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Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

Biology: Pre-Medical, BS

Your path to a variety of healthcare careers starts in our flexible Biology: Pre-Medical Program.

As a Biology: Pre-Medical student, you’ll take a unique, comprehensive set of courses that focus not only on foundational concepts, but also on areas that develop social awareness, ethical decision making and the communication skills necessary to be well-rounded and successful. After two years of foundational coursework, you’ll choose an area of emphasis in Human Health or Global Health.

This diverse training prepares you to be a competitive applicant for:

  • Medical, dental and physician assistant school
  • Global health careers following the “one health” concept that focuses on ecosystems
  • Jobs in bioinformatics, genetics, virology and other biological sciences

Your Degree Plan

Intro

Pursue your individual goals in an inclusive, flexible curriculum designed for the next generation of healthcare professionals.

Foundation Courses
In the first two years, you'll take foundational courses in general biology, chemistry, physiology, cell and molecular biology, ecology and evolution, and biostatistics. Courses in psychology, sociology, public health and healthcare ethics are also required. You'll also enroll in professional development to help identify and guide your future career path.

Areas of Emphasis (AoE)
Biology: Pre-Medical majors must select an AoE, typically following of the foundational coursework. You can choose from:

  • Human Health: Coursework covers advanced cellular and molecular foundations, biochemistry, anatomy and physiology, infectious disease or pathogens, and communications. This area of emphasis is ideal preparation for medical, dental or physician's assistant school.
  • Global Health: Designed under the “one health” concept — which focuses on one ecosystem — this AoE is comprised of coursework in the evolution of infectious disease, advanced cellular and molecular biology, organismal health, ecosystem health and computation skills, such as bioinformatics. The Global Health AoE is well positioned for careers in infectious diseases, computation biology, genomics and more.

Each area allows flexibility and choices of electives. Further, lab coursework provides hands-on experience that is a critical component for both Human Health and Global Health areas of emphasis.

Tailor this major to your interests by focusing your coursework in one of these areas:

  • Global Health

    • Evolution of Infection Disease
    • Cellular and Molecular
    • Organismal Health
    • Ecosystem Health
  • Human Health

    • Cellular and Molecular Foundations
    • Biochemistry
    • Anatomy and Physiology
    • Infectious Disease/Pathogens
    • Communication Skills

Take advantage of special options related to this major:

  • Honors

    Expand your curiosity — and enhance your curriculum — through the WVU Honors College. Two programs are offered: Honors Foundations for first- and second-year students and Honors EXCEL for third- and fourth-year students.

    Explore Honors

The WVU Difference

What sets this program apart from its competitors?

  • Two areas of emphasis (Human Health and Global Health) to customize your degree.
  • Professional development built into classes, in addition to learning biological concepts.
  • Offers comprehensive approach to biology pre-medical sciences to create competitive applicants for professional programs, along with articulate, compassionate and ethical professionals.
  • Our Pre-Health Office is an asset to any student planning to pursue health or health-adjacent fields.
  • WVU has an R1, Trauma 1 hospital and state-wide medical system.
  • WVU iServe helps students earn and track community service hours.
  • Earn academic credit through Eberly internship courses.
  • 500+ scholarships awarded annually by the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Academic Enrichment Program offers funding for activities that complement, extend and enhance your academic experience.
Scholarships

Over 92% of WVU freshmen receive grants or scholarships (2022-2023).

Learn more

Learn by Doing

Learning happens outside the classroom. Get involved.

Attending college will prepare you for many things. The Biology: Pre-Medical major will give you the following skills:

  • Interpersonal skills, including effective communication with both professional and general audiences in written and oral forms
  • Ability to work in collaborative teams
  • Global perspectives on healthcare and medicine
  • Social awareness and responsibility
  • Ethical and moral reasoning
  • Ability to synthesize and apply knowledge and skills from across the curriculum to social issues and problems
  • Application of science process skills: scientific literacy, experimental design, collecting and analyzing data quantitatively and statistically, and using critical and analytical thinking to address scientific questions

Live, study and pursue outside-the-classroom learning in a residence hall community that shares your interests:

Outside of the Evansdale Crossing building.

What you learn outside of the classroom is just as important as what you learn during class. We’ll help you follow your curiosity.

Careers and Outcomes

How does this degree prepare students for a career?

Dentists, General

Examine, diagnose, and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth and gums. May treat diseases of nerve, pulp, and other dental tissues affecting oral hygiene and retention of teeth. May fit dental appliances or provide preventive care.

May require a Graduate Degree

Median Salary: $166,300

Possible job titles include: Dental Surgery Doctor (DDS), Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD), Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS), Family Dentist, General Dentist, Pediatric Dentist.

