Is your goal a career in medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, optometry, podiatry or veterinary medicine? These careers require advanced study at a professional school. You can get a strong start to your dream career at NIU. Our advisors will help you follow a pre-professional health program to prepare you for professional school after graduation.
Pre-professional programs are areas of interest, not majors. You’ll prepare for admission to a professional school by completing required math and science courses in a degree area such as biology, chemistry, psychology or a related program. You’re also expected to take an examination, such as the MCAT for medicine, when applying to professional schools.
Our events and resources will assist you in preparing for and applying to professional schools. Your advisor will help you explore careers and majors, develop skills, and navigate testing and admissions processes.
Once you begin taking courses at NIU, schedule an appointment with the pre-professional studies advisor, Keyalo Gray (firstname.lastname@example.org). You’ll continue to meet with the pre-professional studies advisor each semester.
You should also meet with your college and/or departmental advisor every semester to help you stay on track to graduate.
A core of math-dependent science courses fulfills most of the undergraduate requirements for these programs. These courses also prepare you for the required entrance exams. The completion of a baccalaureate degree, in a major field of your choice, is required to gain entry into professional schools.
Recent statistics show that 63% of students admitted to U.S. medical schools were biology majors; 15% were in chemistry or physics; 11% in social sciences; 4% in health sciences; 1% math; and 6% scattered through a large number of other majors.
|Course||NIU Department and Number||Credit Hours||Corequisite (CRG) or Prerequisite (PRQ)|
|Fundamentals of Cellular Biology and lab||BIOS 208 and 210||4||CRQ: CHEM 210 and CHEM 212 and BIOS 210|
|Fundamentals of Organismal Biology and lab||BIOS 209 and 211||4||PRQ: BIOS 208 and 210 or BIOS 103 and 105|
|Cell Biology||BIOS 302||3||PRQ: BIOS 208, 209, 210, 211; CHEM 211 and 213|
|Molecular Biology||BIOS 303||3||PRQ: BIOS 208, 209, 210, 211; CHEM 211 and 213|
|Genetics||BIOS 308||5||PRQ: BIOS 208, 209, 210, 211; CHEM 211 and 213 CRQ: BIOS 209 and 211|
|Microbiology||BIOS 313||4||PRQ: BIOS 208, 209, 210, 211; CHEM 211 and 213|
|Human Physiology||BIOS 355||4||PRQ: BIOS 208, 209, 210, 211; CHEM 211 and 213 CRQ: PHYS 211 or PHYS 273|
|General Chemistry I and lab||CHEM 210 and 212||4||PRQ: MATH 110, 155 or 229 or satisfactory performance on math placement test; CHEM 110 or satisfactory performance on chemistry placement test|
|General Chemistry II and lab||CHEM 211 and 213||4||PRQ: CHEM 210 and 212|
|General Organic Chemistry I and lab OR Organic Chemistry I and lab||CHEM 330 and 332 OR CHEM 336 and 338||4||PRQ: CHEM 211 and 213|
|General Organic Chemistry II and lab OR Organic Chemistry II and lab||CHEM 331 and 333 OR CHEM 337 and 339||4||PRQ: CHEM 330|
|General Biological Chemistry or Biological Chemistry I||CHEM 470/BIOS 470X OR CHEM 472||3||PRQ: CHEM 331 or 337|
|General Physics I or Fundamentals of Physics I: Mechanics||PHYS 210 OR PHYS 253||4||PRQ: MATH 155 or equivalent CRQ: MATH 229|
|General Physics II or Fundamentals of Physics II: Electromagnetism||PHYS 211 OR PHYS 273||4||PRQ: PHYS 210 or 253|
|Calculus I (plus any prerequisites)||MATH 229||0-10||PRQ: MATH 155 with grade of C or better or satisfactory performance on the mathematics placement examination|
|Statistics||STAT 200||PRQ: MATH 206, MATH 201, MATH 211 or MATH 229|
|Sociology and Psychology (100-level courses); other options include Brain and Behavior (PSYC 300) Developmental Psychology (PSYC 324) Cognitive Psychology (PSYC 345)||4 courses||12|
Different professional programs can have slightly different course requirements. Courses such as Functional Human Anatomy (BIOS 311) and Cellular Physiology (BIOS 465), as well as undergraduate research, have proven to be relevant and useful additions to the core scientific curriculum.
Start reading regularly. Students who perform well on the reading comprehension part of the MCAT are usually active recreational readers.
Keyalo Gray, M.S.Ed.
Pre-professional Health Advisor
Academic Advising Center
Peters Campus Life Building, room 222