Pre-Med/Pre-Health Profession Courses

Most health profession schools require one year with lab of:

General Chemistry  1 year with lab
Organic Chemistry 1 year with lab
Biology 1 year with lab
Physics 1 year with lab

Many health professions schools also require:

English 1 year
Mathematics 1-2 semesters
Social, Behavioral Sciences and the Humanities  expected for MCAT 2015

The most common course requirements for admission to health professions training programs can be fulfilled at Brown University by taking the courses detailed below. *Courses offered during the summer as well as the regular academic year are noted with an asterisk. Individual schools and professions may have additional requirements.

M.D. programs are in the process of reviewing their course requirements for Fall 2016 admission (applying in summer 2015). This website will be updated periodically as more concrete information becomes available. It is your responsibility to be certain that you have taken all required courses for the schools to which you intend to apply. 

Students who aspire to enter medical school should consult the following:

  • For admission to M.D. Programs: The Association of American Medical Colleges publishes the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR), an on-line system accompanied by a printed publication- "MSAR: Getting Started". We recommend you consult both. Previous years' print versions of the MSAR and the current "MSAR: Getting Started" are available for reference in our library in University Hall 213. The MSAR is available on the AAMC website:
  • For admission to D.O. Programs: The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) issues the OMCIB, which is available for free download on their web site (in March) and as a book in University Hall 213.
  • Other professions, such as dentistry and veterinary medicine, have publications and websites that can help you determine which additional courses you might need to take. Copies of their publications are also available in University Hall 213.


General/ Inorganic Chemistry: 2 semesters with lab 

CHEM 0330* and one more course with lab - OR- CHEM 0100 and CHEM 0330*


  • Most students start with CHEM 0330 and must take an additional course. Suggested: CHEM 0400, CHEM 0500, or BIOL 0280. The latter is accepted by most schools in lieu of a semester of general chemistry in combination with CHEM 0330. Some programs require a 5-course sequence (4 semesters of general chemistry with lab and 1 semester of biochemistry). A PDF list is appended below.
  • Pre-vets: if you start with CHEM 0330, you should take CHEM 0500 for schools that require the 5-course sequence, including Biochemistry.
  • Brown does not accept AP scores in Chemistry for transcript notation. 


Organic Chemistry: 2 semesters with lab 

CHEM 0350* and CHEM 0360


Biology: 2 semesters with lab 

BIOL 0200 and one more course with lab (any course above BIOL 0200)


  • All students without AP Biology start the biology sequence wtih BIOL 0200. Some schools require specific courses in biology. 
  • Even if you have AP Biology, you should take two biology courses with laboratory at Brown. Non-science concentrators are encouraged to take additional biology course work (no lab required).
  • Neuroscience courses with lab are accepted by most schools as biology with lab. 


Physics: 2 semesters with lab 

PHYS 0030* and 0040* - OR- PHYS 0050 and PHYS 0060 - OR- PHYS 0070 and PHYS 0160


  • Students planning to concentrate in engineering can satisfy the physics requirement with ENGN 0030 and ENGN 0040.  If your concentration changes and you have already completed ENGN 00300, take PHYS 0040 or higher. 


English: 2 semesters 

Any two courses in English Literature, College Composition (Expository Writing), or Literature in translation to English.


  • Courses offered outside the English Department that meet these criteria are acceptable. Courses that do not meet these criteria do not count even if they require extensive reading or writing assessments.
  • WRIT- designated courses offered by science departments will not satisfy the English requirement.
  • Health Careers Advising cannot endorse any particular course. The three categories above meet the requirement. 


Mathematics: 2 semesters 

Any two college-level mathematics courses, at least one being Calculus. For Calculus choose from MATH 0090*, MATH 0010*, MATH 0170, MATH 0180, or MATH 0190


  • A very small number of schools (e.g. Harvard, Washington University in St. Louis, Johns Hopkins) require a full year of calculus at present. 
  • Students with AP scores in calculus (that place them out of MATH 0090 or both MATH 0090 and MATH 0010) should still take at least one semester of college math appropriate for their level of preparation. 


Also to consider 


BIOL 0280. One semester of this subject is required by a growing number of U.S. medical schools. Schools that do not require biochemistry usually recommend it. Seven Canadian medical schools require or recommend a varying number of biochemistry courses (Alberta, British Columbia, Calgary, Manitoba, Ottawa, Saskatchewan and Laval).  For a complete list of schools' Biochemistry expectations consult the list of US and Canadian M.D. Schools that Require Biochemistry

Social, Behavioral Sciences and the Humanities 

Education in and practice of health and medicine are constantly evolving and require broad competencies not only in the sciences, but also in the social context of medicine. We encourage Brown students to explore their academic interests broadly and to include course work and activities that connect them with their chosen health career's broader social, scientific, and humanistic contexts. Consider taking courses in psychology, anthropology, sociology or public health.

Medical schools are amending course requirements to reflect their expectation that students engage in a broad program of study. The MCAT will also be modified in 2015, in such a way that broader awareness of the social and behavioral sciences, and the humanities will be important. Health Careers Advising monitors these developments and will assist you with your course and activities planning so that you meet the expectations and requirements of the Association of American Medical Colleges and individual medical schools.

Consult the websites below for current information on these issues. Additional resources will be available in late 2013 and in 2014.

* AAMC MCAT2015 website for students:

* AAMC MCAT2015 Preview Guide:

* AAMC Presentation on MCAT2015 for students: