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Preparing for Admission to Medical School (M.D. or D.O.)

This is a summary. MD individual program detailsDO individual program details. Some of the information is subscription-only. You may see the pre-professional advisor or visit a program’s own website if you want to view additional information.


Note: Many medical schools state a minimum GPA, but not everyone attaining that GPA will be admitted, and those admitted generally have very high (>3.75 GPA).

Take these courses in your first three years at UIU (required by most medical schools as prerequisites for admission and/or recommended content for the MCAT2015 exam):

  • Principles of Biology I (BIO 135)
  • Principles of Biology II (BIO 140)
  • Anatomy and Physiology I (BIO 270)
  • Anatomy and Physiology II (BIO 275)
  • Microbiology (BIO 210)
  • General Genetics (BIO 283)
  • Cell and Molecular Biology (BIO 381)
  • General Chemistry I (CHEM 151)
  • General Chemistry II (CHEM 152)
  • Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 251)
  • Organic Chemistry II (CHEM 252)
  • Biochemistry (CHEM 330)
  • Physics I + Lab (PHY 111 & 112)
  • Physics II + Lab (PHY 113 & 114)
  • General Psychology (PSY 190)
  • Upper level psychology (PSY 310/335/360)
  • Introduction to Sociology (SOC 110)
  • Trig/Analytic Geometry (MATH 115) and/or Calculus (MATH 120)
  • Statistics (MATH 220)

Additional courses to earn a major if you complete all the courses listed above, your general education courses (and earn 120 total credit hours):

Biology (Pre-Prof/Health Sci Emphasis):

  • Evolution (BIO 340)
  • Scientific Literature Skills (BIO 201)
  • Thesis I (BIO 398)
  • Thesis II (BIO 498)
  • 2 hrs BIO 3XX or higher


  • Scientific Literature Skills (CHEM 201)
  • Calculus I (MATH 120)
  • Calculus II (MATH 200)
  • Calculus III (MATH 210)
  • Physical Chemistry II (CHEM 302)
  • Quantitative Analysis (CHEM 220)
  • Chemistry Research I (CHEM 391)
  • Chemistry Research II (CHEM 491)
  • 12 hrs of approved CHEM electives (CHEM 301, 325, 331, 335, 361, 401, 410, 431, 471)


While earning excellent grades is essential for admission to medical school, it is not the only thing you will need to do. You should strive to obtain experience in health care setting(s) during your college career. This might include experiences that you do for credit (BIO 303 Experience in Health Science Careers) or on a voluntary basis, and will likely include job-shadowing.

Research experience is also a great way to make your application to medical school stand out. There are a multitude of summer research fellowships available. Deadlines are usually fall/winter for research experiences the following summer. Research experience resources.


Medical schools are looking for students that are not only strong academically, but that also exhibit the character traits desirable in a doctor. Put simply, they are looking for an academically strong student who is also a caring individual, tuned into the needs of their community. For this reason, it is important to seek out opportunities to get involved in community service as you build your resume. You should seek opportunities that you are sincerely interested in that will enrich your application with information about your character. This may include health-related activities (volunteering at a nursing home or free clinic, for example), but it need not be health-related (working with the homeless, coaching a youth sports team, etc.).

Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT2015)

You will begin the application process to medical school a full year before you expect to matriculate by signing up for and taking the MCAT exam (usually during the summer between your junior and senior years). The exam has four sections: two natural sciences sections (biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry and physics content), behavioral and social sciences (psychology and sociology content) and critical analysis and reasoning (analytical and reasoning skills test, no specific content knowledge is required). In order to do well on the MCAT, you will need to learn and retain information from all the courses above that are listed to be taken within your first three years at UIU. More information about the MCAT

Application Timelines

Deadlines for application to allopathic medical schools (M.D) vary between October and December for most programs, but you may apply earlier if you have MCAT scores. Applications are submitted through a centralized application services, AMCAS, and will include your detailed academic record, experiences, and letters of reference from faculty and health-care professionals whom you have shadowed. Applications to osteopathic medical schools (D.O.) are typically due in January-March, although a few are as early as October or as late as April. Application components will be similar to allopathic medical schools. The centralized application service for osteopathic medical schools is located at centralized application service for osteopathic medical schools.