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Undergraduate Program in Medical Sciences

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Q: Is the Medical Sciences Program only for prospective medical students?

A: No. While the Undergraduate Program in Medical Sciences prepares students to be competitive for admission to professional schools such as medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy, it is also designed to better prepare students for master's and doctoral programs in the life sciences, as well as master's or other post-baccalaureate training programs for any of the many health professions. For more information on such programs, visit our Career Resources page.

Q: Are classes canceled if the University announces a campus closure?

A: Yes. Whenever the University announces a campus closure (such as due to winter weather or public emergency), all classes are canceled. You may have heard that the College of Medicine never closes; however, all undergraduate and graduate classes at the College of Medicine are canceled during a University campus closure. This not only applies to lectures and workshops but also laboratory-based classes such as MEDS 3030L. Undergraduate students should not attempt to come to campus if a campus closure has been announced or should leave by the time the university is to close as indicated in the announcement.

Q: How can I find out about summer research opportunities?

A: If you plan to enroll in classes during the summer semester and would like to participate in part-time summer research, consider the MEDS 3030: Biomedical Research Rotation course. Full-time summer research opportunities are available too. Visit the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) website for information on SURF programs at UC College of Medicine and Cincinnati Children's Hospital. The SURF programs are very competitive—apply early!

Q: If I am part of the Medical Sciences Program, do I pay undergraduate tuition or College of Medicine (M.D.) tuition?

A: Although Medical Sciences is housed in the College of Medicine, it is still an undergraduate program so students majoring or minoring in Medical Sciences will pay undergraduate tuition ("UC Uptown" rates). For up-to-date tuition costs, please visit the Admissions website.

Major in Medical Sciences

Q: How do I apply for admission to the Major in Medical Sciences?

A: Information on admissions can be found on the program Overview page for the major.

Q: Can I participate in both research and service activities?

A: Yes. In fact, you are strongly encouraged to participate in both research and service activities. In addition to a required course (MEDS 2030C) that introduces students to modern research techniques in several disciplines (i.e. microbiology, physiology, molecular biology, and biochemistry), we offer one-semester elective courses both in research (MEDS 3030, MEDS 4042L) and service learning (MEDS 3050). Students in the medical sciences major participate in a senior-year research or service capstone project that will be formally written and presented to the faculty and students.

Q: How soon can I start in a research lab?

A: There are many opportunities to become involved in research from your freshman year through your senior year at UC. These opportunities include research for credit, volunteering, part-time work (including work–study if eligible), and summer programs. If you are serious about conducting research, then we would encourage you to begin early in your college career. During your senior year, you will participate in either a research or service capstone project. Most research experiences would occur in laboratories located either at the UC College of Medicine or at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Q: Are there any additional costs associated with being in the Major in Medical Sciences?

A: No, there are no additional costs associated with being in the medical sciences undergraduate major at UC compared with any other program. (Standard costs include tuition, general fees, vaccinations, and health insurance, if applicable.) There is an additional fee associated with MEDS 4037C: Human Anatomy: Art & Medicine; however, this course is an elective and not required. Students should also budget for the costs of textbooks, a personal computer, and software (licensed software is available at deeply-discounted prices through UC Bookstores).

Q: Should I decide not to pursue a career in medicine, what other options are there for me after graduating from the Medical Sciences major?

A: The Medical Sciences major is not solely for students interested in going to medical school. We have structured the curriculum so that students may also pursue other avenues after graduation; these areas include biomedical research as a graduate student or technician, physician assistant, occupational or physical therapist, or dentistry. Our goal is to help you, the student, find the career path that you are most interested in and help you achieve that goal.

Q: If I am not affiliated with UC Honors Program, am I at a disadvantage in the Medical Sciences major?

A: Entry into the Honors Program is determined university-wide and is very limited. Given the rigorous requirements we have for admission into the Medical Sciences major and the small size of the program, we have found that a substantial number of outstanding students accepted into the major in Medical Sciences are not admitted into the Honors Program. Not being selected into the Honors Program does not affect a student’s standing, or the selection of classes or activities, in the medical sciences program in any way.

Minor in Medical Sciences

Q: If I meet the minimum requirements for the minor, will I be automatically admitted to the program?

A: No. The minor in Medical Sciences is a competitive program and admission is limited. The minimum requirement for applying to the minor is a cumulative GPA of 3.0; however, the minimum GPA accepted is typically considerably higher. The admissions committee will also consider other factors such as your performance in science courses such as organic chemistry, and your personal statement.

Q: When is the application deadline?

A: The application for the Medical Sciences minor is online and opens each fall. You can find details about the current application cycle here.

Q: I missed the application deadline for the minor. Can I still apply?

A: No. If you are currently a sophomore, you may apply next year (as a junior) for admission to the program in your senior year.

Q: I did not apply or was not admitted to the minor for this year but hope to enter the program next year. Can I take any of the minor classes this year?

A: Yes. Most of the College of Medicine undergraduate classes that count towards the minor in Medical Sciences are open to undergraduates in any program. You should consult with your advisor in your major before enrolling in one of these classes. Because of limited resources or spaces, some College of Medicine undergraduate classes are offered only to students admitted to the Medical Sciences Program.


Q: How can I support the mission of the Medical Sciences Program financially?

A: Parents, faculty, staff, and friends of the program can support the mission of the program by giving to the Medical Sciences Program Excellence Fund. More information

Further Information

Q: My question is not answered here. Whom should I contact?

A: If you do not find the answer to your question within the program website, or if you have a comment, question or idea regarding the program website, please contact one of the Medical Sciences directors listed below.

Anil Menon, PhD
Program Director 

David Wieczorek, PhD
Director of Admissions (Major)

Edmund Choi, PhD
Director of Admissions (Minor)

Bryan Mackenzie, PhD
Director of Research Experiences

David Askew, PhD
Director of Service-Learning Experiences

Medical Sciences Contacts

Anil Menon, PhD
Program Director

Dave Wieczorek, PhD
Director of Major Admissions

Beth Shelton, MEd
Program Coordinator

Rachel Shah, MEd
Academic Advisor