Personalized Attention.
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Some extremely bright and talented people finish their undergraduate degrees with majors in something outside of science and may even work for a few years before they finally recognize their inner calling to become a medical doctor. It's not too late!

"I chose the Loras postbaccalaureate program because of how responsive and helpful the faculty and admission staff were during the application process, and since arriving in Dubuque this support has only increased. I truly feel like I have my own personal team helping me accomplish my goal of getting into medical school. Additionally, coming into this program with an undergraduate degree in business and no science background, I am grateful for the small class sizes at Loras, which has allowed me to get to know my professors well. They are knowledgeable and invested in my success.   –Claire B.

The Loras College Postbaccalaureate Pre-Medical/Pre-Health 12-month program is intended for individuals interested in changing their career to healthcare and who require the prerequisite courses to apply to one of the following professional schools: medicine, optometry, dentistry, podiatry, physical/occupational therapy, physician assistant, or veterinary medicine. Loras College has a rich liberal arts tradition and a strong history of educating students for various health care professions. We strive to develop active learners, reflective thinkers, ethical decision makers, and responsible contributors - all key attributes for success in your chosen career in medical/ health care and for a satisfying life. We are interested in people joining our pre-medical program for whom medicine will not be just a job, but rather the vocation they are choosing to use their talents to best serve humanity.

The program is more than the courses you take with dedicated professors; you will be advised and guided by a dedicated pre-health advisor, prepare for the MCAT exam, observe and learn from doctors in hospitals and clinics, and receive a detailed committee letter of evaluation for your professional program of choice. Additional program benefits include:

  • Personal advising from a program director who has a medical degree.
  • 12-month program timeline for medical and dental school, plus most health-related professional schools.
  • Small class sizes and a beautiful Midwest location.
  • Assistance finding shadowing, research, and other related opportunities.
  • Opportunity to take an anatomy class with human cadavers.
  • Application guidance to health-related professional schools, including personal statement guidance and interviewing practice.
  • Admission test guidance for health-related professional schools.
  • Committee letter of evaluation.
  • Competitive tuition and financial aid options available.

Loras College is pleased to offer an opportunity for prospective Postbac Pre-Med/Pre-Health students to enjoy a casual, personalized Zoom conversation with the Postbac Program Director and the Director of Admission for Graduate and Professional Education Programs to learn more about the curriculum, research opportunities, outcomes, enrollment process, and much more. Get a true sense of what the program is like from a faculty member you will be working closely with.

Postbac Chat Registration



Straight Talk from a Duhawk

“Loras faculty have gone the extra mile to ensure that I have been supported not only during my time at Loras, but during the medical school application process as well!”

Sarah Doverspike
Postbaccalaureate Pre-Med/Pre-Health Program (‘20)

Straight Talk from a Duhawk

"The Loras postbaccalaureate premedical program has provided me with a toolbox of resources that I have been able to use to put together a competitive application."

Hear from Sarah

Collaborative, Experiential Learning

All classes and laboratory sections are taught by professors with PhDs, not teaching assistants. Faculty lead research groups and incorporate new research developments into their classes.

Collaborative, Experiential Learning

"Class sizes are small, and faculty are innovative, supportive teachers - guiding students in collaborative learning."

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Dubuque: Affordable, Nationally Recognized

Housed on a safe, scenic campus nestled high atop the majestic bluffs of the Mississippi River in Dubuque, Iowa, Loras College, founded in 1839 is proud to be Iowa’s oldest college. Dubuque is an affordable, civically engaged, nationally recognized city making it a wonderful place to live. Visit

Dubuque: Affordable, Nationally Recognized

"Dubuque is an affordable, civically engaged, nationally recognized city making it a wonderful place to live and learn. "

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Student Benefits

Loras provides Postbac Pre-Med/Pre-Health students with all the same benefits as Loras undergrad science students: laptops and technology assistance, integrated labs, athletic and wellness center access, extracurricular and spiritual life opportunities, and much more. Housing is available.

Student Benefits

"Postbac students receive all the same benefits as Loras undergrad science students. "

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Admission Criteria & Application Checklist
Curriculum Plan

The 12-month curriculum plan below is intended for students interested in pursuing medical school. Coursework for students interested in other health professional schools (dental, veterinary, physician assistant, physical/occupational therapy, etc.) may vary slightly.

An official Loras College transcript will be provided for all  coursework. In addition, the Postbaccalaureate Committee evaluates every student’s work after each term and provides a comprehensive letter of reference for students applying to medical, osteopathic, dental, and other health profession schools.

