PrerequisitesUMN Medical School requires medical school applicants to complete seven prerequisite courses at an accredited U.S.-based or Canadian college or university by the time they matriculate to medical school. Please use the Prerequisite Course Checklist to help determine your coursework plan. No particular degree program or institution is given preference over another. Rigor of coursework and competitiveness of the undergraduate institution, however, are taken into consideration.

Once you’ve reviewed the required courses below, be sure to familiarize yourself with the medical student selection criteria.

Required Courses

Biology with lab (1 semester or quarter, any level)

  • Biological sciences coursework with an emphasis on general principles, cell biology, and/or physiology

Chemistry with lab (1 semester or quarter, any level)

  • General or organic chemistry

Additional science courses (4 semesters or quarters; 2 (of the 4) must be upper level)

  • Examples of acceptable subject areas include (but are not limited to): biology, genetics, zoology, botany, parasitology, biochemistry, chemistry (general or organic, but must be in addition to the general or organic chemistry listed above), pharmacology, and physics.

Humanities or social sciences (1 semester or quarter, upper level, writing intensive)

While the sciences are an essential component to be successful in medical school, we are also seeking students who have a broad range of interests and knowledge outside of the scientific realm. The liberal arts education afforded to you as a result of obtaining your baccalaureate degree will allow you to explore your interests and gain additional knowledge to enrich your own intellectual curiosity.

  • Acceptable subject areas include (but are not limited to): english, history, philosophy, political science, psychology, sociology, gender studies, cultural appreciation and theatre. If you have any questions about whether a course is considered a humanities and/or social science, please contact your university's Registrar.
  • If your institution does not designate your intended course as writing intensive in the course title of your transcript, we will consider a humanities/social science course that requires a 10+ page paper. If you intend to utilize this option, please send the syllabus (or other documentation from the Registrar) for the course when you submit your final, official transcripts to the Office of Admissions as a newly accepted student.

Recommended Courses

  • Biochemistry
  • Ethics
  • Genetics
  • Psychology
  • Pharmacology
  • Statistics
  • Foreign language
  • Independent learning courses
  • Seminar-type courses involving small group discussions
  • Social and behavioral sciences and humanities

Other Guidelines

  • A bachelor's degree and all prerequisite courses must be earned by July 1 of the year of matriculation, however exceptions can be made based on personal course schedules.
  • We will accept some of the above prerequisites from an accredited community college. We require you to take all upper-level courses at an accredited four year college or university in the U.S. or Canada.
  • Requirements cannot be fulfilled with College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credits or AP credits. If you received AP credit for courses such as general chemistry or biology, you’ll still need 1 semester of chemistry and biology with labs. This can be an advanced chemistry, organic chemistry, or any advanced biology course. Do not retake coursework for which you already received AP credit.
  • Bachelor's degrees earned internationally will be considered. However, all prerequisite courses need to be completed at an accredited institution in the U.S. or Canada.
  • Upper-level courses are typically those with a course number that begins with a 3 (300 or 3000) or higher. However, we are aware some undergraduate institutions consider 200-level courses as upper division courses or have unique numbering systems, and we will accept equivalent courses in such cases.
  • If your undergraduate institution has a policy in place that barrs non-humanities majors from enrolling in an upper-level humanities course, we will consider exceptions with appropriate documentation. You may be asked to provide documentation of your school's policy as a newly accepted student before matriculation.
  • Prerequisite courses require a letter grade. We will accept S/NS (commonly referred to as Pass/Fall) grades for courses taken in the Spring and Summer of 2020 including prerequisites. Please keep in mind the AMCAS calculated CUM and BCPM GPAs do not account for S/NS grades. We conduct a holistic review of all applications and the academic profile is reviewed in terms of courses taken, grade trends, and final outcomes.

The Office of Admissions cannot provide individual transcript evaluations for applicants. Please utilize the Prerequisite Course Checklist to determine any outstanding coursework. However, we are happy to assist with specific questions. If you have any questions about these policies, please contact the Twin Cities Office of Admissions (, 612-625-7977) or the Duluth Office of Admissions (, 218-726-8511).


Twin Cities Admissions
Phone: 612-625-7977 
Fax: 612-625-8228

420 Delaware St. SE
Mayo Memorial Building, Rm. B639
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Duluth Admissions
Phone: 218-726-8511 
Fax: 218-726-7057

1035 University Drive, 180 Med
Duluth, MN 55812