Doctors are healthcare professionals who promote, maintain, and restore health through studying, diagnosing, and treating illnesses, injuries, and other ailments. There are three types of physicians in the United States:

  • Doctor of Medicine (M.D.): refers to allopathic physicians
  • Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine ( D.O.): refers to osteopathic physicians
  • Doctor Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M): refers to podiatric physicians

The curriculum for each type of program is very similar; however, D.O.’s are usually trained in an additional technique called Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine. Traditionally, Osteopathic Physicians have been trained using a holistic view of medicine and focus on caring for the whole patient. M.D. ’s focus on treating disease by the use of medicine that produces effects different from those the disease produced. A D.P.M. specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of foot and ankle disorders, disorders and injuries. They can specialize in areas such as sports medicine, dermatology, or surgery.

Major Selection

As an undergraduate student, you may choose any major in preparation for attending medical school. Medical schools do not have a specific preference on a particular major, so you are encouraged to choose a major based on your own personal interests and strengths. What’s important is that you have completed the prerequisite courses required by the institution you are applying to.

Prerequisite Courses

Requirements may vary from school to school, so you will want to research different program requirements. In general, most medical schools will expect applicants to have completed the following types of courses:

Course Course Title Required or Recommended
CHEM 150 General Chemistry I Required
CHEM 150L General Chemistry I Lab Required
CHEM 210 General Chemistry II Required
CHEM 210L General Chemistry II Lab Required
CHEM 350 Organic Chemistry I Required
CHEM 355 Organic Chemistry I Lab Required
CHEM 360 Organic Chemistry II Recommended
CHEM 365 Organic Chemistry II Lab Recommended
CHEM 400 Biochemistry I Required
CHEM 405 Biochemistry I Lab Required
CHEM 410 Biochemistry II Recommended
BIOL 111 Cell Biology Required
BIOL 111L Cell Biology Lab Required
BIOL 115 Organismal Biology Required
BIOL 115L Organismal Biology Lab Required
BIOL 323 Human Anatomy Recommended
BIOL 323L Human Anatomy Lab Recommended
BIOL 341 Genetics Recommended
BIOL 341L Genetics Lab Recommended
BIOL 349 Human Physiology Recommended
BIOL 349L Human Physiology Lab Recommended
BIOL 350 Microbiology Recommended
BIOL 350L Microbiology Lab Recommended
ENGL 6 credits Required
BIOL 275, MATH 234, PSY 230L Statistics Recommended
PHYS 160/L or PHYS 200/L College/General Physics I & Lab or Physics I with Calculus & Lab Required
PHYS 161/L or PHYS 201/L College/General Physics II & Lab or Physics II with Calculus & Lab Required
PSY 113 General Psychology Recommended
PSY Upper-division Psychology Recommended
SOC Sociology Recommended

*Other courses may be required/recommended by specific programs. You are responsible for knowing the requirements for each individual program. Policies on AP, IB and community college credits vary by institution.

To find school-specific requirements, see the MSAR Online.

Admissions Test

MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test

The MCAT includes the following test sections:

  • 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