Health Sciences

At Iowa, discovery is a hands-on job. We don’t just talk about trying to cure cancer or diabetes or blindness. We get in the lab and try new treatments. So whether you’re interested in medicine, biology, nursing, public health, or chemistry, there are countless ways to participate in direct, hands-on research at one of the largest teaching hospitals in the country. At Iowa, you can make a powerful impact on the lives of patients and learn valuable, practical skills at the same time

Student in chemistry lab


Biochemistry is the study of the basic biological and chemical processes that occur in all living systems. It is an area suited to students who enjoy science and math and who may be considering a career as a research scientist. A biochemistry degree is solid preparation for advanced-degree science programs and for careers in medicine, biology, chemistry, or dentistry.

Margaret Mungai does research in PBDB


Biology is the study of life, and advances in the understanding of living systems impact almost every aspect of modern life. From food to biofuel to medicine, biological applications are integral to modern society and further advances will be necessary to address the challenges that the future holds. 

Margaret Mungai does research in PBDB

Biomedical Sciences

The interdisciplinary biomedical sciences BS major is designed for undergraduate students with an aptitude for the sciences and who plan to attend medical school or conduct biomedical research in graduate school and beyond.

This program is specifically designed to cover the course work needed for admission to medical schools and prepares students for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). 

Student in chemistry lab


Chemistry has a leading role in the technological challenges that touch all aspects of our lives. Global climate change, increasing demands on limited energy resources, the detection and treatment of human disease, concerns about environmental health, and the continuing need for new materials and synthetic strategies all demand an innovative response from chemists.

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Dentistry Preprofessional Program

Dentistry is a field in which practitioners work to improve people's health and quality of life through preventative and corrective oral health. Dentists work as general dentists in clinical settings or with advanced degrees in orthodontia, pediatric dentistry, or hospital and operative dentistry. Additional career opportunities include researching dental diseases and treatment techniques.

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Health and Human Physiology

This area of study uses basic science to measure human responses to internal and external stimuli (such as changes in activity levels, varying environmental conditions, and disease processes) and applies this knowledge to the promotion of human health.

A degree in this area prepares you to work in a hospital or corporate wellness program, or for nonprofit health agencies, commercial fitness enterprises, and federal and state health promotion agencies.

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Human Physiology

Human physiology is the science of how the human body functions in health and disease.  

A degree in human physiology provides excellent preparation for careers or graduate study in biomedical research and the health professions or related disciplines.

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Medicine Preprofessional Program

The Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree is a professional degree program that requires first completing an undergraduate degree. The University of Iowa offers a pre-health sciences designation (also known as "pre-med") for undergraduate students that provides specialized advising and course work in preparation for medical school.

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Microbiology is the branch of biology that studies the smallest living things: bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa, and viruses. It also studies immunology—how higher organisms respond to foreign substances.

This is an excellent major for undergraduate students who want a good general education with an emphasis on an important and interesting branch of biology. It also is an excellent major for students who plan to pursue advanced degrees in medicine, dentistry, or another health profession.

Examples of what microbiologists do include: