Academic Requirements

Course Requirements
(for nearly all medical schools)

  • One year of general or inorganic chemistry with lab
  • One year of organic chemistry with lab
  • One year of general physics with lab
  • One year of general biology with lab
  • One year of English

Additional Course Requirements

  • Over 50 medical schools require one or two semesters of mathematics (calculus and statistics)
  • Nearly 30 medical schools currently require 1 semester of biochemistry, and this number is expected to increase.
  • Many schools also recommend students take additional coursework in psychology and sociology, as the MCAT focuses on concepts in biochemistry, statistics, psychology and sociology in addition to the concepts taught in the core course requirements.

Note: Since the specific pre-med course requirements vary from school to school, students should refer to the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) or to medical schools' individual web sites to identify the course requirements for particular school(s).

Introductory Biology (2 semesters)
  • Bio 101F and Bio 102S; or
  • Bio 115F and Bio 248S, 331S, 346F, or 357F

Bio 101 is taught only in the fall semester and Bio 102 only in the spring but these courses do not have to be taken in sequence. Alternatively, students that scored a 4 or 5 on the AP Biology exam may be able to enroll in the department's advanced introductory course, 115. Bio 115 is best suited for students interested in biochemistry or biology as majors or in research in this area. Students who are taking biology to satisfy premed requirements will be better served taking Bio 101 and 102 to cover the breadth of biological topics. Students who take 115 will need to also enroll in an additional biology course to satisfy the pre-med full-year requirement. Courses focusing on genetics, molecular biology, and cell biology (Bio 248, 331, 346, and 357) are the best follow-ups to 115. Note: Students who wish to major in biology and pursue semester study abroad may find it difficult to fulfill the premed requirements along with the requirements necessary for a biology major if they do not take Bio 101 in the first semester of freshman year.

General Chemistry (2 semesters) and Organic Chemistry (2 semesters)
  • Chem 120F or 125F
  • Chem 190S
  • Chem 255F
  • Chem 265S or 270S (to complete the General Chemistry requirement)

Medical schools have historically required a full year of general chemistry and a full year of Organic. Hamilton’s Chemistry Department’s introductory course is a one-semester course (120 or 125 with AP credit) and students must fulfill the year of general chemistry by taking either Chem 270 (Biological Chemistry) or Chem 265 (Inorganic and Materials).

In addition, most medical schools now also require Biochemistry. Note that Chem 270 (Biological Chemistry) may not fulfill a school’s biochemistry requirement if it is being “counted” toward the one year of general chemistry.

There are two options for fulfilling the chem and biochem requirements (option #1 will provide better preparation for the MCAT):

  1. Chem 120F (Principles), Chem 190S (Orgo I), Chem 255F (Orgo II), Chem 270S (Biological Chemistry), and Bio 346F (Biochemistry)
  2. Chem 120F (Principles), Chem 190S (Orgo I), Chem 255F (Orgo II), Chem 265S (Inorganic and Materials), and Chem 270S (Biological Chemistry)

Note: If you do not elect to take general chemistry in the first semester of freshman year and would like to study abroad, it will not be possible to fulfill all the requirements for a chemistry or biochemistry concentration.

Biochemistry (1 semester)
  • Chem 270S; or
  • Bio 346F

Most medical schools now require Biochemistry.  If Chem 270 (Biological Chemistry) is taken to fulfill the two-semester requirement for general chemistry, it will not also fulfill a medical school's biochemistry requirement. If Chem 265 (Inorganic and Materials Chemistry) is taken to fulfill the two-semester requirement for general chemistry, then Chem 270 can be counted to fulfill the biochemistry requirement for medical schools. Due to the heavy emphasis of biochemistry on the MCAT, it is recommended that pre-med students take Chem 270 as well as Biochemistry 346.

Physics (2 semesters)
  • Phys 100F and  Phys 105S; or
  • Phys 190F and Phys 195S; or 
  • Phys 200F and  Phys 205S

Physics courses are sequential at Hamilton. There are three paths you can take to complete the physics pre-med requirement. The Physics Department offers two year-long sequences of introductory courses designed for pre-med students that differ only in the level of mathematics used in them: 100 and 105 are algebra-based while 200 and 205 are calculus-based.  Calculus 113 and 114 are prerequisites for the 200-205 sequence. You should choose the sequence that best reflects your mathematical comfort level, but keep in mind that calculus is the "natural language" of physics and you may gain a better appreciation of the science through a calculus-based class as opposed to an algebra-based one. Note: If you are considering concentrating in physics or pursuing more courses offered by the Department in the future, then you should take 190 and 195, the introductory sequence designed for physics majors.

English/Literature (2 semesters)

Virtually any combination of classes offered by the Literature and Creative Writing Department will satisfy the English pre-med requirement. Writing-intensive classes outside of the Literature Department do not necessarily fulfill this requirement; check individual medical schools' policies.

Calculus/Statistics/College Mathematics (2 semesters)
  • Math 113F,S (Calculus I)
  • Math 116F,S (Calculus II)
  • Math 253F,S (Statistical Analysis of Data) or Psych 201 F,S (Statistics and Research Methods in Psychology) or Bio 202F (Research Design and Biostatistics)

All schools appreciate mathematical competence as a strong foundation for understanding the basic sciences. In addition, a working knowledge of statistics helps both medical students and physicians to become critical evaluators of the medical literature, thus, success on the 2015 MCAT will likely depend on a solid understanding of statistics. Furthermore, calculus courses may be required as prerequisites for many of the upper level science courses in the Hamilton curriculum. For many students, it may be a good idea to take one semester of calculus and one semester of statistics (i.e. Math113⇒Math253 or Math 116 (if AP credit) ⇒Math253) even if the schools they are applying to don't require them. Students considering a major in either Psychology or Neuroscience should choose Psych 201 (rather than Math 253) since it is required for both majors.

Recommended: Psychology & Sociology (1 semester each)
  • Psych 101 F,S
  • Socio 101 F,S (Introductory Sociology) or 226F (Sociology of Health & Illness)

In preparation for the 2015 MCAT, it is recommended that students elect to take a psychology and sociology course. Upper level courses may be elected with prior AP credit.

Contact Information

Career Center

Third floor of Bristol Center
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323 
315-859-4346 ccadmin@hamilton.edu

Contact Information

Leslie Bell

Director of Health Professions Advising
315-859-4338 lbell@hamilton.edu
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