Resources for Premedical Students available for download:
Application materials for a Premedical Committee interview
The Biology major for Premedical students
There are many different options for “premedical” study at MSU. In fact, any academic major can be “premedical”, provided that you take the courses required by the medical school. For example, the University of Missouri – Columbia School of Medicine requires a bachelor's degree with 2 semesters of English composition, 1 semester of mathematics, 8 hours of general biology, 8 hours of inorganic chemistry, 8 hours of organic chemistry and 8 hours of general physics. The Saint Louis University School of Medicine also requires 12 hours in humanities and behavioral sciences. These requirements can be met while majoring in a variety of fields. Which one is "best" depends partly on you and your interests.
As a premedical student, you must not only take the required courses and excel academically, but also gain other experience and knowledge to help you to gain admission and succeed in medical school. Most students choose to major in an area of the sciences. They broaden their education by taking courses in the humanities, ethics and the social sciences. Almost 50% of first year medical students have majored in Biology. In a recent questionnaire, medical school graduates indicated that 6 of the 9 “very important” or “important” undergraduate courses they took for medical school preparation were courses in Biology.
Courses in the Biology Department have a strong laboratory emphasis that allows first-hand experience in application of theory and provides opportunities to develop technical skills. A recent graduate of the Biology Department and a first year medical student wrote, “I just received my grades for the first semester, and I am in the top 10% of my class. I think that speaks very highly of the education I received in the Biology Department.”
The Biology Department and the Biology major at Missouri State offer significant advantages to premedical students. Biology is the largest department in the natural sciences at Missouri State. Research specialties among the faculty include cell biology, microbiology, molecular and population genetics, physiology, systematics, ecology, and evolution. Biology faculty receive more research grants and have won more University awards for research and teaching than any other science department on campus.
It it is important for premedical students to distinguish themselves through extracurricular activities such as service and research. Biology faculty maintain active research programs that involve students and provide many opportunities for undergraduate involvement in research. Student organizations such as the MSU Premedical society, Tri Beta Biological Honorary, the Wildlife Club, Sierra Club, Stream Team and others provide opportunities for public service activities and leadership roles. The MSU Cooperative Education program also provides opportunities for relevant extracurricular experiences.
The Biology Department has 3 premedical advisors with many years of experience working with premedical students. They can recommend programs of study tailored for the individual. For an appointment call Dr. Brian Weaver , Dr. Kathy Hughes, or Dr. John Heywood at 417-836-5126.