Earn your BS in Biomedical Sciences

The interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science (BS) in Biomedical Sciences major is designed for the undergraduate student with an aptitude for the sciences and who plans to attend medical school or to conduct biomedical research in graduate school and beyond. The program is specifically designed to cover the coursework needed for admission to medical schools and prepares students for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).

The biomedical sciences degree is also particularly intended for students preparing for research and/or practice in the chemical, genetic, cellular, physiological basis of human disease. The major requires a minimum of 78 semester hours of course work in the natural sciences, mathematics, statistics, and the social sciences.

Entry into the biomedical sciences major is selective, with a limited number of students admitted. The curriculum is rigorous and requires dedication to academic excellence. Most students are engaged in biomedical research and about half of our students are pursing honors in the major.

Admission requirements and procedures

Incoming first-year students

Incoming freshmen who wish to apply to the biomedical sciences major should declare biomedical sciences interest as their degree choice on the application for admission in order to receive a supplemental application for submission of an essay.

Students applying for admission to the University of Iowa who meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the criteria below will be considered for admission to the major. Direct admission is selective.

Students Applying with a Standardized Test Score

  • A minimum ACT composite score of 29 or the equivalent SAT composite
  • A minimum ACT Math and Reasoning score of 29 or the equivalent SAT score
  • A minimum high school cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 3.70 (weighted or unweighted)
  • A record of completing advanced science courses in high school such as AP, IB, or Honors courses if offered by the high school and/or of completing a second course in a sequence of courses (such as Chemistry I and Chemistry II), with grades in key science courses considered
  • A dedication to and passion for the sciences and mathematics as indicated in a statement of purpose on the supplemental application

Students Applying without a Standardized Test Score

  • A minimum high school cumulative GPA of 3.80 (weighted or unweighted)
  • 2 years/units of high school math beyond Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry
  • 5 units of high school science including biology, chemistry, and physics
  • A dedication to and passion for the sciences and mathematics as indicated in a statement of purpose on the supplemental application

Those students not selected for direct admission (or not eligible to apply for direct admission) to the program may still be admitted to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. These students may reapply for admission to the Biomedical Sciences program in a future term.

For additional details and information about the Biomedical Sciences major, please visit the Office of Admissions website.

Current UI and transfer students

A student may also be admitted to the major as a continuing student at Iowa or as a transfer student with the understanding that a late declaration of the major may delay graduation. Applicants must demonstrate a record of academic excellence in the sciences through their outstanding grades in related UI or transfer course work. Current UI students wanting to be evaluated for admission should be enrolled in, or already completed, Foundations of Biology (BIOL: 1411). A statement of purpose and one letter of reference from a science or mathematics instructor is required. Before admission to the program, a student must meet with the Director of the Biomedical Sciences program. Admission to the program also depends on the student’s ability to work in a team, to show a strong work ethic, and to have a high-level of academic integrity, as necessary for research in a faculty lab.

Program planning and policies


This is a picture of Anna Gaw

Anna Gaw

Senior Academic Advisor
Biology and Biomedical Sciences
John Manak portrait

John Manak

Biomedical Sciences Program Director

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