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Basic Medical School Requirements

The medical profession needs individuals from a variety of backgrounds with diverse interests and talents. While the philosophies and goals vary among the nation's medical schools, all recognize the importance of a broad education--one with a strong foundation in the sciences blended with the social sciences and the humanities.

A thorough understanding of the sciences basic to medicine is necessary for the entering medical student. In order to achieve a minimum level of understanding, medical schools generally require the following:

  • General Biology - one year
  • General Chemistry - one year
  • Organic Chemistry - one year
  • Physics - one year
  • (All should include laboratory experience)

While only a few medical schools actually require a specific mathematics sequence, all value competence in mathematics and many require or strongly recommend mathematics courses. Mathematics courses provide the foundation for understanding rigorous courses in chemistry, physics, and biology.


First Year
CHE 105 General Chemistry I / CHE 111 General Chemistry Lab 1
CHE 107 General Chemistry II / CHE 113 General Chemistry Lab II
BIO 148 Principles of Biology 1 / BIO 155 Principles of Bio Lab I
BIO 152 Principles of Biology II may be taken the first or second year
UKCore Composition and Communication I and II
Mathematics as needed for major. Suggested: MA 123 or MA 137 or MA 113.

Second Year
CHE 230 Organic Chemistry I / CHE 231 Organic Chemistry Lab 1
CHE 232 Organic Chemistry II / CHE 233 Organic Chemistry Lab II
Upper division BIO class with lab

Third Year
PHY 211 General Physics I and
PHY 213 General Physics II
PHY 231 General University Physics / PHY 241 General Univ. Physics Lab I
PHY 232 General University Physics II / PHY 242 General Univ. Physics Lab II

Some medical schools have additional requirements beyond the courses listed above. Additional required or recommended courses may include biochemistry (BCH 401 G), genetics (BIO 304), cell biology (BIO315), immunology (BIO 494 G), microbiology (BIO 208 or 308), histology (BIO 542) and physiology (PGY 412G or BIO 350). It is important that you reference the Official Guide to Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) and the specific medical school for admissions requirements. In addition, in consideration of changes in the 2015 MCAT, we strongly recommend that prospective applicants complete coursework in cell biology, biochemistry, statistics, psychology and sociology.




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