Course Requirements

Future Students

Students are required to take a minimum number of science courses prior to applying to medical school. Required courses meet the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine's minimum criteria, but successful applicants most often have coursework above and beyond these minimum credits. A solid base in the humanities and social sciences is also important and may include courses in a wide range of subjects such as history, literature, philosophy, ethics, or computer science. The Admissions Selection Committee strongly recommends completion of a baccalaureate degree prior to matriculation in medical school. In addition to meeting all required coursework below, all applicants must have completed several upper division science courses to be competitive in the admissions process. Students who have completed their baccalaureate degree prior to applying must have recent (within three years of matriculation) science courses, including a minimum of six semester credit hours of upper division science courses. The Office of Admissions will make the final determination if an applicant has successfully met these criteria.

The MCAT and a minimum of three years of college work (90 semester hours) are required. Most successful applicants complete their bachelor's degree requirements before starting medical school.

Applicants are encouraged to have a broad educational background and to enroll in an in-depth course curriculum that will lead to a discipline-oriented major, e.g., biology, English, psychology. No specific major is favored over any other. In addition to academic course work, people-oriented activities and health care exposure are important.


  1. Educate yourself and gain a deep understanding of the required coursework for the schools you are interested in applying to. Each may be different.
  2. Ensure your college major advisor understands your intentions of applying to medical school and that the necessary pre-requisites are in your coursework timeline.
  3. You don't have to be a science major in college. We encourage students with all majors to apply; just ensure you have met the prerequisites!
  4. Current medical students suggest coursework in Genetics, Immunology, Molecular Biology, Metabolic Regulation and Stats are very helpful in medical school

Course work must include:

  • Biology with labs (Must include 6 credits of upper division): 15 credits
  • Inorganic Chemistry with lab: 8 credits
  • Organic Chemistry with labs (applicants are strongly encouraged to take pre-professional level courses): 8 credits
  • Physics: 8 credits
  • Psychology or Abnormal Psychology: 3 credits
  • Biochemistry: 3 credits

***All credit requirements are in semester hours

***2 credit hours must be for labs for Biology, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Physics

***Labs for biology can be taken as a lower division or upper division coursework.

***We cannot accept Special Topics, Research, Advanced Mentored Research, Survey Courses, or Dissection Team to fulfill these requirements.

Supplemental courses strongly recommended, but not required, in the following areas:

  • microbiology
  • genetics
  • calculus
  • statistics
  • immunology

Correspondence, CLEP (college-level exam programs-test out), AP (advanced placement), and/or pass/fail or audit in lieu of a letter grade is not acceptable for the above required courses. The following is also not accepted:

  • Online/internet/web-based courses
  • Professional school courses
  • Coursework with a grade earned of "D" or "F"

Note: Graduate-level coursework will be reviewed/considered on a case-by-case basis.

A demonstrated competency in English composition and expression is required. Generally, students are expected to satisfy the English composition requirements of their undergraduate institution.

Accepted students are responsible for completing all prerequisite course work prior to matriculation.

AP Credits

Students who receive approval from their university for the acceptance of AP credits are NOT required to re-take the lower division courses that the AP credits replace. Students are just required to take an equal number of credits in that subject area, that include labs, at the university. Example: A student receives 6 credits from AP tests for the first two chemistry courses (100 level science major or pre-professional courses). The student still needs 8 credits of chemistry taken at the university, but can take higher-level chemistry lab courses and still satisfy the 8 credit SOM requirement.