Minimum Requirements for Medical and Dental School
Note: These are general recommendations—please view the references listed below for expectations/requirements of specific medical and dental schools.
- Biology: BIOL 1107 + 1108
- Pre-medical students can skip BIOL 1108 if they wish, as long as they take at least one additional, upper-level BIOL course with a laboratory component
- Pre-dental students must take BIOL 1108 as a part of their preparation
- Chemistry: CHEM 1124 + 1125 + 1126 or CHEM 1127 + 1128
- Organic Chemistry: CHEM 2443 + 2444 + 2445
- Biochemistry: MCB 2000 (requirement varies for dental schools)
- Physics: PHYS 1201 + 1202 (w/ Algebra) or PHYS 1401 + 1402 (w/ Calculus) or PHYS 1501 + 1502 (for engineers)
- English: One year (two semesters) of English classes
- Math/Statistics: Math requirements vary by school.
- Most medical schools recommend 1-2 semesters of college-level mathematics, such as one semester of Statistics and/or one semester of Calculus (please see school-specific information below)
- Some dental schools require Statistics or Calculus; the DAT includes basic Algebra
- Strongly suggested science courses:
- Genetics: MCB 2400/2410
- Cell Biology: MCB 2210
- Microbiology: MCB 2610 (required by some dental schools)
- Suggested Behavioral and Social Sciences:
- Psychology: PSYC 1100 + 1101
- List of health-related courses in non-STEM disciplines
To explore the required and recommended pre-medical coursework for each school, including AP, community college and online course credits, please review the AMCAS MSAR Reports' Premedical Coursework Chart, as well as the tab on the top of the current webpage detailing Advanced Placement (AP) Credit Policies.
NOTE: The specific courses recommended by the Pre-Medical & Pre-Dental Advising Office will meet the admission requirements of the majority of the medical and dental colleges in the United States. Visit the ADEA's page on dental school prerequisites for more information about dental school expectations. If you are interested in a particular medical or dental school, consult its catalog and/or the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR), Choose DO Explorer, or ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools to discover any course(s) specially required by that school.
Sample Course Timeline
As a way to help plan the trajectory of your coursework, review our Sample Course Timeline below. Note that only courses highlighted in yellow are required courses. All required courses should be completed by the time prospective applicants sit for their standardized exam (e.g. MCAT, DAT, etc.).
This represents the "traditional" timeline that sets students up to go straight into a health professions program after graduation—it does not account for a growth year trajectory or pursuing a pre-health path after freshman year, both of which are extremely viable and valuable options. About 22% of medical applicants report annually that they decided to pursue medical school during their first two years of college, according to the AAMC. Plans will vary for every student depending on your major and when you decide to dedicate yourself to a pre-health path, so make sure to discuss your plan with our office as well as your assigned academic advisor.
Summer Coursework + Community College Classes
For any prerequisite coursework, our office recommends taking classes during the course of the regular semester and at a four-year institution if possible. We understand that for many, summer courses and/or community college courses make more sense, both financially and time-wise, and that’s fine (especially for those that may have chosen to pursue a pre-health path later in their undergraduate career). However, to show full mastery of the preparatory coursework, it is best to take the course at full length and rigor. To see which MD schools accept AP, community college, and online coursework, click here.
If you are are trying to figure out a path forward with your coursework, our office encourages you to make an appointment with one of our advisors to discuss your plan. It is always important to consider why you are choosing to take summer or community college coursework—if you do, make sure to have a clear reason for the choice. Note that taking other coursework (i.e. general education requirements or electives), is completely fine.
If you are worried about finishing your required classes before your anticipated graduation date, remember that there are other options you can explore as well. You can always take courses as a non-degree student, either at UConn or at another four-year institution, or you can enroll in a Post-Baccalaureate program or master's program in a science area. To learn more about Post-Bacc programs, we encourage you to explore information about the UConn Pre-Medical and Health Professions Post-Baccalaureate Program.
Retaking Required Pre-Medical/Dental Courses
Our office recommends that any grade that is a B- or lower can be considered as something a student might want to retake; anything above a B- typically won’t worry an admissions committee. If you are consistently struggling with your science prerequisite courses or debating a course retake, we would encourage you to make an appointment with one of our advisors to discuss strategies for success or options available to you.
All courses posted to your UConn transcript will be factored into your GPA calculation for professional schools. Although UConn replaces your prior grade with your retake grade, both will be counted when the application services calculate your cumulative undergraduate GPA, as well as your science GPA. This means that you can raise your average, but potentially not as much as anticipated. Regardless, an improved grade in a class does still show strong capacity for improvement and holds value for admissions committees.
For any prerequisite coursework, our office recommends taking classes during the course of the fall/spring semesters and at a four-year institution if possible, but we realize that this may not be an option for all students. For course retakes, this becomes less important, but to show complete mastery in any subject area, we would still recommend taking it at UConn during the fall or spring semester if that option is available.
If you are worried about your science GPA upon graduation, remember that there are options you can explore. You can always take courses as a non-degree student to increase your GPA, either at UConn or at another four-year institution, or you can enroll in a Post-Baccalaureate program or master's program in a science area. To learn more about Post-Bacc programs, we encourage you to explore information about the UConn Pre-Medical and Health Professions Post-Baccalaureate Program.