Preparing yourself to apply to the medical schools of your choice involves completing medical school prerequisite courses, getting good grades in all of your courses, gaining experience in medicine, and taking the MCAT test. This information has been prepared to assist you in that effort. Here you will find details about what common medical school prerequisite courses are and what UW Bothell and UW Seattle courses fulfill those requirements, information about electives, and more information about the MCAT and gaining medical experience.
Admissions requirements are different at all medical schools and are subject to change without notice, as are the contents of the MCAT test, 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.
Common Medical School Prerequisite Courses*:
Calculus (1 course)
General Chemistry, with labs (1 year)
Organic Chemistry, with labs (1 year)
Physics (calculus-based or non-calculus based), with labs (1 year)
General Biology, with labs (1 year)
English Composition and English Literature (1 year)
Statistics (1 course)
Biochemistry (2 course sequence)
Courses in ethics, diversity, and language: Medical schools are not just looking for students who are strong in the sciences. It is imperative that future doctors understand how society functions and are well-rounded academically. In addition, the University of Washington School of Medicine has a humanities and social sciences requirement. For more advice on how to think about meeting this requirement and on being a well-rounded student, click here.
* Although this coursework will meet the requirements for many schools, students should research the prerequisites of the schools to which they hope to apply.
Note: Schools have differing policies for accepting AP or IB credits to meet program prerequisites. Students should contact the schools to which they would like to apply to find out that school's policy. Since most students will not know what schools they will apply to when they are planning their schedules, many students choose to retake the science prerequisites or take the honors version of the course. The decision should be made on an individual basis and it is recommended that students speak to an adviser when making this choice.
Types of Medical Practice
Allopathic: The system of medical practice which treats disease by the use of remedies which produce effects different from those produced by the disease under treatment. MDs practice allopathic medicine.
Osteopathic: Osteopathic medicine provides all of the benefits of modern medicine including prescription drugs, surgery, and the use of technology to diagnose disease and evaluate injury. It also offers the added benefit of hands-on diagnosis and treatment through a system of therapy known as osteopathic manipulative medicine. Osteopathic medicine emphasizes helping each person achieve a high level of wellness by focusing on health promotion and disease prevention.
Naturopathic: Naturopathic Medicine is a system of medicine that focuses on prevention and use of nontoxic, natural therapies. These natural therapies refer to, but are not limited to, proper diet and nutrition, exercise, nutritional supplements, herbology, homeopathy, and lifestyle modification and counseling.
What to Major in?
Medical schools do not care what major you choose; they care that you do well in your major and your pre-requisite courses. You should be thinking of alternate future careers in the event that you change your mind, or are not admitted to medical school.
Applying to Medical School
Applying to medical school is a year-long process. The actual application steps are:
- Take the MCAT
- Submit the AAMCAS or AACOMAS Primary Application
- Submit secondary applications
- Accept your admissions
However, before you begin you must complete pre-requisite coursework; obtain letters of recommendations and actively engage in healthcare experience. For more information on the application process, visit www.aamc.org, www.aacom.org and read the Medical School Admission Requirements book.
Preparing for the gap year(s)
Consider other schooling, or volunteering with the following organizations:
Here are some helpful websites to learn about the medical field, the application process and more: