Admission Requirements for Medical or Dental School

Required/Recommended Courses

Here is a list of courses typically required or recommended by medical and dental schools:


At least two semesters of Biology with labs:

  • BIOL 201
  • BIOL 221/221L/222/222L (A&P - highly recommended)
  • BIOL 309 (Genetics –highly recommended)
  • Also recommended: BIOL 408 (Cell Biology) and BIOL 409 (Molecular Biology)


Two semesters of General Chemistry with labs (Inorganic Chemistry)

  • CHEM 131,131L/132,132L

Two semesters of Organic Chemistry with labs

  • CHEM 331/332

Many med/dental schools now require biochemistry, and it is needed for the new MCAT.

  • CHEM 351


Two semesters of General Physics with labs

  • PHYS 211/212 (non-calculus based) or PHYS 241/242 (calculus based)


Two semesters (calculus and statistics are often required)

  • MATH 211 (Calculus for Applications) or MATH 273 (Calculus I)
  • MATH 237 (Elementary Biostatistics) or PSYC 212 (Behavioral Statistics)


Two writing courses (if they are not designated “ENGL” the application services may not recognize them, so we recommend)

  • ENGL 102 (Writing for a Liberal Education)or ENGL 190 (Honors Writing Seminar)
  • ENGL 310 (Writing Argument), or ENGL 313 (Academic Essay), or ENGL 316 (Writing about Literature), or ENGL 317 (Writing for Business and Industry), or ENGL 318 (Advanced Informational Writing)

Psychology and Sociology:

For the new MCAT, we also highly recommend

  • PSYC 101 (Introduction to Psychology)
  • SOCI 101 (Introduction to Sociology)

Gaining Admission to Medical / Dental School

A student must have an outstanding undergraduate record to be competitive for admission to medical or dental school. Criteria used to evaluate applicants include:

  • academic achievement with emphasis on performance in biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics
  • scores on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) or Dental Admission Test (DAT)
  • motivation to pursue a career in medicine or dentistry
  • clinical and/or research experience
  • participation in extra-curricular activities
  • letter of recommendation prepared by the applicant's undergraduate Pre-Med/Pre-Dent committee (see below)
  • interview with members of the medical or dental admissions committee

Although educational philosophies and specific undergraduate course requirements differ among the nation's medical and dental schools, these institutions recognize the value of a broad undergraduate education including a strong foundation in the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics), well-developed communication skills, and a solid background in the humanities and social sciences.

Program Policy on Granting Committee Interviews and Providing Committee Letters and Letter Packets

Following the Committee Interview, the Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Committee will upon request provide a letter of recommendation to medical/dental schools.  Ordinarily this will be a Composite Letter, also known as a Committee Letter.  This letter is a comprehensive evaluation including impressions from the interview. For a student whose MCAT score is less than the 25th percentile or whose DAT score is less than 17 at the time the letter is requested, a Letter Packet may be offered instead of the Composite Letter.  A Letter Packet consists of all individual recommendation letters that have been submitted to the Committee, along with a brief cover letter.  The Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Committee reserves the right to decline a requested interview by any student whose Grade Point Average is less than 3.0 at the time of the request.