University General Course Catalog 2017-2018 
    Jun 07, 2023  

Medicine, Preparatory

Medicine is the science and art of diagnosing, treating, curing and preventing disease. Physicians practice in many medical specialties using a full range of health-care techniques aimed at preserving and improving health.

Pre-medicine is not a major, but a set of courses required by medical schools for admission. Any major is appropriate as long as the student fulfills all premedical requirements, be it through required courses or elective courses.

It is wise to work toward a degree in any area which would serve as an attractive alternative in the event you were deterred from your goal in medicine.

The Advising Center, Pennington Student Achievement Center, Suite 405, has a health careers resource library which includes the Association of American Medical College Medical School Admission Requirements.

Required Premedical Course Work

The basic course requirements of the majority of medical schools are listed below. This is also the course work covered on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) which must be taken at least one year prior to anticipated admission to medical school. All required course work must be taken for a letter grade. High school students are advised to gain a strong foundation in math and sciences. It is the applicant’s responsibility to determine the requirements of the school(s) of his/her choice and to fulfill these requirements before the projected date of entrance.

More information on all medical school requirements and admissions procedures can be found at Medical School Admissions Requirements, available online at . Students can learn more about requirements for the University fo Nevada School of Medicine online at .

The basic course requirements of the majority of medical schools are:




Most medical schools require a minimum of 12 credits of biology, with at least one lab. Courses that can be used to fulfill this requirement include


Beginning in 2011, the University of Nevada School of Medicine will require 15 biology credits; a minimum of 6 credits must be upper division.


1 year of calculus for about 25% of medical schools:


Social Studies & Humanities

A well-rounded background is important and course work outside of science is strongly encouraged. (The University of Nevada School of Medicine requires 3 credits behavioral sciences that deal with psychological stages of the life cycle.) See School of Medicine , Admission Information.

Application Process

Most medical schools belong to a centralized application service (AMCAS) that allows students to apply through one initial application. AMCAS applications are submitted in the summer one year prior to entering medical school. Nearly all medical schools require applicants to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). The four sections of the exam are Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning and a Writing Sample. Actual test time is approximately 6 hours.

Letters of Recommendation: All medical schools require letters of recommendation, usually three to five at the time of the secondary application. It is advisable that one to two letters be from the science faculty and one be from someone in health care with whom you have worked or volunteered. AMCAS offers a Letters of Recommendation Service.  For more information go to

Beyond the satisfactory completion of minimum requirements, selection for admission is based on many factors including undergraduate grade point average, MCAT scores, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, an interview, personal statement, and awareness of, and experiences in health-related fields.

Advising is also provided for students interested in podiatry, osteopathic medicine, chiropractic, and optometry. Course requirements are very similar to the premedicine requirements. For more information on the University of Nevada, School of Medicine, see the School of Medicine section of this catalog or visit