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. All prerequisites should be completed or on track to be complete prior to medical school matriculation. Best results occur when all prerequisite courses have been taken and grades are available at the time of application. Students interested in medical school should consult with a pre-professional health adviser to learn about requirements that are specific to the schools of medicine to which they hope to apply.

Declaration of a pre-medical advising track through the Office of Pre-Professional Health Advising does not constitute admission to the VCU 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 must declare an academic major and should declare and maintain their 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 primary/major academic adviser. Pre-medical students are encouraged to major in fields of greatest interest to them. To declare a pre-medicine advising track, please see the pre-professional health advising blog.

Prerequisites for the VCU School of Medicine

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. Best results on the MCAT occur when all prerequisites have been taken prior to sitting for the MCAT exam. Please see the AAMC website for more information regarding MCAT content.

Science and non-science prerequisite courses required for the VCU School of Medicine

Science prerequisite course work that students must complete for VCU School of Medicine are general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry and physics (eight credits each). Another upper-level biological science course is also required. Courses include but are limited to biochemistry, cell biology, anatomy, embryology, genetics, microbiology, molecular biology, immunology or neuroscience.

In addition to the prerequisites listed above, VCU’s 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). All students also must have clinical exposure to physicians and patients and must have community-based nonclinical community service.

The VCU School of Medicine does not require introductory psychology or sociology as prerequisites, but they are highly recommended. Biochemistry, introductory psychology and introductory sociology are topics covered on the MCAT and are prerequisites for some medical schools. 

VCU’s School of Medicine does accept AP and CLEP credit to meet pre-medical course requirements if these are documented on an official transcript. Please note that lab credit will still be required and applicants may meet lab credit with the lab sections of advanced science courses or practical experience, such as documented relevant experience in a research lab.

Additional resources

VCU offers an introduction to medicine course (offered as a topic under UNIV 291) every spring semester, which is focused on the VCU medical school application process with insight into medical career choices. Students should see their pre-professional health adviser for additional details.  

For more information about the VCU School of Medicine, please visit their website.

Prerequisites for the VCU School of Medicine

Course Title Hours
BIOL 151
BIOZ 151
Introduction to Biological Sciences I
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory I
4
BIOL 152
BIOZ 152
Introduction to Biological Sciences II
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory II
4
BIOL electives (upper-level) 13
CHEM 101
CHEZ 101
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry Laboratory I
4
CHEM 102
CHEZ 102
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry Laboratory II
4
CHEM 301
CHEZ 301
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
5
CHEM 302
CHEZ 302
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
5
MATH 151Precalculus Mathematics4
PHYS 201General Physics I 24-5
or PHYS 207 University Physics I
PHYS 202General Physics II 34-5
or PHYS 208 University Physics II
STAT 210Basic Practice of Statistics3
UNIV 111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IFocused Inquiry I3
UNIV 112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IIFocused Inquiry II3
Total Hours50-52
1

Recommended upper-level biology electives include biochemistry, cell biology, anatomy, embryology, genetics, microbiology, molecular biology, immunology or neuroscience.

2

MATH 200 is a prerequisite for PHYS 207.

3

MATH 201 is a prerequisite for PHYS 208.

Additional recommended prerequisites for medical schools nationwide

Medical schools across the U.S. have different prerequisites for admission. The list below shows courses required by various schools beyond the courses listed above for the VCU School of Medicine. Students should discuss career plans with their pre-professional health adviser for additional guidance.

Course Title Hours
BIOL 300Cellular and Molecular Biology3
BIOL 303Microbiology3
BIOL 310
BIOZ 310
Genetics
and Laboratory in Genetics
5
CHEM 403Biochemistry I3
MATH 200Calculus with Analytic Geometry3-4
or SCMA 212 Differential Calculus and Optimization for Business
PHIL 201Critical Thinking About Moral Problems3
PSYC 101 Play VideoPlay course video for Introduction to PsychologyIntroduction to Psychology4
SOCY 101 Play VideoPlay course video for Introduction to SociologyIntroduction to Sociology3

Students should also consult with their pre-professional health advisers to discuss an individual plan of study in parallel with their academic majors.