Medical School - Preparation

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.

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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Most schools require 2 semesters of biology with lab. Some schools require additional coursework at the upper-division level. To increase competitiveness, we recommend taking more than the 1 year minimum. Sample coursework beyond general biology could include genetics, microbiology, anatomy and physiology and human reproduction among other options.

The most typical sequence is:

Bio 1B, 1A/1AL + upper-division biology coursework

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 an unique chemistry sequence where you fulfill these requirements through the following 4 course sequence: 

Chem 1A/1AL, 3A/3AL, 3B/3BL, MCB 102 or Chem 135*
Chem 1A/1AL, 3A/3AL, 3B/3BL, MCB 100A/Chem C130*

*These are the two most common sequences for Berkeley pre-meds, but there are other ways to satisfy this requirement- for example, if you are in the College of Chemistry and taking advanced chemistry courses. For questions about your specific chemistry plan, please reach out to the Career Center pre-health advisors for guidance. 


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


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

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

Mathematics and Statistics

Requirements can vary greatly. To ensure eligibility, we recommend one semester of statistics in addition to one of the following math sequences: 

Math 1A & 1B
Math 10A* & 10B*
Math 16A & 16B
Math 53 & 54

Common stats courses at Berkeley: Stats 2, Stats 20 and Stats 131A

* The Math 10 series fulfills both the math AND statistics requirement for medical school admissions. 

English and Composition

Requirements can vary. To ensure eligibility, 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.

Students who have fulfilled their R1A/R1B requirement through AP coursework can satisfy this requirement by taking other writing intensive courses (lower or upper-division)- through the English or related department. For questions about your specific English plan, please reach out to the Career Center pre-health advisors for guidance.

Save your course syllabi in case any medical schools express concern that you did not complete their English requirement.

Behavioral & Social Sciences

Some medical schools require coursework in the behavioral and social sciences. Although the following coursework is not required, we recommend exposure to these topics as part of your preparation for the Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior section of the MCAT. 

Psych 1 (for majors)
Psych 2 (for non majors)
Soc 1
MCB C61 (Brain, Mind and Behavior)