Pre-Med Guide

While there are similarities between medical school programs, every school will outline their unique admission requirements. It is critical to develop a school list and research individual programs to ensure that you are following each school’s admission requirements. Medical schools do not require a science-based bachelor’s degree. Any major will allow you to pursue medical school since admission is based on many factors. More so, there is no advantage nor disadvantage to having a bio-based major. However, students will need to meet pre-requisite courses, which have been outlined below.

Admission Considerations

  1. GPA & Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)- The national average for accepted med school applicants is a 3.7 overall and a 3.64 for science. MCAT: 510 or 83rd percentile.
  2. Personal Essay- Write a compelling narrative that outlines your true motivation and resiliency. What experiences have you had that make you determined to pursue this profession?
  3. 15 Core Competencies- Ensure all of your experiences and knowledge meet the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) competencies for entering medical students: AAMC's Core Competencies.
  4. Healthcare/Clinical Experience- Volunteer at a hospital or clinic. Aim for 150-300 hours of meaningful patient interactions. Examples of Clinical Experiences. Demonstrate compassion for others by volunteering with underserved communities.
  5. Leadership- Show that you take initiative and can lead a team by sitting on a board, being an Undergrad Instructional Apprentice, or creating your own project. Leadership can take many forms.
  6. Letters of Recommendation- Get to know faculty and other professionals: Try office hours, coffee with a professor, or become an Undergrad Instructional Apprentice. Look for mentors, not letter writers. Building relationships takes time so begin early! Aim to secure for 3-5 letters.

Academic Pre-Requisites

PLEASE NOTE – The following courses should be taken for letter grades (not P/NP). AP scores are typically not accepted for the courses listed below. Lastly, while most medical school programs will accept community college courses, some may require that these pre-requirements are met with upper division coursework found at the four-year university; make sure to research each school.

Most Schools Require:

  • 1 year of General Chemistry
  • 1 year of General Biology
  • 1 year of Organic Chemistry
  • 1 year of Physics (Trig-based Physics, like SRJC’s Physics 20 series, is typically adequate)

Some Schools Require:

  • Biochemistry
  • Statistics and one semester of Calculus. (Some schools may require 2+ semesters of Calculus but this is not common)
  • 1 year of English (meeting UC transfer admission requirements with SRJC’s English 1A and English 5, for example, should satisfy this)

More Courses to Consider:

  • Genetics, Cell Biology, Immunology, Microbiology with lab, Physiology with lab, Anatomy with lab, Psychology and/or Sociology.
    • For an idea of which social/behavioral science topics are covered on the MCAT to help determine which courses to take, explore the following Khan Academy MCAT prep guide: Khan Academy MCAT Study Guide