Too often premed students are focused on their grades and studying for their entrance examinations, but there is more to getting into medical school than this. Along with good scores on your entrance examinations and a good grade point average, a medical school will have prerequisites for particular courses that need to be taken in college. It should be noted that there are some medical schools that have one or two extra prerequisites, and these are noted in this article when pertinent. All medical schools in the United States require a four year degree, so unless you plan on attending medical school outside of the country, you should plan on graduating.
Science courses that are required by most medical schools
You will need to take a year of general chemistry as well as a year of organic chemistry. In addition to chemistry, you will need one year of general biology and a year of physics. All of these courses are college level and are in addition to any courses you may have taken in high school. All four subjects must include lab work. There are a few medical schools that require biochemistry as well as the four mentioned courses above.
Math courses that are required by most medical schools
The only math required is calculus, and it is only a semester that most schools have a requirement for. There are some medical schools that require two semesters of calculus, so you may want to take a year of this subject to be on the safe side especially if you are not sure which school you are pointed towards. Calculus can be taken in your first year of college if you have taken the prerequisites in high school. If not, you will be to take the proper math classes that lay a foundation to learn calculus.
Other courses that are required by most medical schools
Of the courses required that are common to all medical schools, it is only a year of English that is necessary. This is often a requirement for most four year degrees so it is not a problem for most students. There are some medical schools that have a requirement for an elective type class, but this can be taken in your last year of college if you find an extra requirement for a particular school you wish to attend.
Courses not required, but highly recommended for premed students
There are a wide range of classes that are not required but will help a student prepare for medical school. They will often help to get a better score on the entrance examination and certainly look good on a college transcript when applying for medical school. Many of these courses are in subjects that will be taken in medical school. Examples are statistics, genetics, microbiology, immunology and embryology.
Certain college courses must be taken at a four year college before medical school is a possibility. Although the total courses required by a medical school are not many, they need to be taken along with any courses that will help you be a successful student in medical school. You can get more detailed information at Start Medicine.com.