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University College

Preparation for the study of medicine

Important general information

Students interested in the pre-medicine advising track must obtain a bachelor’s degree and complete the necessary prerequisites for medical school. Students interested in medical school should consult with a pre-health academic adviser to learn about requirements that are specific to the schools of medicine to which they hope to apply.

Admission to and completion of a pre-medical program or advising track does not constitute admission to VCU’s School of Medicine. Students must apply separately to the medical school of their choice at the appropriate time.

Students with an interest in preparing for medical school should declare an academic major while also indicating a pre-medical advising track. Students do not earn a pre-medical degree. Students unsure of their academic majors initially should clarify their academic interests through regular conversations with their advisers. Pre-medical students are encouraged to major in fields of greatest interest to them.

Prerequisites for medical school
The American Association of Medical Colleges recommends students gain a core set of competencies in preparation for the Medical College Admissions Test. The MCAT is taken prior to students applying to medical school and results are weighed heavily in admissions decisions. Students preparing for the MCAT are strongly advised to take courses to build competency in these areas prior to taking the MCAT exam.

Science and non-science courses required for medical school
General biology, cell biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry and physics are required science prerequisites for admission to Medical School.

Other science courses, including genetics, physiology and microbiology, though not required, are strongly recommended for pre-medical students.

Introductory psychology, sociology and statistics are non-science prerequisites required for medical school.

Additional requirements for VCU School of Medicine
In addition to the prerequisites listed above, VCU School of Medicine requires pre-medical students to take two semesters of English composition and two semesters of mathematics (general statistics can count as one semester).

Prerequisites for medical school

VCU courses Credits
   
BIOL 151 Introduction to Biological Sciences I 3
BIOZ 151 Introduction to Biological Sciences Laboratory I 1
BIOL 152 Introduction to Biological Sciences II 3
BIOZ 152 Introduction to Biological Sciences Laboratory II 1
BIOL 218 Cell Biology 3
CHEM 101 General Chemistry 3
CHEZ 101 General Chemistry Laboratory I 1
CHEM 102 General Chemistry 3
CHEZ 102 General Chemistry Laboratory II 1
CHEM 301 Organic Chemistry 3
CHEZ 301 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I 2
CHEM 302 Organic Chemistry 3
CHEZ 302 Organic Chemistry Laboratory II 2
CHEM/BIOC 403 Biochemistry I 3
MATH 151 Precalculus Mathematics 4
PHYS 201 General Physics or PHYS 207 University Physics I* 4-5
PHYS 202 General Physics or PHYS 208 University Physics II** 4-5
PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology 4
SOCY 101 General Sociology 3
STAT 210 Basic Practice of Statistics 3
UNIV 111 Focused Inquiry I 3
UNIV 112 Focused Inquiry II 3
   
Total minimum prerequisites 60-62
   
Elective and major requirements to complete degree program 58-60

*Math 200 Calculus with Analytic Geometry I is a prerequisite for PHYS 207
**Math 201 Calculus with Analytic Geometry II is a prerequisite for PHYS 208

Sample curriculum outline Credits
   
Fall semester, freshman year  
BIOL 151 Introduction to Biological Sciences I 3
BIOZ 151 Introduction to Biological Sciences Laboratory I 1
CHEM 101 General Chemistry 3
CHEZ 101 General Chemistry Laboratory I 1
MATH 151 Precalculus Mathematics 4
UNIV 111 Focused Inquiry I 3
Total 15
   
Spring semester, freshman year  
BIOL 152 Introduction to Biological Sciences II 3
BIOZ 152 Introduction to Biological Sciences Laboratory II 1
CHEM 102 General Chemistry 3
CHEZ 102 General Chemistry Laboratory II 1
SOCY 101 General Sociology 3
UNIV 112 Focused Inquiry II 3
Total 14
   
Fall semester, sophomore year  
BIOL 218 Cell Biology 3
CHEM 301 Organic Chemistry 3
CHEZ 301 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I 2
PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology 4
STAT 210 Basic Practice of Statistics 3
Total 15
   
Spring semester, sophomore year  
CHEM 302 Organic Chemistry 3
CHEZ 302 Organic Chemistry Laboratory II 2
Electives or major requirements 10-11
Total 15-16
   
Fall semester, junior year  
CHEM/BIOC 403 Biochemistry I 3
PHYS 201 General Physics or PHYS 207 University Physics I 4-5
Electives or major requirements 8
Total 15-16
   
Spring semester, junior year  
PHYS 202 General Physics II or PHYS 208 University Physics II 4-5
Electives or major requirements 11
Total 15-16
   
Senior year  
Credits to complete degree program 28-31
   
Total minimum requirement 120
 

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Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, Virginia
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Last update: 5/21/2013

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