Opportunities in the medical field are changing rapidly, and as a physician, you can play a significant role in patients’ overall health and wellness in this growing profession. Although requirements vary at professional schools, a strong foundation in the natural and social sciences as part of a well-rounded liberal arts education is considered excellent preparation for medical school. Major changes to the MCAT in January 2015 heavily favor a liberal arts education, with emphasis on behavioral science, ethics and applied statistics.

Central students are successful on entrance exams and in securing acceptance into medical schools with the assistance of an on-campus pre-health advisor, internship coordinator and academic advisors to ensure that you complete the required courses, complete the required hours of observation, maintain a GPA of 3.6 or higher and take advantage of the many on- and off-campus opportunities for research and professional development. Central’s pre-professional program prepares you to pursue medical education in graduate school. With the help of your advisor, you will choose a major that best prepares you for further study.

The Central Difference

Individualized Attention

Thanks to Central's small class and laboratory section size, faculty are able to provide each student with individualized attention and the opportunity to develop skills necessary for graduate school. Our faculty members also provide personalized advising that ensures you meet the coursework requirements for graduate school.

And to help students get into graduate school, faculty provide letters of recommendation that make a vital difference in the decision process for acceptance into medical programs.

Central's Health Professions Club also provides mentoring, informs students about opportunities related to healthcare, and coordinates visits to and from various graduate programs. The club's faculty advisor also provides free workshops to address a range of interests, from career exploration to preparing for graduate entrance exams and application.

Central Prepares Students for Medical School

An astounding 58 percent of Central College graduates who go to graduate school do so in health-related fields.

Hands-On Research

Central faculty provide students with many research and professional development opportunities, of which students are encouraged to take full advantage while on campus including undergraduate research and presentations at scientific meetings, internships, shadowing programs, targeted service-learning opportunities related to career goals and much more.

Heartland Global Health Consortium

Central College is a founding member of the Heartland Global Health Consortium whose mission is to establish and expand multidisciplinary educational, research and service opportunities to inspire and equip students to become leaders in global public health. The consortium provides additional opportunities for students to participate in educational, global research and global medical service experiences.

Off-Campus Experiences

Central students can study off-campus — both internationally or domestically in the United States. These opportunities give students the chance to prepare to be global citizens, equipped to compete in the global job market. Students can check out experiences led by Central faculty or attend select academic programs across the world that provide opportunities for study, service, internships and other types of experiential learning. Options include experiences in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Central America, Ghana, England, the Scottish Highlands and more.


Central’s Vermeer Science Center was awarded the silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating from the United States Green Building Council, the first LEED-rated building in the state. Students have direct access to classrooms and laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation and presentation technology.

Beyond Central

Putting the “Hire” in Higher Education

While the medicine program is a recent addition to the college, a Central education has left earlier graduates well-equipped for a career in medicine.

  • Medical imaging physicist and faculty member, Duke University Health System
  • Medical doctor, Andreas Cancer Center Mayo Health System, Mankato, Minn.
  • Urologist, Physicians Clinic of Iowa, Cedar Rapids
  • Pediatrician, Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Family practitioner, Iowa Health Physicians

Michael McLoughlin ’06 Enjoys Rural Practice

Michael McLoughlin ’06 practices medicine in a rural community with his wife and her family.


  • SCATE (Students Concerned About The Environment)
  • Tri-Beta (national biological sciences honor society)
  • Health Professions Club

Graduate Placement

  • Duke University
  • Creighton University
  • Des Moines University
  • Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Bradenton
  • The University of Iowa
  • The University of Cincinnati
  • A.T. Still University
  • The University of Minnesota


Students interested in medicine are able to shadow local professionals for limited hours. Shadowing opportunities are available across the state including:

  • Pella Regional Health Center
  • Broadlawns Medical Center
  • Mahaska County Hospitals
  • Oskaloosa Hospital
Central College student

Courses & Faculty

Students may major in any area that fits with personal and professional life goals. For pre-medicine, you are encouraged to major in a natural science, with another major or minor in the behavioral sciences.

Regardless of major choice, students are required to successfully complete a series of courses in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, English and social sciences. Students must also complete the MCAT exam.

The Central College Career Center provides the following activities to help pre-health students narrow career options: individual appointments to identify career options in the health field, job shadowing opportunities with local professionals or Central alumni, assistance with finding and applying for internships and summer opportunities, help with graduate school applications and much more.

Learn more about this discipline in the course catalog.

Meet the Faculty


Learn More

Want to find out more about Pre-Medicine at Central? Contact us to learn more about this discipline and our other strong academic programs.

Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.


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