A student interested in medical school should seek advice from a campus pre-medical advisor within their first academic year. During the meeting with an advisor, the student will have a better understanding of the requirements to be a successful applicant. Medical schools expect a student to have completed or require adequate preparation in the behavioral and social sciences, general biology, general and organic chemistry, biochemistry, algebraic and trigonometric quantitative skills, and physical science as well as the following:
- Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
This test will evaluate the applicant’s problem solving, critical thinking, writing skills, and knowledge of science concepts/principles. It is a standardized, multiple-choice examination. The exam is composed of four parts:
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
- Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
The majority of medical schools require an applicant to submit MCAT exam scores. Generally, scores are valid for up to three years. Additional information can be found at the website links listed below along with other information that can be helpful during your preparation for medical school.
For adequate preparation for the MCAT and medical school, the following courses are recommended:
Eight semester hours in modern concepts of general biology including laboratory are required. Courses in botany do not meet this requirement. An applicant, particularly a non-science major, is strongly encouraged to pursue upper level coursework in the biological sciences beyond the minimum requirement. Such courses might include biochemistry, cell biology, comparative anatomy, embryology, general genetics, histology, immunology, mammalian physiology, microbiology or related courses.
Eight semester hours of physics that must include laboratory credit are required. The courses must adequately cover mechanics, heat, light, sound, electricity, and magnetism. Survey courses will not satisfy this requirement.
Six semester hours of freshman English are required. The applicant should have strong background in use of both oral and written English. A student who qualifies for advanced placement credit in English will not be required to take additional English courses, although such students are encouraged to do so.
Sixteen semester hours of chemistry are required. General chemistry and organic chemistry will satisfy the minimum hours. It is recommended that an applicant take courses in inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, and analytical chemistry. Each of these courses must be a complete, standard, college-level course utilizing full laboratory facilities. In instances where a student feels uncertain of their preparation in chemistry and wishes to take additional work, biochemistry is recommended.
- Psychology and Sociology
One-semester introductory psychology and one-semester introductory sociology courses that target biology concepts that relate to mental processes and behavior.
At a minimum, a student should have 90 semester hours from an accredited college or university. This can be obtained by taking recommended courses such as biochemistry, cell biology, cell physiology, microbiology, embryology, histology, human anatomy, and mammalian physiology. The recommended courses will provide a foundation for success in a medical curriculum.
It is strongly recommended that an applicant obtain direct exposure to the practice of medicine through volunteer experiences or employment opportunities at a health care facility. The applicant should involve them self in extra-curricular activities, on and off campus, to broaden their experience and development.
To be a successful applicant, a student should seek information from various website sources and the schools that the student is interested in applying to for their medical education. The following website links should provide you with the information to start your preparation for admission to a medical school.
Association of American Medical Colleges
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
Medical College Admission Test
Medical School Search
UTC Health Careers