Medicine (pre-professional)

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 coordinator, internship coordinator and academic advisers 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 adviser, you will choose a major such as biology or chemistry that best prepares you for further study.

The Real World


Successful Careers

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


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

Graduate Placement

  • Creighton University
  • Des Moines University
  • Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Bradenton
  • The University of Iowa
  • The University of Cincinnati


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 and Broadlawns Medical Center. 

Courses & Faculty

Students may major in any area that fits with personal and professional life goals. 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.  

Medicine (pre-professional) photo
Meet the faculty:
  • Glenn Barnett, B.S., M.S., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biochemistry, interest areas include biochemistry and molecular genetics
  • Russ Benedict, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Professor of Biology, interest areas include mammalogy, prairie ecology and restoration, conservation biology and natural history
  • Ellie Du Pre, B.S., Ph.D., Professor of Biology and Pre-Health Coordinator, interest areas include histology, human anatomy and physiology, epidemiology and environmental endocrine disruptors
  • Cathy Haustein, B.A., M.F.A., Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, interest areas include analytical chemistry, inorganic chemistry instrumental analysis, the extraction of alkaloids from natural products, fluorescence spectroscopy and fiction writing
  • Viktor Martisovits, RNDr., M.S., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Physics
  • Nicole Palenske, B.S., M.S., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology, interest areas include human anatomy and physiology, environmental physiology and aquatic toxicology

The Central Difference

Individualized Attention

Thanks to Central's small class and laboratory section size, faculty can 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 you 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 adviser also provides free workshops to address a range of interests, from career exploration to preparing for graduate entrance exams and application.

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.

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. Opportunities include undergraduate research and presentations at scientific meetings, internships, shadowing programs, targeted service-learning opportunities related to career goals and much more.

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to study abroad with one of Central’s international programs to enhance their development as global citizens, or with partner programs in Chicago, Washington, D.C. or New York City. Learn more about Central’s study abroad programs.


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. 

Central Pre-Medicine Students

Learn More

Want to find out more about medicine (pre-professional) at Central? Contact us to learn more about this major and our other strong academic programs. Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.