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


St. Ambrose offers excellent scholarships and grants, work-study and other financial aid options! Full-time students may be eligible based on your strong academic performance in college, your talent in fine arts or athletics or your demonstrated financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The SAU school code for the FAFSA is 001889.

First-Year Scholarships and Institutional Aid 2024-2025

Merit-Based Scholarships

4.0 GPA: $24,000
3.75-3.99 GPA: $22,000
3.0-3.749 GPA: $20,000
2.5-2.99 GPA: $18,000
2.0-2.49 GPA: $14,000
If GPA is 2.0-2.49, additional documents and review required for admission.

Merit-Based Scholarships

4.o GPA: $17,000
3.75-3.99 GPA: $16,000
3.0-3.749 GPA: $15,000
2.5-2.99 GPA: $14,000
2.0-2.49 GPA: $13,000
If GPA is 2.0-2.49, additional documents and review required for admission.


Ambrose Advantage Full-Tuition Scholarship
Pell-eligible Iowa residents, learn more here

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarship: $500 per year
Parent is a St. Ambrose graduate

Catholic Traditions Scholarship: $1,000 per year
Students with Catholic religious denomination or plans to graduate from Catholic high school 

Minority Scholarship: $500 per year
Ethnically diverse student

Athletic Scholarships: varies
Performance and ability

Fine Arts Scholarships: varies
Performance and ability in music, art and theatre

Faith Learning Justice Campus Ministry Scholarships: $2,000 per year
Recognition of involvement in church and community service and interest in strengthening faith and growing as a leader in campus ministry

Scholarships are determined by unweighted GPA, and are renewable for four years of undergraduate student. Increases in scholarship awards due to change in GPA will be reviewed until March 1.

State and Federal Grants, Work Study

Grants are money that you don't repay, and they can come from government or private sources. SAU receives all financial aid funds directly - including loans and grants - then applies them to your account: once in the fall term and once in the spring term. Grants can be used to cover your tuition, books, and housing costs. You must apply for grants each academic year. If you have any loan funds in excess of your costs, you may receive a refund. If you are a first-time borrower, there is a 30-day hold on your first disbursement. For all of these grants, you must complete the Free Application Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as it is available.

Iowa Tuition Grant
To be eligible for the Iowa Tuition Grant, you must be a resident of Iowa as defined by the State Board of Regents and currently enrolled or planning to enroll in an undergraduate degree program at an eligible Iowa college or university (SAU is eligible). Iowa College Aid administers need-based college financial aid for Iowans, such as the Iowa Tuition Grant.
Award: $7,500 maximum

Federal Pell Grant
Awarded to students of the highest need based on how much your family can contribute to your education. The U.S. Department of Education sets a threshold. Then, when you file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), it computes where you land within that threshold and determines if you qualify for the grant and for how much.
Award: $6,895 maximum

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
You must file a FAFSA to qualify for a Pell Grant. This grant is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to students who have submitted all required documents for review and in time for the review to be complete. If you are eligible for a Pell Grant or SEOG, the awards will appear on your financial aid award letter.
Award: $400 maximum

Federal Work Study
Must secure campus employment.
Award: $2,560

Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant 
Provides aid to students intending to teach in a high-need field at a school that serves low-income families (as determined by the U.S. Department of Education or a state education agency). Review criteria and all details here.
Award: up to $4,000

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 Student Financial Services 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

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