Pre-Medicine

Prerequisite Courses

PrerequisitesMason Courses
Biology with lab, 2 semesters BIOL 213/Cell Biology
BIOL 311/Genetics
Anatomy and Physiology with lab, 2 semesters
(Strongly recommended)
BIOL 124 and 125 or BIOL 430 and 431
Microbiology with lab, 1 semester
(Strongly recommended)
BIOL 305 and 306
General Chemistry with lab, 2 semestersCHEM 211 and 213
CHEM 212 and 214
Organic Chemistry with lab, 2 semestersCHEM 313 and 315
CHEM 314 and 318
Biochemistry, 1 semesterBIOL 483 or CHEM 463
(Same course offered through different departments)
College Physics with lab, 2 semestersPHYS 243 and 244
PHYS 245 and 246
English, 2 semesters* ENGH 101
ENGH 302
*Honors College students fulfill this through the Honors Curriculum
Psychology, 1 semesterPSYC 100/Basic Concepts in Psychology
Sociology, 1 semesterSOCI 101/Introductory Sociology
Statistics, 1 semesterBIOL 214/Biostatistics or STAT 250/Statistics
Calculus, 1 semester
(Strongly recommended)
MATH 113
  • Required coursework and numbers of semesters can vary on a school-by-school basis.
  • In general, the above courses will prepare students to apply broadly to medical schools and prepare for the MCAT exam.
  • Some schools require college math while a few others require one semester of calculus and one semester of statistics. Very few require two semesters of calculus.
  • Schools vary in whether they accept AP, IB, community college, online, or pass/fail course. It’s important to check individual school websites, the MSAR, or Choose DO Explorer for the schools you plan to apply to.
  • Information about how MD schools evaluate AP, IB, community college or online coursework can be found here
  • Any undergraduate major is appropriate for medical school assuming the applicant has completed the above prerequisites.
  • For a competitive application, it is very important to do well in science courses.
  • BIOL 430 and 431 (Anatomy and Physiology) and BIOL 305 and 306 (Microbiology) are strongly recommended in preparation for the MCAT and medical school.
  • Other recommended courses include BIOL 382 (Intro to Virology), VIOL 420 (Vaccines), BIOL 429 (Biological Foundations of Pharmacology), BIOL 452 (Immunology). 

MD programs:

DO programs:

  • Medical schools evaluate applicants’ academic preparation (GPA and university performance, MCAT), understanding and fit for the profession (experiences, essays), and demonstration of core competencies which are essential for success in medical school and a career in medicine (essays, letters of recommendation, interviews).

According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, medicine is defined as “the science or practice of the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease.” There are two paths to practicing medicine and becoming a doctor – allopathic medical school and osteopathic medical school. These are followed by residency in a specialization.

There are two paths to become a physician – either attending an allopathic (MD) program or an osteopathic (DO) program. Both programs offer the necessary science foundation and hands-on training through clinical rotations to prepare students for residency training and future careers in medicine. While both MD’s and DO’s treat diseases and conditions through medication, DO’s are holistic in their approach to treatment and focus on prevention and lifestyle changes. DO’s also receive additional training in Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT). To learn more about DO education and OMT, visit the DO website. You can also download the DO Student Guide here.

Applying to Medical School

Admission to medical school is very competitive. The percentage of applicants who are accepted, nationally, varies from year to year but is generally less than 45% of the applicant pool. Accepted applicants nationally have an overall A or A- undergraduate grade point average. Accepted applicants also have good scores on the MCAT.

Students who feel they have realistic potential for acceptance to medical school should plan carefully to improve their chances. Some helpful guidelines are:

  • Apply early (late spring) of the year before the expected year of matriculation;
  • Submit application to schools that best match your strengths;
  • Obtain practical clinical experience in a medical setting;
  • Volunteer to work with underserved populations;
  • Consider involvement in empirical research.

Central Application Services

Students applying to allopathic medical schools submit application materials through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). Information regarding the AMCAS application process can be found online

Students applying to osteopathic medical schools submit application materials through the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS). Information regarding the AACOMAS application process can be found online.

The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)

According to up to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the “Medical College Admission Test (MCAT®) is a standardized, multiple-choice examination designed to assess your problem solving, critical thinking, and knowledge of natural, behavioral, and social science concepts and principles prerequisite to the study of medicine.” Information regarding the current MCAT is available online.

The MCAT is exam is offered multiple times of the year. Students are encouraged to take the MCAT when they are fully prepared