Academic Requirements for Medical School
Prior to sitting for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) prospective applicants should complete the following virtually universal minimum requirements for American medical schools:
- 2 semesters of English Composition (includes ENG 190 and any JINS course at Truman)
- 2 semesters of General Biology with lab (BIOL 107-108)
- 2 semesters of College Physics with lab:
Non-Calculus: PHYS 185-186 or
With Calculus: PHYS 195-196
- 2 semesters of General Chemistry with lab (CHEM 130-131)
- 2 semesters of Organic Chemistry with lab (CHEM 329, 330, 331, and 332; or 333 in place of 330 and 332)
Some schools have additional requirements and/or “strong recommendations.” Information and data about specific schools and their requirements, as well as other valuable advice, may be found at the AAMC website.
Beginning with the spring 2015 MCAT, students will also need to demonstrate competencies in Biochemistry (CHEM 335) and the social sciences of Psychology and Sociology. The knowledge and skills will likely be covered in introductory level courses offered at Truman, however, a final mapping of test and course concepts is not complete. Past practice shows that many pre-med students do take General Psychology (PSYC 166) at Truman or another campus early in their academic careers. Sociological Inquiry (SOAN 190) is currently offered both online and on campus at Truman.
Grades and Course Load
The detailed academic record is the prime indicator of an applicant’s talent, performance, and judgment. In general, admissions committees like to see evidence that you can do well while carrying a substantial course load (15-17 credit hours), but remember: you must establish a very good GPA, and it may be very difficult to do so with a heavy course load. Medical schools look for A’s and B’s in classes overall. Faced with the prospect of a C, some students will want to withdraw (W) and try for a higher grade later. More than two W’s indicates a lack of judgment and an inability to handle difficult situations. Remember, course withdrawals must be recorded on medical school applications.