What Are the Requirements to Get Into Med School?

A medical (med) school provides the necessary education for students who wish to pursue careers as physicians or medical scientists. This article details the requirements for getting into med school. Read on for further information. Schools offering Health Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

About Medical School

Admission into medical school requires students to hold specific prerequisite courses and a high GPA, as well as passing scores on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Medical schools are designed to provide students with the education and training required to practice as physicians or medical researchers. While there are a variety of specialties that students may choose to pursue, all such students generally begin by learning the same basic skills. These four-year programs introduce students to subjects such as anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, pathology and pharmacology; therefore, an undergraduate degree in the sciences can provide med students a basic foundation.

Important Facts About Medical School

Prerequisites School-specific required scores on the MCAT test
Concentrations A variety of specific focuses are available depending on school choice (neurology, pediatrics, surgical, etc.); requirements for specialization programs may vary
Degrees/Certificates M.D. is the most common option, though some schools offer a dual B.S./M.D. or a dual Ph.D./M.D. program
Possible Careers Surgeon, Family Practitioner, Pediatrician, among others

Undergraduate Coursework

Individuals who are interested in attending medical school must first complete certain undergraduate courses outlined by the medical school. Largely science-related, the courses introduce students to many of the basic topics that they will encounter in medical school. The majority of these institutions require that students already have completed at least one year of general biology, physics, general chemistry, organic chemistry, calculus and English. While students are not necessarily required to have majored in a scientific discipline, they must complete the courses mentioned above. Admission is very competitive, therefore, a high grade point average (GPA) is often required. In fact, most medical schools only consider students who have maintained a 3.5 GPA or higher.

Medical College Admission Test

The Medical College Admission Test is required for students who are applying to medical school. The exam is administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and is designed to assess a variety of skills such as problem-solving, writing and critical-thinking. Knowledge of basic scientific concepts are also tested. An applicant's MCAT score weighs heavily in the admissions process.

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