Pre-Medicine

Pre-Medicine

The medical profession offers a wide variety of exciting, challenging, and rewarding career options. Although the environment in which medical services are provided has been changing rapidly and will continue to evolve, the physician's role as diagnostician, healer, and patient advocate remains central to the provision of health care in our country. Although most physicians provide direct patient care, some M.D./D.O. degree recipients concentrate on basic applied research, medical education or administration, or some combination of these areas.

Academic Expectations

Specific admission requirements vary per medical school. You should consult with schools of interest to determine their specific admission requirements. The course requirements for the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) College of Medicine and Creighton University's School of Medicine, along with the UNL courses that fulfill these requirements, are available by downloading the program checklist above.

Suggested academic preparation:

  • Bachelor's degree- A bachelor's degree plus prerequisite courses in the sciences are the required for most medical schools.
  • Competitive academic record- Heavy course loads (17-18 credit hours by junior year), multiple science courses with labs in the same semester, and high grades in all courses, especially the sciences, are recommended.
  • Major in anything- All UNL majors are great options.

We recommend you meet with an Explore Center advisor once a semester to ensure you are progressing with the correct academic coursework.

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Pre-Health students

Professional Degrees

There are two common types of medical degrees: the M.D. or the D.O. An M.D. degree is awarded to students who graduate from one of over 150 allopathic medical schools. Students interested in osteopathic medicine can earn a D.O. degree from one of 35 osteopathic medical schools in the nation. Both types of physicians can work in one or more specialties (family and general medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, surgery, etc.) and in various medical environments (clinics, hospitals, healthcare organizations, etc.). They diagnose illnesses, prescribe medication, and perform surgery. Osteopathic medical education also includes training in hands-on manipulative therapy. M.D. and D.O. programs generally consists of four years of academic coursework at a medical school and clinical experiences leading to the medical doctorate degree. Medical school graduates then begin residency, which can take 3-8 additional years to complete. Residency training is completed at a training hospital and is considered payed employment.

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Pre-Health students

Entrance Exam

Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)

The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is required. The MCAT is computer-based and offered on set dates throughout the year. Information about the exam, registration, and the Official Guide to the MCAT can be found on the AAMC MCAT website. You should obtain the Official Guide to the MCAT as soon as possible and use it as a guide while preparing for the MCAT exam. Other resources available at the AAMC website include study guides and practice exams.

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Application Information

Centralized Application Services- AMCAS and AACOMAS

There are three centralized application services:

For a fee, AMCAS, AACOMAS, or TMDSAS will duplicate the application and forward it to the medical schools the student is interested in. The schools will then contact applicants to verify receipt of the application and inform applicants of any additional materials they require to complete the application, such as secondary applications and letters of recommendation/evaluation. Consult with your Explore Center Advisor for application advice when you are ready to apply.

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Explore this Career

Explore careers in medicine by shadowing medical doctors in a variety of specialties and settings. Shadowing both doctors of osteopathy (D.O.) and medical doctors (M.D.) provides a well-rounded view of the profession. Additionally, review the following resources.

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