Biomedical sciences is an interdisciplinary major designed for students who plan to attend medical school or conduct biomedical research in graduate school and beyond. The curriculum broadly surveys across scientific and mathematical fields relevant to modern medical study. Course work in the major, combined with the expectation that students in the major complete an Honors research project, provides the breadth and depth of knowledge and skills assessed by the revised Medical College Admissions Test introduced in 2015 (MCAT2015).

Entry into the biomedical sciences major is selective and based on demonstrated aptitude in the sciences and a commitment toward continued medical study.

The Departments of Biochemistry, Microbiology, Biology, and Chemistry collaborate to offer the biomedical sciences major.

Why Study at Iowa

The University of Iowa is the home of the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, the medical training program for the State of Iowa. Many opportunities exist to gain experience and exposure to medical research/practice in local hospitals and laboratories.

Biomedical sciences students are encouraged to participate in the University of Iowa Honors Program and graduate with honors in this major. Visit Honors at Iowa for more information.

Students also are encouraged to participate in the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU) and to apply for research scholarships.

Course Work

The biomedical sciences curriculum includes required and elective course work in biochemistry, biology, chemistry, human physiology, mathematics, microbiology, physics, psychology, sociology, and statistics. Students develop critical analysis and reasoning skills through course work and independent research. Students gain knowledge of the biological, biochemical, chemical, and physical foundations of living systems, and the psychological, social, and biological foundations of behavior.

Biomedical sciences majors also must complete the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences General Education Program.

Admission Requirements

Biomedical sciences majors must meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students with the following profile who apply to the major directly from high school will be considered for admission as space in the program permits:

  • A minimum ACT composite score of 29 or the equivalent SAT composite
  • A minimum ACT Math and Scientific Reasoning score of 29 or the equivalent SAT score
  • A minimum high school cumulative GPA of 3.70
  • A record of completing advanced high school science courses such as AP, IB, or Honors courses (if offered) 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.

Admission Requirements Tabs

Student Opportunities

In addition to nearly 500 Student Organizations, Iowa students choose from multiple Living-Learning Communities, Study Abroad Programs, and Undergraduate Research Opportunities.

Living-Learning Communities in the residence halls that may interest students in this major include Be WISE: Women in Science and Engineering or Well Being Living Learning Community.


Iowa graduates have job placement rates ranging from 86-100 percent, depending on their area of study, and our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.


The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships.

Application Process

Application Process Tabs


Biomedical Sciences (BS)
Honors Courses
Four-Year Graduation Plan
Selective Admission