Academic Preparation

THE PREPARING GUIDE

For detailed information on requirements for health professional schools, coursework timelines, and other advice to get started on the pre-health path, read Preparing for a Career in the Health Professions (pdf).

BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR MEDICAL (MD/DO) SCHOOLS

General Chemistry:  CHM 201 (or 207) + CHM 202 or CHM 215 (if AP 1 Unit)
Organic Chemistry:  CHM 303 + CHM 304
Biology:  EEB 211 + MOL 214 or 215
General Physics:  PHY 101 or 103 + PHY 102 or 104 or 108
Math:  2 semesters (see notes about math below)
Literature/English:  2 semesters English literature/writing (WRI counts as one of these)
Biochemistry:  MOL 345

  • All requirements must be taken for a grade, not PDF
  • Generally, taking more than the minimum required Biology courses is valued. Consider courses with medical relevance, such as Genetics (MOL 342), Immune Systems (EEB 327), Microbiology (MOL 380).
  • Some schools require specific course work beyond these basic requirements. We recommend researching schools of interest to check their pre-requisite courses.
  • About 70% of students attend medical school in their home state of residence. We recommend that you fulfill any requirements for your public, state schools.
  • Use the Medical School Admission Requirements, published annually by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) to explore admission to various medical schools.  Online access is available in our office, or you can purchase your own access directly from the AAMC.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT

Different schools have different policies regarding Advanced Placement credit. Most will accept advanced level courses that supplement AP to satisfy requirements. See the "Preparing for a Career in the Health Professions" handout for specifics regarding your AP credit, and double check policies at schools of interest (pre-requisite websites for schools popular with Princeton applicants are linked from our webpage).

CALCULUS & STATISTICS

  • If you have 2 units of AP in math, you do not need to take further calculus; your AP in this subject, without more advanced coursework in college, will be accepted. This is the only exception to the rule about supplementing AP.
  • About 18 schools now require statistics and basic stats knowledge will be needed for the MCAT - Where is it required? (pdf)
    • The following statistics courses would be acceptable choices: EEB/MOL 355, ECO 202, ORF 245, POL 345, PSY 251, SML 201, SOC 301, WWS 200, WWS 332.

BIOCHEMISTRY

  • Over 40 of the U.S. allopathic (MD) medical schools currently require biochemistry, while over eighty more “suggest” or “strongly recommend” it  - Where is it required? (pdf)

PSYCHOLOGY AND SOCIOLOGY

Concepts related to the Psychological and Social Foundations of Behavior will be tested on the MCAT. No specific course will align perfectly with the subject matter on the exam. Basic familiarity with concepts in psychology and sociology will be helpful, but could be studied outside of formal course work.

HEALTH-RELATED COURSES

Health-Related & Medically Relevant Courses at Princeton (pdf) is an ever growing list of health-related courses offered regularly at Princeton.