MCB is an excellent choice for pre-medical, pre-dental, pre-pharmacy, and other pre-health career students. Our curriculum is proven to successfully prepare students for health-related careers including medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine. 

Typical four-year plan for pre-med (pdf)  COVID-19 Impact on Admissions

The University of Illinois Urbana Champaign ranks fourth in the Top 20 Best Pre-Med Colleges according to the website Online College Plan.

Typical four-year plan

This plan is to be used only as a guideline. There are many factors that may affect the sequence and timing of courses. Course selections are best made in consultation with an MCB Advisor.

Students typically take the MCAT or other pre-professional exam during the spring of their junior year and apply in during the summer following their junior year. Most prerequisite courses should be completed by the end of junior year with grades of C or better. Visit The Career Center Health Professions Website for additional information.

Semester-by-semester plan

FIRST YEAR

SEMESTER 1

SEMESTER 2

Intro Bio: MCB 150 or IB 150 (4 hrs)

Gen. Chem: CHEM 101, 102/103, or 202/203 (3-5 hrs)

Begin MATH sequence per placement* (3-5 hrs) or Composition I (3-4 hrs)

First Year Enrichment Course: LAS 101 or LAS 122 (1 hr)

Options:
Language, Gen Ed.**, or Elective (0-5 hrs)

Total Credit Hours: 14-16

Intro Bio: MCB 150 or IB 150 (4 hrs)

Gen Chem: CHEM 102/103, 104/105, or 204/205 (4-5 hrs)

Begin or continue MATH sequence per placement* (3-5 hrs) or Composition I: (3-4 hrs)

Options:
Language, Gen Ed.**, or Elective (0-5 hrs)

Total Credit Hours: 14-16

 

SECOND YEAR

SEMESTER 3

SEMESTER 4

Molecular Genetics & Lab: MCB 250 & MCB 251 (5 hrs)***

Chemistry: Finish gen chem or begin organic (4–6 hrs)

Choose 1–2 of the following: (1–6 hrs)

  • Math: Begin or continue if necessary*
  • Language: Begin or continue, if necessary
  • Research: MCB 290
  • Anatomy & Physio: MCB 244 and/or MCB 245
  • General Education Course**
  • Elective

Total Credit Hours: 14–16

Cells, Tissues & Develop. & Lab: MCB 252 & MCB 253 (5 hrs)

Chemistry: Finish CHEM sequence, if necessary (2–6 hrs) or
Physics: PHYS 101 or 211, if CHEM complete (4–5 hrs)

Choose 1–2 of the following: (1–6 hrs)

  • Language: Begin or continue, if necessary
  • Research: MCB 290
  • Anatomy & Physio: MCB 246 and/or MCB 247
  • General Education Course**
  • Elective

Total Credit Hours: 14–16

 

THIRD YEAR

SEMESTER 5

SEMESTER 6

Biochemistry: MCB 354 (3 hrs)

Physics: Begin or continue PHYS sequence (4–5 hrs)

Choose 2–3 of the following: (5–9 hrs)

  • General Education Course**
  • Anatomy & Physio: MCB 244 and/or MCB 245
  • Research: MCB 290
  • Elective course

Total Credit Hours: 14–18

Advanced MCB course or lab: See approved list**** (1–4 hrs)

Physics: Continue PHYS sequence, if necessary (4–5 hrs)

Choose 2–3 of the following: (5–9 hrs)

  • General Education Course**
  • Anatomy & Physio: MCB 246 and/or MCB 247
  • Research: MCB 290
  • Elective course

Total Credit Hours: 14–18

 

FOURTH YEAR

SEMESTER 7

SEMESTER 8

2 Advanced MCB courses or lab: See approved list**** (5–8 hrs)

Choose 2–3 of the following: (6–9 hrs)

  • General Education Course**
  • Research: MCB 290
  • Elective course

Total Credit Hours: 14–16

2 Advanced MCB courses or lab: See approved list**** (5–8 hrs)

Choose 2–3 of the following: (6–9 hrs)

  • General Education Course**
  • Advanced Composition Course
  • Research or Senior Thesis: MCB 290 or 492
  • Elective course

Total Credit Hours: 14–16

* Statistics is highly recommended to prepare for the MCAT and medical school.

** At least one course in psychology and sociology should be taken. Three social/behavioral science courses are recommended.

*** General Chemistry 1 and 2 (CHEM 102 and CHEM 104) must be completed before beginning MCB 250.

**** Approved advanced courses can be found at /undergrad/courses/advanced/. Courses that may be of particular interest to pre-med students include, but are not limited to, cell biology, immunology, microbiology, neurobiology, pathology and physiology.

Volunteering, summer, and post-bacc opportunities

Universities, government agencies, clinics, and foundations offer a variety of opportunities for pre-health students who wish to hone their research skills, learn more about healthcare professions, participate in workshops and professional development activities, and prepare for medical school.

Summer programs

The National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions provides a list of current Student Opportunities on its website.

The School of MCB also compiles a list of opportunities from a variety of programs that have expressed an interest in our students. It includes listings for the current year and most recent year in an effort to provide information about which institutions have offered summer programs in the past. 

