH 207) required by a handful of med schools; Calculus II (MTH 208) also acceptable
  • Fundamental Physics I & II (PHY 103 & PHY 104) acceptable
    • or General Physics I & II (PHY 203 & PHY 204) (calculus-based) also acceptable
Social Sciences & Humanities
  • General Psychology (PSY 100)
  • Introduction to Sociology (SOC 110)
  • "Writing intensive" requirements have changed!
    • UW-Madison: social sciences or humanities course with significant amount of writing and critical analysis (creative writing would not qualify)
    • UM-Twin Cities: upper-level social science or humanities course
    • UM-Duluth and MCW do not have a writing-intensive requirement
    • Always check with med schools' websites to verify their "additional" requirements
    • Updated April, 2022

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, UM-TC and Duluth, 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.

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 School Mock Interview Day

Medical School 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 to learn more.

The pre-med committee and letters of recommendation

The Pre-Medicine Committee was a group of faculty advisors, brought together to aid pre-med students on their journey to medical school. The committee was dissolved in February of 2023. 

What this means for pre-med students:

  • Students will now be able to seek out individual letters of recommendation from faculty members of their choice, based on their chosen medical schools' requirements. The Pre-Health Center created a form to help students and faculty gather the information that is often necessary for a successful application: Faculty letter of recommendation for medical school.
  • A committee letter will no longer be available. Former pre-med committee members are still great options for individual letters, and are still available to help students with the process. 
  • Students can still work with their faculty advisor/mentors in preparing for medical school; in addition, they are encouraged to reach out to the career and pre-health advisors in the Academic Advising Center & Career Services Office to get help with their application process.
Tracking your progress

UWL students can track their progress toward med school using the Mappd app. Click the image below to check it out. 


Prepare to apply


A handy timeline is now available at the bottom of this page.

Applications are collected via AMCAS (for MD), AACOMAS (for DO), and TMDSAS (for Texas medical schools). Generally, AMCAS opens in early May, and you can submit your application starting in late May/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
  • 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").
  • Choose the right application cycle/year for you, and apply early within that cycle; competition increases as you apply later in the summer!
  • 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). Much of this can be drafted prior to the opening of the CAS services.
  • Get your letters of recommendation in order as early as possible. Use the Formal request for a faculty letter of recommendation for medical school to make sure your letter writers are well-informed when writing your letter. 
  • 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 (~$28) 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.

Pre-Med application timeline (general, no gap year)

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

Spring of junior year

Fall of senior year




Start apps

Submit apps

Practice interviewing

Interview season

Personal statement


Ask for letters, keep them posted on what to expect

Update your letter writers

< Finalize your school list

Note: This timeline displays an applicant doing it ALL starting in junior year – not realistic for all pre-med students.

Many students benefit from a planned gap year. For help with mapping out your timeline, see a pre-health advisor.