Advanced Placement and Prerequisite Coursework

Different schools have different policies regarding Advanced Placement credit. Most will accept advanced level courses that supplement AP to satisfy requirements, but double check specific schools of interest and your public state schools for the most recent guidance. The recommendations below will satisfy the majority of medical schools. For questions regarding other professions of interest, contact HPA.

CALCULUS & STATISTICS

  • Students with advanced placement credit in math 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 recommendation about supplementing advanced placement with advanced coursework.

CHEMISTRY

  • Students with advanced placement credit in chemistry should take at least one semester of advanced chemistry coursework (in addition to two semesters of Organic Chemistry and one semester of Biochemistry).
    • Students with one unit of credit should take CHM 202 or CHM 215 and one semester of advanced coursework.
    • Students with two units of credit should take at least one semester of advanced chemistry, but some medical schools may ask for one additional semester of chemistry for every semester of advanced placement.
  • Past students have taken advanced chemistry courses including Drug Discovery in the Genomics Era (CHM 440), The Quantum World (CHM 305), and Physical Chemistry (CHM 306).

BIOLOGY

  • Students with advanced placement credit in Biology should take at least one semester of advanced biology coursework with a lab.
  • All students should take MOL 214. 
  • All students who may be interested in the EEB major should take EEB 211.
  • Past students have taken advanced lab-based biology courses including Core Lab (MOL 350, NEU 350), Comparative Physiology (EEB 314), Ecology (EEB 321), Human Adaptation (ANT 215/EEB 315).

PHYSICS

  • Students with advanced placement credit in Physics should take at least one semester of additional physics coursework with a lab.
  • Past students have taken physics courses including: Physics for the Life Sciences (PHY 108), CHM 305, CHM 306, Topics in Modern Astronomy (AST 204), Global Geophysics (GEO 371).
  • Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons recently amended their policy to require one additional semester of physics for every semester of advanced placement. To our knowledge, other medical schools will be satisfied with one additional semester of physics for students with two semesters of advanced placement.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES