Pre-Medical Program

Academic Coursework

Medical schools desire a strong foundation in the natural sciences and have established minimum course requirements for admission.

The following courses are typically the minimum required by most medical schools. Note that each sequence requires two semesters. General Chemistry is a prerequisite for Organic Chemistry. Unless absolutely necessary, it is not recommended to take Organic Chemistry during summer semesters. Apply caution when taking any of the required courses online as they are not accepted by all medical schools.

It is your responsibility to ensure that there are no additional course requirements (such as Psychology, Biochemistry, Anatomy, etc.) to get into the program of your choice. For example, see Required Courses for Some Schools below.


Credit Hours

Physics I with lab
(PHY 231 or PHY 221)*


Physics II with lab
(PHY 232 or PHY 222)*


Biology I with lab
(BIO 200 and BIO 203)


Biology II with lab
(BIO 202 and BIO 204)


General Chemistry I with lab
(CHM 261/ CHM 266)**


General Chemistry II with lab
(CHM 262 / CHM 267)**


Organic Chemistry I with lab
(CHM 331 / CHM 336)


Organic Chemistry II with lab
(CHM 332 / CHM 337)


English (1 Year)


(MTH 147- Statistics or Calculus I)


* University Physics (240 series) can satisfy the Physics requirement. However, Calculus is required for University Physics.
** A placement exam is required in order to enroll in the General Chemistry courses.

Required Courses for Some Schools

The Ohio State University School of Medicine and other medical schools require the following courses as part of their prerequisites for admission:

BIO 306 - Biochemistry and Molecular Biology OR CHM 402 and 403 - Biochemistry sequence


HSC 475 and 457 - Gross Anatomy OR BIO 266, 267, 268 and 269 - Anatomy and Physiology sequence

For more current information about specific prerequisites, see Ohio Medical School Prerequisites Table. Even if the medical school of your choice does not require these courses, they demonstrate your ability to handle a higher level of biology / chemistry and excellent performance in these courses will give added weight to your medical school application.

Additional Courses

Some additional courses that can better prepare you for medical school are as follows:

BIO 308 - Cell Biology
BIO 310 - Genetics
BIO 416 - Microbiology
BIO 418 - Histology
BIO 412 – Immunology

For course descriptions or more information about course prerequisites, refer to the Cleveland State Undergraduate Catalog.

A Word About Grade Point Average (GPA)

Professional school admissions are competitive and a strong GPA certainly gives you an edge.  GPA requirements are not equal among schools, but one above 3.50, especially in the natural sciences,is highly desired.  Medical schools evaluate your science GPA and your non-science GPA.  GPAs do not signify intelligence, but are a long-term indicator of your performance as a student. Having a strong GPA demonstrates motivation, discipline and commitment to academic excellence.

Your Cleveland State GPA may very well differ from your professional school application GPA.  You can calculate your GPA, both non-science and BCPM (Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Math) by using this GPA Calculator.

Still wondering how you stack up? How good are your grades? Are your grades good enough to get you where you want to go? You can get a very rough sense of where you stand based on large trends in admissions:

  • In general a student with a 2.5 GPA has a lot of damage repair to do. Some individual health professions might have a cut-off of a 2.5, but a grade point average at or below a 2.5 is a long, l-o-n-g, l--o--n--g shot.
  • A 2.75: not a strong GPA, but a much better position than a 2.5. Still, a 2.75 is a weak grade point average. Much depends on the profession you want. Some (not many) professions make a special commitment to carefully consider students with an apparently weak GPA, but other desirable characteristics.
  • A 3.00: Okay, now you are getting someplace! Depending on the overall "look" of your transcript you, might be a contender.  Are your grades going up or down? How have you done in courses like General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry? Have you withdrawn from a huge number of courses?  An applicant with a 3.00 might succeed, but the journey could be a rough one!
  • 3.25: You are getting better. Hopefully your science coursework is the strongest part of your transcript. Keep aiming higher.
  • 3.5: Congratulations. You are firmly "in the running" for most health professions. Are you at the top of the heap? Probably not.
  • 3.75: Here and above: Good for you! You are in a relatively strong position!

Of course, it would be a huge mistake to take this little listing too seriously! A student is a lot more than just a GPA. On the other hand, it would also be a big mistake to ignore completely the significance of a grade point average. Both low and high grades are earned over a period of time. (And, yes, schools can easily spot when somebody is trying to “pad” their GPA.).

Dental, veterinary, pharmacy and medical schools are looking for intelligent problem-solvers, so don't let a problem transcript stand in your way. Focus on earning good grades one semester at a time.

A Word About Academic Integrity

The rigor of a pre-professional curriculum and the need to achieve high grades can put a lot of pressure on students. If these pressures cause you to consider a compromise of ethics, seek assistance from your pre-professional advisor or a counselor at Cleveland State's Counseling Center. Professional school applications ask you to divulge disciplinary and related violations. Always take the high road and seek help when necessary, so you don't find yourself in an irrevocable position.