Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Premedicine Program only for students interested in applying to medical school?
No. Students who intend to apply to graduate programs in dentistry, podiatry, optometry and veterinary medicine are also admitted to the Premedicine Program.
I have already taken some science courses; can I still apply to Premedicine Program?
Some of our students come to the Premedicine Program having already taken one year or less of their basic science requirements. However, our program is not intended for students who wish to enhance a past academic record. Therefore, if you have previously applied to medical school or have taken the bulk of the required science courses needed to apply, regardless of the grades that you received in them, you are not eligible for our program and should not apply. The AMCAS web site has helpful information about alternative premedical programs. You may also consider doing our Specialized Studies Postbaccalaureate Program, focusing in upper-level biology coursework you have not previously taken.
Is an interview required?
Generally speaking, students are not required to meet with an admissions committee prior to applying or during the application process.
Should I explore volunteer opportunities in my chosen career field before applying to the Premedicine Program?
Though it is not mandatory, exploring your chosen career field is the best way to decide if that field is the right one for you. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to spend some time in the desired health care setting before applying to our program.
Am I eligible to apply for admission to the Premedicine Program if I am graduating with my bachelor's degree this term?
Yes, you do not need to wait until you complete the undergraduate degree before applying for admission. In many cases, the admissions office can make an admission decision pending the receipt of your final transcript verifying the completion of your undergraduate degree. However, you will need to provide an updated transcript that verifies the completion of your bachelor's degree.
Am I eligible to apply for admission to the Premedical Program if I am an out-of-state resident?
Yes. Northwestern University is a private school, which means Illinois state residency is not a factor in either admissions or financial aid criteria.
Do you accept applications from international students?
If your degree is the equivalent to a bachelor's degree from a college or university in the U.S., then yes, you are eligible to apply.
It is important to consider the challenges faced by non-U.S. citizens and individuals who are not permanent residents who hope to enter U.S. medical schools. Not all medical schools will consider international applicants. As an international student, medical school admission is extremely competitive. Less than 10% of applicants gain acceptance to medical school, and most admitted international students have attended a U.S. college or university.
Some schools require that international students provide proof that they are able to meet the cost of four years of medical school and living expenses. As a general rule, no federal financial aid is available for non-U.S. citizens. It is imperative for international students to thoroughly research the medical schools that they are interested in applying to before taking any premedicine courses.
How do I know if my bachelor's from overseas is accredited?
To verify accredidation, you must contact the school from which you received your bachelor's degree.
When are admissions decisions made?
Applications for the Premedicine Program are evaluated on a rolling admissions basis. Admission decisions will be available 4 to 6 weeks after an application is complete.
What is the typical course of studying the program?
Students generally complete the program in 12, 15 or 21 months. You may view a sample course plan for the required courses.
When are classes held?
During the fall, winter and spring quarters, lectures are held one evening a week from 6:15 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. on the Evanston campus. Labs are held on Saturdays, also on the Evanston campus.
May I take other courses beyond the program requirements?
Students are able to take any of the courses that are offered through the School of Professional Studies. However, any additional courses listed as electives are not eligible for financial aid; only the courses that are required for the post-baccalaureate certificate are eligible for financial assistance. Many students take upper level biology courses, such as Human Physiology, Immunobiology and Anatomy. Courses in the humanities and social sciences are also popular, such as Philosophy of Medicine and Medical Sociology.
Does the Premedicine Program have any linkages with the area medical schools?
Students who complete our program have not only been admitted to all of the Chicago area medical schools, but to medical schools nationwide. Furthermore, students who complete our program usually perform exceptionally well in their medical education. However, we do not have any linkage agreements to any medical schools at this time. For a list of where our students have been accepted in recent years, please see our Medical School Acceptances page.
What types of support services are available to premedicine students?
Students enrolled in the Professional Health Careers Certificate program have access to the following support services:
- In-person advising on both Evanston and Chicago campuses
- Phone and email advising to accommodate for busy schedules
- Workshops both in person and through webinars
- Thanks to collaboration between the Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern Memorial Hospital, SPS students will be given the opportunity to shadow physicians as an integral part of the preparation needed for medical school. There is a separate application process for the shadowing program once students have matriculated into the Premedicine program.
- Mock interviews to prepare for medical school or other graduate school interviews available through academic and career advising at SPS
- Student organization consisting of all SPS students interested in the health professions
- Allows the opportunity to network with other students who have similar interests
- Brings in admissions representatives from area medical schools to talk about the admissions process
- Organizes tutoring for core science courses
As provided by the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990, now known as the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, you are entitled to request and receive a copy of Northwestern University's Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. This Report includes statistics for the previous 3 years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Northwestern University; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from campus. The Report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies on drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, fire safety and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this Report by contacting the Northwestern University Police Department Deputy Chief at (847) 491-3256. The Report can also be accessed and printed from the University Police website.
What is the "glide" year and is there any way to eliminate it?
The "glide year" is the time between beginning the application process to medical school and actually enrolling in medical school. There is not a way to avoid the glide year as a postbaccalaureate student. Students are encouraged to take higher level biology courses, statistics/calculus courses, or foreign language courses; pursue EMT or CPR certification; or pursue additional clinical and research experience during the glide year.
Is campus housing available for students in the Post-baccalaureate Program?
Campus housing at Northwestern University is reserved for degree seeking students. Certificate students are not eligible for campus housing. Students are encouraged to view the Off-campus Resources page, for more information.
Is financial aid available for the Premedicine Program?
Students of the Premedicine Program are eligible for financial aid. Students should speak with the Financial Aid office for information regarding financial assistance. Please see Tuition and Fees for program costs.