Beyond the customary Biology or Chemistry majors, you have several choices among undergraduate majors (depending on the type of medicine and where you want to practice).

Because SAU is rooted in social justice, you might decide to deliver healthcare to underserved populations and major in Sociology, Philosophy, or Political Science. Bear in mind that additional biology, chemistry, physics, and math courses would be necessary additions to your plan of study if you choose a non-science major.

If you'd like to specialize in sports medicine, the requirements for Exercise Science also fulfill pre-Med prerequisites for biology. chemistry, and applied aspects of the human body. Additionally, Exercise Science also satisfies requirements for pre-PA and pre-Med.

Be sure to discuss your post-graduate plans with your SAU advisor so that you construct a plan of study that satisfies both whatever major you choose plus prepares you for graduate school.

Ambrose Advantages

  • Small Classes, Proven Programs
  • We Give You Choices And Opportunities
  • Foundational Education

Whether you are preparing for a career or graduate studies in medicine, you get a comprehensive education at St. Ambrose University. Our exceptional faculty encourage you to explore your interests, support your drive, and help you gain the skills to succeed in life--personally and professionally.

Foundation Courses to Enter Medical School

Wanting to study - and eventually practice - medicine, means you must excel in rigorous coursework that includes biology, chemistry, physics, and math. 

All medical programs require:

  • One year General Biology + lab (BIOL 199, 200)
  • One year General Chemistry + lab (CHEM 105, 106)
  • One year Organic Chemistry + lab (CHEM 207, 208, 209, 210)
  • One year Physics + lab (PHYS 203, 204)Individual medical programs may have additional requirements, including Calculus, Social Sciences, Humanities, and/or English Composition.

The entrance exam for medical school is the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test). To enter medical school in the fall semester after graduation, you should take the MCAT no later than the end of summer after your junior year. Complete these additional courses prior to taking the MCAT:

  • Biochemistry (CHEM 319)
  • Cell & Molecular Biology (BIOL 301)
  • One year Human Anatomy & Physiology (BIOL 230, 232)
  • Microbiology (BIOL 251) and/or Biodiversity (BIOL 201)
  • Genetics (BIOL 303)
  • Psychology (PSYC 105)
  • Sociology (SOC 101)
  • Ethics (PHIL 207 or 310)
What will I learn?

It depends on which major you choose. Most medical programs require undergraduate coursework in biology, chemistry, physics, and math. You might consider taking courses in calculus, social science and humanities, and we have many from which to choose.

Before taking the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), we suggest completing courses in biochemistry, human anatomy & physiology, genetics, psychology, ethics, and more. Your advisor can help you create a plan of study that meets your needs and goals.

If you decide not to pursue medical school, no worries. With your SAU undergraduate degree, you have the skills to enter various career fields or different areas of graduate study.

What makes an education from SAU so special?

At SAU, you learn more than subjects. You learn about the world and the issues and strengths that underpin societies, and discover how you can best contribute.

How? We give you an education guided by the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and grounded in the Liberal Arts. We encourage critical thinking and discussion, value diversity, and work for social justice. We welcome you into our community and ask you to get involved -- volunteer, intern, or join a club. This is the foundation of an SAU education and helps you learn about yourself and others - and succeed personally and professionally.

Where are some of SAU's pre-med graduates now?

Our alumni have been accepted into medical programs at:

University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
University of Illinois at Chicago
Loyola University
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Des Moines University
Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Marian University

Scholarships and Grants


For academic/merit-based awards, eligible students are matched to the qualifying award; some of them are listed below.

For need-based support, eligibility is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The SAU school code is 001889.

You may also qualify for a scholarship or grant due to your talent in the fine arts or athletics. Give us a call or send an email so we can get to know you and find the best package for you. (You're also encouraged to seek outside scholarships and begin that search early.)

Institutional scholarships (2018-19)

There is no need to apply for the scholarships or grants below; students automatically are eligible if they meet specific criteria, although some may require a certain GPA to stay eligible.

The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores.

