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Pre-Medicine Requirements and Chemistry

Medical schools recognize the importance of chemistry in medicine, as it is fundamental to the study of all life processes and the pharmaceuticals essential to medical treatment.

The Department of Chemistry at Purdue University offers interdisciplinary opportunities for learning both organic chemistry and biochemistry, each critical to the pursuit of post-graduate studies in the medical field.

  • A robust background in organic chemistry facilitates the understanding of the structural features in therapeutic agents used for curing or preventing human diseases.

  • Biochemistry provides the fundamental knowledge needed for understanding molecular genetics, cellular processes, and the molecular basis of metabolic disorders

Numerous members of the chemistry faculty perform leading-edge research at the interface between chemistry and medicine. Undergraduate students have the opportunity to obtain research experience in many of these laboratories.

Our Chemistry and Chemistry (ACS accredited) degrees can be easily modified to assure that all the requirements for admission to a medical school are satisfied. Typically, this requires only the inclusion of one year of biology to the plans of study.

An attractive option offered by the Department of Chemistry is a B.S. in Biochemistry(Chemistry), a degree that has been accredited by the American Chemical Society and fulfills all of the Science requirements for medical school.

Chemistry majors have full access to the Pre-Professional Advising Office in the Center for Career Opportunities.  Students interested in medical school are encouraged to consult with that office as early as their freshman year.

Here is what some of our graduates say about how Purdue Chemistry prepared them for a career in the medical field:


Major: Biochemistry
After Purdue: Ph.D. IU School of Medicine, Biomedical Science

"My experience as a teaching assistant and undergraduate research in Dr. Angeline Lyon's lab has led me to a career goal of becoming a professor myself so that I can combine my love for research and teaching. I have also really enjoyed sharing my experiences as a College of Science Ambassador, inspiring prospective students to see the potential they have to succeed and discover their dreams at Purdue."


Major: Chemistry
After Purdue: Medical School, Indiana University School of Medicine

"I’ve had great mentors in Chemistry. My advisors and professors have been very helpful and Purdue has unlimited amount of opportunities that are available to every student. It’s been a very enjoyable experience."


Major: Biochemistry
After Purdue: Medical School, Indiana University School of Medicine

“A rewarding experience I had while at Purdue was working in the Simpson research group. The lab not only allowed me to get experience in chemical research, but the group was also extremely welcoming and social. Purdue offers everything for you to find your niche.”


Major: Chemistry
After Purdue: Doctor of Dental Surgery, Indiana University School of Dentistry

“I really care about impacting my community through service, which is something I have done through volunteer work and hope to do in my career as a dentist. I tell people that Purdue is a big school with a community that makes you feel at home. I have loved the hard work and challenges that go into a successful academic career at Purdue because I think it makes the diploma mean so much more!”


Major: Biochemistry
After Purdue: Medical School, Indiana University School of Medicine

“I was an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Chittaranjan Das' lab for three years where I worked under the guidance of my mentor, Dr. Shalini Iyer. I was also able to study abroad for a month in Colombia with my academic advisor, Beatriz Cisneros. Additionally, I joined Purdue Science Student Council where I was a member of the Networking, Career and Outreach committee for three years.”


Major: ACS Biochemistry
Minors: Spanish, Forensic Sciences, Biological Sciences
After Purdue: IU School of Medicine

“I am so incredibly thankful for the immense amount of support that I have received from my academic advisor, my professors, my colleagues, and fellow students. Purdue has provided me with so many opportunities to grow as a leader, role model, professional, scientist, and friend. I will forever be truly proud to be a BoilerMaker!”


Major: Biochemistry
Minor: Biological Sciences
After Purdue: University of Michigan School of Dentistry

“It’s amazing how much ground-breaking research is being done at Purdue. A most rewarding experience I had was participating in the Low Lab where I was able to work on cancer research and get experimental data that one day will help save lives.”

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Major: Chemistry ACS
After Purdue: Medical School

“My time at Purdue has been the best. I was a member of Professor Ramachandran’s lab group all four years here, where I was able to work on synthesizing new antibiotics. And, I studied abroad in Australia and did a medical mission trip in the Dominican Republic.”

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Major: Chemistry
After Purdue: Optometry, Midwestern University

“I am passionate about giving back and changing lives, and optometry will help me achieve that. Clear vision is crucial in our everyday tasks – but is so often taken for granted. I have witnessed the life-changing moments vision correction provides in my time working as an optician. I am excited to be responsible for those life changing moments myself one day.”

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Major: Biochemistry
Minors: Psychology and Biology
After Purdue: Medical School

“Purdue offers amazing opportunities inside and outside of the classroom. I will always be thankful for the involvement I had as an undergraduate researcher in Professor Low’s lab. I learned an incredible amount that I would not have been introduced to in my classes. This experience has shaped my future and my decisions throughout college.”

