General Course Requirements
Each year, the AAMC publishes the Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR) index, which details admissions requirements and data for every accredited medical school in the US and Canada.
Although requirements do vary from program to program, medical schools generally require the following courses:
- One year of inorganic/general chemistry with lab (CHEM 1211/L and 1212/L)
- One year of organic chemistry with lab (CHEM 2211/L and 2212/L)
- One year of biology with lab (BIOL 1107/L and 1108/L)
- One year of physics with lab (PHYS 1111/L and 1112/L or PHYS 1211/L and 1212/L)
- Biochemistry (BCMB 3100 or BCMB 4010 & 4020)
- Biochemistry is increasingly being listed as a medical school admissions requirement. However, all students are highly encouraged to this course regardless as the content is heavily represented on the MCAT.
- One year of English (ENGL 1101 and ENGL 1102)
Additionally, some schools require courses in Calculus, Statistics, Psychology, English, and the Humanities. Please be mindful of the requirements of the schools you are interested in applying to!
AP Credit & Substitutions
Most schools have policies regarding advanced placement (AP) credit. Some schools restrict the use of such credit in fulfillment of pre-requisite requirements. In these cases, schools will often allow students to take additional upper-level courses in the science areas where AP credit was received. The policies for each medical school and their admission requirements, generally, can be found in the MSAR.
Emory University currently accepts AP credit for their pre-requisite courses.
Medical College of Georgia
The Medical College of Georgia does not accept AP credit for their Biology and Chemistry requirements. If you have exempted any of the following courses with AP credit (BIOL 1107, BIOL 1108, CHEM 1211, CHEM 1212), you will need to either retake the course or take an upper-level course as a substitute. Keep in mind that substitute courses will need to have laboratory components (research may be used).
Mercer does not accept AP credit for their Biology, Chemistry, and Physics requirements. If you have exempted any of these courses with AP credit, you will need to either retake the course or take an upper-level course as a substitute. Keep in mind that substitute courses will need to have laboratory components.
Morehouse University currently accepts AP credit for their pre-requisite courses if UGA accepts the credit.
Should I major in Biology (Cell Biology, Genetics, etc.)?
Although a life science major such as Biology may offer the most practical route to completing the requirements for admission into medical school, students are not limited to only the life science majors. It is important that you choose a major that best fits your interests. As long as you show proficiency in the sciences (via pre-requisites and the MCAT) and a general pattern of challenging yourself, your major is largely unimportant to admission committees.