Graduate & Professional School FAQs


Q: I want to go to medical school. Is microbiology the best major for me?

A: ANY major at OSU can work as preparation for medical school as long as you complete the required courses in biology, chemistry, etc. Because admission to medical school is quite competitive, it is best to choose a major you are interested in since students typically get better grades in courses that they enjoy. Microbiology is an excellent major to prepare you for medical school since almost all of the required medical school courses are also required for your microbiology major. The rigors of the advanced microbiology major classes will also help prepare you for the coursework you will face in medical school. <?xml:namespace prefix = o />

Q: I would like to go to a professional school or graduate school. What grades do I need to have?

A: A GPA of 3.5 or higher will make you a much more competitive applicant. Students with lower GPAs are sometimes accepted to these programs but those students typically have had high admission test scores (MCAT, DAT, GRE, etc.) and/or other exceptional experiences that give them an edge.

Q: I would like to go to a professional school (medical school, dental school, pharmacy school, etc). What courses do I need to take?

A: Most of the courses you need for these programs are covered by the prerequisite and/or major courses you need to take for your BS degree and micro major. However, there are a few extra requirements for each program. You can see list of the required courses for each program at the following site:   If you would like to speak with an ASC academic advisor who specializes in advising pre-professional students, you can get information at this site:

Q: I am a pre-med student but not a microbiology major. What microbiology courses are prerequisites for admission to medical school?  What other microbiology courses would you suggest for pre-med students?

A: There are NO microbiology courses that are prerequisites for medical school. Any microbiology questions on the MCAT will be general in nature and covered in your introductory biology courses.
However, many pre-med students do decide to take a microbiology course or two since most pre-med students are majors in biological sciences and can have microbiology courses count as some of their major electives. If you decide to take microbiology, there are several courses you can choose from. Many biology majors take M509, which is a general micro course for non-majors. It is offered every quarter, including summer, and will also be offered each semester. Students who are microbiology majors take M520 and M521 instead of M509. M520 is the prerequisite for M521 and is offered both Au and Sp quarters. M521 is offered only Wi quarter. For semesters, those 2 courses will be combined into one that will be M4100. M4100 will be offered both Au and Sp semester. Some premed students are also interested in immunology and so take M522.01 (lecture) and M522.02 (lab). The prerequisite for M522.01 is either M520 or M509. The prerequisite or concurrent course for 522.02 is 522.01. Those two courses are offered only Wi quarter. For semesters, 522.01 will become 5122. M522.02 will be combining with another course, Micro 581.02 (microbial genetics lab) and will become M4140. M4140 will be offered both Au and Sp semesters.

Q: I’m microbiology major. Will the Coordinating Advisor for micro majors write me a recommendation for med school (grad school, etc.)?

A: Unless the Coordinating Advisor has also had you as a student in a class at OSU or has interacted you in some way other than as an advisor, she/he will not write you a recommendation. Your strongest recommendations will come from someone who has seen and supervised your work in the classroom, lab, or workplace.