ECE Focus Area: Pre-Medicine (Computer)

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

Completion of this EFA will enable students to enter medical school with a solid foundation of a computer-oriented focus area such medical hardware/software, bioinformatics, computer networks, and medical image processing. Given the increasing use of computers in many areas of medicine (e.g., use/analysis of medical images, use of electronic medical records, and use of computer-based medical devices), 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 computer-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


Computer Track: accelerated curriculum, standard curriculum

Breadth Elective
(select one)

055:041 (ECE:3410) Electronic Circuits
055:043 (ECE:3400) Linear Systems II*
055:054 (ECE:3540) Communication Networks
55:060 (ECE:3600) Control Systems

Depth Elective
(select one)

055:132 (ECE:5320) High Performance Computer Architecture
055:133 (ECE:5330) Graph Algorithms and Combinatorial Optimization
055:180 (ECE:5800) Fundamentals of Software Engineering
22C:144 (CS:4400) Database Systems
22C:145 (CS:4420) Artificial Intelligence
22C:151 (CS:4520) Computer Graphics

100-Level ECE
(select two)

       All ECE depth electives listed above and

055:121 (ECE:3213) Introduction to Bioinformatics
055:122 (ECE:5220) Computational Genomics
055:145 (ECE:5450) Pattern Recognition
055:146 (ECE:5460) Digital Signal Processing**
055:148 (ECE:5480) Digital Image Processing***
055:183 (ECE:5830) Software Engineering Project

Technical Electives
(select three)

22C:021 (CS:2310) Computer Science II: Data Structures (Required)
       All breadth, depth and 100-level ECE electives listed above, and
002:010 (BIOL:1402) Principles of Biology I
002:011 (BIOL:1502) Principles of Biology II
002:128 (BIOL:2512) Fundamental Genetics
004:012 (CHEM:1120) Principles of Chemistry II
004:121 (CHEM:2210) Organic Chemistry I
004:122 (CHEM:2220) Organic Chemistry II
004:141 (CHEM:2410) Organic Chemistry Laboratory
051:080 (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 interested in medical imaging

** Requires ECE:3400 as breadth elective

*** Recommended if interested in medical imaging and took ECE:3400 as breadth elective

Advising Notes

  1. Because pre-med students need to take chemistry early in the program, it is recommended that they take chemistry in their first semester (as in the standard curriculum) rather than waiting until a later semester.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. It is recommended that students also look through other computer-track EFA options for selecting their breadth, depth, and 100-level ECE electives. The computer-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 computer-track signal/image processing EFA), while others may wish to focus on bio-informatics (and thus should look at the bio-informatics EFA). Yet others may wish to focus on the computer hardware, the computer networks, or the software engineering.

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