Preprofessional Requirements for Medicine

Medicine is a career requiring a professional degree (M.D. or D.O.). Students wishing to apply to medical school are encouraged to choose an undergraduate major that aligns with their interests and strengths.  Because course requirements may change from year to year, students should research the admissions requirements for their schools of interest. These requirements are available through the Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR) website managed by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the Osteopathic Medical College Information Book (CIB), published by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM). Both resources are available at The Career Center. Additional information about preparation for medical school can be found at and  Admission to medical school is highly competitive, requiring solid academic performance, demonstrated interpersonal skills, exposure to the profession, and completion of the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).  In addition to academic advising provided by the colleges and academic departments, students pursuing medicine are encouraged to take advantage of Health Professions Advising services at The Career Center early in their academic career at Illinois. 

The Career Center provides health professions advising for students interested in pursuing medicine as a career, including discussion of required and recommended coursework, preparation outside the classroom, details of the application process, and characteristics of competitive applicants. In addition to one-on-one appointments, health professions advisors present workshops, host events, and coordinate campus visits for deans and admissions officers. More information for both current and prospective students is available on the Career Center's website at  

Current students can make an appointment with a Health Professions Advisor at The Career Center by calling (217) 333-0820, or online via our website. Students may stop by during weekly drop-in hours, or email the health professions advising team at with questions. Information about upcoming programs and services is available via the Health Careers Chronicle weekly e-newsletter.

The following chart represents common course requirements to prepare for medical school. Individual schools may require additional coursework and/or expect students to go beyond minimum preparation. Students are strongly encouraged to research their specific schools of interest.

Composition I requirement3
Advanced Composition requirement3
General Biology with laboratory8-10
Molec & Cellular Basis of Life
Molec & Cellular Laboratory
Organismal & Evolutionary Biol
Organismal & Evol Biol Lab 1
General Chemistry with laboratory8
General Chemistry I
General Chemistry Lab I
General Chemistry II
General Chemistry Lab II
Organic Chemistry with laboratory8
Select one of the following:
Elementary Organic Chemistry I
and Elementary Organic Chem Lab I
and Elementary Organic Chem II
Introductory Biochemistry
Biochem & Phys Basis of Life
Physics with laboratory10
College Physics: Mech & Heat
College Physics: E&M & Modern
Social & Behavioral Science UI-Chicago requires three Behavior/Social Science courses, two in the same field.
PSYC 100Intro Psych4
SOC 100Introduction to Sociology4

MCB and IB majors do NOT take MCB 151 or IB 151; Pre-medicine students in any major who choose to take upper level labs do not need to take MCB 151 and/or IB 151; Medical schools require a minimum of two biology labs.

The following courses are also recommended prior to sitting for the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test).  More information about the MCAT, including topics covered, can be found at

Anatomy and Physiology (1 sequence) 16-8
Human Anatomy & Physiology I
and Human Anatomy & Physiology II
Anatomy and Physiology
and Env and Evol Physl of Animals
Molecular Genetics
Behavioral Sciencesvariable
Intro Psych (or equivalent)
Introduction to Sociology (or equivalent)

Midwestern University requires one anatomy lab