Prerequisite Requirements

Academic Preparedness

Because the prospective medical student with a broad educational background profits most from the medical curriculum, preference is given to applicants with a bachelor's degree. In selecting courses, the premedical student should be aware of the broad scope of the medical profession. The biological basis for the practice of medicine is traditional and appropriate because medicine in its technical aspects is an applied biological science. Modern medical practice also requires a working knowledge of chemistry and physics to appreciate vital processes in both health and disease. To be successful, medical students must be able to read rapidly and with understanding, and express thoughts clearly and concisely.

Premedical students should develop a solid background in the humanities, psychology, sociology, philosophy and the arts. Understanding human relationships and human nature is vital to the practice of medicine. Students are encouraged to take courses which would be difficult to acquire after the college experience is completed. The School of Medicine seeks to admit well-rounded students with broad and diverse educational experiences. 

There is no minimum threshold for academic performance in order to be considered for admission to ULSOM. However, candidates can review information for recent average matriculants available on the Class Profile information.

Minimum Requirements

Applicants must complete the following courses prior to matriculation. Since the Admissions Committee reviews the complete academic portfolio of applicants being considered, advanced course work which strengthens the premedical academic foundation will be favorably viewed during the evaluation process.

Course RequirementsMinimum Semester Hours

BIOLOGY: requirement is met by one semester of cellular biology with lab and one semester of organismic biology with lab. Survey courses (an introductory course of study that provides a general view of an academic subject) in anatomy and physiology cannot be substituted for this requirement. AP and IB Biology credit is not accepted toward this requirement. If your undergraduate institution accepted AP or IB Biology credit, two upper level Biology courses with labs are required.



GENERAL CHEMISTRY: requirement is met by a one-year sequence in general inorganic chemistry with labs.8
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY: requirement is met by a one-year sequence in organic chemistry, including all major categories of organic compounds. While organic laboratory courses are valuable for individual student goals and degree requirements, they are not required by our Admissions Committee.6
PHYSICS: requirement is met by a one-year sequence in general physics with labs, including mechanics, electricity, heat, light and sound. Specialized courses in sub-disciplines cannot be substituted for any part of this requirement.8
ENGLISH: requirement is met by two semesters of writing, literature, and/or speech communication courses. AP and IB credit is acceptable for one semester only and cannot fulfill the requirement in full. One semester may be substituted with a writing intensive course.6
BIOCHEMISTRY: requirement is met by a one semester Biochemistry course. Please note, this course is a new admissions requirement beginning in the 2021 admissions cycle.3
STATISTICS (RECOMMENDED): While not required, a course in statistical methods is recommended.3

A year is defined as a minimum of 32 weeks, including two (2) semesters or three (3) quarters of coursework. All science courses applied to the premedical requirements must include laboratory work, with the exception of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Course Credit Policies

Grading and Pass/Fail Coursework

Applicants must receive a letter grade of C or higher for all required prerequisite courses. Substitutions for the premedical science requirements can only be allowed if replaced by advanced work in the same area. Applicants will receive credit for any Spring 2020 pre-requisite course for which they receive a “pass” under a pass/fail grading system. 

Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Credit

AP and IB credit may be used to satisfy prerequisite course requirements, with the exception of Biology, provided that credit is awarded by your undergraduate degree-granting institution and posted on your transcript. If lab credit was awarded through AP/IB credit by your institution, it must be explicitly stated on your transcript. If your undergraduate institution accepted AP or IB Biology credit, two upper level Biology courses with labs are required to fulfill prerequisite requirements. ULSOM will not accept CLEP credit for any prerequisite course work.

Online and Community College Credit

The University of Louisville School of Medicine does not distinguish between courses completed at online or land-based universities as long as the courses are completed at an accredited (i.e. SACS, North Central, New England, Western, etc.) institution.  See the UofL Transfer Credit Policy for more information

Credit granted by junior/community colleges is also accepted. All coursework must be graded in order to fulfill prerequisite requirements or be supplemented by graded, advanced work in the same subject area.

Paramedical and Medical School Credit

Courses in paramedical schools (such as pharmacy, nursing, optometry, medical, etc.) do not fulfill the premedical science requirements. Courses taken at non-accredited institutions will not be accepted. Applicants who have been dismissed from other medical schools for scholastic or disciplinary reasons will not be considered. 

International Credit

Credit from institutions outside the United States is accepted, however, applicants must have obtained the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree and have completed a minimum of 24 credit hours from an accredited college/university in the U.S. View more information regarding Admissions Policies on residency requirements and international student policy.

The Admissions Committee reviews all course work completed at the undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate levels. Applicants or advisors may contact the Office of Admissions with specific questions regarding fulfillment of premedical requirements.