MEDICAL SCHOOL REQUIREMENTS

If you think you will be applying to medical school, you need to familiarize yourself with the course requirements. Generally, three or more years are needed to complete these required courses as an undergraduate:

  • 1 year of biology with laboratory
  • 1 year of general chemistry with laboratory*
  • 1 year of organic chemistry with laboratory*
  • 1 year of physics with laboratory
  • 1 year of English, preferably including a designated writing-intensive course
  • 1 year of college math (a semester of statistics and one of calculus or linear algebra)

*NOTE: Most medical schools are aware that Wesleyan offers two semesters of general chemistry lab, Chem 152 (.25 credit) and Chem 257 (.50 credit), and only one semester of organic chemistry lab, Chem 258 (.50 credit). These three laboratory courses meet the chemistry lab requirements for medical, dental and veterinary schools.

The math requirement varies widely from school to school; many schools require no math at all, while others require a full year of calculus, and others require statistics. In order to keep all options open, we recommend taking a year of college math -- one semester of calculus and one of statistics. Some schools have other specific requirements, such as biochemistry. Within the foreseeable future, the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) will change and include questions that require some knowledge of biochemistry and statistics. At most medical schools, Advanced Placement or departmental exemption will not excuse you from the requirements; you will be expected to take equivalent amounts of higher level courses in that particular discipline. AP Calculus is an exception. If you took AP Calculus in high school and scored a 4 or 5 on the AP exam, and then take "Vectors and Matrices," or an even higher level math class, earning a grade of C- or better, you may request that the AP credit appear on your Wesleyan transcript. If your AP calculus credits are on your Wesleyan transcript, they will be accepted by medical schools requiring calculus.  See:http://frontpage.wesleyan.edu:7788/ved/APRequestForm.htm

Check the requirements of every school that interests you. The Association of American Medical College (AAMC)'s Medical School Admissions Requirements, a copy of which is in the Career Center library, is the best resource to consult. If you want to order your own copy, contact:

Association of American Medical Colleges
Membership and Publication Orders
2450 N. Street, NW.
Washington, DC 20037-1129
(202) 828-0416

Be aware that there are many myths about medical school requirements. If you are unsure, or hear something unusual about a particular school that you are interested in, talk to the Health Professions Advisor or contact the medical school admissions office directly. The Health Professions Advisor is available to assist you in planning how to complete the admission requirements. For those of you who are considering medicine well into or beyond your undergraduate years, there are post-baccalaureate pre-medical programs throughout the country. These programs allow you to complete medical school requirements in one or two years of intense study. These required courses may also be taken while enrolled as a special student at most four-year, US institutions that offer them.