Ohio State Navbar

Sign In

Admissions for MD

Preparing

What undergraduate courses should I take to prepare me for medical school?

Academic Coursework

To prepare for medical school, you should seek courses that will help you develop independent-thinking and decision-making skills. Courses that demand active involvement in research and independent-study projects help foster these attributes. You may major in any subject you choose, but you must complete the prerequisite courses listed below prior to enrollment. Note: Students applying to the Primary Care Tract (PCT) three-year program must complete all required prerequisites courses by the first week of July before the start of their program.

Required Premedical Coursework

  • Biology: One year
  • General Chemistry: One year that consists of a general chemistry series including laboratory work incorporating quantitative and qualitative analysis
  • Biochemistry: One semester/quarter course in biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry: One year of an organic chemistry series that includes one year of a lab experience or equivalent
  • Physics: One year with a laboratory experience

Recommended Premedical Coursework

  • Anatomy: One semester/quarter course in anatomy.
  • Writing/Speech: Courses that emphasize written and verbal communication. Applicants are required to demonstrate spoken, auditory, reading and writing proficiency in the English language.
  • Social Sciences: Courses such as psychology, sociology, anthropology and economics
  • Humanities: Courses in art, music, drama, literature and languages
  • Diversity: Courses that focus on the culture, history and/or current circumstances of diverse populations
  • Ethics: Courses that address questions and issues related to morality and moral behavior that may include meta-ethics, normative ethics, applied ethics, moral psychology and descriptive ethics

What courses will satisfy Ohio State’s anatomy requirement?

Anatomy Prerequisite

Beginning with the 2015-16 cycle, Anatomy will no longer be a requirement.

What GPA do I need for admission to the OSU College of Medicine?

Grades are considered in the context of difficulty and rigor of the applicant’s major. Your GPA will be compared to the average GPA of students accepted into the most recent class. The academic profile of recent successful candidates to Ohio State’s College of Medicine includes a 3.72 GPA. However, it should be stressed that the GPA is only one factor in the admissions decision and is taken into consideration along with many other factors.

What test do I need to take before applying to medical school?

Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)

The test must be taken within three years of your application. For the class entering medical school in 2019, scores will be accepted from tests taken in January 2015 through September 2018. The MCAT exam has changed in 2015 to keep pace with the changes in medicine. More information is available here.

Who should write my letters of recommendation?

We recommend requesting recommendation letters from professors, supervisors or other individuals who know you well and can accurately comment on your qualifications for medical school. It is important that those who write the letters know you well and can comment on your personal attributes.

The College of Medicine requires two academic letters:

  • Academic Letters: You should submit two letters from professors in any courses who have taught you and assigned a grade for credit in the course; at least one should be a science course. A premedical committee composite letter satisfies this requirement.
  • Personal/Professional Experience Letters: It is strongly recommended that you provide additional letters from individuals outside of the classroom setting, such as supervisors, managers or those you’ve worked with in the community, a volunteer service and/or a clinical or research setting.

The letters of recommendation are received only through the American Medical College Application Service’s (AMCAS) letter service. For more information about this process, visit https://students-residents.aamc.org/applying-medical-school/faq/amcas-faq/.

How do I present a competitive application?

The College of Medicine promotes an atmosphere of creativity, experimentation and discussion that is conducive to learning. Having an understanding and appreciation of a variety of experiences and perspectives prepares students to care for patients from any racial, ethnic or socioeconomic background.

Along with excellent grades and test scores, you will be judged on how well you can balance outside activities and responsibilities with schoolwork as an indicator of your ability to deal with the rigors of life as a physician. Commitment to community service and ethical behavior, along with compassion, leadership ability and communication skills, are characteristics we seek in our future medical students.

  • Clinical Experience: As a medical school candidate, you are expected to spend enough time in a clinical setting to understand the challenges and demands of the lifestyle you will encounter as a physician. Experience with patient exposure may be gained through volunteerism or work at hospitals, emergency rooms, homeless clinics and extended-care facilities.
  • Community/Volunteer Service: The medical profession is strongly oriented to serving the community. You should demonstrate a commitment to the community by involving yourself in service and volunteer activities.
  • Research: Research is the foundation of medical knowledge. We consider participation in research activities to be an important part of the preparation for medical school. As a future physician, you will depend on medical literature to remain current in your field. Research experience may be in any discipline and performed at any site. You should be able to describe your projects, the questions being asked in the research, and your role in the conduct of the research. Research performed as part of a course requirement or a senior thesis project is acceptable.
  • Leadership Ability: Dedication, determination, decision-making, communication skills, teamwork and a willingness to contribute to the welfare of others are characteristics of effective leaders. They also are indicators of one’s ability to succeed in medicine. Leadership experience can be gained in a variety of ways, including participation in work, church, community or school organizations.
  • Extracurricular Activities: The Admissions Committee is interested in how applicants deal with the demands of their lives outside the classroom. Your ability to juggle these challenges is a strong indicator of how well you will handle responsibilities, stress and the demands of medical school.
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​