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Explore pre-medicine at UW-Eau Claire

By declaring yourself pre-medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, you are taking the next step toward working in the medical field. We offer a rigorous curriculum and experiential learning opportunities that will prepare you not only for saving lives but making a difference in the health care industry. Pre-medicine is not a major at UW-Eau Claire, but rather a declaration of your intention to continue your education and enroll in medical school.

There are a number of majors to choose from that will enrich your education, and because medical school admissions committees consider applicants from a wide variety of academic backgrounds, there is no "official" pre-med major. Instead, students are expected to have completed the core group of pre-med courses, including the basic preparatory work for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), during their undergraduate program. This means that you can choose the major that is most relevant to your interests and goals and still complete the necessary prerequisites.

At UW-Eau Claire, more than your coursework will set you apart. You can take part in undergraduate research, job shadowing and other exciting opportunities made available through our collaboration with Mayo Clinic. Certain skills and experiences like those found here are typically favored of medical school applicants, in addition to a competitive GPA. Many medical schools also emphasize science aptitude and expect strong communication skills. Our exceptional advisors and faculty members — including pre-health peer advisors — are aware of medical school requirements and will do everything they can to support you during your time at UWEC.

Doctors play an important role in improving the health of individuals, families and communities. Often on the front lines of the health care system, an excellent education is the foundation of an impactful and successful career. Begin yours at UW-Eau Claire. 

Real-world opportunities at your fingertips

Collaborative research experience is at the heart of UW-Eau Claire's pre-med program. Whether you are working directly with a faculty member or a Mayo Clinic health professional, you'll gain the real-world knowledge and skills you need to prepare for a career in the medical field.

Hear from Blugolds Caterra and Keng on why they chose UWEC and how their classroom experience and undergraduate research will set them apart as they apply to medical school. 

Why be pre-medicine at UW-Eau Claire?

Valuable community partnerships. UW-Eau Claire pre-med students benefit from several major medical facilities in the region that provide the area with not only state-of-the-art, quality health care, but also shadowing and internship opportunities. UWEC specifically has strong ties to Mayo Clinic, Marshfield Clinic and Sacred Heart Hospital, as well as smaller health care facilities like the Chippewa Valley Free Clinic.

Research opportunities. As the top master's-level university for undergraduate research, opportunities to explore and discover are endless. Many of our students work directly with faculty and local professionals on groundbreaking research projects, driving innovation and making real improvements to the world around us. Students may also choose to take their research experience a step further by presenting their findings at both regional and national conferences. 

Excellent career preparation. There are countless opportunities to connect with professionals in the field and learn real-world skills before graduation. Participate in medical school fairs, case competitions, Mayo College of Medicine and Science programming and so much more. 

Innovative facilities. UW-Eau Claire is one of only a few schools of its size with a career center dedicated to supporting pre-med students. The William J. and Marian A. Klish Health Careers Center offers one-on-one pre-med advising, opportunities to meet with admissions representatives from professional schools, and participate in workshops designed to build effective tools for career development and competitive applications.

Relevant student organizations. On-campus student organizations — like the Pre-Professional Health Club — connect students like you who are also interested in a medical career. These extracurriculars are an excellent way to learn from guest speakers, engage in volunteer work and tour graduate programs in the region.

Continuing the journey

Zach Caterer grew up playing baseball, so he knows that if a pitcher throws you a curveball, you need to adjust your swing to hit a home run. Prior to attending UW-Eau Claire, Zach had an accident that left him with a spinal cord injury that would change the trajectory of his life. Now a biochemistry and molecular biology and mathematics double major, Zach is part of UWEC's pre-medicine program.

Loving math and science, Zach always had thoughts of maybe being a doctor someday. And after being in the hospital for three months, followed by near-daily physical therapy for six months, finding his “new normal" solidified his desire to work in the medical field. Choosing UW-Eau Claire has allowed Zach to continue his recovery and explore his interests in biology and medicine, even joining a research team within his first semester on campus.

“I have friends who go to bigger universities, and they say they don’t even see their professors. Here, I was a freshman already doing research with my professor. It’s been a great experience.”

Quick facts

Pre-medicine program details 
  • Offered: in person
  • Campus: Eau Claire
  • Students are able to choose a major and/or minor that best aligns with their career goals.
UWEC student organizations related to pre-medicine
  • Pre-Professional Health Clu
  • Biology Club
  • American Chemical Society-Student Affiliate (ACS-SA)
  • Women and Gender Minorities in STEM

What's next after completing the pre-medicine program?

