12 Best Colleges For Pre-Med Students in Illinois

One of the toughest professionals out there in the medical profession. The pre-med track at any college can seem like an impossible gauntlet to get through. Prospective medical students need to not only pick the correct major but also begin taking the correct courses and developing personal habits that will assist them in getting into medical school later on. Even when you’re focused on becoming a doctor, there are plenty of other options for you as an undergrad. Many great colleges in Illinois offer programs to assist you in gaining entry into medical school after graduation. These schools also provide opportunities for future doctors as well as other careers in healthcare and related fields. Let us know 12 Best Colleges For Pre-Med Students, Where To Get Your Medical Degree in Illinois?

12 Best Colleges For Pre-Med Students

The Basics of Being a Pre-Med Student

First, you need to understand that there are two separate fields of study for pre-med students. A large majority of people get their foot in the door as physicians, which are also an MD. Some people also pursue a Ph.D., which is a research-based degree. Both are great for getting a foot into the medical field but require a different mindset. Physicians who enter residency do so with a medical degree and a medical license, which allows them to prescribe medicine and perform surgeries. Those who get a Ph.D. are more research-based, and they are often involved in helping design new drugs and treatments.

When to Apply to a Pre-Med Program in Illinois?

Students should apply to a pre-med program in Illinois early in their undergraduate career, ideally as a sophomore or junior. While students can apply to medical school at any point, they are more likely to receive acceptance letters when they apply as a junior. Finally, it’s important to note that there are no guarantees that students will be accepted to medical school, and they should be prepared to make the tough decision to pursue a career in another health care field if their applications are rejected.

How to Succeed in a Pre-Med Program in Illinois?

Medical school is a demanding and time-consuming endeavor, and pre-med programs provide students with the opportunity to succeed before applying to medical school. To succeed in pre-med school, you need to have a very solid foundation in the sciences. Students who excel in the arts, sciences, and math are more likely to succeed in medical school. Next, students should look into specific programs within the state of Illinois that can help them achieve their academic and career goals. Students should also consider the type of health care they want to provide and the communities they want to serve. Finally, students should look into community service opportunities as a way to make a positive impact on their health care communities.

Which Programs Have the Most Financial Aid Options?

Many medical schools in Illinois accept the MCAT, but a few schools have a reputation for being particularly selective. One of those schools is Loyola University Chicago, which accepts the MCAT but is among the most selective schools in the country. 

What to Look For in a Pre-Med Program in Illinois?

Academic rigor:

While most pre-med programs in Illinois are highly competitive, some schools are better suited for students who want to take on a more rigorous academic challenge. Look for a school that will challenge you academically and helps you to identify areas you need to improve. 


All medical schools in Illinois are expensive, but some cost more than others. Students should try to identify a program that is as affordable as possible while still being a good fit for their goals. 

Degree program:

While most students want to apply to medical school and pursue a career in health care, there are a variety of other options available. Medical schools in Illinois offer a variety of other career paths, including podiatry, optometry, pharmacy, and more. – Academic support services: All pre-med programs will have plenty of academic challenges to navigate, but some schools offer more support services than others. Choose a program with a strong mentorship program and an academic support services office that can help students navigate the system. Health care communities:

Medical schools in Illinois enroll students into a health care community, which means that students spend the majority of their time outside of the classroom assisting patients and conducting research. Choose a school that will be a good fit for you as a health care provider. Cost:

All students want to choose a school that is as affordable as possible while still being a good fit for their goals.

12 Best Colleges For Pre-Med Students:

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

This university gives students a lot of options in their pre-med program. They offer a wide variety of courses in fields like biology, biochemistry, and chemistry. If you aren’t sure which path to follow, they even offer a Pre-Health Professions Exploration (PHPE) course to help you discover your interests and determine which professions would be best for you. The University of Illinois also offers a special “3+3” program that allows eligible students to finish their bachelor’s degree in three years and their doctorate in six more.

Northwestern University

This massive university in downtown Chicago has a pre-med program that is highly ranked by publications and organizations such as U.S. News and World Report. It’s also a very expensive school, but it does offer plenty of scholarship opportunities. Another perk of Northwestern’s pre-med program is that it offers joint degrees with other programs. This means that if you finish the pre-med requirements but aren’t sure if you want to go into medicine, you can still get a joint degree. 

Illinois Institute of Technology

This school will work with you to develop a unique degree plan that is tailored to your own goals and interests. This means that whether you want to become a veterinarian or a doctor, you will create a specific degree plan to get there. IIT also offers special courses to help prepare you for the MCAT, the graduate school entrance exam. These courses are designed to help you study the material you need to know and provide practice exams to help you hone your skills.

