Pre-Medicine Area of Emphasis  (3 or 4 years)

Overview of Medicine as a Career

An M.D. degree is the most highly sought after prize. Admission to medical school is prestigious and the eventual monetary benefits are great. Approximately one out of three qualified students who apply to West Virginia medical schools are admitted. The drawbacks are:

  • it requires four or more years at the undergraduate level, four years in med school, and three to seven years in a certified residency program before you make much money;
  • the admission process is highly competitive;
  • an overall GPA of 3.0 and MCAT scores of 8 or better in each section are competitive for the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine; and the West Virginia University School of Medicine.

See the Occupational Outlook Handbook: Medicine. Also, see the American Medical Association

Prerequisite Courses

The courses listed below are general suggestions. Check the professional school of your choice to see specific admission requirements.

Science Coursework

  • Principles of Biology I and II (BSC 120 and 121)
  • Introductory Biochemistry (BSC 365 for Biology majors or CHM 365 for Chemistry majors)
  • Principles of Chemistry I and II and Labs (CHM 211, 212, 217, and 218)
  • Organic Chemistry I and II and Organic Lab (CHM 355, 356, and 361)
  • General Physics I and II and labs (PHY 201, 202, 203 and 204)
  • Mathematics to meet prerequisite requirements for the science courses listed above (MTH 122, Trigonometry; MTH 127/130, College Algebra; MTH 140, Applied Calculus, or MTH 229, Calculus I). COS requires Calculus (MTH 140 or 229) to meet graduation requirements.

General Education Coursework

  • English Composition I and II (ENG 101 and 201)
  • Social and Behavioral Science. General Psychology (PSY 201) and/or Introductory Sociology (SOC 200)
  • Follow catalog for degree requirements B.S. or B.A.

Recommended Coursework

  • Histology (BSC 300)
  • Principles of Microbiology and Lab (BSC 302 and BSC 304)
  • Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (BSC 310) or Human Anatomy (BSC 227) Note: BSC 227 does not count toward a Biological Science degree.
  • Principles of Cell Biology (BSC 322)
  • Animal Physiology (BSC 422) or Human Physiology (BSC 228) Note: BSC 228 does not count toward a Biological Science degree.
  • Introductory Immunology (BSC 448)

Medical School Coursework

Medical school is demanding, fast paced and long hours. Typically the first two years of medical school is divided into three week blocks. The last two years are clinical experiences. Click here to view an idea of the overall requirements at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. Of course medical schools vary so you should check the school of your choice for more information.

Professional Exam

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), is taken preferably in the fall or early spring of your junior year of undergraduate school.

Currently, the MCAT is a five and one-half hour self-paced computerized exam. Optional breaks are including during the exam. The exam is divided into four parts: verbal reasoning (40 questions lasting 60 minutes), biological sciences (52 questions lasting 70 minutes), physical sciences (52 questions lasting approximately 70 minutes), and writing sample (approximately 2 questions lasting 60 minutes).

The approximate cost is $210.00. Additional fees such as late registration, change of testing site, or rescheduling fees can be included in the total cost.

There is no penalty for guessing; which means that if you are unsure of your answer, you should guess rather than leave the question unanswered. Unanswered items are incorrect, but there are no additional score reductions for answers that you guess incorrectly. The scores range from a low of 1 to a high of 15 for each of the three multiple-choice sections of the test. Writing Sample essays are rated by a group of trained readers. Your raw score on the Writing Sample is the sum of four individual raw scores ranging from 1 to 6.  Your total raw score is converted to an alphabetic scale ranging from J (lowest) to T (highest).

For the most current information on cost, review the MCAT web site.

MCAT 2015

In 2015, the MCAT's changes. The writing sample will be eliminated and replaced with a reading/critical thinking exam. The MCAT will include more social/behavioral science specifically Psychology, Sociology with some Philosophy and Ethics. The science portion will not change.

Click here for more information on the upcoming MCAT 2015.

MCAT 2015

Links to Professional Schools

College of Science • One John Marshall Drive • Science Building 270 • Huntington, WV 25755
(304) 696-2372