University of Wisconsin–Madison


(From left to right) Emma Cannon, Alissa Lenz, and Hunter Cochran in their Organic Chemistry lab course.
(From left to right) Emma Cannon, Alissa Lenz, and Hunter Cochran in their Organic Chemistry lab course.

Prerequisite coursework varies amongst programs; therefore, it is crucial to be aware of individual schools’ requirements.

For a pre-medicine course planning guide, click here. Also consider using our four-year planner to map out your coursework and extracurricular activities.


Many medical schools require math and/or statistics. We recommend that you take at least one math course and one statistics course (Statistics 301, Statistics 371, or statistics in your major department).

*Note that Math 112 is a prerequisite for Chem 103.


General Chemistry

Choose one of the following sequences:

  • Chemistry 103-104
  • Chemistry 109; Note some schools may require an additional semester of inorganic chemistry such as Chem 311 OR 327 OR 329. Check with our office to discuss when it might be appropriate to take an additional class

Organic Chemistry

  • Chem 343 Introductory Organic Chemistry
  • Chem 345 Intermediate Organic Chemistry
  • Chem 344 Introductory Organic Chemistry Lab


Choose one of the following courses:
 Biochemistry 501
  • Biochemistry 507-508

Biological Sciences

Choose one of the following sequences:

  • Zoology 101-102 + Additional bioscience course (Options include: Genetics, Microbiology, Cell Biology, Immunology)
  • Biology 151-152
  • Biocore: Students must apply to enroll in Biocore. For more information, visit their website.
    • Biocore 381-382 Evolution, Ecology and Genetics lecture/lab
    • Biocore 383-384 Cellular Biology lecture/lab
    • Biocore 485-486 Organismal Biology lecture/lab
    • Biocore 587 Biological Interactions
  • Intermediate/Advanced Biology: Intermediate/advanced Biology course work may be recommended or required depending on the school to which you apply or your major. For example, we recommend that students who are majoring in fields outside of the biological sciences take at least one additional intermediate/advanced biology class with lab. For a list of intermediate/advanced Biology courses, see this handout.


Choose one of the following sequences:

  • Physics 103-104 (without calculus)
  • Physics 201-202 (calculus-based; recommended for Engineering majors)
  • Physics 207-208 (calculus-based; recommended for Life Science majors)

Humanities and Social Sciences

The following courses are required for the MCAT and some schools:

  • Introductory Psychology: Psych 202
  • Introductory Sociology (options include): Soc 120, 125, 134, 138, 140, or 170; GWS 103

Many medical schools require 6 credits of English, or literature taught in English, with an emphasis on composition.

Some schools, including UWSMPH and the Univ of MN, require an upper level course in the humanities or social sciences with an emphasis on writing instead.

There are many courses across campus that meet this requirement. Use Course Search to find classes that meet the following criteria:

  • Intermediate or advanced
  • In a humanities or social science discipline
  • Writing intensive; for UWSMPH, this means that at least 30% of your grade must come from paper-writing.