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Medical School Prerequisites

The categories below show the courses that are most commonly completed by UC Berkeley students to fulfill medical school prerequisites. This information does not show every possible combination of courses available to satisfy requirements- for specific questions about your sequence, please reach out to our Pre-Health Advisors by emailing prehealth@berkeley.edu.

If you choose to take courses other than those indicated below, keep your syllabi - you may need to send your syllabi to med schools after you apply to make your case that the course(s) you completed fulfill their requirements.

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General (Inorganic) Chemistry and Organic Chemistry

Most schools require 2 semesters of general chemistry with lab and 2 semesters of organic chemistry with lab. Some schools also require a semester of biochemistry. However, Berkeley has a unique chemistry sequence where you fulfill these requirements through the following 4-course sequence*: 

Chem 1A/1AL

Chem 3A/3AL

Chem 3B/3BL

MCB 102 or Chem 135 or MCB C100A/100B (both must be taken), Chem C130, or BioE 103 (for BioE majors only) Medical schools look for course work that includes cellular metabolism.

*This is the most common sequence for Berkeley pre-meds, but there are other ways to satisfy this requirement- for example, if you are in the College of Chemistry, you would instead take Chem 4A, 12A, 12B, and an upper-division biochemistry course. For questions about your specific chemistry plan, please reach out to the Career Center pre-health advisors for guidance. 

Biochemistry

With Berkeley's unique chemistry sequence, biochemistry is built into our medical school prerequisites. See our Berkeley Chemistry Sequence page for more information.

Physics

Most schools require 2 semesters. The most typical sequences are: 

Physics 8A and 8B
OR
Physics 7A and 7B
OR
Physics 7A and 8B

Mathematics and Statistics

Requirements can vary greatly- from no requirement to a year. Unless your major requires 1 year of calculus, you can plan to take 1 semester of stats and 1 semester of calculus to satisfy this requirement for medical schools.

Math 1A & 1B
OR

Math 10A* & 10B*
OR

Math 16A & 16B
OR 

Math 53 & 54

Common stats courses at Berkeley:

Stats 2Stats 20, Stats 131A, Public Health 142, and Data 8

*The Math 10 series fulfills both the math AND statistics requirement for medical school admissions except for Texas. Texas medical schools do not recognize the fulfillment of statistics through the Math 10 series.

English and Composition

Requirements can vary and many medical schools recommend English. However, to ensure eligibility to all medical schools, we recommend taking 1 year of English or other writing-intensive courses.

Most students fulfill this medical school requirement by taking Reading and Composition (R&C) courses at Berkeley. See a list of those courses.

Taking two R&C courses is your safest bet even if you have placed out of them with AP credit. These are our writing-intensive courses at Berkeley and will satisfy the one-year requirement that some medical schools have. If you did not (or choose not to) take any R&C courses, we recommend looking into classes from the following departments: English, Rhetoric, Comparative Literature, and the College Writing Program. ** Most. but not all, California UC medical schools will accept English AP credit.

Behavioral and Social Sciences

Some medical schools require coursework in the behavioral and social sciences- in these cases, we recommend engaging in a variety of courses from Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology and other similar departments. In addition, we recommend exposure to these topics as part of your preparation for the Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior section of the MCAT. 

While Sociology 3 or 3AC and Psych 2 are the suggested introductory courses for nonmajors, Psych 1 is for psychology majors and Sociology 1 is for majors in Sociology. 

 

Biology

Medical schools require two semesters of Biology with lab. Students generally fulfill this by taking Bio1B (lab included), Bio1A/1AL.

Students can complete Bio1A/1AL and use the following courses to complete the second semester of the required Biology courses:

MCB 32/32L- Introduction to Human Physiology

MCB 63/63L-Introduction to Functional Neuroanatomy

IB 131/131L General Human Anatomy

**Upper-division MCB and IB courses may be more challenging to get into if you are not an MCB or IB major.