Program Objectives

The Northern Michigan University pre-medical/pre-physical therapy/pre-dental programs provide courses and training to aid students in successfully gaining entrance to medical and dental schools. The course work, as well as specialized training opportunities and volunteer work, allow students to gain valuable, medically related experience to prepare them for the rigors of medical or dental school with the goal of becoming highly qualified doctors or dentists.

The Program

Incoming freshmen are advised by the pre-medical/pre-physical therapy/pre-dental adviser concerning specific entry-level course work. During their freshman year, students will choose a specific major such as biology, chemistry, physics or another major in which they are interested. There are no restrictions in their selection of a major since medical schools do not show a preference for specific majors in their selection process. Regardless of their major, students will be required to fulfill NMU's liberal studies requirements, courses in their specific major and minor, and prescribed courses in biology (including physiology and genetics), chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry and physics. Students will be advised by faculty in their chosen major but will maintain contact with the pre-medical/pre-physical therapy/pre-dental advisor through regularly scheduled informational meetings or bulletin board postings in order to remain informed on important activities and deadlines pertinent to the medical/dental school application process. In their junior year, students will be assigned to spend a significant amount of time with a practicing physician or dentist through our preceptorship program in order to gain an understanding of the professional working aspects of these careers. Preparation for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) or the Dental Admission Testing Program (DAT) can begin anytime during the college career with the tests given in the spring or late summer of each year. The application process to medical or dental schools will begin in the spring of the year the admissions test is taken. Students typically take the admissions tests at the end of their junior year. Students will be interviewed and recommended to medical or dental schools by the NMU Premedical or Pre-dental Advisory Boards. It is strongly suggested that students become involved in the Pre-medical/Pre-dental Club which offers various activities throughout the school year, including volunteer opportunities in the medical or dental fields.

Career Opportunities in Medicine or Dentistry

Employment opportunities for physicians and dentists are widespread. Current trends call for more family practice and fewer specialized physicians. Opportunities exist in private practice (especially in rural areas), group practice and hospital or clinical environments throughout the U.S. Many opportunities (paid and voluntary) exist throughout the world for physicians or dentists who have been trained in the United States.

NMU Premedical/Predental Program Advantages

NMU students in general have the advantage of small classes, particularly at the upper levels, taught by regular, full-time faculty members, regardless of the selected major. Historically, a high percentage of the pre-medical/pre-dental students who have successfully completed the program and have been interviewed and recommended by the advisory boards have been accepted into medical and dental schools. In addition, the preceptorship program, in which all pre-medical/pre-dental students participate, gives NMU students the advantage of having worked with professionals on a regular basis before applying to post graduate programs. This type of program is unusual in most other pre-medical/pre-dental programs around the United States and is looked upon very favorably by medical and dental school admissions boards.

Successful Outcomes

NMU has had a high success rate in placing those students completing the program into medical and dental schools. These students have maintained high GPA's throughout their rigorous academic program at NMU which has helped them to be successful on the MCAT and DAT exams. The separate NMU premedical and predental advisory boards have very good reputations with regional medical and dental schools, and are known for recommending high-quality students to their programs.

Specific Features of the Program

  • Preceptorship program
  • Seminar course on various aspects of medical/dental school and professional practice (juniors and seniors)
  • Weekly seminars at Marquette General Hospital (juniors and seniors)
  • Premedical and Predental Clubs
  • Premedical/Predental Advisory Boards
  • MCAT/DAT study groups and practice exams

Special Notes

Since the inception of the pre-medical/pre-dental programs at NMU, over 300 NMU graduates have gone on to become successful, practicing professionals.

Related NMU Student OrganizationsMADD_2013_wide.jpeg

Students in photo on right volunteered at NMU's annual Make a Difference Day.