Admission to medical, veterinary or other health professions is highly competitive and success depends on several criteria. For most medical schools, the score on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is usually the most important factor. Additional factors include the student's college GPA, how well a student handles an interview by an admissions committee, and evidence of experience of what medical, veterinary or other professions entail. Students should research the requirements of the schools they are thinking of attending because admission requirements vary. For example, some schools, particularly the University of Washington which is a member of the WWAMI group of medical schools, require courses in the humanities and social sciences. Others are satisfied that the MCAT and GPA are sufficient markers of academic ability and interest.
At UW, we encourage the study of subjects that expose students to the basic sciences upon which the health care professions are built: physiology, biochemistry and anatomy. It is these subjects that allow students to do well on the MCAT, to meet the expectations and requirements of veterinary, optometry, pharmacy and allied health profession schools, and that help them to determine which profession is the correct career choice. At UW there is also a pre-vet program that prepares students for a career in veterinary science.
The BS degree in Physiology is designed to meet these goals. Courses considered to be predictors of good MCAT scores and good preparation for the study of the health sciences are built into it. There is no doubt that a BS degree in Physiology will provide a stimulating, interesting and relevant degree for any student considering a career in the health professions.
The courses integral to the Physiology degree (and the health professions) can be categorized as either biological or non-biological. Essential biological courses are General Biology (LIFE 1010), Animal Biology (LIFE 2022), Genetics (LIFE 3050), Physiology (ZOO 3115 and ZOO 4125), Cell Biology (LIFE 3600), Cell Physiology (ZOO 4670), Clinical Biochemistry (MOLB 4100), and Anatomy (ZOO 2040). Essential non-biological courses include Chemistry (CHEM 1020, 1030, 2420, 2440), Physics (PHYS 1110, 1120), Calculus (MATH 2200, 2205) and Statistics (STAT 2050).
Additional information is available on the Physiology Major & Minor webpage and from the Pre-professional Advising Office, Health Sciences Building, Rm 110, Tel (307) 766-6704/3499.
The study of life sciences is expanding at a rate that reflects the concern people have for their health, the health of the animals and plants they depend on, and the health of the environment that supports life on our planet.
There was a time when the life sciences were descriptive sciences and memorization of information was the focus of life sciences degrees. This age has passed and biologists, physiologists, wildlife management biologists, botanists, zoologists, and the larger group of life scientists including health professionals, increasingly are required to use quantitative methods to understand their subject areas.
For this reason, abilities in mathematics and in the chemical and physical sciences are important for those who work in the life sciences. All life sciences students at the University of Wyoming start their degrees by studying general biology and the pillar courses of biology (ecology, evolution, genetics) through the Life Sciences (Biology) Program. Entry into that program requires a minimum ACT score of 21 in Math (SAT+500).
Students who want to study for a life sciences degree, but who have not met this standard, should consult with the academic staff of the Department of Mathematics to find out how they can obtain the necessary skills.
For more information on life science related studies in the Department of Zoology and Physiology, please visit the webpages for the majors and minors in our departments.