Preparing for a Career in Medicine

There are three types of medical practices.  From the links below you can learn more about the unique characteristics of each type of medical doctor.

Wondering whether you should plan a year between graduation and starting your medical program?  Learn more about taking a "gap year."  Here is another resource regarding "gap or glide years."

Academic Requirements for MD and DO as well as some ND programs

Medical School Prerequisites

Requirement General Description U of A Course Numbers
Biology 8 Semester Hours Biology

MCB 181R & 181L

ECOL 182 R & 182L

General (Inorganic) Chemistry 8 Semester Hours Chemisty

CHEM 151

CHEM 152

Organic Chemistry 8 Semester Hours Organic Chemisty

CHEM 241A & 243A

CHEM 241B & 243B

Physics 8 Semester Hours Physics

PHYS 102&181 and PHYS 103&182

(other levels of Physics may fulfill the requirement as well)

English 6 Semester Hours

English 101& 102 or

English 109H & additional English class, usually composition

College Level Mathematics 3-6 Semester Hours At least Math 112; a few require Calculus


Additional Requirements or Recommendations

Discipline Required/Recommended General Description U of A Course Numbers
Statistics Required for some 3 semester hours

Suggested:  Biostatistics = Math 263

Other stats courses may meet requirement

Anatomy/Physiology Required for U of A COM-Phoenix 3 semester hours PSIO 201 or PSIO 380
Psychology Strongly recommended 3 semester hours PSY 150A1 or PSY 101
Biochemistry Required for some 3 semester hours

One of the Following:

BIOC 385 or 462B **Note: Biochemistry

IS on the MCAT starting 2015


*Requirements are changing and will continue to change at least through 2016 to accommodate the revision of the MCAT in 2015

Application Pathway

The current version of the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) which is required for admission to medical schools will be offered through January, 2015.  Through that date, the MCAT will consist of three content areas:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
  • Verbal Skills

After January, 2015 applicants will take a revised version of the exam which will require competency in disciplines have not previously tested by the MCAT.  The four topics covered will include questions from biochemistry, statistics and research methods as well as the social and behavioral sciences.  The four content areas on the MCAT 2015 are:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
  • Verbal Skill
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences

Some medical schools have already changed their requirements, including both campuses of The University of Arizona's College of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix.  Please note that the requirements for these two programs are not the same and can be found on their respective admissions web sites.

The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) is the centralized application through which you will apply to MD granting institutions (AACOMAS for DO granting institutions) in the United States and Canada.  This is also referred to as the "primary application."  The AMCAS application is a comprehensive application which requests your:

  • Biographical information
  • List of the post-secondary (post-high school) institutions you attended
  • All of your college-level course work including when and where you took the courses, what grade you received and what type of class it was
  • Lists and descriptions of your co-curricular activities
  • Your application essay, also referred to as the Personal Statement (5300 characters including spaces)
  • Additional optional essays (including extra essays for MD/PhD candidates)
  • Letters of Recommendation (to be uploaded or mailed in directly by your letter writers)
  • List of schools to which you are applying

The Naturopathic Medical Schools also have a centralized application service (NDCAS), but not all of the ND granting schools participate in it.  Go to the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Schools web site for more information about applying.


First, Log In to Career Services, then:

    Link to Presentation and Medical Student Panel on Interviewing for Medical School

Fee Assistance Program through AMCAS for the application process

AAMC web site with general preparation/application information

Find a Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) near you for possible shadowing

Pre-Health Professions