UC Berkeley courses that most students use to fulfill requirements
General 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 MCB C100A/100B (both must be taken), Chem C130 N 100b (C130 is equivalent to 100A, so taking 100B is required to fulfill the Biochem requirement) or BioE 103 (for BioE majors only) Medical schools look for course work that includes cellular metabolism.
- If you are in the College of Chemistry, you would instead take Chem 4A, 12A, 12B, and an upper-division biochemistry course.
Note: Please see the Chemistry series document to learn how to list your Chemistry courses on a med school secondary application.
The sequence must all be taken at Berkeley. If one of the Chem courses is taken elsewhere, then a student needs to add Chem 1B and lab
Most schools require 2 semesters. The most typical sequences are:
- Physics 8A and 8B
- Physics 7A and 7B
Medical schools require one year of Biology with lab. Students fulfill this by taking Bio1B (lab included), Bio1A/1AL. (Substituting another MCB course for Bio 1B is not recommended, since medical schools vary as to what they take as a substitute for Bio 1B. In order to apply broadly, Bio 1B is recommended.
Some schools require an upper division Biology course, as well. Any course in MCB or IB should fulfill this requirement. Some suggested courses: Immunology, Histology, Physiology, Genetics, Neurobiology, Anatomy
Math 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
- Math 10A* & 10B*
- Math 16A & 16B
- Math 53 & 54
Common stats courses at Berkeley:
- Stats 2
- Stats 20
- Stats 131A
- Public Health 142
- Data 8 (must take a connector course to count as fulfillment of stats requirement)
*The Math 10 series fulfills both the math AND statistics requirement for medical school admissions including Texas medical schools.
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.
Some medical schools require coursework in the behavioral and social sciences
We recommend exposure to these topics as part of your preparation for the Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior section of the MCAT.