Ambrose Scholar
For First Year, on-campus residents only. Straight As on high school transcript and a minimum 30 ACT score. Applicants who meet Ambrose Scholar criteria will be invited to compete for a full-tuition scholarship for $@{17-18-Tuition}.

Trustee Scholar
$22,000/year - For First-year, on-campus residents only. Unweighted 3.8 GPA, 28+ACT. May be offset by state and/or federal aid if eligible.

Academic Scholarship
$14,000-17,000/year - Based on GPA and ACT/SAT score

University Grant
$12,000/year - Based on high school GPA and ACT/SAT score

Additional Scholarships (2018-19)

If you want to apply for any of the scholarships below, contact the Admissions Office.

Fine Arts Scholarships
Award based on performance and ability in art, music, or theatre. Includes the Michael Kennedy Theatre Scholarship. Audition or portfolio required.

Athletics Scholarships
Award varies. Based on performance and ability. Marching Band scholarships available. See below.

Freeman Pollard Minority Scholarship
$1,000 for on-campus students; $500 for off-campus. For accepted minority students.

Menke Parish Scholarship
Award varies. For First Year students only who are recommended by their parish pastor in the Diocese of Davenport. Recommendation form (pdf) to be completed by your pastor.

Father Welch Alumni Scholarship
$1,000/year. For on-campus students only whose parent is a St. Ambrose graduate.

Athletic Scholarships

As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), St. Ambrose can award athletic scholarships to student athletes. These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody that value of developing both the mind and body.

How do I qualify for an athletic scholarship?
You must first be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at

Transfer Scholarships

Amounts are for transfer students entering St. Ambrose in the 2018-19 academic year.

St. Ambrose scholarships are awarded for fall and spring semesters only and renewable up to 120 credits of undergraduate study, which includes credits transferred to St. Ambrose from prior attendance. For example: If you transfer in with an AA/AS degree, you would receive a scholarship for two additional years at St. Ambrose.

For questions about any of the awards below, give our friendly Financial Aid Office a call at 563-333-5775.

Institutional Aid

Guaranteed Minimum Scholarship Award 

based on GPA (Grade Point Average)
3.5-4.00 GPA: $12,000 per year scholarship award
3.0-3.49 GPA: $11,000 per year scholarship award
2.5-2.99 GPA: $10,000 per year scholarship award
2.0-2.49 GPA: $8,000 per year scholarship award

Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society

Criteria: Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society membership
Award: $12,500/year for new transfer students, renewable each year up to eight semesters, including transfer hours. Scholarships awarded for fall and spring semesters only. GPA is based on 4.0 scale.

Out-of-State Grant

Criteria: non-Iowa resident
Award: $2,000/year

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarship

Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate; on-campus students only
Award: $1,000/year

Freeman Pollard Diversity Award

Criteria: accepted diverse student
Award: $1,000/year on-campus; $500/year off-campus

Athletics Scholarship

Criteria: performance and ability
Marching band scholarships also available
Award varies

Fine Arts Scholarship

Criteria: performance and ability in art, music, theatre
Audition or portfolio required
Award varies

Dual Admission Scholarship

Criteria: participant in SAU/community college dual admission program
Award: $1,000 maximum

Federal and State Aid

Federal Pell Grant

Criteria: based on financial need; file FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1
Award: $5,920 maximum

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

Criteria: based on financial need, priority to Pell Grant recipients. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1.
Award: $400 maximum

Federal Work Study Award

Criteria: based on financial need. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1
Award: $1,850

Iowa Tuition Grant

Criteria: based on financial need, Iowa residents only. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1, deadline July 1.
Award: @{Iowa-Tuition-Grant}

Carver Scholarship

Criteria: Iowa resident and entering junior, visit for eligibility details, deadline April 1.
Award: $7,600 maximum

Outside Scholarships

There are many opportunities to receive scholarships from outside sources, here are a few websites to begin researching your options:

Another tip: Next time you're on campus, check out the bulletin board outside Bee Central where we post more flyers and applications for outside scholarships.

Apply Visit Info


Admissions Office
Admissions and Welcome Center
310 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 60 programs and 27 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!