ECE Focus Area: Pre-Medicine (Electrical)

An eye care professional takes photos of the retina after dilation. Radiologist in San Diego, CA.


The electrical-track pre-med EFA is designed to prepare students for admission to medical school while also providing a solid foundation in one of the electrical-oriented focus areas.

Completion of this EFA will enable students to enter medical school with a solid foundation of an electrical-oriented focus area such as medical image processing or control systems. Given the increasing use of electrical concepts/devices in many areas of medicine (e.g., use/analysis of medical images, understanding heart arrhythmias, and use of medical instrumentation), students will be at an advantage over their peers in many areas.

After completing their undergraduate program, pre-med students often directly enter medical school. After medical school, students complete a residency program in a particular specialty (such as radiology, cardiology, internal medicine, or ophthalmology) before they are ready to practice medicine.

Students interested in the electrical-track pre-med elective focus area are encouraged to consider the track and EFA course selection suggestions listed below when completing their plan of study form.

EFA Requirements

Suggested Options


Electrical Track: standard curriculum

Breadth Elective
(select one)

CS:1310 Discrete Structures*
ECE:3330 Software Design**
ECE:3350 Computer Architecture
ECE:3540 Communication Networks

Depth Elective
(select one)

ECE:3410 Advanced Circuit Techniques
ECE:5460 Digital Signal Processing
ECE:5480 Digital Image Processing**
ECE:5500 Communication Theory
ECE:5600 Control Theory***
ECE:5640 Computer-Based Control Systems***

5000-Level ECE
(select two)

       All depth electives listed above (and it is recommended that electrical-track pre-med students at least select one additional course from the list above) and

ECE:3213 Introduction to Bioinformatics
ECE:5220 Computational Genomics
ECE:5450 Pattern Recognition
ECE:5700 Advanced Electromagnetic Theory

Technical Electives
(select three)

       All breadth, depth and 5000-level ECE electives listed above and
BIOL:1402 Principles of Biology I
BIOL:1502 Principles of Biology II
BIOL:2512 Fundamental Genetics
CHEM:1120 Principles of Chemistry II
CHEM:2210 Organic Chemistry I
CHEM:2220 Organic Chemistry II
CHEM:2410 Organic Chemistry Laboratory
BME:2210 Bioimaging and Bioinformatics
An advanced biology course (e.g., biochemistry, molecular & cell biology, human physiology, genetics, or microbiology)

Additional Electives
(select two)
Any of the above OR courses selected in consultation with advisor.

* Recommended if student likes math

** Recommended if interested in medical imaging

*** Recommended if interested in control systems

Advising Notes

  1. The technical electives listed above are the current science requirements at The University of Iowa College of Medicine that go beyond the standard engineering chemistry, physics, and math sequence. Other medical schools may have slightly different requirements.
  2. The choice of GEC electives is also important. For example, The University of Iowa College of Medicine requires an additional English course (including composition and literature) beyond rhetoric. They also require four courses in social and behavior sciences and humanities with a writing component. Recommended courses include behavioral psychology, foreign language and other courses that encourage a greater appreciation for diversity and cultural competency.
  3. It is recommended that students also look through other electrical-track EFA options for selecting their breadth, depth, and 100-level ECE electives. The electrical-track pre-med option is essentially is a hybrid of one of those EFA options (with many of them being useful for future medical doctors) and the pre-med requirements. For example, some pre-med students may wish to focus on medical imaging (and thus should look at the signal/image processing EFA), while others may wish to focus on control systems (and thus should look at the controls systems EFA).

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