Pre-Med/Pre-Health Profession Courses

Most health profession schools require a strong background in science including:

Chemistry - General, Organic, Biochemistry 4-5 semesters with lab
Biology 2 semesters with lab
Physics 2 semesters with lab

Many health professions schools also require:

English 2 semesters
Mathematics 1-2 semesters
Social, Behavioral Sciences and the Humanities 2-3 courses 

The most common course requirements for admission to health professions training programs can be fulfilled at Brown University by taking the courses detailed below. All required courses should be completed for a grade with the exception of mandatory S/NC courses. *Courses offered during the summer as well as the regular academic year are noted with an asterisk here. Individual schools and professions may have additional requirements.

M.D. programs continually review their requirements and expectations. Our website, as well as our newsletter and information sessions, will update you on changes and trends when these are announced by the AAMC and individual programs. However, 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 or other health professions school should consult the following and the list of Brown Courses detailed below:

  • For admission to M.D. Programs: The Association of American Medical Colleges publishes the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR), an online system accompanied by a printed publication - "MSAR: The Official Guide to Medical School Admissions." We recommend you consult both. Previous years' print versions of the "MSAR: The Official Guide to Medical School Admissions" are available for reference in our office library.
  • 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.
  • Other professions, such as Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine (see the Veterinary Medical School Admision Requirements- VMSAR here), have publications and websites that can help you determine which additional courses you might need to take. 
  • Additional helpful details are available on our FAQ page.


Chemistry - General, Organic, Biochemistry: 4-5 semesters with lab 

The great majority of medical, dental and veterinary schools require 4 semesters of chemistry with lab to include general, organic and biochemistry. Some schools require 5 semesters. 

If you place into CHEM 0330:

CHEM 0330, CHEM 0350, CHEM 0360, and BIOL 0280 (some students may also take BIOL 0285 if a school has a specific requirement for a fourth chemistry lab) 

The typical chemistry course sequence at Brown is CHEM 0330 (1 semester of general chemistry with lab), followed by CHEM 0350 and CHEM 0360 (2 semesters of organic chemistry with lab). For the biocheistry requirment, students typically take BIOL 0280. The laboratory couse BIOL 0285 is taken by soem students who are applying to schools with specific requirements and this course may be accepted in lieu of a second semester of general chemistry with lab. 

If you place into CHEM 0100:

CHEM 0100, CHEM 0330, CHEM 0350, CHEM 0360, BIOL 0280 (and perhaps BIOL 0285, if needed)

Students who place into CHEM 0100 follow it with the typical course sequence listed above.


  • The Chemistry Department at Brown has approved recent changes to their course equivalency notation policy for select AP Chemistry scores. Here is the updated policy with the key information in italics: Students with a reported score of 4 or 5 on the AP chemistry exam can place into CHEM 0330 without taking the Brown Chemistry Placement Exam. A retroactive placement notation for CHEM 0100 can be granted with a minimum AP Chemistry score of 3 and upon successful completion of CHEM 0330. The biggest change in this updated policy is that if you have a 3 or higher AP score and have completed CHEM 300, you can now have placement notation for CHEM 0100 on your transcript. If you wish to add this notation to your transcript, go to ASK → Student Petitions →AP/IB Placement →<My Scores and request the notation. Some medical, veterinary, and approximately two-thirds of dental schools require a five-course sequence in chemistry (2 semesters general chemistry with lab, 2 semesters organic chemistry with lab, 1 semester biochemistry). If these are your state or dream schools, and you have completed the typical four-course sequence, CHEM 0400 or CHEM 0500 would be the appropriate fifth course. 


Biology: 2 semesters with lab 

BIOL 0200 and one more course with a lab


  • All students without AP Biology start the biology sequence with BIOL 0200. Some schools require specific courses in biology. 
  • Even if you have AP Biology, you should still take two biology courses with laboratory at Brown. 
  • Neuroscience courses with lab are accepted by most schools as biology with lab. 
  • Completing more Biology or Neuroscience courses at Brown - which don't need to have a lab - is highly recommended to all, and is especially important for non-science concentrators.


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 0030, take PHYS 0040 or higher. 


English: 2 semesters 

Any two courses in College Composition (a.k.a. Expository Writing), or English Literature (including foreign 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 automatically satisfy the English requirement.


Mathematics: 2 semesters 

Any two college-level mathematics courses, at least one being Calculus. Statistics strongly recommended as a second course. MATH 0090 and MATH 0100 are the main Calculus courses. Statistics courses are offered by a number of departments (e.g. APMA, CLPS).


  • Most schools prefer or require Statistics as a second semester of mathematics.
  • Students with AP scores in Calculus (that place them out of MATH 0090 or out of both MATH 0090 and MATH 0100) should still take at least one semester of college mathematics- statistics recommended.


Also to consider 


BIOL 0280 is required by a large number of U.S. medical schools and schools that do not require biochemistry usually recommend it. It is also necessary for the MCAT. 

Social, Behavioral Sciences and the Humanities 

The MCAT contains a section on the Social and Behavioral Sciences so you will need this content knowledge for the exam. A small number of medical schools require a semester in both of these fields. Most other health professions schools recommend such course work. A growing number of schools may expect a course in both areas in the future. We encourage all students at Brown to explore the curriculum and take one or two introductory courses in these disciplines.