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Preparation for Medical School

What should I major in if I want to go to medical school? There is not a specific major that is required for admittance into a medical program.  With your advisor’s help you can design a program of study that meets the admission requirements of medical school while still studying what interests you the most.  Most medical schools are seeking students who have developed excellent writing and speaking skills, possess analytic and synthetic thinking ability, are enthusiastic life-long learners and possess an understanding of the interpersonal aspects of medicine.  Your major does not determine your success in being accepted to medical school.  There are Allopathic Medical Schools (M.D), Naturopathic Medical Schools (N.D.) and Osteopathic Medical Schools (D.O.).

Undergraduate Preparation

The “pre-med” pathway is not a degree by itself, but a beginning point for students. There are certain criteria that must be fulfilled for admittance to medical school. You and your academic advisor will need to examine your interests, your academic record and the requirements to determine the best academic path for you. Most schools require:

  • CHEM 1110/1111 & 1120/1121 - General chemistry with lab, (2 semesters)
  • CHEM 3510/3511 & 3520/3521 - Organic chemistry with lab, (2 semesters)
  • BIOL 1110/1111 & 1120/1121 - General biology with lab, (2 semesters)
  • PHYS 2010/2011 & 2020/2021 - Physics with lab, (2 semesters)
  • MATH 1730 or 1830 or 1910 - College level math (some schools also specify calculus)
  • MATH 1530 - Statistics or BIOL 4100 - Biostatistics
  • ENG 1010 & 1020 - English Composition
  • SOC 1010 - Introduction to Sociology
  • CHEM 4310/4311 - Biochemistry 1 with lab

Early in your academic career you need to research the medical schools you are interested in attending to ensure you will meet all their criteria for admission.  Some basic factors common to all professional schools include:

  • Good undergraduate grades (overall GPA of 3.67, science GPA 3.61, non-science GPA 3.73)
  • Competitive MCAT Test scores (9.7 VR, 9.9 PS, 10.2 BS = 29.8 avg, P WS)
  • True interest in profession as demonstrated by shadowing or volunteering in the field
  • Service-related experiences in people-oriented environments – long term service preferred to short bursts of unrelated service activities
  • Exceptional communication skills
  • Strong reference letters from professionals who know your character, as well as, your work ethic

 Please review the admission statistics for the medical programs that interest you. The following link provides past admission data on a few common medical programs that Austin Peay students have successfully gained admission: Professional Health Programs' Admission Statistics.