Pre-Med Courses | Pre-Med Class Requirements | Prep Expert

Every year thousands of college students label themselves “pre-med” and declare majors like biology, chemistry, psychology, and biochemistry.

While the world always needs more people to work in the medical field, many of the people who use the term “pre-med” do so without fully understanding what the term means or the requirements necessary to accomplish this goal.

In fact, only 16.5% of students who intended to be a pre-med student actually graduate college with the required coursework for medical schools.

This guide will help you understand what it means to be a pre-med student as well as how you can improve your chances of getting into medical school after you graduate:

Here are a few pre-med class recommendations to think about when entering college, alongside some additional tips and skills you should know.

Don’t forget to check out our various SAT prep and ACT prep course options as well as our admissions consulting services.

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What Does “Pre-Med” Mean?

If you’ve asked any college students you know about their majors you have probably heard terms like pre-med and pre-law before.

Being pre-med does not mean that someone has already been pre-accepted into a medical school or that they are going to become a doctor. All this term means is that they have future plans of attending medical schools so they are taking the courses necessary to prepare them for this step.

That’s why a student can say they are pre-med while they are majoring in a subject like biology or chemistry. Pre-med is not their major, it is their intention.

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Basic Pre-Med Prerequisite Courses

Pre-med students need to take the classes that medical schools will require or encourage them to take in order to be accepted into the school.

Almost every medical school requires the following courses:

  • One year of Biology with lab
  • One year of General Chemistry with lab
  • One year of Organic Chemistry with lab
  • One semester of Biochemistry
  • One year of Physics with lab
  • One year of English

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Popular Pre-Med Majors

There are a few majors that students tend to migrate towards a lot.

Here is a taste of those majors to consider:

  • Human Biology
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Chemistry/Biochemistry
  • Philosophy

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Recommended Pre-Med Classes To Take

Here are a number of other recommended electives to check out that will help:

  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Calculus
  • Ethics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Statistics
  • Genetics
  • Humanities
  • Public Health
  • Human Physiology

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Preparing for medical school

While taking these courses is important, there are more steps that students need to take to be ready for medical school. Here are some strategies you should consider if you plan on going to medical school in the future:

Start early

You can start preparing for medical school before you even graduate from high school. It’s never too early to adopt strong study habits, take rigorous college prep courses, and build a GPA that will provide a great foundation for your college career as a pre-med student. 

Once you are in college, it is important for you to knock out the required courses you’ll need to take for medical school as soon as possible.

Try to schedule the math and science courses and labs that you will need for medical school early so that you aren’t struggling to fit them into your schedule at the last minute. By doing this you can make sure you aren’t overextending yourself or at jeopardy of missing out on medical school prerequisites during your junior and senior years of college. Getting these classes out of the way early will also help give you more room in your schedule to earn a minor, take fun classes outside of your major that will make you more marketable and well-rounded, and take advantage of internships or study abroad opportunities.

Maintain a high GPA

Just like when you apply to colleges, your GPA is going to be a big part of your medical school applications.

Medical schools only accept their top applicants, so if your GPA is less than stellar, you may not get into your top choices. 

While your math and science classes will take priority, you shouldn’t allow your grades for your outside classes to slip. Medical schools will review your undergraduate transcript and all of your grades, even those that aren’t directly related to math and science.

Pursue a variety of experiences

The most promising pre-med students are not the ones who did nothing throughout their undergraduate career aside from earning “A’s” in their classes.

Medical schools want well-rounded students who have experiences that will make them better health care professionals. If your application shows that you’ve spent time volunteering or interning at medical facilities or otherwise gaining hands-on experience, you will stand out among the crowd of students who only have knowledge gained in the classroom.

Getting into medical school is attainable, but you have to make sure you start preparing early. 

Medical School Admission Quick Tips

When pursuing your pre-med route, keep these tips in mind that will help you get into medical school.

Don’t Procrastinate. Be Proactive. – If you’ve decided on pursuing a pre-med path before college, then take advantage of your first two years.

Use that time to knock out your basic medical school requirements. Not only will this relieve pressure on your mind, but you can use the remaining time in your undergraduate career for other activities.

Many pre-med students use their remaining two years to study abroad, take a variety of different electives to broaden their horizons, or pursue an additional, non-science related major or minor.

By taking that heavy load on upfront, you will make the rest of your college experience much more fruitful and memorable

Use Your Time Wisely – While handling your prerequisites during undergrad study, take the time to check our different medical specialties.

For example, if you’re interested in neurology, then don’t be afraid to take classes like biology, psychology, physics, anatomy, etc. Interested in becoming a pediatrician?

If so, then taking courses in child development, psychology, sociology, etc. will help provide a base for you to build upon later on. Plus, if you demonstrate a long-running interest in a specialty, then your chances of gaining a helpful residency increase.

Understand How To Focus Your Studying – When it comes to medical school admission boards, your grades normally matter much more than your transcript.

Medical schools heavily weigh your GPA when evaluating potential candidates. That’s why it’s important to not only focus on your science-related courses (since they’ll be viewed more heavily) but also your other classes too.

That focus level will keep your GPA as high as possible during your undergraduate career. Understand that while the science courses take more precedent, you can’t let anything slide.

Learn Outside The Classroom – Most medical schools expect candidates to gain some basic medical experience before applying. If you’re planning to apply after graduation, then make sure to either volunteer or get a paid job at a medical care facility.

Primary care experience is valued highly, so keep an eye out for hospitals and clinics first. You can meet this requirement and acquire basic experience in dealing with patients. If a hospital or primary care clinic doesn’t interest you, then there are other available options to choose from.

For example, volunteering at nursing homes or hospices counts, and provides similar patient care experience. Either way, set aside time, to provide your time to a medical facility.

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How Prep Expert Can Help You

Before thinking about “pre-med” classes, you need to get into college first. A huge step in that direction is scoring well on either the SAT or ACT.

Taught by our high scoring instructors, Prep Expert’s strategies are put into practice through our homework assignments and weekly practice tests. This material helps you easily address your problem areas.

Ultimately, our aim is to help you achieve your school and life goals by providing the tools to overcome this first hurdle in the process – your test score.

Be sure to check out our various class options, from in-person, live online, to self-paced video on demand, to find one that fits your schedule. Our classes are available year-round, so there’s no reason to wait.

For more test strategy, college admissions, and scholarship application tips sign up for our FREE class happening right now!

We also have an article for pre law course recommendations.

Pre-Med FAQ

What does pre-med mean?

When you apply to most schools, you’ll see that pre-med isn’t a specifically defined major option. It’s simply a designation of your future plans to attend medical school.

What are some popular pre-med majors?

Human Biology, Biology, Psychology, Chemistry/Biochemistry, Philosophy.

What specific classes I should take as a pre-med major?

Biochemistry, Biology, Calculus, Ethics, Psychology, Sociology, Statistics, Genetics, Humanities, Public Health, Human Physiology.

What are some pre-med prerequisite courses?

One year of Biology with lab, One year of General Chemistry with lab, One year of Organic Chemistry with lab, One semester of Biochemistry, One year of Physics with lab, One year of English.