UWSOM Pre-medical Course Requirements

The premedical course requirements must be completed before matriculating. It is recommended that prerequisite courses be completed prior to submitting an application, but it is acceptable to be finishing coursework during the application process. There is no limit on the time frame during which the courses must be completed, but if you have been out of school for a few years, it is strongly recommended that you have some recent science coursework to demonstrate that you can still do well in a classroom setting.

Undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, graduate-level, and online required courses must be completed at a regionally accredited college, university, or community college. The University of Washington School of Medicine does not have a preference for where applicants receive their degree(s) or where they complete their premedical coursework. Advanced Placement (AP) credits can be used to fulfill the prerequisite requirements as long as your undergraduate institution gives you credit on your transcript and appears (and is verified) on your AMCAS application.

Required Courses; must include a minimum of the following

(this list is for your information and is not exhaustive)

  1. Social sciences, humanities or "human condition" - 4 semesters or 6 quarters

    General types of courses that fulfill these requirements are: anthropology, classics, cultural studies/cross cultural studies, English literature, ethics, foreign language literature, history, philosophy, psychology, religion/theology, sociology, study abroad

  2. Chemistry and biology - 6 semesters or 9 quarters

    The subject matter in these courses must include college level chemistry and biology, biochemistry, molecular genetics, cell biology/cell physiology, although applicants are not required to take courses with these specific titles.
    Although a biochemistry course is not absolutely required, it is very strongly recommended. The Foundations curriculum is taught with the assumption that students arrive with a solid grounding in the fundamentals of molecular genetics and biochemistry, including structure and activity of genes and proteins, and intermediary metabolism. A comprehensive undergraduate biochemistry course is the most expedient way to gain this knowledge.

  3. Physics

  4. 2 semesters or 3 quarters; OR 1 semester or 2 quarters of physics; plus 1 semester or 2 quarters of calculus or linear algebra

General types of courses that will not fulfill these course requirements

(this list is for your information and is not exhaustive):

  • Non-applicable social sciences or humanities: “how to courses”, English composition, English grammar, foreign language composition, foreign language grammar, journalism, leadership, music composition, music lessons, performance (dance, instrument, voice, etc.) research methodology in social sciences (psychological, educational, or sociological)

  • Non-applicable science courses: laboratory courses, research, courses taught by a department other than basic science (for example, courses taught by the nursing department and listed as NURS rather than BIO on your transcript)

The following subject matter is recommended, but not required

  • Biochemistry
  • Ethics
  • Anatomy or comparative anatomy
  • Human or mammalian physiology
  • Embryology

Have I met the premedical course requirements?

If you have questions about whether you have met our prerequisite requirements, please complete the following worksheet and the self-diagnostic tool before contacting our office. We suggest completing the worksheet first and then filling in the self-diagnostic tool. Please note that our requirements are intentionally broad so as not to disqualify otherwise competitive applicants who have pursued a non-traditional educational path.

International courses

International Courses can be accepted to fulfill the prerequisites as long as they have been verified by a bona fide credentials evaluator. This service can be provided by such companies as Foundation for International Services, Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, World Education Services, National Association of Credential Evaluation Services or Association of International Credential Evaluators.  The American Medical College Application Services (AMCAS) will not verify your international transcripts. After submitting your AMCAS application, the UWSOM will need an original copy of your transcripts sent directly from the foreign institution, and a transcript evaluation from a bona fide credentials evaluator.

Under exceptional circumstances, some course requirements may be waived for individuals with unusual achievements and academic promise. All candidates should demonstrate substantial academic ability in their major field as well as in the required science courses. Candidates should be proficient in the use of the English language, basic mathematics, personal computing and information technologies.

All entrants in recent years have fulfilled requirements for a bachelor’s degree. No specific major is advised. A broad background in the humanities and liberal arts is encouraged.