Pre-Professional Program Pre-Medicine

PSU pre-medicine student working in a lab

Pre-Medicine Pre-Professional Program Overview

A career in medicine offers a broad array of opportunities, ranging from clinical practice to biomedical research to public health policy development. Physicians are knowledgeable about the scientific basis of medicine and the abnormal and normal functioning of the human body.

Portland State offers a strong pre-health medical program for students interested in becoming allopathic physicians (MDs) or osteopathic physicians (DOs).

Allopathic medicine is rooted in the practice of using treatment and remedies to reverse the effects of illness and disease. However, today’s allopathic physicians also typically use a preventive approach to medicine, emphasizing health promotion, and disease prevention.

Osteopathic medicine is rooted in a holistic philosophy with an emphasis on viewing the patient as a whole (mind, body, spirit) and understanding the way that structure influences function in the body. Like allopathic physicians, osteopathic physicians utilize remedies such as medication and surgery to reverse the effects of illness and disease; however, they are also trained in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) -- manual manipulation of the musculoskeletal system.

Allopathic and osteopathic schools of medicine require that applicants complete a specific set of prerequisite courses prior to enrollment and typically require students to earn a baccalaureate degree before matriculating to medical school. Students can choose to pursue any major at PSU while completing their pre-medical coursework. You can discuss with your pre-medical advisor how these two components fit together in your course plans.

Portland State offers a strong pre-medicine program that enables students to complete their prerequisite coursework, earn a baccalaureate degree, and obtain assistance in preparing for and applying to medical schools across the country.

Pre-medicine is a professional track (not a major), but common majors for pre-medical students include Science, Biology, Chemistry, Health Studies: Health Science, and Psychology. Students can choose any major while also completing their pre-medical coursework. You can discuss with your pre-medical advisor how these two components fit together in your course plans.

Prospective students interested in PSU can meet with a pre-medical advisor to learn about the pre-medicine track.

Degree Details

  • PPT
    Pre-Professional Track
    Delivery Method
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term

Learn more about PSU’s academic program delivery methods.

Pre-Medicine Pre-Professional Program: Why PSU?

PSU has dedicated pre-health advisors to help students plan their coursework, support them in gaining relevant healthcare experience, and guide them through the process of applying to medical schools (including both MD and DO programs).

There are a huge range of clinical and other volunteer opportunities available in the Portland area to help students better understand the role of physicians (allopathic and osteopathic) and other healthcare providers, gain exposure to different clinical settings, and boost their application to medical schools in the future.

PSU’s Health, Science, and the Earth pathway advising team offers many different workshops and events to help you in preparing to apply for medical school.

Beyond the pre-requisite courses needed to prepare for the MCAT and applying to medical school, PSU offers many additional courses of interest to pre-medical students, including Communicable and Chronic Disease (PHE 363), Physics in Biomedicine (PHY 337), Gender, Race, Class, & Health (PHE 452), Philosophy of Medicine (PHL 318), Biomedical Ethics (PHL 446), Sociology for the Health Sciences (SOC 250), and many others.

Many of Portland State’s departments and schools offer student research opportunities, including Biology, Chemistry, and the School of Public Health.

PSU has the Ignite Scholarship program, developed in collaboration with Kaiser Permanente and Portland Leadership Foundation, which emphasizes a culture of support and community for students in healthcare career pathways that can sometimes be complex and overwhelming. Students who receive the Ignite scholarship will be part of a program emphasizing leadership and mentorship (supported by a $5,000 scholarship), which includes serving as mentors for incoming pre-health students.

Incoming pre-health students seeking mentorship can apply to be matched with PSU's Ignite mentors. This is a one-year commitment (fall, winter, and spring terms) for mentors and mentees.

Student organizations on campus help students to connect with peers pursuing pre-health tracks or science fields, as well as many different multicultural, social, and community involvement focused groups. Examples of student groups include the Health Promotion Student Organization, Portland State Women in STEM, Science Outreach Society, Biology Investigation and Outreach, and the Neuroscience Club at PSU.

What can I do after completing the Pre-Medicine Track?

Students who complete this program go on to medical school to become allopathic physicians (MDs) or osteopathic physicians (DOs). Portland State University graduates have attended the following medical schools after complete PSU's Pre-Medicine track:

  • A.T. Still University of Health Sciences
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • George Washington University
  • Georgetown University
  • Harvard University
  • New York Medical College
  • Oregon Health & Science University
  • Northwestern University
  • Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences
  • University of Colorado
  • University of Michigan
  • Washington State University
  • Western University of Health Sciences, Lebanon Campus (COMP-NW)

Featured Courses

  • PHE 363 Communicable and Chronic Disease
  • PHY 337 Physics in Biomedicine
  • PHE 452 Gender, Race, Class, & Health
  • PHL 446 Biomedical Ethics
  • SOC 250 Sociology for the Health Sciences


Pre-Medicine is a pre-professional track, not a major. Students can select any major of their choice.


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).