Common course requirements for Medical School Admission and MCAT preparation

(Note: Schools can have differences in specific requirements; check with each school for exact requirements)

Take most courses prior to taking MCAT.
Recommended Courses :
  • Biology: Cell, genetics, and human biology (at least 1 year with lab)
    • Minimum: Biology (BIOL 197 and 198) and Lab (BIOL 199 or BIOL 299), Biostatistics 229 (BIOL 229)
    • Highly Recommended: Genetics (BIOL 250), Cell Biology (BIOL 340), Human Physiology (BIOL 258)
  • Chemistry: General, organic, and biochemistry (at least 2 years with labs)
    • Minimum: Chemistry I and Lab (CHEM 113/114), General Chemistry II and Lab (CHEM 123/124), Organic Chemistry and Lab (CHEM 242/243), Organic Chemistry II and Lab (CHEM 247/248), Biochemistry (BCHM 261 or BCHM 361/365 sequence)
  • (Note: CHEM 103/104, Introduction to Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry is not designed to give students the competencies they will need for medical school admissions)

  • Physics: mechanics, kinetics, thermodynamics, the properties of matter (quantum theory) and wave theory, electricity and magnetism, and optics
    • Minimum: Physics I and Lab (PHYS 113/114 or HYPS 211/205); Physics II and Lab (PHYS 118/119 or PHYS 212/206)
  • Mathematics
    • Minimum: Math through trigonometry (MATH 111);  More selective schools require 1 or 2 semesters of calculus
  • Social Sciences, Behavorial Sciences, Humanities
    • Minimum: Psychology 100 and Sociology 100
    • Highly Recommended: Medical Sociology, Anthropology, Childhood & Adolescence, Abnormal, Aging, Death & Dying, Biomedical ethics;
  • Some schools may have other, specific requirements.
  • Other elective suggestions: Nutrition, Medical Terminology
Other Practical Information for Advising Pre-Med Students


  • Computer based competency testing
  • Testing cycle is January to September, take it early enough for admissions cycle
  • Testing is suggested for spring or summer junior year
  • Students should BE PREPARED when they take the test
  • Many medical schools average ALL MCAT test scores; we recommend being fully prepared whenever you take this test.

The MCAT has four test sections:

  1. Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  2. Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  3. Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  4. Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

These sections test knowledge and critical thinking surrounding concepts taught in academic classes.  They target basic research methods, statistic concepts, and using knowledge for disciplinary inquiry and reasoning to solve problems that demonstrate readiness for medical school.


Health Sciences Recommendations Committee
  • Meets Fall and Spring semesters
  • Committee interview process open to all pre-professional students, regardless of major
  • Experience for students to interview
  • Students who evade the committee are often asked why they did not go through it when interviewing at professional schools
  • Plan to go through the committee junior year unless taking a year off
  • Contact Dr. Tischler ( in Biological Sciences if there are questions
Medical School Admissions is Rolling
  • The early bird gets the worm
  • Apply to medical school between June 1 and August 15
There are two different types of physicians and applications
  • MD: Allopathic (application through AMCAS)
  • DO: Osteopathic (application through ACOMAS)
Experience is important. Some examples:
  • Qualifying students can apply to take the Medical Practicum
  • Shadowing and/or volunteer work
  • CPR certification
  • Training and experience as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
  • Training and experience as an Emergency Medical Technician - Basic (EMT-B)
  • Contact Ms. Alice Sima ( if there are questions
Knowing about medicine and medical care is important
  • Biomedical Ethics, Medical Sociology, Nutrition recommended
Campus engagement is important
  • Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP)
  • Pre-Med AMSA Club
  • Pre-Dental Club
  • Pharmacy Club
  • PA Club
  • Podiatry Club
  • Optometry Club
  • O.T. and P.T. Club
  • Volunteer experiences

updated 6/18/2019

     College of Science

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William R. Law, Ph.D.
Dean of the College of Science

Tonia Rucker, Assistant to the Dean
Phone: (630) 829-6187
Fax: (630) 829-6186

Dean's Office Hours:
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Dean's Office Location:
Birck Hall Room 119