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Pre-Med and Pre-Health

Planning ahead for graduate coursework

Studying abroad can provide an enriching dimension to your preparation for graduate school admission in the health profession fields. However, working a study abroad experience into a pre-med/pre-health undergraduate program requires early, careful planning and should only be undertaken with guidance from your school adviser, who is familiar with your pre-med/pre-health requirements. You might also want to speak directly with admissions officers at the graduate schools you are considering to determine how the proposed study abroad experience will be viewed relative to that school's requirements and selection criteria.

You can access information about requirements for medical school and an overview of admissions procedures and timetables at the University Academic Advising Center health web page. To set up an appointment, contact the University Academic Advising Center at

Program options for pre-med and pre-health students

Pre-health students have a variety of study abroad options through our affiliated programs:

  1. Programs focusing on health-related studies allow students to examine public health or related fields while also taking courses in area studies and, when applicable, language. They often offer a range of valuable clinical/field study opportunities that allow students to observe firsthand the day-to-day roles and lifestyles of caregivers in different cultural settings.
  2. Pre-med programs offer pre-med courses coupled with practicum opportunities in the medical field.
  3. General study abroad programs offer students an opportunity to pursue other, non-medical related interests.

Northwestern encourages pre-med and pre-health students to explore programs that interest them, whether or not the programs are related to health studies. Students should not choose a program just because they think it will help them get into graduate school. Graduate school admissions officers in the health professions fields are looking for well-rounded individuals who bring with them a diverse, challenging and enriching resume of undergraduate experiences.

Taking the MCAT Abroad

The MCAT is offered at 13 sites outside the United States:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • England
  • France
  • Germany
  • Guam
  • India
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Lebanon
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • Puerto Rico
  • The Virgin Islands.

Test dates are in April and August, with registration deadlines about one month prior to the test date. For information and registration materials, see the MCAT web page on the AAMC web site.

Minoring in Global Health

Northwestern's Global Health Minor integrates an international dimension into health-related fields of study, and is particularly targeted at pre-medical students interested in studying abroad. The Global Health Minor is open to students in any discipline or school.

The Global Health Minor offers an innovative and interdisciplinary approach to the study of public health issues, combining on-campus course work with hands-on experience abroad and individualized research. It is designed to examine the medical, cultural and legal structures that shape health conditions and policy responses abroad, the international environment that spreads the impact of these problems the world over, and the emerging international regimes that address these new global realities.

Students may study abroad on Northwestern-sponsored programs in Chile, China, France, Israel, and South Africa as well as other director-approved sites. The program provides students and future practitioners with the necessary skills to understand international health issues, learn about domestic and international approaches to international crisis management, and, ultimately, deal more effectively with the diverse population in the U.S.

For more information, review the Global Health Minor web site or e-mail You can also call the Office of International Program Development at 847-467-6953.