At the University of Minnesota Morris, students enjoy a unique combination of advantages as they prepare for careers in healthcare professions.
A Morris education makes a difference. The campus boasts a medical school acceptance rate significantly higher than the national average. In recent years, Morris graduates have been accepted at medical schools like:
- University of Minnesota Twin Cities
- University of Minnesota Duluth
- Duke University
- University of Iowa
- St. Louis University
- Temple University
- University of Chicago
- University of South Dakota
- University of North Dakota
- Medical College of Wisconsin
- University of Nebraska
- Wright State University
In addition to working with an individual faculty adviser to plan and prepare for application to medical school, each pre-med student is assisted by the Pre-med Advising Committee.
Morris provides a human cadaver for anatomy courses, one of few undergraduate colleges with this valuable pre-med resource.
The campus has a cooperative relationship with Stevens County Ambulance Service that allows pre-med students to receive course credit for preparing to work as an EMT during the academic year.
The atmosphere at the University of Minnesota Morris is cooperative rather than competitive. Pre-med students work together to succeed.
At the University of Minnesota, Morris, your academic adviser will help you coordinate your pre-med courses with your major and general education requirements. In addition, you will be assisted by the Pre-health Committee, a group of faculty who strive to help pre-med students and their advisers create the strongest academic and extra-curricular experience the University of Minnesota, Morris can provide.
The Morris Pre-health Committee
- Rachel Johnson, assistant professor of biology
- Jennifer Goodnough, Associate Professor of Chemistry
- Heather Waye, Associate Professor of Biology
Applying for Medical School
The process begins sooner than you think!
It's a long road to medical school. Here are the steps you need to take throughout your undergraduate career.
- In the first week of General Chemistry, put your name on the pre-med sign-up list that will be distributed in class.
- Talk with your advisor about your pre-med plans and confirm that you are signed up for the right classes.
- Attend the freshman pre-med informational meeting mid-fall. You will be notified of the event via e-mail.
- Start thinking about study abroad opportunities and patient care opportunities to pursue outside of class or during breaks.
- Continue to work your advisor to be sure that you are taking the right courses and getting some valuable patient care experience outside of class.
- In the fall of your junior year, keep an eye on the MCAT web page and register as soon as possible for an MCAT exam date.
- Attend the junior pre-med informational meeting in the spring semester to learn more about the MCAT and the application process. If you are on the premed email list, you will receive an email about this meeting from the premed committee chair.
- Form an MCAT study group and sign up for an MCAT test date early in the summer.
- Start talking to people about writing letters of recommendation.
- Start thinking about what you are going to write in your personal statement (part of the medical school application).
Summer after Junior year
- Take the MCAT (June is best for most people).
- In June, open your AMCAS application account, enter your grades and other information immediately, and work on your personal statement.
- Submit your AMCAS application before the end of June if at all possible. Be ready to fill out and submit secondary applications as they come in.
- Confirm that your letters of recommendation have been submitted and received by AMCAS.
- Interview at medical schools.
- Enjoy your acceptance letters!
At the heart of the medical school application process are the MCAT Exam and the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). Be sure to review the material on their site thoroughly. Here is a basic description of the process:
Take the MCAT in early summer
Plan on taking the MCAT by the end of June if at all possible. You will need to register for this date many months in advance - check the MCAT website and register as soon as possible after your desired test date opens for registration.
You can take the MCAT more than once if necessary, but all scores will be on your record. Your goal should be to take it just once. Your MCAT scores will be added to your AMCAS application.
One AMCAS application goes to most schools
The American Medical College Application Service is “a non profit, centralized application processing service for applicants to the first-year entering classes at participating United States medical schools.” An applicant fills out an online application and AMCAS then transmits copies of the application and MCAT scores to the medical schools designated by the applicant.
- Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) schools are not serviced by AMCAS. To apply to most DO schools you will use a similar service called AACOMAS.
