Coursework Required for Most Medical Schools


Below is common required coursework for applying to medical school and the appropriate UW Bothell courses that fulfill the requirement. Admissions requirements are different at all medical schools and are subject to change without notice, so it is very important for all medical school applicants to carefully research the requirements for admission at all prospective medical schools early enough to address any deficiencies in preparation for admission to the schools of your choice.

  • 1 year General Chemistry with labs (18 credits)
  • 1 year Organic Chemistry with labs (18 credits)
  • 1 year General Biology with labs (15 credits)
  • 1 year General Physics with labs (15 credits)
  • 2 quarters Biochemistry (10 credits)
  • 1 year English (15 credits)
  • 2 quarters Calculus (10 credits)
  • 1 quarter of Statistics (5 credits)
  • Social Science courses (15 credits)

UW Bothell Courses

General Chemistry, with labs

  • B CHEM 143 (4), 144 (2) General Chemistry
  • B CHEM 153 (4), 154 (2) General Chemistry
  • B CHEM 163 (4), 164 (2) General Chemistry

Organic Chemistry, with labs

  • B CHEM 237 Organic Chemistry (4) Note: no lab in first quarter
  • B CHEM 238 Organic Chemistry (4), 241
  • B CHEM 239 Organic Chemistry (3), 242

General Biology, with labs

  • B BIO 180 Introductory Biology (5)
  • B BIO 200 Introductory Biology (5)
  • B BIO 220 Introductory Biology (5)

Physics, with labs (15) Choose one of the following two sequences:

Physics (non-calculus based), with labs

  • B PHYS 114 (4), 117 (1) General Physics
  • B PHYS 115 (4), 118 (1) General Physics
  • B PHYS 116 (4), 119 (1) General Physics

Physics (calculus-based) (includes lab)

  • B PHYS 121 Mechanics (5)
  • B PHYS 122 Electromagnetism & Oscillatory Motion (5)
  • B PHYS 123 Waves (5)


  • B BIO 364 Biochemistry I (5)
  • B BIO 365 Biochemistry II (5)


  • B CUSP 124 Calculus I (5)
  • B CUSP 125 Calculus II (5)

Statistics, Choose one of the following:

  • STMATH 341 Introduction to Statistical Inference (5)
  • B BUS 215 Introduction to Business Statistics (5)
  • BIS 315 Understanding Statistics (5)

English Composition and Literature

Most medical schools require one year of English, but their specific English course requirements vary and you will need to make note of the specifics for the schools you choose once you decide where you will be applying. Other schools have a specific Humanities course requirement, and you can use these English courses to meet any Humanities requirements as well. To meet the English requirement, choose three courses that cover topics in English language literature or writing. Note that writing courses that teach writing in the course of teaching another subject matter (called “writing across the curriculum”) are not accepted as English courses by all medical schools, so it is a good idea to stick to courses that teach English composition or English language literature to meet this requirement. At UW Bothell, these courses are found in Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) and in the Center for University Studies and Programs (B CUSP). At most other schools these courses will be found in the English Department. Representative UW Bothell courses are listed below:

Note: courses that meet UW Bothell’s composition requirement are listed with a C, and courses that meet VLPA or I&S requirements are also labeled

B CUSP: Center for University Studies and Programs

  • B CUSP 134 Interdisciplinary Writing (5) C
  • B CUSP 135 Research Writing (5) C
  • B CUSP 187 Introduction to Literary Analysis (5) VLPA
  • B CUSP 190 Contemporary Literature (5) VLPA

BIS: Interdisciplinary Studies

  • BIS 206 Engaging Literary Arts (5, max. 10) VLPA
  • BIS 361 Studies in American Literature (5, max. 10) VLPA I&S
  • BIS 370 Nineteenth-Century American Literature (5) VLPA
  • BIS 371 Twentieth-Century American Literature (5) VLPA
  • BIS 379 American Ethnic Literatures (5) VLPA/I&S
  • BIS 384 Literary and Popular Genres (5, max. 10) VLPA
  • BIS 387 Women and American Literature (5, max. 10) VLPA
  • BIS 389 American Indian Literature (5) VLPA/I&S
  • BIS 481 Modernism, Postmodernism, and American Literature (5) VLPA
  • BIS 486 Studies in Women and Literature (5, max. 10) VLPA
  • BIS 487 Topics in American Literature (5, max. 10) VLPA
  • BIS 488 Topics in British Literature (5, max. 10) VLPA

Social Sciences

In addition to a humanities requirement, many medical schools have a social sciences course requirement. For example, the UW Medical School requires a minimum of six quarters of Humanities or Social Sciences courses. To fulfill requirements for the UW as well as the other medical schools you will apply to, you should take three quarters of English and three quarters of Social Sciences. Most courses that meet your Individuals and Societies graduation requirement (I&S) are courses in the social sciences, though if you have any questions about this you should ask your advisor. Taking B CUSP 170 Introduction to Psychology is strongly encouraged to fulfill one of your Social Sciences requirements.

Some Potential Electives

  • BIS 380 Bioethics (5)
  • B BIO 351 Principles of Anatomy and Physiology I (5)
  • B BIO 352 Principles of Anatomy and Physiology II (5)
  • B BIO 360 Introducation to Genetics (5)


Did You Know?

Bjong "Wolf" Yeigh became UW Bothell's third chancellor on Sept. 3, 2013.