Undergraduate Academic Requirements

GENERAL INFO: MAJORS, SUMMER AND AP COURSES
Medical schools consider students with degrees in any major without preference as long as the medical school requirements are met. Major in a subject that interests you and that you can excel in, although you will need some Chemistry and Biology courses. Since the required science courses cover material tested on the MCAT, I would not advise taking them in a short summer offering (too much material presented too quickly hinders retention). Many medical schools, e.g., the UCs, will not accept advanced placement (AP) courses for the courses they require. The safest option is to retake the courses at Fresno State. If you do not do this, consult the admissions offices of the medical schools to which you are applying.
If you have English AP credits, instead of re-taking a lower level English course, you might take an upper division course that enhances your reading comprehension and writing skills.

COURSES REQUIRED BY MOST MEDICAL SCHOOLS:

  • 1 year of General Chemistry (i.e. CHEM 1A, 1B)*
  • 1 year of Organic Chemistry (i.e. 128A, 128B, 129A, and often 129B)
  • 1 year of Biology (i.e. BIOL 1A and 1B)
  • 1 year of Physics (suggested courses: PHYS 2A, 2B ) Note: Math 75 or Decision Systems 71 is the required prerequisite math course for Physics 2A. If you have taken Math 70, you will need to get a permission number from the Physics Department in order to enroll in Physics 2A.

* For non-science premeds: because Chem 1A & B are required before you can take your year of Organic Chemistry, we recommend starting with the Chem 1A if you can't take both Biol 1A and Chem 1A the first semester.

COURSES NECESSARY FOR THE MCAT2015*:

  • One semester of introductory biochemistry (CHEM 150)
  • One or two semesters in introductory psychology
    • PSYCH 10. Introduction to Psychology (3 units)
    • PSYCH 40T. Topics in Research Design and Statistics
  • One or two semesters in introductory sociology
    • SOC 1 or 1S. Principles of Sociology (3-3 units)
    • SOC 3. Critical Thinking about Society (3 units)
      * If you will take the MCAT in the Spring of 2015 or beyond, at the minimum, take Psych 10 and Soc 1 or 1S; if you take these early in your college years, you will need to review the main concepts before you take the test. As for Psych 40T, its emphasis on research design and stats can help you to think critically about the scientific method and data interpretation. Soc 3 will get you to carefully examine today’s social issues. These are both skills that you want to bring with you to the new MCAT, and beyond that: if you are granted an admissions interview, you will be able to address relevant questions in a way that shows you have been thinking about these important issues.

COURSES REQUIRED BY MANY MEDICAL SCHOOLS:

  • 1 year of English ( Two English classes can be incorporated into the general education requirements.)
  • Math requirements differ from school to school. Some schools stipulate no requirements, while many require one year of college level math. A one-year college level math requirement can be met with one semester of calculus (e.g. math 70, math 75) and a statistics course (e.g. Math 101, Psychology 42). Some will accept a computer science course. Check requirements of schools in which you are interested.

COURSES REQUIRED BY SOME MEDICAL SCHOOLS:

  • 1 Semester of Biochemistry (i.e. CHEM 150 or CHEM 155). Biochemistry is recommended by many medical schools.
  • 1 Semester of Behavioral Sciences

OTHER COURSES THAT MAY HELP YOU SCORE WELL ON THE MCAT:

  • Courses that may help with MCAT preparation are:
  • Physiology (BIOL 65 or BIOL 162) and Genetics (BIOL 102)
  • Introductory Biochemistry (CHEM 150)

COURSES OFFERING KNOWLEDGE ABOUT MEDICINE AND CLINICAL OBSERVATION TO PREMEDICAL STUDENTS:

  • NSCI 1- Art and Practice of Medicine. This is given only in the spring semester.
  • NSCI 110 - Practicum in Medicine (Academic Research Associates). The application is online and is available near the end of each semester. For information, email bsnowden@fresno.ucsf.edu.