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Pre-Med University of Illinois Springfield
Choose your major: You don’t have to be a science major but you should probably consider at least a minor in Biology, Chemistry, or Clinical Lab Science to receive credit on your degree for the science courses you have taken. When you consider your major think about your fall-back position. What do you plan to do if you fall short or you decide that you do not have the interest you originally thought you would in profesional health science? Major in something that peeks your interest because there is no substitute for genuine interest when it comes to motivation to do well.
Finish taking introductory biology and chemistry: Complete the introductory sequences in biology (BIO 141/241) and chemistry (CHE 141/241) if you did not as a freshman.
Take organic chemistry : If you have finished the introductory chemistry sequence consider taking the organic chemistry sequence (CHE 367/368/369/371). These are tough courses so you may decide to take them your junior year instead if your sophomore schedule is already heavy. However you need to finish these courses before you can move onto the more advanced chemistry and biology courses that you have to take.
Take physics: As with organic chemistry you may decide to take physics (ASP 201/202) in your junior year to help thin out your sophomore schedule. You need to finish your first semester of calculus before you take physics. This is another reason why it is important to finish your math courses in your freshman year.
Establish a record of excellence and leadership: Do something special to excel and demonstrate qualities of leadership, scientific curiosity, and interest in human beings. Some suggestions:
- Get involved in pre-professional organizations or other types of clubs as an officer;
- Conduct a research project with a faculty member (medical schools value analytical skills!);
- Study abroad for a summer semester to learn about another culture; and/or
- Engage in a significant volunteer activity
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