Preparing for a Career in Medicine

There are three types of medical practices.  From the links below you can learn more about the unique characteristics of each type of medical doctor.

Wondering whether you should plan a year between graduation and starting your medical program?  Learn more about taking a "gap year."  Here is another resource regarding "gap or growth years."

Academic Requirements for MD and DO as well as some ND programs

Medical School Prerequisites



Requirement General Description University of Arizona Course Numbers
Biology 8 Semester Hours Biology

MCB 181R & 181L

ECOL 182 R & 182L

General (Inorganic) Chemistry 8 Semester Hours Chemistry

CHEM 151 or 141/143

CHEM 152 or 142/144

Organic Chemistry 8 Semester Hours Organic Chemistry

CHEM 241A & 243A

CHEM 241B & 243B

Physics 8 Semester Hours Physics

PHYS 102&181 & PHYS 103&182


PHYS 141 & PHYS 241

English 6 Semester Hours

English 101& 102 or

English 109H & additional English class, usually composition

College Level Mathematics 3-6 Semester Hours At least Math 112; a few require Calculus

Additional Requirements or Recommendations

Discipline Required/Recommended General Description University of Arizona Course Numbers

Required for some including


3 semester hours

Suggested:  Biostatistics = Math 263 or BIOS 376

Other stats courses may meet requirement

Anatomy/Physiology Required for U of A COM 3-8 semester hours

PSIO 201 or PSIO 380, COM-Phoenix

2 Semesters of Psio/Anatomy for COM-Tucson

Psychology Strongly recommended 3 semester hours PSY 150A1 or PSY 101
Biochemistry Required for some 3 semester hours

One of the Following:

BIOC 384, 385 (also 462 A or B) **Note: Biochemistry IS on the MCAT


*Requirements are subject to change by individual programs and there are some differences among schools. Check with your pre-health advisor.

Application Pathway

The MCAT exam includes four content sections including questions from biochemistry, statistics and research methods as well as the social and behavioral sciences.  The four content areas on the MCAT 2015 are:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
  • Verbal Skill
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences

Please note that the requirements for The University of Arizona's College of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix are not the same. Specifics can be found on their respective admissions web sites.

The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) is the centralized application through which you will apply to MD granting institutions (AACOMAS for DO granting institutions) in the United States and Canada.  This is also referred to as the "primary application."  The AMCAS application is a comprehensive application which requests your:

  • Biographical information
  • List of the post-secondary (post-high school) institutions you attended
  • All of your college-level course work including when and where you took the courses, what grade you received and what type of class it was
  • Lists and descriptions of your co-curricular activities
  • Your application essay, also referred to as the Personal Statement (5300 characters including spaces)
  • Additional optional essays (including extra essays for MD/PhD candidates)
  • Letters of Recommendation (to be uploaded or mailed in directly by your letter writers)
  • List of schools to which you are applying

The Naturopathic Medical Schools also have a centralized application service (NDCAS), but not all of the ND granting schools participate in it.  Go to the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Schools web site for more information about applying.


Fee Assistance Program through AMCAS for the application process

AAMC web site with general preparation/application information

Find a Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) near you for possible shadowing

Follow for more information