1. Education

What Classes Should I Take to Get into Medical School?

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What Classes Should I Take to Get into Medical School? CollegeDegrees360 / Flickr

Question: What classes should I take to get into medical school?

Answer:  The successful medical student most commonly holds a premed major.  Some applicants decide against premed majors.  They choose majors s earn biology or chemistry degrees, either because their universities don’t offer premed majors or because of their own personal interests.  Science degrees are common because although it’s possible to gain admission to medical school without a premed degree, all med schools require that applicants take at minimum eight science classes. These requirements are outlined by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), which accredits medical schools. That means that completing these courses is a non-negotiable part of your med school application.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, you must take, at minimum:  
  • One year of biology
  • One year of physics 
  • One year of English
  • Two years of chemistry (organic and inorganic chemistry)

Why is so much science required?
Medicine is an interdisciplinary field in that medical research incorporates skills, concepts, and findings from the many subfields within biology, chemistry, and other sciences.  Successful medical students have a background in these fields that serves as a baseline for their education in medicine. 

Medical schools are not just interested in science.
Classes in mathematics are also important, though not required by the AAMC. Good grades in math indicate that you are able to reason and think like a scientist.

It’s not just about the classes.
Getting into medical school does not simply require completing a set of classes.  Your performance in science classes (and all classes) matters. Specifically, you must earn high grades.  Your overall grade point average (GPA) must be no lower than 3.5 on the US 4.0 scale. Non-science and science GPAs are calculated separately but you should earn at least a 3.5 in each.

 

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