Medical schools and most prehealth professional schools require the following courses:
- General Chemistry, two semesters with labs
CHEM 1070/1075 and CHEM 1080/1085
- Organic Chemistry, two semesters with labs
CHEM 2410/2415 and CHEM 2420/2425
- Physics, two semesters with labs*
PHYS 1210 and PHYS 1220 (non-calculus based)
or PHYS 1310 and PHYS 1320 (calculus based)
- Biology, two semesters with labs*
CELL 1010 AND CELL 2115 (lab)
- TEXAS SCHOOLS REQUIRE ADDITIONAL BIOLOGY COURSE WORK
Mathematics* and English*
Requirements vary, usually a full year of each
- Take a semester of Genetics and Cellular Biochemistry.
Also to prepare for the 2015 MCAT Examination you should take a semester of Introduction to Psychology and Sociology (there are several 1000 level courses to choose from). Please refer to the AAMC.org (Association of American Medical Colleges) website for information on the 2015 MCAT and how to prepare.
- Some schools require courses in addition to the chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, and English courses indicated above.
- Most Texas medical schools require an additional year of biology along with a semester of calculus. Puerto Rican medical schools require 12 credits of Spanish in addition to 12 credits of English.
- The Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR) handbook (a strongly recommended reference for all premedical students) outlines the requirements of each school. You also are welcome to peruse our copy of the handbook in the office.
Which physics courses to take:
- You can take either the introductory physics series (1210, 1220) or the general physics series (1310, 1320), depending on your math background and particular major. The 1210-1220 sequence is non-calculus based; the 1310-1320 sequence is calculus based. If you have had little or no calculus, the 1210-1220 sequence is recommended. Either series is acceptable to meet the physics requirement for medical school and either will help to prepare you for the MCAT.
Which biology courses to take:
- In general, medical schools require two semesters of biology with labs. The biology courses you take to meet this requirement depend on your particular major program and the medical schools in which you hope to gain acceptance.
- For Engineering, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Creative Premedical Scholars Program students, the introductory courses in biology (CELL 1010; CELL LAB 2115; and EBIO 1010/1115) and their labs are required; these courses will meet the one year of biology requirement for medical schools.
- These introductory courses are not required to meet major requirements in Biological Chemistry or Cell and Molecular Biology. Students in these areas will take two upper-level biology courses with labs to meet their major requirements.
- Only a few medical schools require or strongly recommend specifically taking two semesters of introductory biology; you can check with our office for a current listing of these schools. Remember, your basic course work in biology (as in any of the basic science courses) also helps prepare you for the MCAT. The biology concepts on the MCAT are foundational and typically taught at the introductory level; advanced course work is not required. In selecting your biology courses, you should keep in mind that the MCAT biological science topics covers concepts and information on vertebrates and microbes. These concepts include basic principles of molecular biology, cellular structure and function, genetics, physiology, vertebrate anatomy (morphology) and evolution.
Which math courses to take:
- Only about one-third of U.S. medical schools require mathematics in any form. Of these, about one-half require no calculus, usually stating as the requirement one semester or one year of math.
- Some schools require one year of calculus (MATH 1210 and 1220). Long calculus (MATH 1150/1160) is a two semester sequence covering the same material as MATH 1210 so counts as one semester of calculus; students without a background in trigonometry should take both 1150 and 1160. Consult the Mathematics Department website for additional guidance on which calculus course is right for you.
- For schools that require one year of math but do not specify a year of calculus, it is advisable to take one semester of probability and statistics (MATH 1230) and one semester of calculus (MATH 1210).
- Note that this is an entrance requirement and not an application requirement, so math may be taken at any time during the undergraduate years. Most premedical students finish the math requirement by the end of the sophomore year.
Which English courses to take:
- We recommend taking an additional English course beyond the 4 credit ENGL 1010 course, a 2000 level English on up. Most schools require a full year of English-- 8 credits or more, plus the MCAT contains a verbal component which is called the verbal reasoning section.