Coursework

(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.

The following is a general guide for courses you may need to apply to medical school. Requirements vary from school to school. So, it is always necessary to consult the websites of medical schools where you know/think you want to apply.

For a pre-medicine course planning guide, click here. You may also want to use our four-year planner to map your coursework and co-curricular activities.

Mathematics

Most medical schools require statistics. Some require math. 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: Math 112 is a prerequisite for Chem 103 and Physics 103. In addition, Math 217 or 221 are prerequisites for Physics 201 and 207.

Chemistry

General Chemistry

Choose one of the following sequences:

  • Chemistry 103-104
  • Chemistry 109 (most schools accept Chem 109 as equivalent to two semesters of inorganic chemistry; some may ask for a letter from the UW-Madison Chemistry Department verifying that Chem 109 is equivalent to Chem 103-104; the Chemistry Department is happy to provide this letter, which you submit along with your secondaries during the application process; finally, some — very few — programs require an additional semester of inorganic chemistry such as Chem 311, 327, or 329 when applicants have taken Chem 109)

Organic Chemistry

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

Biochemistry

Choose one of the following courses:

  • Biochemistry 501
  • Biochemistry 507-508

Biological Sciences

Choose one of the following sequences:

  • Zoology 101-102 and an additional bioscience course with lab (e.g., Botany 130, Anat&Phy 335/435, Anat&Phy 337 and 338)
  • 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 coursework may be recommended or required depending on your major and schools where you apply. To demonstrate that you can learn well in upper-level bioscience courses, we recommend that students majoring in fields outside the biological sciences take at least one additional intermediate/advanced biology class (ideally with lab). Please consult medical school websites or ask us for recommendations.

Physics

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, 170, Soc 210 (also Comm-B), or Soc 211

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

The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health requires a writing-intensive course in the humanities or social sciences but no longer specifies the length of papers that must be written in courses to meet this requirement.

The University of Minnesota School of Medicine used to have a writing-intensive course requirement. They no longer require a writing-intensive course, but they do require an upper-level course in a humanities or social science field.