Pre-Health Preparation - Medicine

Medical Schools

Medical schools require a relatively small number of prerequisite courses as entry requirements. Medical schools do not care what your major is, so you should choose a major that you know you can do well in. Keep in mind that you still have to take all of the prerequisite courses, and that these are the minimum requirements. Many students feel they need more science courses, particularly upper division biology courses, to fully understand concepts that they will be tested over on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).

Pre-Requisite Course Work

for medicine MUST include the following courses. Be aware that many of these courses require that you have had college level algebra (Math 113), and other prerequisites.

  • One year of inorganic chemistry with lab (Chem 150 and lab; Chem 151 and lab)
  • One year of basic biology with lab (Bio 106 and lab; Bio 113 and lab)
  • One year of basic physics with lab (Phys 201 and lab, Phys 202 and lab OR Phys 217 and lab and Phys 218 and lab) Most medical schools do not require calculus-based physics, and the MCAT exam is not calculus-based physics.
  • One year of organic chemistry with lab (Chem 250 and lab; Chem 251 and lab)
  • A number of schools also require coursework in calculus or college-level math, behavioral science (psychology), the humanities (especially English composition), and computers. Some more competitive schools require advanced-level science courses such as biochemistry, genetics, and cell and molecular biology, especially for students who meet basic requirements through high school advanced placement credits.
  • A baccalaureate degree (120 hours total; 45 hours of upper division work; general education requirements; requirements for major and/or minor).
  • Medical College Aptitude Test (MCAT)

The "new" MCAT!  The MCAT now has a section on psychosocial theories.  These topics are covered in Intro Psychology (Psych 157) and Intro Sociology (Soc 100).

Application Procedures & Timeline

The time span for admission to medical school is approximately 16 months from start to end. If you don't apply until after your senior year, you'll be in limbo for a year before you know whether you've been admitted. Unless you'd like a year off, plan on taking the MCAT and applying to medical school in the summer between your junior and senior years. That way you'll be finishing your degree and be ready to move directly into medical school when you're done.

  • May to October (senior year) - Medical Schools accept applications via AMCAS (see below). Programs have rolling admissions, which means that they start to invite potential students for interviews starting in July, and begin filling their open slots. If you don't apply until September, the program you're applying to may have already accepted many students, and you will be vying for the last few spots on their roster. Be sure to apply early.
  • July to December (senior year)- Secondary applications (see below) are requested by schools who are interested in you. This is when you'll need to get your letters of recommendation lined up. Most medical schools request one recommendation from the pre-health professions committee. The committee at Fort Lewis College will write this letter following your "mock interview". You should also have a letter from one of your science professors and from a practicing physician who you have worked with.
  • September to February (senior year) - Interview invitations are extended and interviews take place.
  • September to March (senior year) - Acceptance/rejection letters are sent.
  • August/September - Medical school begins.

Medical school applications are uniform and are submitted online through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). Transcripts, extracurricular activities, MCAT scores, and personal statement are all a part of this application. You choose the schools you want the application sent to, and it is all done online. For more information on the application process, talk with one of our advisors.