12 Month Course Curriculum PDF
Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of program is the Loras Postbaccalaureate Pre-Medical/Pre-Health Program?
There are generally two types of postbaccalaureate pre-med/pre-health programs: career-changer programs and grade-enhancer programs. Our program is a career-changer program, designed for students who graduated from college with a major outside of science and need the science prerequisites to apply to medical and other health-related professional schools.

What is the size of the program?
We prefer to keep our program small so that we are able to provide personalized attention to all students. Total enrollment in each of our Postbac Pre-Med/Pre-Health cohorts is typically between 5 and 10 students.

How long is the program?
Our program is one year long. It begins in May and ends in May. During this time the basic prerequisite science classes for medical school and health-related professional schools are completed. An individualized schedule for students interested in a longer pathway (or for students who want to begin in fall or spring) may be developed based on the needs of the student.

When can I begin with the program?
At the present time, most students in our cohort program begin in the summer semester (late May) and end in the spring semester (mid-May). Some students may be able to start with the fall or spring semester depending on their needs. For example, some students may wish to take additional math, psychology, and/or sociology courses before starting with the science prerequisite courses.

What are the requirements to apply to the program?

  • Bachelor’s degree by the time of enrollment, with no natural science lab classes taken. (If you have taken one or two of the prerequisite classes already, please contact the program director to discuss eligibility).
  • Strong academic ability, evidenced by a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0. A holistic admission decision will be based on multiple factors, including ACT/SAT/GRE scores, your motivation for becoming a physician (or other healthcare professional), work history, volunteer activities, and other extracurricular involvement.
  • US citizen or permanent resident. (International students interested in specific coursework should please contact the Program Director).

Do you require ACT, SAT, or GRE scores?
Yes- we require at least one standardized test score (but please note that we do accept unofficial test scores). These test scores are used by the admission committee to evaluate the academic ability of each student. Standardized test score waivers may be granted on an individual basis (please contact the Postbaccalaureate Pre-Medical/Pre-Health Director at or 563-588-7255 to discuss further).

What do you look for in a competitive applicant?
We look for students who have a strong academic record and demonstrate a sincere interest and motivation in the medical field or other health-related fields. Shadowing experiences of health professions are beneficial, as well as volunteer activities, work experience, and exposure to experiences working as a CNA, EMT, scribe, or other healthcare related exposures.

We expect excellent interpersonal skills, independence, and a strong work ethic.

Am I required to have clinical experience prior to applying to the program?
Students are highly encouraged to get clinical experience to confirm their commitment to a career change to a medicine/healthcare field. This experience will strengthen student’s application to the Loras program, as well as the application to medical, dental and health-related professional school.

Can I apply if my goal is to enhance my academic record?
We strongly encourage students looking to improve their academic record to instead consider our Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences degree, which is an academic record enhancer program:

What types of professional schools does the program prepare students for?
The 12-month program offers prerequisite science classes for most medical (MD and DO schools) and dental schools. The program also offers prerequisite courses for other health-profession schools. Depending on the needs of the student, the timeline for taking prerequisites for other professional schools may vary.

How successful have graduates of Loras’s Postbaccalaureate Pre-Medical/Pre-Health Program been in getting accepted to medical school or health-related professional school?
Nearly 80% of all students who applied to medical school or health-related professional school right after completion of the Postbac Pre-Med/Pre-Health Program were admitted.

In addition to the Postbac Program, Loras College has decades of experience in educating and preparing undergraduate students for medical and health-related professional school. Loras’s undergrad students’ acceptance rates to medical/dental school and other health-related professional schools exceed the national average acceptance rates.

Advising is provided throughout the Postbac Pre-Med/Pre-Health Program, during the med school application process, and even after students have finished the program.

Does Loras have linkages to any medical schools?
Loras does not have linkages to medical schools. We strive to connect our students with schools that are the right fit for them.

Does the program offer all prerequisites science classes required by medical and dental schools?
The curriculum includes all the basic science prerequisites for most allopathic and osteopathic medical schools, as well as dental school admission. This includes general chemistry, biology, physics, organic chemistry, biochemistry (all with lab). Students will also have the opportunity to take some advanced undergraduate science classes, for example: physiology, anatomy with cadaver lab, cellular and molecular biology, genetics, and advanced biochemistry. Some medical or dental schools may require additional classes, including calculus, psychology, sociology, statistics- we also offer these classes.

However, the timeline of the program might change depending on the workload a student is able to take on during the program. We highly recommend checking the requirements of each school to which students may wish to apply before starting in the Postbac Pre-Med/Pre-Health program.