Summer 2022

Post Date Institution — Program — Location — Application Deadline
Feb 24, 2022 Keck Graduate Institute — Multiple — Claremont, CA — June 10, 2022
Nov 6, 2021 University of Detroit Mercy— The Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) New York, NY — Feb 15, 2022

 

Summer 2021

Post Date Institution — Program — Location — Application Deadline
March 28, 2021 University of Deroit MercyThe Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) New York, NY — March 1, 2021
March 28, 2021 University of Illinois Chicago2021 Summer Pharmacy Institute (SPI) Chicago, IL — April 1, 2021
March 28, 2021 SUNY College of OptometryEye-CARE Camp New York, NY — June 25, 2021
March 28, 2021 Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterMolecular Imaging Summer Program and Chemical Biology Summer Program New York, NY — February 1, 2021
March 28, 2021 University of Michigan UM-SMART Summer Undergraduate Research Program 2021 February 1, 2021
March 28, 2021 University of Michigan Michigan Health Sciences Summer Institute February 3, 2021
March 10, 2021 Bristol Myers Squibb Various summer internships — Several locations
March 1, 2021 Campbell UniversityRansdell Family Health Professions Readiness & Enrichment Program (HPREP) — Buies Creek, NC — March 15, 2021 
Jan 19, 2021 Texas A&M University Summer Undergraduate Research in Genetics and Genomics (SURGe) Program — College Station, TX — February 15, 2021
Jan 14, 2021 The University of Alabama at BirminghamClinical and Research Undergraduate Summer Programs — Birmingham, AL — February 12, 2021
Jan 13, 2021 Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program — Athens, OH — February 1, 2021
Jan 11, 2021 SENS Research Foundation SRF Summer Scholars Program — Several locations — January 15, 2021
Jan 11, 2021 Oak Ridge Institute for Science and TechnologyRepperger Research Intern Program — Several locations — February 15, 2021
Dec 22, 2020 The Ohio State University Discovery Prep — Columbus, OH — Rolling admissions (roughly the beginning of Apil 2021)
Dec 10, 2020 Loyola University Loyola Adventures in Urobiome Data Summer Research — March 1, 2021
Nov 30, 2020 UC DavisNeuroscience Initiative to Enhance Diversity (April 22-23) — January 31, 2021
Nov 20, 2020 City InternshipsSummer 2021 Programs
Nov 18, 2020 University of Chicago Pritzer School of MedicineSummer Pathway Programs — Feb 8, 2021
Nov 18, 2020 UW-MadisonBiological Interactions: Phenotype, Genotype, and Environment Research Program — Feb 15, 2021
Nov 18, 2020 Johns Hopkins MedicineSummer Internship — Nov 8, 2020
Nov 18, 2020  Memorial Sloan Kettering — Chemical Biology Summer Program — February 5, 2021
Nov 18, 2020  Summer Health Professions Education Program — February 5, 2021
Oct 28, 2020 National Institute of Environmental Health SciencesSummer Internship — March 1, 2021
Oct 28, 2020 Office of Intramural Training and EducationSummer Internship in Biomedical Research 
Oct 28, 2020 National Science FoundationResearch Experience for Undergraduates
Oct 23, 2020 U.S. Department of Energy Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and ScientistsScience Undergraduate Laboratory Internship — Jan 12, 2021
Oct 20, 2020 University of Pennsylvania and Washington University St. LouisCenter for Engineering Mechanobiology — Feb 1, 2021
Oct 10, 2020 Mayo ClinicSummer Undergraduate Research Fellowship — Nov 8, 2020
Oct 10, 2020 Stowers Summer ScholarsMedical Research Experience — Kansas City, MO — February 1, 2021
Oct 2, 2020 University of Iowa Carver College of MedicineSummer Undergraduate Opportunities — Iowa City, IA

 

Medical volunteering

Carle Foundation Hospital Volunteer Opportunities

OSF Healthcare Volunteer Opportunities

Avicenna Commmunity Health Center Volunteering

Thinking of participating in a medical mission trip abroad? Make sure to watch this YouTube video on medical volunteering to protect yourself and the people you are interacting with. If you aren't allowed to perform a procedure in the U.S., you should NOT perform it abroad.

Post-baccalaureate premedical opportunities

The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) has a free post-baccalaureate premedical opportunities database where students can use specific filters to search for programs.

A sample of medical schools attended by our students

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  • Boston University School of Medicine
  • Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
  • Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science
  • Creighton University School of Medicine
  • Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
  • Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Northwestern University The Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Rush University Medical College
  • Saint Louis University School of Medicine
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  • Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
  • University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
  • University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
  • University of Illinois Chicago College of Medicine
  • University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine
  • University of Texas Southwestern
  • University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
  • Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
  • Wayne State University School of Medicine

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MCB professional mentoring program

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MCB's professional mentorship program connects motivated MCB students with accomplished physicians, pharmacists, dentists, and other health professionals across the country. Our mentors, many of them alumni, provide valuable insight to students through our formal mentoring program and multiple online or in-person events held during the year.

Video

Title
How to prepare for the MCAT

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Students who have been through the process offer their insight on studying and taking the Medical College Admission Test.