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Major: Biology
Minor: Chemistry
After Purdue: Medical School

“My most rewarding experience at Purdue has been my undergraduate research. Working in Dr. Hrycyna's laboratory these past four years has been a phenomenal experience both personally and academically. I was not only able to learn an expansive range of techniques and background information on my project, but I also started to appreciate that scientific investigation is not just about obtaining results; it is a process of learning by overcoming obstacles. Additionally, I have cultivated long-lasting personal relationships with my mentor and lab members that will extend beyond my time at Purdue.”

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Major: Biochemistry, Neurobiology/Physiology
After Purdue: Medical School

“A rewarding experience for me was my time researching in the Tantama Lab. I had such a phenomenal experience working in the lab. Not only did I gain an immense amount of knowledge, research experience, and skills, I was able to make my own contributions to projects and advancements for a strong cause.”

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Major: Biochemistry, Spanish
After Purdue: I.U. Medical School

“I studied abroad in Madrid during the second semester of my junior year. This was an incredible experience that greatly broadened my cultural perspective and helped me make some of my closest friends. I was able to travel much of Europe all while studying in one of Spain’s major metropolitan areas.”

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Major: ACS Biochemistry
Minors: Forensic Science
After Purdue: Medical School

“Some rewarding experiences for me were working in the Low Lab and as a College of Science Ambassador. Purdue is a place to thrive if you’re ready to do some hard work. There are hundreds of opportunities and they can be as useful as you make them.”

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Major: Chemistry
Minors: Biochemistry
After Purdue: M.S. Biochemistry, IU School of Medicine 

“Having industry experience is crucial to gaining meaningful employment in the current employment landscape, and Purdue's reputation has allowed me to gain an insight into industrial practices. In addition to working in Professor Low's lab for five semesters, I did a summer internship for Mead Johnson Nutrition in their Quality Control Department and have accepted a summer position at Elanco Animal Health (Eli Lilly's Animal Health division) in their Analytical Chemistry department.”

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Major: ACS Biochemistry
After Purdue: Medical School, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

“I have participated in undergraduate research in the Das Lab, including participating in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF). It has been a really great experience for me to learn more about the fundamental science research that helps inform medicine that I will practice in the future. Purdue and the Chemistry Department have allowed me the flexibility to build my undergraduate experience around my own interests very well.”

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Morgan Ashley
Major: Chemistry
Minor: Biology
After Purdue: Southern Illinois University Medical School

"Because few from my community make it to college, I have always viewed college as a privilege. The Science Diversity Office has given me so many opportunities to give back to younger students at Purdue. And through Boiler Mentors, I formed connections with freshman science students to ease their transition into college."

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Major: Biochemistry
Minors: Biology, Spanish, Music Theory
After Purdue: I.U. Medical School

“I've had many great experiences while at Purdue, including working on medical projects in Dr. Chmielewski’s lab, stomping around the Costa Rica jungle learning about biology/ecology, and traveling the U.S. competing on the Purdue Crew rowing team.”

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Major: Biochemistry
Minor: Biological Sciences
After Purdue: Medical School at Marian University-College of Osteopathic Medicine

"Being a student at Purdue University has been the most fulfilling experience I have had in my entire life, and I am truly honored to forever be a Boilermaker. I am leaving Purdue proud of the philanthropic, hardworking leader and woman I have become because of the opportunities that I have been given by the Purdue community."

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Major: Chemistry
Minors: Psychology, Biology
After Purdue: I.U. Medical School

"My involvement with Purdue Science Student Council allowed me to teach elementary school aged students through demonstrations at Spring Fest, College Mentors for Kids, and other events. It is rewarding to watch kids get excited about science."

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Major: ACS Biochemistry, Biology
After Purdue: Sales associate for medical nutrition products at Abbott Nutrition

"I had the fantastic opportunity of working with Professor Amy Davidson my first semester in CHM 197 which I carried through as CHM 499 for the next four semesters. This allowed me to get a summer job in a discovery biology lab at Eli Lilly and solidified my interest in the healthcare industry."

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Major: Biochemistry
Minor: Biology
After Purdue: Pharmacy School - Concordia University

“Working in Dr. Shah's lab over the summer was a great hands-on learning experience. Understanding the trial and error process of a research lab helped me learn more about how the drug development process works.”

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Major: Biochemistry
After Purdue: Medical School - Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine

“My rewarding experiences in Chemistry included the courses themselves, getting to know the professors, and having Beatriz Cisneros as my adviser. If you have the experiences that I’ve had at Purdue, you won't be disappointed.”


Kasi medical school