• Medicine

    Physicians (M.D.s/D.O.s) diagnose illness and injury, prescribe and administer treatment and advice patients about how to prevent and manage disease. Doctors also perform surgery and other complicated invasive procedures on patients. Doctors and surgeons work in a variety of settings, from hospitals and private offices to health clinics and schools.

    Medicine is a profession that can lead to many different career options. Most doctors work full time attending to patients while others engage in academic research, teaching, public health and development of healthcare policies.

    There are two paths to becoming a doctor: allopathic medicine, which leads to an M.D. (medical doctor), or osteopathic medicine, which leads to a D.O. (doctor of osteopathic medicine). The education and training for Allopathic (M.D.s) and Osteopathic physicians (D.O.s) is very similar and both degree recipients are licensed to practice medicine.

    Osteopathic medicine provides all of the benefits of modern medicine including prescription drugs, surgery, and the use of technology to diagnose disease and evaluate injury. It also offers the added benefit of hands-on diagnosis and treatment through a system of therapy known as osteopathic manipulative medicine. Osteopathic medicine emphasizes helping each person achieve a high level of wellness by focusing on health promotion and disease prevention.

    Besides rigorous medical school training, Osteopathic physicians take an additional 200 hours of education in osteopathic manipulative medicine. This system of hands-on techniques helps alleviate pain, restores motion, supports the body’s natural functions and influences the body’s structure to help it function more efficiently. D.O.s are trained to use a holistic approach to treat patients; they integrate the patient as a partner in the healthcare process. Osteopathic medicine also has a long tradition of producing outstanding primary care physicians. In fact, most osteopathic medical schools state their commitment to producing primary care physicians as part of their mission statement. “Osteopathic medicine also has a special focus on providing care in rural and urban underserved areas, allowing D.O.s to have a greater impact on the U.S. population's health and well-being than their numbers would suggest. While DOs constitute 7 percent of all U.S. physicians, they are responsible for 16 percent of patient visits in communities with populations of fewer than 2,500.

    Degree Programs

    According to your interests you might consider pursuing one of the following career options within medicine:


    This is the medical degree most familiar to people in the United States and around the world. Allopathic medicine traditionally treats and suppresses symptoms of disease by using pharmacological agents and physical interventions. The MD program is a four-year degree granted by the medical school. Students complete their requirements for practicing medicine by passing the USMLE medical licensing exam. Many doctors go on to residency programs to complete more specialized training.


    The M.D./Ph.D. training combines a medical degree with research training leading to careers in biomedical research and academic medicine. The coursework and research leading to the Ph.D. degree usually add 4 to 5 additional years to student’s medical school program; therefore, people pursuing this degree complete their training in seven to eight years rather than four.


    Osteopathic medical schools confer a four-year degree Doctor of Osteopathy degree, DO. After completing their medical training, DO’s are required to take the COMLEX licensing exam, and can also choose to take the USMLE. D.O.s practice the full scope of medicine in all specialties of the medical field.

    Choice of Major

    Pre-medical students may choose from any of Hamline’s major fields. While many pre-medical students declare a major in biology, chemistry, or biochemistry, Hamline students who combine the required pre-medical coursework with a major in another area (e.g., philosophy or psychology) have been equally successful in gaining admission into medical school.

    Prerequisite Coursework for M.D. and D.O. Programs

    Course requirements vary by medical school. Every pre-medical student is responsible for verifying admission requirements for all the schools to which they might be applying. According to the AAMCS, the minimum prerequisite coursework for most medical schools in the United States includes two years of Biology, one year of Physics, one year of English and two years of Chemistry (through Organic Chemistry). Some courses such as Biochemistry, Psychology and Sociology might not be required for admission but are strongly recommended for optimal preparation for the MCAT exam. The following Hamline University courses might be used to fulfill prerequisite coursework for admission to medical school. It is important that students who identify as premeds enroll in CHEM 1130 during their first year at Hamline. Contact a pre-med adviser if you have questions about course selection and enrollment.


