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A decision to pursue a career in medicine requires determination, hard work, and personal sacrifice. Students need to commit a great deal of time to their academic, research, and volunteer responsibilities. The development of organizational and interpersonal skills is also a necessity. The first step is taking the required courses and achieving solid grades. For allopathic medical schools in 2016, the national average cumulative GPA of accepted medical school applicants was 3.70 and the science and math GPA of accepted applicants was 3.64 (AAMC FACTS Table A-16).

In 2015, the AAMC implemented a revised MCAT that now includes concepts from biochemistry, statistics, and behavioral sciences (psychology and sociology) in addition to the core concepts covered in general and organic chemistry, biology, and physics. In response to the revised MCAT and to an AAMC/HHMI report on pre-medical and medical education, many medical schools have made changes to their prerequisite courses. For example, some medical schools now require coursework in biochemistry and statistics. A small group of medical schools, however, has replaced their prerequisite course list with a "competency-based" set of admissions recommendations. The Drexel University College of Medicine has adopted this competency-based approach, and their admissions website provides a good overview of the competency-based admissions process.

Health Professions Committee Recommendations for Medical School Admissions*

The science courses listed below will meet the admissions requirements for most medical schools that have a specific list of prerequisite courses. Individual medical schools may vary in their required courses, particularly in regard to CHEM 243 and CHEM 245. It is important for students to meet with the pre-health advisor during their first year to discuss the pre-medical requirements. 

A student's state of residency is an important factor in the medical school admissions process. At many state schools, most of the places in the medical school class are reserved for in-state residents. Some states do not have public medical schools; however, these states may have arranged contract positions at medical schools in another state. For example, through the DIMER program, the Sidney Kimmel Medical College (formerly Jefferson Medical College), sets aside up to 20 places in each medical school class for Delaware residents. For students from western states without medical schools (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming), it is possible to apply for admission to selected western medical schools through the WICHE Professional Student Exchange Program or the WWAMI program at the University of Washington.

Please note that some medical schools have additional course requirements. 

Bio or Non-Bio Majors Biomed Engineering Majors College of Engineering Majors
Sequence A Sequence B Sequence C or B
BIO 122
Cell & Genetics
BIO 122
Cells & Genetics
BIO 141
BIO 124
Org. Diversity & Evol.
BIO 201
Physiology I
BIO 201
Physiology I
BIO 126
Physio & Ecology
BIO 203
Physiology II
BIO 203
Physiology II
General Organic
CHEM 101 CHEM 241
CHEM 102 CHEM 242
CHEM 103 CHEM 243
  CHEM 244 Lab I
  CHEM 245 Lab II
Bio or Non-Bio Majors Engineering Majors Other Science Majors
PHYS 152 PHYS 101 PHYS 101
PHYS 153 PHYS 102 PHYS 102
PHYS 154 PHYS 201 PHYS 201


All majors — BIO 311


1 year (3 quarters of any English course)


1 year (3 quarters) required by approximately 30 percent of U.S. medical schools. Of the medical schools with a math requirement, many schools require a course in statistics. 

Recommended elective coursework: BIO 207, 208, 209, 211; any ethics or bio-ethics; any statistics; intro to psychology; Sociology 235 – Sociology of Health

NOTE: If you are waived from certain courses (e.g., English or mathematics courses), they do not count toward the credits that are required at some medical schools. Also, some medical schools will not accept AP credit in place of actual courses; these medical schools may require that the student take upper-level science courses to "supplement the AP credit." Courses completed at a four-year school are generally favored over courses from a community college.

*Subject to change