Pre-Med Preparation

Freshman Year          

All new, first-time, pre-med interested students must attend a Pre-Med Information Session.  Please call (775) 784-4684 for scheduled dates and times.   

  • Understand the E-A-M (Experience-Attributes-Metrics) qualifiers for medical school programs
  • Work with your Pre-Med Peer Mentor
  • Start to build your pre-med portfolio

Sophomore Year

  • Meet with your pre-med mentor or pre-professional advisor to review your academic progress
  • Discuss areas of needed improvement or shifts in academic plans
  • Continue being involved in campus/community-related leadership activities 
  • Research and seek summer internships, volunteer opportunities or research experience
  • Start researching schools in which you are interested - a good way to begin is on Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) website.
  • Start to become familiar with MCAT exam subjects as you move through your academic coursework

Junior Year

Juniors/Seniors are strongly encouraged to attend a Personal Statement and/or MMI Interview Workshop.  Please call (775) 784-4684 for scheduled dates and times. 

  • Reality check - What are your chances?  Check in with your pre-professional advisor to review your E-A-M progress. 
  • Make a list of schools you are interested in and request catalogs
  • MCAT: register, study and take exam. 
  • Apply for the AAMC's Fee Assistance Program
  • Apply to medical schools (early summer if possible)
  • Consider taking valuable electives: Biochemistry, Genetics, Communication, Microbiology, Ethics, Foreign language
  • Secure your letters of recommendation
  • Finalize your personal statement
  • Prepare for your interviews

Senior Year

  • Re-take MCAT, if necessary
  • Check out your graduation requirements
  • Complete secondary applications
  • Confirm your commitment
  • Seek honors & scholarships for medical school
  • Send appropriate people thank you notes and inform them of your success or future plans

What is the difference between Allopathic Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine?

There are two types of physicians: The M.D. - Doctor of Medicine, and the D.O. - Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. M.D.'s are also known as allopathic physicians. While M.D.'s and D.O.'s may all use accepted methods of treatment, including drugs and surgery, D.O.'s place special emphasis on the body's musculoskeletal system, preventive medicine and holistic patient care.

What Should I Major In? 

Pre-medicine is not a major, but a set of courses and activities required by medical schools for admission.  Any major is appropriate as long as the student fulfills all premedical requirements.  Choose a major that interests you. Students are advised to consult with their pre-professional advisor at each stage of the medical school preparation.  Sign-up for related pre-med activities such as, mock MMI interviews, and personal statement writing workshops.

Building your Experience-Attributes-Metrics (E-A-M)

METRICS (Coursework and Test Scores)

1.  Pre-Medical Course Prerequisites

Course prerequisites can vary among medical schools.  Each school's specific requirements can be found in the Medical School Admission Requirements book, available at, or through the Osteopathic Medical College Information Book, available at the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine website. It is the applicant's responsibility to determine the specific requirements of each program to which they are applying. All required courses should be taken for a letter grade. The general requirements are:

  • General Chemistry: One year with lab (Chem 121, 122)
  • Organic Chemistry: One year with lab (Chem 341/342/345)
  • Physics: One year with lab (Physics 151, 152)
  • English: One year (English 101,102)
  • Mathematics: One year of calculus for about 25% of schools. Statistics may be required by some schools.
  • Biology: Most schools require a minimum of 12 credits of biology, with at least one lab. Courses that can be used to fulfill this requirement include BIOL 190, BIOL 191, BIOL 192, BIOL 223, BIOL 224, BIOL 251-with additional course work required in genetics, and immunology, particularly for the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNSOM).
  • Biochemistry: BCH 400, 405/406 highly recommended for the new MCAT.
  • Social Sciences & Humanities: Psy 101, Soc 101, Psy 441 highly recommended for the new MCAT.

For specific admission information for The University of Nevada School Of Medicine, contact the University of Nevada School of Medicine.

2.  Test Scores (MCAT)

The new Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) includes four sections:

  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  • Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

Test time is approximately 7 1/2 hours.  Please schedule an appointment with your pre-professional advisor to discuss the timing of this important examination as well as specific course preparation.

EXPERIENCE / Extracurricular Activities

To be a competitive applicant, medical schools strongly recommend your participation in these extracurricular activities:

  • Community or camus Service (paid or volunteer)
  • Physician Shadowing/Clinical Observations
  • Research
  • Medical/Clinical experience
  • Paid Employment Medical/Clinical

Other extracurricular activities could be involved in tutoring, shadowing abroad, participating in a summer pre-health internship program or campus or community leadership. 


Admission committees want to know that an applicant can work effectively with those around them, particularly in the health care environment.  Some of the personal attributes or core competencies you should strengthen and build are:

  • Professionalism
  • Leadership skills
  • Effective communication and conflict management skills
  • Empathy and compassion
  • Responsibility and maturity
  • Effective organizational skills
  • Diversity and relationship building
  • Problem-solving skills 

Application Process

Most allopathic medical schools belong to the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) which allows you to apply through one initial application on the web at You can apply to all osteopathic medical schools through a separate application service (*ACCOMAS) on the web at the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine website. Applications are submitted approximately 12-15 months prior to entering medical school.

Letters of Recommendation

All medical schools require letters of recommendation, usually 3-5 at the time of the secondary application. It is advisable that 1-2 letters come from science faculty and one be from someone in health care with whom you have worked or volunteered. AMCAS offers a Letters of Recommendation Service.

Important Website Resources