After earning your undergraduate degree from UWEC, your next step toward becoming a doctor is enrolling in medical school. There are currently around 136 allopathic medical schools — offering the M.D. degree — and 26 osteopathic medical schools — offering the D.O. degree — in the United States, each taking four years to complete. The first two years consist of classroom and laboratory work in the basic sciences; the final two years are devoted to clinical training. M.D.s and D.O.s enter a residency program of three or more years directly after medical school to gain advanced clinical training in their specialty.

UW-Eau Claire is known nationally for its strong biology and chemistry programs and has a long history of producing skilled graduates regularly accepted to medical school. In fact, UWEC's acceptance rate for students applying to medical school is above the national average.

The majority of UW-Eau Claire graduates attend the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Medical College of Wisconsin, Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine or the University of Minnesota Medical School. Others have attended various private medical schools or schools of osteopathic medicine all around the country. 

What can I do with an M.D. or D.O.?

A doctor of medicine (M.D.) or a doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) diagnoses, treats and prevents disease and delivers care. Physicians may go on to choose medical specialties such as allergy and immunology, anesthesiology, dermatology, emergency medicine, family medicine, neurology, obstetrics, pathology, pediatrics, psychiatry and so much more. 

I knew that I wanted to go to medical school, and the faculty at UWEC showed me how I was going to make that happen in the best way possible. UW-Eau Claire will take an undergrad anywhere they want to go. The school revolves around its undergrads, and that is not always the case at the bigger schools.

Anthony Roberts Pre-Med
As a Blugold, Callie Vogel found a variety of experiences on campus, in the community and in other parts of the world that helped her gain the knowledge, experiences and confidence she needs to pursue a career in medicine.

Advocating for health equality

At UW-Eau Claire, courses offer a chance to step out of your comfort zone and explore how your interests and passions intersect with the real world. 

For pre-med student Callie Vogel, this opportunity came in the form of visiting nearby jails and talking with incarcerated individuals. Collecting data around mental health, housing status and other demographic factors, Callie and her peers discovered that those who were incarcerated had a variety of health issues — but many lacked proper health care. The students presented their findings to Eau Claire community leaders and stakeholders, promoting change. And it worked. Their research and push for health equality have already led to improvements within the jails.    

"This project greatly contributed to my passion to be a doctor, especially one who works in rural medicine providing care to those most in need and those facing health disparities," Callie said. 

Pre-medicine curriculum

The pre-med curriculum at UWEC consists of courses needed to meet the entrance requirements for the majority of medical schools and to prepare you for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). This standardized exam is required for admission to nearly all medical schools. The exam consists of four parts: biological and biochemical foundations of living systems; chemical and physical foundations of biological systems; psychological, social and biological foundations of behavior; and critical analysis and reasoning skills; and is taken in the spring semester or summer following the junior or senior year. 

Medical schools also often look for significant health-related and service experiences, such as medical research, job shadowing or internships. UWEC's curriculum is intentionally designed to offer pre-med students these types of real-world experiences prior to graduation. Pre-med students are also eligible to participate in study abroad opportunities, programming UWEC is nationally known for. An international experience can complement and enhance both your general program of study and your pre-health interests. Moreover, fluency in a language other than English and cross-cultural experience can enhance your application to a health professional school. 

What classes do pre-medicine students take?

Students interested in a career in medicine may focus on these topics during their undergraduate career:

Learn more about pre-medicine in the UWEC course catalog.

Aiming high to serve others

While waiting in line at an Eau Claire food bank 10 years ago, Broc Kelly promised himself that he’d one day serve meals instead of receiving them. Now a nontraditional undergraduate student at UW-Eau Claire, he never imagined the outcome his Blugold education could bring.

Broc always dreamed of becoming a physician, so he elected to be pre-med with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. He recently applied to medical school with the help of his UWEC professors and was elated to learn that, not only was he accepted into the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine and Public Health, but that he would also receive a full scholarship.

“It’s been a wild ride, and I couldn’t have done it without my mentors. They inspire me every day to be my best version of myself," Broc says.

When it comes to his placement in a specialty beyond medical school, Broc wants to take the opportunity to give back and “go wherever there is the biggest need; wherever I can make the biggest difference.”

Related programs at UW-Eau Claire

Programs that would best support a career in medicine include:

Department information

Multiple departments support this program. Learn more about them!

Photo of student working in a biology lab

Biology

Phillips Science Hall 330
101 Roosevelt Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Visit the Biology department website
Students work in a lab

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Phillips Science Hall 430
101 Roosevelt Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Visit the Chemistry and Biochemistry department website

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