Biology  
Pre-Medicine

Recommended OCU Degree:Cell and Molecular Biology (B.S.)

Prerequisites:

General Biology*

Gen Chem I and II*

Org Chem I and II*

Physics I and II*

Any one of the following*: Cell, Genetics, Comp Anat, Histology, or Embryology

*Appears on MCAT, taken after Junior year. Click here for MCAT info.

MCAT Recommendations:

1/3 of MCAT is Biology. Take as much Biology as possible, including Micro, Genetics, and Biochem.

Medical Schools in Oklahoma:

OU College of Medicine (OU Health Science Center)

OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some common questions about pre-medicine studies.
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When should I get serious about preparing for medical school?

What major should I select if I am pre-medicine?

Who are the pre-medicine advisors at OCU?

How many students are in the pre-medicine program at OCU? What percentage of first year students complete the pre-medicine program? What percentage of graduates gain admission into medical school after graduation?

To what medical schools do students at OCU typically apply to and gain admission into?

Is there anything about your pre-medicine program that makes it stand out from those at other colleges or universities?

What makes Oklahoma City University unique compared to other universities?

What is the difference between allopathic and osteopathic medicine?

When will the MCAT be given?

What are the course prerequisites for admission to the OU College of Medicine?

Where is the OU College of Medicine's web page?

Where is the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine's web page?

Links to Other Medical Profession Web Pages



1. When should I get serious about preparing for medical school?

All new pre-medicine students should read the article entitled "Undergraduate Prep for Medical School Begins on Day One," written by Howard B. Duncan. Click the link Day One to get a copy. Print it out and tack it up over the desk where you study! This short article offers some of the best advice anyone will ever give you about getting into medical school.

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2. What major should I select if I am pre-medicine?

"Pre-medicine" is itself not a major - it is a program of study that prepares a student for application to medical school. Medical schools do not specify what major you should declare while you are an undergraduate. At OCU most students who plan to apply to medical school major in biology or biochemistry, but so long as you meet course pre-requisites and other requirements there is no reason why you can't major in any field of study that interests you.

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3. Who are the pre-medicine advisors at OCU?

While all the OCU biology faculty serve as pre-medicine advisors, Dr. Helen Gaudin is the go-to person for pre-professional questions.

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4. How many students are in the pre-medicine program at OCU? What percentage of first year students complete the pre-medicine program? What percentage of graduates gain admission into medical school after graduation?

We have a small number of majors in biology, biochemistry and chemistry, annually about 80 total students.

The total number of majors may vary widely from year to year, and is affected by several factors: the number of new freshmen and transfer students, the number of graduating students, and by the number of students who change majors.

Many first year students who declare pre-medicine as their course of study change their plans. They decide to pursue a master's or doctoral degree program, or change to dentistry, pharmacy, or some other health profession field. Some entering students list a science major because they honestly don't know what to list and find pre-medicine a more glamorous alternative to "undeclared." Many of these students change to other majors once they determine what they really want to do.

In addition, it is difficult to answer these questions because not all pre-medicine students are science majors — we have had students major in music and other non-science fields who have completed pre-medicine requirements in conjunction with their other course work. Like all undergraduate programs, our student numbers are also affected by students who leave school altogether, by students who transfer elsewhere, and even by those who leave and later return to complete their studies.

All of these factors together affect our numbers and the number of students who go on to matriculate in a medical program. In some recent years all of our graduates who have applied to medical school have been accepted. But in other recent years that proportion has been much lower. The bottom line is that when you have small numbers of students it may be inaccurate at best, and misleading at worst, to use annual percentages in characterizing student successes. 

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5. To what medical schools do students at OCU typically apply to and gain admission into?

Most students at OCU are Oklahoma residents, and most of our pre-medicine students apply to The University of Oklahoma College of Medicine (M.D.) and/or the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) programs. Both of these are state-supported programs and both accept only a limited number of non-resident students.

A much smaller percentage of our students apply to medical schools in Texas. In the past few years our graduates have matriculated in both Oklahoma medical colleges, the University of Houston, St. Louis University, the University of Adelaide (Australia) and the Royal College of Surgeons (Ireland).

As you prepare for your medical training, keep in mind that most students have the greatest chance of gaining admittance into the medical school(s) in their state of residence. However, a student can complete his or her pre-requisite coursework at just about any accredited college or university. 