It's rolling admission, so apply early
Many medical schools (including the Twin Cities and Duluth) have rolling admissions so it’s good to apply early, especially for Duluth. MCAT scores can be added after the AMCAS application has been submitted.
Establish an AMCAS account as soon as it becomes available (early May) and enter your grades right away. This will initiate the grade verification process, which can take several weeks. Then you can work on the other parts of the application over the summer. It is recommended to take the MCAT and submit your AMCAS application before the end of June.
Take your time, and get help with your personal statement
This essay is one of the most important things you will ever write. Plan to review and revise many times. Seek feedback from several people. Be specific about events and experiences that influenced your decision to become a physician. Be concrete, not cliché, and organize your thoughts into strong paragraphs.
The secondary application comes from an individual school
After reviewing your AMCAS application, an institution that decides you meet its minimum criteria will send you a secondary application. This and the accompanying letters of recommendation will determine whether or not you get an interview.
AMCAS forwards your letters of recommendation
Recommenders send their letters to AMCAS and, per your instructions, AMCAS distributes them to medical schools, usually to be considered along with a secondary application. There are three types of recommendations: individual letters, premed committee letters, and premed committee packets. The UMM premed committee does not send committee letters or packets, so you will be sending individual letters. You should arrange for 3-4 letters to be written for you: at least one should come from a science/math professor (a member of the premed committee if possible) and at least one from a non-academic recommender (e.g. a supervisor at one of your health-care related jobs/experiences or a doctor with whom you have shadowed extensively). Start talking with people about writing letters for you in March or April.
Different medical schools have different requirements for letters of recommendation, and these change frequently. You will receive, along with your secondary applications from each school, specific instructions regarding letter requirements. Read these instructions carefully, and work with your letter coordinator to make sure that you are sending the appropriate materials to each school.
Check your work... and ours... and theirs
You are ultimately responsible for making sure that your medical school application files are complete. Confirm with your individual letter writers that letters have been sent to AMCAS. Confirm directly with each medical school admissions office that all letters and forms have arrived and have been put in your file. Most admissions offices now have a Web site that allows you to track the progress of your application file to see what is there and what is missing.
Pre-Med Recommended Coursework
Traditionally, medical schools require the following undergraduate preparation at a minimum:
A full year of
It is important to realize that every medical school has its own specific set of prerequisite courses, and these change occasionally. Up-to-date prerequisites are usually listed somewhere on the admissions site for an MD program, so as you plan your courses you should keep a close eye on the websites of any schools you are interested in.
- Sample of prerequisites required for admission to the University of Minnesota Medical School (Twin Cities and Duluth).
Although some medical schools have become more flexible about specific requirements, the University of Minnesota, Morris Pre-med Advising Committee suggests you keep the following in mind:
- Admission to medical school is competitive. Successful candidates generally take courses well beyond these minimum requirements, especially in biology.
- We recommend completing the following courses before attempting the MCAT exam:
- General Chemistry I and II
- Organic Chemistry I and II
- Physics I and II
- Cell Biology
- Molecular Biology
- Human Anatomy
- Introduction to Human Physiology
- Sociology 1101
- Psychology 1051
- Statistics 1601 or 2601
- Should you eventually decide on a different healthcare profession, other healthcare professional schools tend to have prerequisites resembling the more traditional medical school requirements.
