Medical school admission requirements vary from school to school. In general, most medical schools will expect applicants to have taken the Medical College Admission Test® (MCAT®), and to have completed the following types of courses:
- One year of biology
- One year of physics
- One year of English
- Two years of chemistry (through organic chemistry)
To find school-specific requirements for each U.S. and Canadian medical school, see the MSAR Online. To better understand the role and structured of the MCAT exam, read Chapter 4 of the MSAR®: Getting Started, “All About the MCAT® Exam.” Learn more about the MSAR
Applicants should consider volunteering at a local hospital or clinic to gain practical experience in the health professions. A well-rounded sampling of extra-curricular activities or work experiences, both related and unrelated to medicine, will help broaden an applicant's knowledge and development.
Students interested in medicine are encouraged to research the wide variety of jobs available in the health professions, to discuss the nature and demands of medicine with a pre-medical advisor or health professional, and to ask a lot of questions before embarking on the application process.
Chapter 7 of the MSAR: Getting Started, “The Admissions Decision,” describes the evaluation process in to further detail including the holistic review approach, personal attributes, experiences and metrics.
Each school's specific prerequisites, detailed annually in the MSAR® Online, is highly recommended to all prospective applicants and is available at most school libraries, premedical advising offices, and can be purchased from AAMC Publications.
MSAR®: Getting Started
Get started on the right path with key info on how to prepare for and apply to medical school.
Postbaccalaureate Premedical Programs
Explore these options if you have already completed an undergraduate program, but need to take more science courses to meet medical school admissions requirements.