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A Quick Guide to Medical School Prerequisites

3 min read / Medical School


As you begin laying out your path to becoming a physician, you’ll want to be aware of the prerequisites for medical school. Not only are these an important factor in your eligibility for acceptance to many Doctor of Medicine (MD) programs, but they’ll also help prepare you to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). 

Specific med school prerequisites will vary depending on the program, but there are some standard course requirements you can count on. 

A brief breakdown of medical school prerequisites   

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) notes that the baseline requirement most medical schools share is the completion of a four-year degree. And while medical school course requirements will fluctuate, the key when it comes to prerequisites for med school is to focus on the most common course material MD programs require.  

This can typically be broken down into four areas of focus:  

  • Biology 
  • General chemistry  
  • Organic chemistry
  • English 

The AAMC shares that the most sensible approach is to complete the equivalent of one year of biology courses, two years of chemistry courses, and one year of English courses.  

There are some additional courses that are recommended but typically not required. These include: 

  • Biochemistry 
  • Genetics 
  • Physics 
  • Math 
  • Microbiology 

It can’t be stressed enough that med school prerequisites will be different for each institution, so it’s important to look closely at the course requirement details in admissions information for the programs you’re considering. Some schools require applicants to complete specific courses, while others employ a competency-based admissions approach.  

In addition to applicants who have demonstrated proficiency in the requisite course material, many MD programs look for pre-med students with some hands-on experience under their belts. This can come in the form of lab, volunteer, and/or physician-shadowing experience.  

Find what you’re looking for at SGU 

Wading through the various requirements and prerequisites for med school can be overwhelming. But schools like SGU have made it easier than ever for pre-med students to find a degree path that will accommodate their needs.   

In fact, SGU offers four distinct MD pathways, depending on the amount of education and experience you’ve accrued thus far. In addition to the standard four-year medical degree program, the School of Medicine has five-, six-, and seven-year pathway options that lead to the 4-year MD program. The latter three will cover the medical school course requirements that qualifying students may be lacking.  

You can learn more about the range of program options at SGU by visiting the MD Program overview page. 


June 21, 2022