Recommended Pre-Med Courses
- Chem 1101 - General Chemistry I
- Chem 1102 - General Chemistry II (prereq Chem 1101)
- Chem 2301 - Organic Chemistry I (prereq Chem 1102)
- Chem 2311 - Organic Lab (coreq Chem 2301)
- Chem 2302 - Organic Chemistry II (prereq Chem 2301)
- Biol 1111 - Fundamentals of Genetics, Evolution, and Development
- Biol 2111 - Cell Biology (prereq Biol 1101, Chem 1102)
- Biol 2102 - Human Anatomy
- Biol 2103 - Introduction to Human Physiology (prereq Biol 2102)
- Biol 3121 - Molecular Biology (prereq Biol 2111, Chem 2301)
- Biol 4211 - Biochemistry (prereq Biol 2111, Biol 3121, Chem 2302) (Biochem lab, Biol 4611) is not required except for Biochemistry majors)
- Biol 4312 - Genetics (prereq Biol 2111)
One semester of calculus:
- Math 1101 or 1021
Calculus-based physics courses for physics or chemistry majors:
- Phys 1101 - General Physics I (prereq Math 1101)
- Phys 1102 - General Physics II (prereq Phys 1101, Math 1102)
Trigonometry-based physics course for other majors:
- Phys 1091 - Principles of Physics I
- Phys 1092 - Principles of Physics II (prereq Phys 1091)
- Psychology: Psy 1051 - Introduction to Psychology
- Sociology: Soc 1101 - Introductory Sociology
- Stats 2601 - Statistical Methods (prereq Math 1101 or Math 1021)
- or Stats 1601 - Introduction to Statistics
- Philosophy: Phil 2111 - Introduction to Ethics or another course in ethics.
- At least one upper-level (3000 or 4000) course in the Humanities or Social Sciences
Suggested Schedule for Recommended Pre-Med Courses
Following this schedule for pre-med courses should allow you to successfully incorporate your general education and major courses to graduate in four years.
As your schedule permits
- Psychology: Psy 1051 - Introduction to Psychology.
- Sociology: Soc 1101 - Introductory Sociology
- Statistics: Stats 1601 or 2601
- (Be sure to take psychology, sociology, and statistics before attempting the 2015 MCAT.)
- Math 1101/1102 - Calculus I and II (if required by your major or by a medical school to which you plan to apply).
- Philosophy: Phil 2111 - Introduction to Ethics or another course in ethics
- One 3000+ level course in Humanities or Social Science with a significant writing component.
Fall Year 1
- Chem 1101 - General Chemistry I
- Math 1012 - Precalculus (if necessary)
- Biol 1111 - Fundamentals of Genetics, Evolution, and Development
- Chem/Biochem/Physics majors
- start calculus and physics courses
Spring Year 1
- Chem 1102 - General Chemistry II
Fall Year 2
- Biol 2111 - Cell Biology
- Biol 2102 - Human Anatomy (or in year 3)
- Chem 2301 - Organic Chemistry I
- Chem 2311 - Organic Chemistry I Lab
Spring Year 2
- Biol 3121 - Molecular Biology
- Biol 2103 - Introduction to Human Physiology (or in year 3)
- Chem 2302 - Organic Chemistry II
Fall Year 3
- Biol 4211 - Biochemistry (Bio 4611, the lab component, is highly recommended, especially for those who do not take Chem 2321)
- Physics 1091 - Principles of Physics I (Chemistry/Biochemistry/Physics majors must take the Physics 1101/1102 sequence plus Math 1101/1102)
Spring Year 3
Summer following Year 3
- Take the MCAT
- Apply to medical school
Gain Medical Experience
Medical schools want to be sure future professionals know what it will be like to work in healthcare, whether in patient care or research. They require applicants to have significant medical experience that reflects aptitude and passion for the field of medicine. As a small-town campus with a Big 10 research university affiliation, the University of Minnesota, Morris is uniquely situated to provide beyond-the-classroom medical opportunities to pre-med students.
Medical schools are looking for experience in a healthcare setting where students have responsibility for someone else’s care. At Morris, students have access to opportunities including volunteering, working as a nurse’s aid or EMT (emergency medical technician with the local ambulance service), or even shadowing local doctors, all at the facilities close to campus.
- Stevens Community Medical Center
- The Stevens County Ambulance Service
- St. Francis Health Services
- West Wind Village
Medical school admissions committees also appreciate health-related global experiences, particularly if they involve learning or improving a second language. Contact the Academic Center for Enrichment for more information about how you can get involved with a local, national, or global program. Don’t forget to ask about opportunities during May or summer terms.
