Premedical Course Requirements

TUSM encourages applicants from all disciplines to apply and we do not favor any particular undergraduate major. The premedical requirements listed below are what we feel will prepare applicants best for the scientific basis of your medical education. In preparation for being a successful medical student and physician, we strongly encourage applicants to obtain a broad based liberal arts education. Course work may include studies in ethics, philosophy, sociology, psychology, history and the arts. Knowledge of a second language is strongly encouraged. All of this will contribute to a well educated and balanced physician. 

Some prerequisites are defined in terms of coursework and others are defined in terms of competencies.

Courses taken to fulfill prerequisites are expected to be those courses designated for undergraduate science majors. Prerequisite coursework is defined in terms of traditional academic years and semesters. Many undergraduate institutions offer courses in other formats, and we will accept the courses and/or sequences that your undergraduate school offers as equivalencies to traditional semester courses and sequences. If you have taken courses in more than one format, you are welcome to apply if you believe your aggregate curriculum is equivalent to our prerequisites.

TUSM defines competency as a specific learned ability demonstrating at least an entry-level skill set (knowledge, reflection, reasoning, curiosity, interpretive ability) to succeed in medical school. Competencies may be gained though a variety of means including but not limited to scholarly activities such as formal courses, work and life experiences.  

Coursework Prerequisites:

Biology: Full year of introductory or advanced biology coursework. Any courses offered by the biology department for science majors are acceptable.

Chemistry: Two years of chemistry coursework that includes at least one semester course in general chemistry and one semester course in organic chemistry. A semester course in biochemistry is highly recommended and may count towards the two year total. Examples (in semesters): 2 general + 2 organic, or 2 general + 1 organic + 1 biochemistry, or 1 general + 2 organic + 1 biochemistry

Physics: A semester of physics coursework. Any course offered by the physics department for science majors is acceptable.

Advanced Placement: For biology and physics, AP credit does not reduce required coursework. Applicants with AP credit in these disciplines are expected to take a full year of college coursework in biology and a semester of college coursework in physics. For chemistry, AP credit may be applied toward the general chemistry requirement and as one semester of the two years total required coursework. Applicants with AP credit in chemistry must present at least a year and a half of college chemistry coursework that includes at least one semester course in organic chemistry. Examples (in semesters): 1 AP + 1 general + 2 organic or 1 AP + 1 general + 1 organic + 1 biochemistry or 1 AP + 2 organic + 1 biochemistry

Exemption Exams: Do not apply toward course prerequisites.

Competency Prerequisites:

English: Competency in spoken and written English. Literature coursework is not required. Completing a bachelor’s degree in an English speaking college or university demonstrates this competency.

Math: Competency in the basic concepts of statistics. May be acquired through an introductory course in statistics, as a topic in a science or social science course, or through experience with a research project.

Biology: Competency in Mendelian Genetics as well as Cell and Molecular Biology. Usually acquired in introductory biology courses. Upper level courses in genetics and/or cell and molecular biology are helpful but not required.

Laboratory: Competency in laboratory skills equivalent to two years of laboratory course work. Usually acquired in the laboratory sections of biology and chemistry courses. Laboratory experience in other settings, including employment settings, is also acceptable. Applicants are generally expected to take the laboratory component of undergraduate science courses when available.

Coursework FAQ:

  • TUSM does not have a policy prohibiting applicants from taking prerequisite courses at community colleges or online, although, in general, an application will be more competitive if the prerequisite courses are taken in a traditional classroom format at a selective four-year school.
  • Courses need to be completed prior to enrollment, but not necessarily prior to application.  Applicants may take courses during the application year.
  • TUSM does not have an expiration policy regarding prerequisite courses.