Prerequisites

PrerequisitesUMN Medical School requires medical school applicants to complete seven prerequisite courses at an accredited U.S.-based or Canadian college or university by the time they matriculate to medical school. Please use the Prerequisite Course Checklist to help determine your coursework plan. No particular degree program or institution is given preference over another. Rigor of coursework and competitiveness of the undergraduate institution, however, are taken into consideration.

Once you’ve reviewed the required courses below, be sure to familiarize yourself with the medical student selection criteria.

Required courses

Biology with lab (1 semester or quarter, any level)

  • Biological sciences coursework with emphasis on general principles, cell biology, and/or physiology

Chemistry with lab (1 semester or quarter, any level)

  • General or organic chemistry

Additional science courses (4 semesters or quarters; 2 (of the 4) must be upper level)

  • Examples of acceptable subject areas include (but are not limited to): biology, genetics, zoology, botany, parasitology, biochemistry, chemistry (general or organic, but must be in addition to the general or organic chemistry listed above) and physics.

Humanities or social sciences (1 semester or quarter, upper level, writing intensive)

While the sciences are an essential component to be successful in medical school, we are also seeking students who have a broad range of interests and knowledge outside of the scientific realm. The liberal arts education afforded to you as a result of obtaining your baccalaureate degree will allow you to explore your interests and gain additional knowledge to enrich your own intellectual curiosity.

  • Acceptable subject areas include (but are not limited to): english, history, philosophy, political science, psychology, sociology, gender studies, cultural appreciation and theatre. If you have any questions about whether a course is considered a humanities and/or social science, please contact your university's Registrar.
  • If your institution does not designate your intended course as writing intensive in the course title of your transcript, we will consider a humanities/social science course that requires a 10+ page paper. If you intend to utilize this option, please send the syllabus (or other documentation from the Registrar) for the course when you submit your final, official transcripts to the Office of Admissions as a newly accepted student.              

Recommended courses

  • Biochemistry
  • Ethics
  • Genetics
  • Psychology
  • Statistics
  • Foreign language
  • Independent learning courses
  • Seminar-type courses involving small group discussions
  • Social and behavioral sciences and humanities 

The prerequisite courses we require are intended to prepare you for the curriculum at the University of Minnesota Medical School. These prerequisites may or may not meet the requirements of your undergraduate program expectations for graduation. Furthermore, you will find that some prerequisite coursework will support your preparation efforts for the MCAT, but this list is not exhaustive.

Visit the AAMC website for more information about MCAT preparation, and speak to your college advisor for additional information.

Other guidelines

  • A bachelor's degree and all prerequisite courses must be earned by July 1 of the year of matriculation, however exceptions can be made based on personal course schedules.
  • We will accept some of the above prerequisites from an accredited community college. We require you to take all upper-level courses at an accredited four year college or university in the U.S. or Canada.
  • Requirements cannot be fulfilled with College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credits or AP credits. If you received AP credit for courses such as general chemistry or biology, you’ll still need 1 semester of chemistry and biology with labs. This can be an advanced chemistry, organic chemistry, or any advanced biology course. Do not retake coursework for which you already received AP credit.
  • Bachelors degrees earned internationally will be considered. However, all prerequisite courses need to be completed at an accredited institution in the U.S. or Canada.
  • Upper-level courses are typically those with a course number that begins with a 3 (300 or 3000) or higher. However, we are aware some undergraduate institutions consider 200-level courses as upper division courses or have unique numbering systems, and we will accept equivalent courses in such cases.
  • If your undergraduate institution has a policy in place that barrs non-humanities majors from enrolling in an upper-level humanities course, we will consider exceptions with appropriate documentation. You may be asked to provide documentation of your school's policy as a newly accepted student before matriculation.
  • Our preference would be for all prerequisite courses to have a letter grade. We will only accept prerequisites with a grade of "pass/fail" in limited situations.

The Office of Admissions cannot provide individual transcript evaluations for applicants. Please utilize the Prerequisite Course Checklist to determine any outstanding coursework. However, we are happy to assist with specific questions. If you have any questions about these policies, please contact the Twin Cities Office of Admissions (meded@umn.edu, 612-625-7977) or the Duluth Office of Admissions (dmeded@umn.edu, 218-726-8511).