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Microbiologists

Investigate the growth, structure, development, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, algae, or fungi. Includes medical microbiologists who study the relationship between organisms and disease or the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.

Has a Bright Outlook , May require a Graduate Degree

Median Salary: $81,990

Possible job titles include: Bacteriologist, Microbiological Analyst, Microbiologist, Quality Control Microbiologist (QC Microbiologist).

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Epidemiologists

Investigate and describe the determinants and distribution of disease, disability, or health outcomes. May develop the means for prevention and control.

Has a Bright Outlook , May require a Graduate Degree

Median Salary: $78,520

Possible job titles include: Epidemiologist, Infection Control Practitioner (ICP), Nurse Epidemiologist, Research Epidemiologist.

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Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health

Conduct research or perform investigation for the purpose of identifying, abating, or eliminating sources of pollutants or hazards that affect either the environment or the health of the population. Using knowledge of various scientific disciplines, may collect, synthesize, study, report, and recommend action based on data derived from measurements or observations of air, food, soil, water, and other sources.

Median Salary: $76,480

Possible job titles include: Environmental Programs Specialist, Environmental Protection Specialist, Environmental Scientist, Environmental Specialist.

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Lawyers

Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.

Has a Bright Outlook , May require a Graduate Degree

Median Salary: $135,740

Possible job titles include: Assistant Attorney General, Associate Attorney, Attorney, Lawyer.

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Biological Science Teachers, Postsecondary

Teach courses in biological sciences. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

Has a Bright Outlook , May require a Graduate Degree

Median Salary: $83,920

Possible job titles include: Biological Sciences Professor, Biology Instructor, Biology Professor, Professor.

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Technical Writers

Write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions. May assist in layout work.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $80,050

Possible job titles include: Information Developer, Medical Writer, Documentation Designer, Documentation Specialist.

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Pharmacists

Dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use. May advise physicians and other health practitioners on the selection, dosage, interactions, and side effects of medications.

May require a Graduate Degree

Median Salary: $132,750

Possible job titles include: Clinical Pharmacist, Pharmacist, Pharmacist in Charge (PIC), Staff Pharmacist.

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Physician Assistants

Provide healthcare services typically performed by a physician, under the supervision of a physician. Conduct complete physicals, provide treatment, and counsel patients. May, in some cases, prescribe medication. Must graduate from an accredited educational program for physician assistants.

Has a Bright Outlook , May require a Graduate Degree

Median Salary: $126,010

Possible job titles include: Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C), Clinical Physician Assistant, Family Practice Physician Assistant, General Surgery Physician Assistant, Midlevel Provider, Orthopaedic Physician Assistant, Physician Assistant Certified (PAC), Physician Extender, Physician's Assistant, Surgical Physician Assistant.

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Family Medicine Physicians

Physicians who diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases and injuries that commonly occur in the general population. May refer patients to specialists when needed for further diagnosis or treatment.

May require a Graduate Degree

Median Salary: $211,300

Possible job titles include: Board Certified Family Physician, Family Medicine Physician, Family Physician, Family Practice Medical Doctor (FP MD), Family Practice Physician, Family Practitioner, Medical Doctor (MD), Medical Staff Physician, Physician, Primary Care Physician.

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Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physicians

Diagnose and treat disorders requiring physiotherapy to provide physical, mental, and occupational rehabilitation.

May require a Graduate Degree

Median Salary: $223,410

Possible job titles include: Attending Physiatrist, Residency Program Director, Attending Physician, Medical Director, Physiatrist.

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Preventive Medicine Physicians

Apply knowledge of general preventive medicine and public health issues to promote health care to groups or individuals, and aid in the prevention or reduction of risk of disease, injury, disability, or death. May practice population-based medicine or diagnose and treat patients in the context of clinical health promotion and disease prevention.

May require a Graduate Degree

Median Salary: $223,410

Possible job titles include: Medical Director, Occupational Medicine Physician, Occupational Physician, Preventive Medicine Physician, Primary Clinician, Public Health Director, Public Health Officer, Public Health Physician, Regional Medical Director, Residency Director.

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Sports Medicine Physicians

Diagnose, treat and help prevent injuries that occur during sporting events, athletic training and physical activities.

May require a Graduate Degree

Median Salary: $233,410

Possible job titles include: Director of Sports Medicine, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Physician, Sports Medicine Physician.

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Genetic Counselors

Assess individual or family risk for a variety of inherited conditions, such as genetic disorders and birth defects. Provide information to other healthcare providers or to individuals and families concerned with the risk of inherited conditions. Advise individuals and families to support informed decision making and coping methods for those at risk. May help conduct research related to genetic conditions or genetic counseling.

Has a Bright Outlook , May require a Graduate Degree

Median Salary: $95,770

Possible job titles include: Prenatal and Pediatric Genetic Counselor, Medical Science Liaison, Reproductive Genetic Counseling Coordinator.

