THE PREPARING GUIDE
For detailed information on requirements for health professional schools, coursework timelines, and other advice to get started on the prehealth 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 301 + CHM 302/304
Biology: EEB 211 + MOL 214 or 215
General Physics: PHY 101/103 + PHY 102/104/108
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 prerequisite courses.
- Schools may list their prerequisites by required credit hours. One Princeton course = four credit hours (at other colleges and universities, there may be more variance in credit hours per class).
- Schools with no specific course requirements focus on expectations for your content knowledge and scientific preparation, but leave it to the applicant to choose how to meet these expectations.
- 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.
Different schools have different policies regarding credit earned through advanced placement (e.g., AP, IB, A-Levels, departmental examinations). Most schools will accept advanced level courses that supplement advanced placement to satisfy requirements. Generally, expect to take at least one advanced course to supplement advanced placement in each discipline except calculus. Read more ...
CALCULUS & STATISTICS
- If you have AP credit in math, you do not need to take further calculus; your AP in this subject, without more advanced coursework in college, will be accepted.
- We strongly encourage all premed students to take one semester of statistics (regardless of AP credit).
- About 22 schools now require statistics and basic knowledge of statistics will be needed for the MCAT.
- 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.
- HPA Medical School Math Requirements (Google doc)
- Over 55 of the U.S. allopathic (MD) medical schools currently require biochemistry, while over eighty more “suggest” or “strongly recommend” it
- HPA Medical School Biochemistry Requirements Handout (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.
A few premed students every year--especially those with a strong interest in research--enroll in the Integrated Science Curriculum (ISC). Taking the full-year of ISC will fulfill the General Chemistry, Physics, and Calculus requirements for medical school, and part of the Biology requirement. We recommend that premed students who complete ISC take at least one (preferably more) Biology courses, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Statistics.
Every semester, HPA curates a list of Health-Related & Medically Relevant Courses offered. These courses could broaden your perspective as a future health professional.