    BIOL 1510- Intro. to Biology I
    BIOL 1520- Intro. to Biology II
    BIOL 3050- Principles of Genetics
    BIOL 3060- Principles of Cell Biology
    BIOL 3820- Biochemistry I


    CHEM 1130- General Chemistry I
    CHEM 1140- General Chemistry II
    or CHEM 1150- Advanced General Chemistry
    CHEM 3450- Organic Chemistry I
    CHEM 3460- Organic Chemistry II


    MATH 1170- Calculus I
    PSY 1340 or QMBE 1310- Statistics


    PHYS 1230- General Physics I
    PHYS 1240- General Physics II
    PHYS 1150- Algebra-based Physics I
    PHYS 1160- Algebra-based Physics II


    Social Sciences requirements vary amongst medical schools. Please check the admission criteria for the schools that you might be applying to.

    PSY 1330- General Psychology
    SOC 1110- Introduction to Social Thinking
    SOC 1120- Social Problems
    ANTH 1160- Introduction to Anthropology


    Most medical schools recommend that applicants take at least two semesters (8 credits) of college level English courses. Hamline students can take:

    ENG 1110- Writing and Reading Texts
    ENG 1800- Introduction to Professional Writing and Rhetoric
    ENG 3010- Textual Studies and Criticism
    ENG 3020- Literary and Cultural Theory
    Courses in the following areas strongly recommended in preparation for the MCAT exam:


    A Philosophy course; choose any of the following classes:

    PHIL 1120- General Philosophy
    PHIL 1140- Ethics
    PHIL 1130- Logic

    Applying to Medical School

    Ideally, students should complete the pre-medical core of studies by the end of their third year. In the third year, students take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Also at that time, students begin the process of submitting required materials to the Hamline pre-medical committee for their medical school Credential File. Students must select the schools to which they wish to apply, secure 4-5 letters of reference from faculty and others, and compose their personal statement, describing their genuine commitment to the medical profession. Success in gaining entrance to medical school is enhanced by several factors: (1) a high cumulative grade point average; (2) a high MCAT score; (3) indication of personal strengths, social skills, and communication skills; and (4) commitment toward a medical career (as evidenced by participation in medically related extracurricular and volunteer activities).

    Credential File

    Setting up a credential file will facilitate your application to medical schools The two main purposes for credential files are 1) to gather information from you and from your letter of recommendation writers so that Hamline’s pre-health committee can complete a Pre-Medical Committee Summary Letter (not required, but needed by many schools), and 2) to submit your letter packet of recommendations to AMCAS, AACOMAS, or other schools of your choosing.

    It is recommended that you attend a pre-medical information session at Hamline (held in spring and fall). Then, you should set up a credential file with the Natural Sciences Division Faculty Assistant in Robbins 105 or through the Pre-Health Director.

    Please read the detailed credential file instructions below. Forms 1 - 5 are in Microsoft Word documents. Type in your information, save, and email the completed forms to the Natural Sciences Faculty Assistant or the Pre-Health Program Director. Questions can be directed to these individuals or your pre-health advisor.

    Credential File Forms

    Timeline for Juniors and Seniors

    Medical School Application Timeline - The application process starts approximately 18 months prior to the beginning of medical school. Example: If you intend to start medical school in the Fall of 2020, you will need to apply for entry starting in May of 2019.

    • End of 2021 - Become familiar with the medical school application process, and gather information about medical schools.
    • January 2022 - 2020 AMCAS Fee Assistance Program opens.
    • January-September 2022 - Take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)! The MCAT is offered electronically at specific testing sites. 20 test dates are offered annually, with testing days available in January and continuing through September (however we recommend no later than early summer). Minnesota test sites include Bloomington, Duluth, Eagan, Rochester, and Woodbury. Registration opens as early as 7 months prior to the test date. Scores are released approximately 4 weeks after testing.
    • Spring 2022 - Request letters of recommendation from faculty and physicians.
    • April 2022 - 2021 AMCAS Resources available.
    • May 2022 - The online American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) opens for new registrations.
    • May 2022 - The online American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS) opens for new registrations (official date TBD).
    • May 1, 2022 - Target Date for opening Credential File with the Credential File Administrator in the science division.
    • June 2022 - AMCAS application submission begins.
    • June 15, 2022 - Target Date for completing submission of materials to Credential File.
    • July 2022 - Initial transmission of AMCAS application data to medical schools (if application is complete).
    • August 2022 - Early Decision Program deadline.
    • September-December 2022 - Application deadlines.

    Hamline's Pre-Med Social Media


    Relevant Tests


    Application Resources

    Volunteer Opportunities