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Career Pathways

Biology: Pre-Medical graduates are prepared to apply to medical, dental or physician's assistant school, in addition to graduate school in the biological sciences. They can also join the workforce immediately in a variety of areas, including applied and research-based fields.

Further Your Education

With a degree in Biology: Pre-Medical, you could apply to these graduate and professional programs, as well as others.

  • Doctor of Medicine (MD)
  • MD/PhD
  • Doctor of Osteopathy (DO)
  • Doctor of Optometry (OD)
  • Physician Assistant (PA)
  • Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)
  • Biology MS or PhD
  • Epidemiology MS or PhD
  • Genetic Counseling MS
  • Neuroscience MS or PhD
  • Juris Doctor (JD)

Meet Your Community

The Biology: Pre-Medical family will inspire and support you.

FAQs

Common questions and answers about Biology: Pre-Medical.

  1. Biology: Pre-Medical students are introduced to the different subjects and concepts that will be expanded upon in the professional setting. Additionally, our curriculum highlights and teaches concepts that can be seen on standardized testing, such as the MCAT, DAT or GRE.

    Within the Biology: Pre-Medical major, there are classes, such as Advanced Cellular/Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Microbiology, that will help in preparation for standardized testing associated with entrances into professional schools.

  2. The training you receive, the concepts learned and the flexibility of choosing classes/tracks within the major help to prepare you for several different career pathways. Concepts and skills learned in this major can be applied to a variety of careers.

  3. This choice is made typically after your foundational classes are done and you can register for a set of classes within the track. This usually takes place around your second year, though you can declare earlier if you meet requirements

Places and Spaces

Learn about all of the places and spaces you'll learn in.

Facilities - Life Sciences Undergrad Teaching and Research Labs

Undergraduate Teaching and Research Labs

The undergraduate teaching labs use up-to-date technology that allows students to hone laboratory skills in their foundational courses. Students will use technology, such as PCR to amplify DNA, gel electrophoresis to understand DNA profiles, and NanoDrop technology, to quantify DNA in samples. Student apply everyday lab skills used by professionals to develop their skills.

Facilities - Herbarium

WVU Herbarium

The largest facility of its kind in West Virginia, the WVU Herbarium contains about 185,000 mounted and cataloged vascular plant specimens and approximately 26,000 bryophyte and lichen specimens.

The Herbarium contains the only record in existence of hundreds of localities of rare and endangered plants. Its collections are the basis of ongoing research by the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy and others on the documentation of these species.

Explore the WVU Herbarium

Ecotron and Greenhouses

The Ecotron and greenhouses are a core facility for undergraduate, graduate and faculty researchers in the Department of Biology. They are a controlled environment facility located on the penthouse (6th floor) of the Life Sciences Building. The Ecotron houses 10 plant growth chambers and six greenhouses with a total of over 172 square meters of growing space. Environmental surroundings in the growth chambers and greenhouses, such as atmospheric CO2, humidity, temperature and light, can be controlled to grow plants under many experimental conditions, including expected conditions as the climate changes.

Explore the Ecotron and Greenhouses

Genomics Core Facility

Located in the Life Sciences Building, the Genomics Core Facility is a non-profit, full-service resource open to all. It offers Next Generation Sequencing, Sanger Sequencing, Bioinformatics and more, and supports both educational and industrial research. Equipment is also available for self-service use.

Explore the Genomics Core Facility
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Admission Requirements

To be admitted to WVU's Biology: Pre-Medical major, first-time freshmen must meet WVU's first-time freshman admission requirements for the 2024-25 academic year. Interested in transferring? Review the transfer admission requirements.

Tuition and Aid

How much does Biology: Pre-Medical at WVU cost? And how can you save?

Tuition and Fees

Estimated rates are available on our tuition website. Anyone who is not a current West Virginia resident, including international students, will be charged non-resident rates.

View Tuition and Fees

Scholarships

Estimate your eligibility for merit scholarships at WVU Morgantown.

Find Scholarships

Net Price Calculator

Estimate your cost of attendance and eligibility for financial aid and scholarships at any WVU System campus.

Visit the Net Price Calculator

Ways to Save

Here are a few ways for you to save on the cost of attending WVU in addition to university scholarships.

Financial Aid

The most important step toward funding your future with financial aid for the Biology: Pre-Medical major is submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

How to Complete the FAFSA

Transfer Articulation Agreements

To simplify the transfer process, we have formal agreements with certain institutions. These agreements outline the courses you should take to prepare for transferring to WVU.

Review the full list of transfer articulation agreements to see if your institution is listed.

Learn How to Transfer Course Credits

Ready to take the next step?

Learn how to join the WVU family.

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