Pre-Professional Health Programs

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. 

The list below is not comprehensive. Each medical school may have slightly different requirements and it is the responsibility of the student to take prerequisite courses according to the schools the plan to apply to. 


Credit Hours

Biology I with lab
(BIO 200 and BIO 203)

Biology II with lab
(BIO 202 and BIO 204)
Physics I with lab
(PHY 231 or PHY 221)*


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


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)


Biochemistry (BIO 306 or CHM 402, with the option of CHM 403)


English (ENG 101/ENG 102)


Introduction to Psychology (PSY 101) 3
Sociology (SOC 101 or 201 or 210) 3
Generally, two math courses are required or suggested. A sequence according to your major or MTH 147/347 OR MTH 147/181 is preferable.


* 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.

Additional Recommend Courses for Some Schools

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.

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. 

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.