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Due to the competitive nature of the medical school application process and rigorous training required, students should carefully consider their motivation and preparation for a career in medicine.


No particular major is required or preferred for medical school admissions, thus students are advised to select a major they find interesting and in which they can excel. Students should also consider a major that may lead them to an alternate career, should they decide not to pursue a medical education. Whichever major a student declares, their course of study must incorporate the required pre-medical requirements. Many students who select a science major find a great deal of overlap between their major requirements and those required for medical school. Regardless of the choice in major, medical schools prefer that students have a well-rounded liberal arts education.


Specific undergraduate course requirements vary from program to program. Thus, students should consult each school catalog, website, and the Medical School Admission Requirements: U.S. and Canada, (MSAR) published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) for specific requirements. A copy of the MSAR is available to purchase at
This is NOT a comprehensive list of prerequisites for all programs. Students maintain responsibility for verifying course selection with individual programs.
IVC Courses that fulfill admission requirements for allopathic (MD) medical schools:
Pre-medical Coursework
IVC Courses
One year of General Chemistry with lab
CHEM 1A & 1B
One year of Organic Chemistry with lab
CHEM 12A & 12B
One year of General Biology with lab
BIO 5 & BIO 6/6L OR BIO 93/93L & BIO 94
One year of General Physics with lab
PHYS 2A & 2B OR PHYS 4A & 4B & 4C*
One year of English (Composition and Literature preferred)
WR 1 & WR 2
One year of college mathematics to include the study of introductory calculus and statistics
MATH 3A OR 3B and 10
Strongly recommended courses (required at some schools):
Pre-medical Coursework
IVC Courses
One upper division molecular/cell biology course
No courses equivalent @ IVC
One course in Biochemistry
No course equivalent @ IVC
BIO 97
Mammalian Physiology
BIO 12
Other courses for consideration include: anatomy, immunology, histology, microbiology, social sciences, humanities, speech, and a foreign language. We recommend pre-health students enroll in courses that meet the following General Education requirements to help you develop a broad understanding of the health professions in relation to other disciplines of study.

Additional information:

Various U.S. medical schools do not accept AP units toward the satisfaction of stated pre-requisite courses. All required courses must be taken for a letter grade, not for Credit/No Credit. If courses are repeated, both grades will be calculated in your AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service) grade-point average.
The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a standardized exam consisting of three multiple-choice sections (VERBAL REASONING, PHYSICAL SCIENCES, and BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES) and a WRITING SAMPLE (two thirty-minute essays). The MCAT is required by most medical schools and is used in combination with other criteria to evaluate an applicant's potential for success in medical school. Before attempting the MCAT, students should have completed at least one year each of biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics. The MCAT is administered in a computer-based format only. The exam is administered 28 times from late January through early September. Visit for important information.


CLINICAL EXPOSURE is strongly recommended for admission to most medical schools. This can include a paid or volunteer position in a doctor's office, local clinic, or a hospital. Most hospitals and clinics gladly accept volunteers (contact the volunteer services office at your local hospital for more information). Medical school admission committees want to know that you have the desire and ability to work with patients. The successful participation in clinical volunteer or job experience can demonstrate this.
RESEARCH experience is increasingly important. Options include volunteering in a lab for a professor, getting a job as a lab assistant at a local university, hospital or pharmaceutical company, or participating in a summer biomedical research program. Visit for summer undergraduate research programs.
COMMUNITY SERVICE experience is highly valued by medical schools. Future doctors should be able to demonstrate compassion and a willingness to give back to their communities. Getting involved in community service efforts on or off campus that are of interest to you can enhance a medical school application.
WORK EXPERIENCE can also be valuable in demonstrating your potential to succeed in medical school. Past success in a work environment can reveal meaningful information to admissions committees. Depending on the setting, work experience can help develop and showcase a variety of skills including communication (oral and/or written) time management, and problem solving.
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION are required for application to medical school. The typical letter packet consists of three to five letters, two from science professors, one from a non-science professor and one, or more, from supervisors of relevant work, research, or clinical activities. The purpose of the letters is to provide medical schools with an impression of the applicant from respected academics or persons who are in a position to observe the applicant's work as it relates to the study of medicine. Students are encouraged to create and maintain positive contacts with prospective recommenders early in their academic career.
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