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Prereqs for Med School?

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I know that medical schools typically require you to have one year of biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics.

Would Anatomy & physiology, biochemistry, or microbiology cover the biology part? (I'm taking all of them)

Also, if I end up not taking a lab for half of semester in organic chemistry will that mess everything up? The lab for my organic chemistry class conflicted with my schedule, so I was unable to take it. Also, how important is it that I take 2 semesters of physics and calculus? I've only taken pre-calculus. (Just trying to fit everything into my schedule)
#medicine #medicineschool #schooling #scheduling #college

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Joseph’s Answer

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The requirements for medical school admission may vary slightly from one school to another so it is important that you research the requirements of the specific schools to which you plan to apply. This way you can ensure that you have fulfilled the minimum requirements for admission.


At my institution, Carthage College, the pre-med advisor has put together a recommended "pre-med" course of study based upon the requirements of a number of medical schools in the region. They are as follows:


These courses should be completed prior to taking the MCAT:

2 semesters of general biology

2 semesters of general chemistry

2 semesters of organic chemistry

1 semester of biochemistry

2 semesters of physics

1 semester of sociology

1 semester of cell biology


Additional courses commonly required by medical schools:

2 semesters of English

1-2 semesters of calculus and/or 1 semester of statistics

1 semester of psychology

1 semester of genetics

1 semester of microbiology

1 semester of immunology

Human Anatomical Systems

Systemic Physiology

Comparative Anatomy


Your college or university probably has a similar list of recommended "pre-med" coursework. If so, they are also likely to have an advisor who works with students intending to pursue this academic/career path. I would recommend that you reach out to this advisor as they will be more familiar with what the medical schools in your region are requiring for admission and can help you set up a plan to fulfill these requirements.




Joseph recommends the following next steps:

  • Research the admissions requirements for the medical school to which you plan to apply.
  • Find out if your college or university has a pre-med advisor and set a time to meet with them.
  • Develop a plan with the pre-med advisor based upon your academic/career goals.
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