The Morris campus has an extensive Community Engagement program that can help you find a medically-related opportunity in Morris or the surrounding community. There are also several great service learning opportunities, many of which provide course credit. There may be other opportunities available through campus employment. And don’t forget to take advantage of Morris’s fall, winter, spring, and summer breaks to pursue opportunities in your own hometown.
Morris offers multiple stipend programs for students who want to conduct undergraduate research and an annual Undergraduate Research Symposium at which to present findings.
Off-campus opportunities include:
- National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates
- U of M Life Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Programs
- Mayo Graduate School Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship
- Mayo Clinic Summer Lab Science Program
It's important to remember that, in addition to the options mentioned above, you can find or create your own opportunities to gain valuable medical experience during your undergraduate career. Make use of family or community connections to look for opportunities in your hometown over the summer and winter breaks. Here are some examples pursued by recent successful medical school applicants from the University of Minnesota, Morris:
- Pre-med shadowing program at the St. Cloud Hospital/Centricare
- Volunteering with the University of Minnesota Fairview Medical Center
- Summer Scholars Program, Ohio University School of Medicine
- Summer Internship, Granite Falls Hospital
- Pre-med Summer Internship at Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center
- Minnesota Future Doctor's Program
- Native Americans into Medicine Program
- University of Minnesota, Morris Peer Health Educators Program
- Summer Mentored Undergraduate Research Fellowship at the Mayo Clinic
- Central African Medical Mission's Mission Abroad Program
- Health PASS (Health Professions Advanced Summer Scholars Program)
- Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation Internships
You may also wish to explore the American Association of Medical Colleges's online database of enrichment programs available on medical school campuses throughout the country.
Medical School Admission Requirements
The University of Morris Edge
Admission into medical school is extremely competitive. Students who attend the University of Minnesota, Morris and get good grades while obtaining pertinent extra-curricular experience have a very good chance of being accepted into medical school. In the past seven years, most of our applicants with a GPA of 3.5 or higher have been accepted to accredited United States Doctor of Medicine (MD) programs and/or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) programs.
In addition to good grades and a strong MCAT score, you will need the best possible academic preparation and relevant extra-curricular experience.
Here’s how the University of Minnesota, Morris can help you with both.
About the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
Facts about the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)
- It's required for all medical school applicants.
- Your score is given considerable weight by admissions committees.
- The test is long, more than six hours.
- It's offered many times throughout the year, but not at UMM.
- It has four sections:
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
- Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
The Morris Pre-med Advising Committee offers the following recommendations:
- Take the exam by June of the calendar year you will apply to medical school (the summer after your junior year, for example, if you plan to apply the fall of your senior year).
- Complete the Morris recommended coursework and, in addition, allow several months for review.
- Form study groups.
- Use the MCAT preparation material available in bookstores and at the MCAT webpage. Be sure to purchase and carefully read the ‘Official Guide to the MCAT(2015) Exam', and take several practice exams if possible.
Medicine After Morris
A career in medicine is an outstanding way to serve others. There are many healthcare professions in which you can share your intellect, gifts, compassion, and education to help others. Take a look at the information offered below.
- Combined MD/PhD programs
- Physician assistants
- Veterinary medicine
- Osteopathic medicine (Minnesota Osteopathic Medical Society)
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Forensic science
- Chiropractic medicine
- Genetic counseling
- Public health
- Medical assistant
Looking for something to do after graduating from Morris that will strengthen your future application to medical, PA, or nursing schools?
A job as a medical scribe could be a good opportunity. One company that often hires in the Twin Cities (and which has employed a recent Morris grad who later was accepted to DO school) is Elite Medical Scribes.
Medical Related Links
- American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC)
- American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS)
- Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)
- University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Health Careers Center
- University of Minnesota-Duluth School of Medicine
- University of Minnesota-Twin Cities School of Medicine