University of Chicago

This school doesn’t have a dedicated pre-med track but rather offers a wide variety of general and interdisciplinary courses that would be helpful in any profession. Chicago also has a unique “pre-professional advising” program where you will meet with a faculty member on a semi-regular basis to discuss your progress and provide advice on how to proceed. This program is designed to help you navigate the waters of pre-med while still maintaining the flexibility to pursue other interests.

Adler University

This school is one of the best in Illinois for graduate programs in psychology. While Adler does offer a handful of undergraduate degrees, its psychology program is designed for people who want to pursue graduate work with a focus on psychology. The psychology program is a very tedious one, majorly for people in the research field. They also offer programs that prepare students for med school. 

Concordia University

This Lutheran-based school is located in the suburbs just outside of Chicago. It offers a pre-med track with plenty of biology-related courses. It also has an advantage as a small school in that it has a tight-knit community of students and professors, which allows for more one-on-one attention. This can be helpful for students who are trying to navigate a major as demanding as pre-med. Concordia University does not only offer pre-med programs, they also prepare nursing students for the NCLEX to make them a registered nurse. Nursing is a field that is in high demand and comes with a high rate of job security.

Columbia College, Chicago

Located in Chicago, Columbia College Chicago is a private, non-profit institution that offers a variety of undergraduate and graduates degrees, including a BS in Pre-Medicine. Founded in 1898, the college boasts a tradition of excellence and provides students with numerous resources and support services to help them along the way. Students who enroll in the pre-med program at Columbia College Chicago can complete their undergraduate degree in as few as five years of full-time study. Through the program’s accelerated track, students can earn a BS in Pre-Medicine in as few as four years. The school offers a variety of assistance services to help students succeed, including academic advising, mentorship and career services, financial aid, study abroad programs, and more.

DePaul University

This school is another great option for psychology majors who want to go into research or academia. It offers a pre-health track with plenty of psychology and biology courses to prepare students for graduate work in psychology. It also offers pre-law, which is designed for students who want to go into law school. While these other majors are less directly related to health, they are important and in-demand fields that can provide students with many opportunities.

Loyola University Chicago

Located in the heart of Chicago, Loyola University Chicago is one of the top medical schools in the state. The medical program at Loyola is highly competitive, and admission is highly selective. To be considered for acceptance, applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.7, as well as demonstrate a strong commitment to providing health care to underserved communities through internships or volunteering opportunities. The school also has a robust exchange program in place, allowing students to spend a year living and studying in another country. There are two main paths to attending medical school at Loyola. The first is to complete both a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Bachelor of Science in Biology, combining both degrees and earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 4 years. The second is to focus on pre-med courses and major in a science-related field, such as chemistry, biology, or physics, and then choose a major-specific pre-med track.

Dominican University

This school is another great choice for psychology majors who want to go into research or academia. It offers a pre-health track with plenty of psychology and biology courses to prepare students for graduate work in psychology. It also offers pre-law, which is designed for students who want to go into law school. While these other majors are less directly related to health, they are important and in-demand fields that can provide students with many opportunities.

Earning a Doctoral Degree in Pre-med (PhD)

This is the obvious choice for people who want to become researchers and work for companies that manufacture new drugs. Getting your Ph.D. can take about five to seven years, and it will require you to complete a significant amount of original research. Earning a Ph.D. in medical school is very difficult but it is worth it at the end of the day. You will likely have a significant debt burden when you finish, but many of these schools have good financial aid programs and assistantships that can help you get through school.


There are many great colleges in Illinois for pre-med students. To determine which school is right for you, you need to do research into each school’s curriculum, program offerings, and cost. It’s also important to consider the location of a school and whether it would be a good fit for you. While every school on this list is a great option, there’s no point in applying to a school that isn’t a good fit for you.

Other Facts You May Want to Know

– Illinois is the only Midwestern state without a medical school of its own. – The state’s most popular college is Loyola University Chicago, which has a pre-med program. – The median household income in the state is approximately $68,821. – The state’s largest city is Chicago, which is home to three medical schools. – The average cost of in-state tuition for 2014-2015 academic


Question 1

How many years will it take to finish pre-med school?

With maximum dedication, you should finish pre-med in 3-4 years.

Question 2

What do I need to get admitted into a med school?

You need a solid foundation in sciences, dedication, and a lot of hard work.