A physician (medical doctor) is a person trained in the science and art of healing. This profession is concerned with the well-being of patients through the promotion, maintenance and restoration of health. A physician has earned a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree and is accepted as a practitioner of medicine under the laws of the state and/or nation in which he or she practices.
Students can choose different paths to medical school, but must be mindful of the core requirements for competitive applications, preparing for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), gaining appropriate experiences in the field and completing their respective majors. While it is possible for a pre-med student to do virtually any academic major, it is imperative for all pre-med students to work closely with both academic and health professions advisors to ensure completion of all requirements for medical schools and for their undergraduate degree. Most often, a student on a pre-med track will choose a science major such as Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, or Neuroscience since the curricula include most, if not all, required and recommended courses for medical schools.
Students will typically apply to medical school between their junior and senior years, allowing for a direct transition following graduation. Pre-Med students may also be interested in one of our two Bachelor's Degree Plus Programs. These Early Application or Affiliate programs allow students to apply to med school as high school seniors or at any point before the end of their sophomore year at Westminster. If accepted, students are guaranteed acceptance to med school provided they successfully complete the program requirements.
The following courses should also be completed prior to taking the MCAT exam:
Course requirements vary from one professional program to another, so it is the responsibility of the student to be aware of specifics regarding their schools of interest. Good planning and working closely with academic and health professions advisors are essential to maximize chances of success in the highly competitive medical school application environment.
This is a sample schedule for a Biology major preparing to take the MCAT exam between their junior and senior year and matriculating to medical school following graduation. Please note that an individual student's schedule will vary based on the major selected and the schedule of course offerings. First-Year Program (FYP) courses, Intellectual Perspectives (IP) courses, the Cluster Course (CC), which are Westminster graduation requirements, are indicated in italics.
With the exception of the core requirements and courses strongly recommended ahead of the MCAT exam, there is curricular flexibility within any chosen major and among the elective courses that are part of the liberal arts curriculum at Westminster College. Students planning to study abroad for a semester must also plan accordingly to meet all requirements and timelines. It is also advisable for students to budget time during the spring semester of their junior year to prepare for the MCAT exam.
Please contact the Health Professions Advisor, Dr. Joshua Corrette-Bennett.
Bachelor's Degree Plus Programs
Westminster Pre-Med students can apply to participate in one of our two affiliation programs that guarantee entry to medical school through the satisfactory completion of specified admissions requirements.
Our 4+4 Program with the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) offers qualified students who complete the four-year Westminster degree to be directly admitted to LECOM's Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) program. Students can apply to participate in the 4+4 Program either as high school seniors (at the same time they are applying to Westminster) OR at any time before the completion of their second year at Westminster.
Our 4+4 Program with the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) also removes some of the stress associated with applying to medical school by providing qualified pre-med students direct admission to the PCOM D.O. program after they earn their bachelor's degree from Westminster. Eligible students can enter the PCOM 4+4 program at any time through their first two years at Westminster.