What type of internship/shadowing/research opportunities are available to students in the program?
The Dubuque area has a robust health care environment with several hospitals and larger physician groups that provide opportunities for our students in the Postbac Pre-Med/Pre-Health Program to shadow a wide variety of health care professionals, including specialists. Moreover, we will connect students with direct patient care experiences (certified nurse aide, emergency medical technician, phlebotomist, scribe) as well as research opportunities with our science faculty and volunteer opportunities depending on each student’s timeline and interest.

Am I considered a graduate student during the program?
No, our postbaccalaureate students take undergraduate science classes, and are not considered graduate students.

Can I work part-time or full-time during the program?
We do not recommend work at all during the one-year rigorous program; however an individualized longer schedule can be developed for students who need to work while taking classes.

Does Loras offer on-campus housing for Postbac students?
Loras-owned housing is available for Postbac students in Smyth Hall.  Smyth is an alternative residence hall located in the center of campus. Smyth is comprised of single and triple rooms; and houses a limited, diverse population including transfers, upperclassmen, Postbac Pre-Med/Pre-Health, and graduate Biomedical Sciences students. Smyth is also home to the Religious Studies and Theology departments.

Amenities include:

  • Free laundry facilities (washers and dryers)
  • Free wifi
  • Kitchen (stocked with pots, pans, baking sheets, etc.) on B level

Room information:

  • Rooms contain a bed/dresser/desk unit, desk chair, and waste basket
  • Beds are XL Twin sized, so students are encouraged to bring extra-long sheets
  • Students may bring a mini-fridge under 5 cubic feet
  • Heat is included, but A/C is not, so students are welcome to bring their own window air conditioning unit (must be 5000 BTU or less) or else a portable A/C unit. Contact if you need help installing the window air conditioner
  • Basic cable is not provided, but students are welcome to bring a streaming device of their choice to use in Smyth.

*To get your mailbox set up: please stop by the mailroom in the Alumni Campus Center (ACC).

Please see for current housing costs.

Program Cost


Visit the Postbac Pre-Med/Pre-Health section of our Tuition and Fees page for tuition and housing cost information.

Below are additional fees associated with students enrolled in the Postbac Pre-Med/Pre-Health Program (subject to change):

  • Lab fees for summer 1: ~$100 total
  • Lab fees for fall 1: ~$105 total
  • Lab fees for spring 1: ~$105-$160 total

Laptop rentals are provided to all Postbac students (already included in tuition costs). 


Financial Aid Information

Postbaccalaureate Pre-Medical/Pre-Health Program students enrolled at least half-time (6 credits per term) are eligible for federal direct loans for one consecutive 12-month period, provided they have not already borrowed the maximum amount allowed*.

The most that Postbac students can borrow each academic year is $12,500 if one has never borrowed before, and may be less if the student has prior borrowing history. To obtain a loan, students must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) each year at: Loras’ school code is 001873. The loan will disburse directly to Loras to cover the cost of the term(s).

To obtain a loan, students must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) each year at: Loras’ school code is 001873. The loan will disburse directly to Loras to cover the cost of the term(s). For financial aid purposes, Loras’ academic year runs from summer-spring (ie: summer 2023 through spring 2024). Please be sure to complete the correct FAFSA for the term(s) you wish to receive loans. For example, students beginning the Postbac program in summer 2023 would complete the 2023-2024 FAFSA.

The estimated cost of the entire Postbaccalaureate Pre-Med/Pre-Health Program can range from $22,000 to $26,000 depending upon course selection. Private loans are available to help with costs not covered by federal loans. More information regarding private loans can be found at:

Loras College does not offer institutional scholarships or federal grants for Postbac students at this time.

*The maximum borrowed amount allowed is:

  • Dependent undergraduate students: $31,000 (no more than $23,000 of this may be subsidized loans).
  • Independent undergraduate students (age 24 or older): $57,500 (no more than $23,000 of this may be subsidized loans).
Loras College Department Staff

Ulrike Schultz, MD, MPH
Postbaccalaureate Pre-Medical/Pre-Health Program Director & Pre-Health Advisor
563.588.7255 |
Full Profile

Kate Cooper, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
Chair, Division of Molecular, Life & Health Sciences
Biomedical Sciences Program Director
563.588.7956 |
Full Profile

Thomas Davis, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
563.588.7767 |
Full Profile

Adam Moser, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Chemistry
563.588.7920 |
Full Profile

David Oostendorp, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry
563.588.7259 |
Full Profile

Kristen Stauffer-Thompson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Engineering
563.588.7122 |
Full Profile

Questions? Let’s get in touch.

Ulrike Schultz, MD, MPH
Postbaccalaureate Pre-Medical/Pre-Health Program Director & Pre-Health Advisor

Megan Henderson
Loras College Graduate Admissions

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