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6. Is there anything about your pre-medicine program that makes it stand out from those at other colleges or universities?

We provide a personalized educational experience. All of our students work closely with their faculty advisor in developing their program of study. We encourage all of our students to pursue additional coursework, over an above the minimum required for the program that they plan to apply to. For example, here is a list of the pre-requisite coursework specified for admission to the University of Oklahoma M.D. program:

  • General Zoology/Biology (including lab) - one semester
  • General Chemistry - two semesters
  • Organic Chemistry - two semesters
  • English - three semesters
  • Physics - two semesters
  • Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology, Philosophy, Humanities and Foreign Languages (any combination) - three semesters
  • Histology, Genetics, Embryology, Cellular Biology or Comparative Anatomy (any of these) - one semester

Biology majors at OCU typically begins his or her studies with BIOL 1214, Fundamentals of Biology. This course will meet the first requirement listed above. A newly admitted student who has successfully completed an advanced placement (AP) biology course will often start their biology studies at a higher level.

Most of our majors must also complete General Botany, General Microbiology, and General Zoology, all with labs, for 12 credit hours total. These four courses are the foundation of a thorough education in all of the biological sciences. In addition, all biology majors must complete additional credit hours of elective courses in the major. We strongly encourage our students to take General Biochemistry and Advanced Biochemistry during their junior or senior year.

While the medical school at the University of Oklahoma only requires one additional course in biology (see the last item in the list above), our pre- medicine students are encouraged to complete all of them: we offer Cell Biology, Introductory Genetics, Molecular Genetics, Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, Embryology and other courses on a regular, published schedule. Also, biology majors may complete additional credit hours in areas called Directed Study, Independent Research, and Internship. Directed Study courses offered in recent years include Immunology, Virology, Introduction to Biotechnology, Virology, Introduction to Protein Structure, and Functional Genomics. These courses provide students with additional choices as they plan their program of study.

Students may complete Research either here at OCU under the direction of one of the faculty, or elsewhere. We encourage our students to apply for summer research fellowships. We have had many students participate in the SURE program at the Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center; other students have gone to summer research programs at the University of Arkansas, California Academy of Sciences, Harvard University, the University of Iowa, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Wyoming. Students can also conduct research during regular semesters and summers at OCU.

As a member of the biology faculty and chairman of the department, I can state with certainty that our greatest concern is to help our students prepare for their future careers. We take our roles as advisor, counselor, and teacher very seriously. Like scientists everywhere, we enjoy a field trip to a prairie ecosystem, camping with students at a wildlife refuge, or seeing a researcher present his or her paper at a meeting. But as college educators, we realize the importance of providing a quality educational experience.

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7. What makes Oklahoma City University unique compared to other universities?

Personal attention. Whether you're in the classroom or laboratory, at the registrar's office, or in the cafeteria, you'll find that faculty and staff care about you. The science faculty members teach their classes and their laboratories at OCU. There is no such thing as having a T.A. grade exam papers here, that's too important a duty to delegate.

Our classes are small, you simply can't hide in the back of a large lecture hall here. Faculty know the names of their students and develop professional relationships with many of them that last a lifetime.

We stress writing across the curriculum at OCU. All of your courses will include written exams and assignments that will make you think.

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8. What is the difference between allopathic and osteopathic medicine?

The Association of American Medical Colleges provides information about allopathic medicine and a list of allopathic schools in the United States.

The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine provides information about osteopathic medicine and a list of osteopathic schools in the United States.

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9. When will the MCAT be given this year?

Applicants to medical school will take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) by computer. Juniors who plan to apply to medical school next year should take the MCAT this spring. Contact your faculty advisor for more information AND read more about the MCAT online. Follow the link below:

Go to http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/start.htm

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10. What are the course prerequisites for admission to the OU College of Medicine?

  • 90 credit hours; "C" or better.
  • General Zoology/Biology with Laboratory; 1 semester
  • Embryology, Genetics, Comparative Anatomy, Cellular Biology or Histology; 1 semester
  • Inorganic (General) Chemistry; 2 semesters
  • Organic Chemistry; 2 semesters
  • General Physics; 2 semesters
  • Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, Humanities, Philosophy or
  • Foreign Language (any combination); 3 semesters
  • English; 3 semesters



11. Where is the OU College of Medicine's web page?

The OU College of Medicine 

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12. Where is the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine's web page?

OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine

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