I recently talked about the fact that medical schools do not care about your major in college. While they don’t care about your major, there are certain classes required for medical school applicants.
So, what are the required classes? Each medical school decides which courses are required to apply to that medical school but most of the requirements are standard across all medical schools. Virtually all medical schools will want to see the following courses:
basic biology, one year with lab
basic chemistry, one year with lab
organic chemistry, one year with lab
physics, one year
calculus, one year
psychology, one year
English, one year, typically writing heavy courses are preferred
Some medical schools will also want to see statistics, biochemistry, genetics and sociology so it is a good idea to try and take these courses as well if you can fit them into your schedule.
Why are medical schools interested in these specific courses? Because they are the very subjects that are tested on the medical college admission test, also known as the MCAT. Moreover, they are the subjects that need to be understood as a medical school student.
For the most part these courses are introductory courses in the subject area which often means, particularly in larger colleges, that they will be very large classes. Think in excess of 400. Most students don’t learn as well with a large class and subsequently don’t do as well on the MCAT. This is one of the reasons I favor smaller colleges for undergrad pre-meds.
As long as you take these courses, and hopefully do well with your grades and MCAT scores, you will be on your way to applying to medical school.