Course Prerequisites

Having a “perfect MCAT score” and GPA does not guarantee your acceptance to medical school. Medical schools will evaluate you based on your MCAT score and GPA, but also by your letters of evaluation, personal statement, and experiences. In addition, one low grade will not ruin your chances. Nevertheless, your GPA is still an important factor as it, along with your MCAT score, tell medical schools about your science competencies as well as your thinking and reasoning competencies. If you're struggling in one or more of your prerequisites, use your resources such as peer tutoring and attending the office hours of your professors. 

 

Required Courses

These courses are required for students who intend to apply to allopathic and osteopathic medical schools and should be completed with grades of C or better.

 

Required Course

GW Equivalent

Introductory Biology, with labs (8 credits)    
 

BISC 1111-1112 or BISC 1115-1116 and 1120/1125-1126

If you have AP credit for Introductory Biology, you do not need to repeat it at GW. However, medical schools will expect you to have a minimum of eight credit hours of upper-level BISC coursework with lab components.

General Chemistry, with labs (8 credits)    

CHEM 1111-1112
 

Organic Chemistry, with labs (8 credits)    

CHEM 2151-2154
 
Biochemistry, lab not required (3-4 credits)    
 

BISC 3261/CHEM 3165

A new MCAT exam was introduced in 2015, which has substantial biochemistry and social science content.

Social Sciences - (6 credits)

Psychology & Sociology highly recommended

PSYC 1001 and SOC 1001
 

English (6 credits)    

GW's University Writing and WID curriculum satisfies this requirement, with the rare exception of some Texas medical schools
 

Math (6 credits)

Statistics and Calculus highly recommended

MATH 1220-1221, 1231 or 1232

STAT 1051, 1053, 1111 or 1127

Physics, with labs (8 credits)    
 

PHYS 1011-1012/1021-1022/1025-1026

General Physics is a trigonometry-based physics course and University Physics is calculus-based. MATH 1231 is a prerequisite to PHYS 1021-1022. Medical schools do not show a preference for University Physics over General Physics. Choose the course based on your interests and your schedule.

**Specific prerequisite courses may vary by school. Please see the current AAMC report for more information.

 


 

Recommended Courses

These courses will also be helpful preparation for entry into the medical field but are rarely required by medical schools.

Recommended Course GW Equivalent
Cell Biology 

BISC 2202

Genetics

BISC 2207-8

Human Physiology 

BISC 3122

Introductory Microbiology

BISC 2337W

**Specific prerequisite courses may vary by school. Please see the current AAMC report for more information.

 


 

Planning your courses

To ensure that you successfully complete your prerequisites along with your major/minor requirements, it is essential to create a tentative 4-year plan in collaboration with your homeschool advisor and the pre-health advisor.

You can use this template and/or the GW Pre-Med Planner to do so.

Meet with Pre-Health Advisor

 

 


 

Sample Course Plans

In the meantime, if you need a rough idea of when to take which prerequisite course, view the sample plans below. (Please note that these are simply samples. Your schedule may look different depending on any AP/IB/DE credit or other circumstances. Discuss your specific course needs with your advisor).

No Gap Year

(This sample plan of study is for students who do not plan to take a gap year)

Year 1: Fall

Introductory Biology I (BISC 1111 or BISC 1115 and 1125) - 4 credits

General Chemistry I (CHEM 1111) - 4 credits

Introductory Psychology (PSYC 1001) - 3 credits

University Writing (UW 1020) - 4 credits

Year 1: Spring

Introductory Biology II (BISC 1112 or BISC 1116 and 1126) - 4 credits

General Chemistry II (CHEM 1112) - 4 credits

Introductory Sociology (SOC 1001) - 3 credits

Calculus (MATH 1220, 1231 or 1232) - 3 credits

Year 2: Fall

Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 2151 and 2153) - 4 credits

General or University Physics I (PHYS 1011 or 1021 or 1025) - 4 credits

Statistics (STAT 1051, 1053, 1111 or 1127) - 3 credits

Year 2: Spring

Organic Chemistry II (CHEM 2152 and 2154) - 4 credits

General or University Physics II (PHYS 1012 or 1022 or 1026) - 4 credits

Year 3: Fall

Biochemistry (BISC 3261 or CHEM 3165) - 4 credits

Prep for MCAT

Year 3: Spring

Take 1 of (Optional unless you have AP/IB credit for BISC 1111 & 1112):

Cell Biology (BISC 2202)

Genetics (BISC 2207-8)

Human Physiology (BISC 2322)

Introductory Microbiology (BISC 2337W)

Continue MCAT prep

Take MCAT by April

 

 


Gap Year

(This sample plan of study is for students who plan to take one or more gap years)

Year 1: Fall

Introductory Biology I (BISC 1111 or BISC 1115 and 1125) - 4 credits

Introductory Psychology (PSYC 1001) - 3 credits

University Writing (UW 1020) - 4 credits

Year 1: Spring

Introductory Biology II (BISC 1112 or BISC 1116 and 1126) - 4 credits

Introductory Sociology (SOC 1001) - 3 credits

Calculus (MATH 1220, 1231 or 1232) - 3 credits

Year 2: Fall

General or University Physics I (PHYS 1011 or 1021 or 1025) - 4 credits

Statistics (STAT 1051, 1053, 1111 or 1127) - 3 credits

General Chemistry I (CHEM 1111) - 4 credits

Year 2: Spring

General or University Physics II (PHYS 1012 or 1022 or 1026) - 4 credits

General Chemistry II (CHEM 1112) - 4 credits

Year 3: Fall

Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 2151 and 2153) - 4 credits

Year 3: Spring

Organic Chemistry II (CHEM 2152 and 2154) - 4 credits
Year 4: Fall

Biochemistry (BISC 3261 or CHEM 3165) - 4 credits

Prep for MCAT

Year 4: Spring

Take 1 of (Optional unless you have AP/IB credit for BISC 1111 & 1112):

Cell Biology (BISC 2202)

Genetics (BISC 2207-8)

Human Physiology (BISC 2322)

Introductory Microbiology (BISC 2337W)

Continue MCAT prep

Take MCAT by April