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Premed Summer Course Requirements: What You Should Know Before Applying?

We all think carefully about what to do when we are in freshman year. Whether to take premed summer courses or take anything else is what we all go through in this period. But, if you are determined on becoming a premed, then this article is for you. 

The medical school admission process is far more competitive than it was in the yesteryears. What’s more the threshold grades for premed exam or MCAT scores have risen exponentially to a point where you will wonder – is it easier to get an ‘A’?

Therefore, if you are aware of the premed summer course requirements, wouldn’t be a great way to start things off? So, let’s move on and find out what requirements all pre-med aspirants should have. 

What are the standard courses that you should have before applying for premed courses? 

Firstly, you should remember that it doesn’t matter what major subject you choose in the future. What matters most is the major courses that most of the medical school will ask you to take: 

  • Two (2) semesters of biology with laboratory (up to four semesters at some schools)


  • Two (2) semesters of inorganic chemistry with laboratory


  • Two (2) semesters of organic chemistry with laboratory


  • Two (2) semesters of math, at least one in calculus


  • Two (2) semesters of physics with laboratory


  • Two (2) semesters of English and writing

All premed applicants will have gone through all these courses. Along with the MCAT score, most medical schools will compare all candidates based on the performances of this courses. Another thing you should keep in mind is AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service) application will divide the science or BCPM (biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics) GPA from your overall GPA. Therefore, your performance in these courses will be far more important for evaluating your application. 

Advanced Placement (AP) Credit

Most undergraduate schools accept the substitution of at least one semester of these requirements with an AP score of 4 or 5 (depending on your institution). But, do not take this generosity for granted as many schools will not allow you such flexibility. Even if your undergraduate institution waves one semester of credit for a requirement, some schools will reject you as ineligible. In most cases, you need to complete an additional advanced course on that subject to meet the entry criteria of those medical schools. 

Non-science major students must do well in the BCPM courses

If you were not a science major, you could still go on to make it at premed schools. The AP credit offers you the flexibility of taking a lighter course on the first semesters. But, it doesn’t mean that you have gone under the radar. All medical schools will keep you on the watch to make sure that you are capable of handling advanced college-level after the first year. 

Even if the medical school’s administration brings non-science major students on board, they will scrutinize your BCPM grades to see whether you can go through rigorous science coursework, which happens to be exact course load in the medical school. So, be sure to make progress in your BCPM grades, or you can say ‘farewell’ to your hopes of becoming a doctor. 

What about the International Students? 

What we have just discussed is common for all premed aspirants, but sometimes there will be different requirements for foreign students. Half of the medical schools in the USA don’t allow applications from international students except US or Canadian citizens. These schools, in fact, want these international students to complete their undergraduate degree in the USA or spend a minimum of one year at any US education institution. It’s pretty rare that an international student who has never been schooled in the USA gets a chance at medical school.

What’s next? 

You have been familiarizing with all premed summer course requirements. Your next logical step should be to start preparing for the premed exam, which you can accomplish through various ways. With excellent preparation and some strategic moves, you can definitely ace in your premed and MCAT exam.  

Pre-Med Summer Course: Frequently Asked Questions

Most premed applicants find it hard to understand what medical schools need from them. So, we have come up with the most frequently asked questions about the medical school admission process. We hope these questions will make you understand what you actually need to get into a medical school. Let’s read them and leave no stone unturned in your quest for glory in premed summer course.  

What are the requirements for medical schools? 

All medical schools are looking for applicants who have an outstanding academic abilities or scores on MCAT exams with solid interpersonal skills, demonstrated compassion for others and a clear motivation for medicine. 

Can my AP Credit fulfill the premed requirements? 

Yes! Your AP Credit can full all or partial math requirement at almost all medical schools. If you wish to utilize your AP Credit to substitute a preliminary science course, you must swap it for an upper-level course. 

Can I take an additional reading and writing courses rather than taking English? 

It is best to take two English courses as some medical schools urge you to have them mandatorily. However, some medical schools will be fine if you take literature in translation or any other reading and writing courses. 

I am not a science major, can I get admission to premed school?

Yes! You can get admission into a premed school even if you have no science major. 

Should I go for the pass/fail option in courses? 

You can take courses pass/fail. Unless you are taking them in your first semester, you should not take any other premed prerequisites pass/fail. All medical schools would want you to challenge yourself academically. Therefore overusing the pass/fail option wouldn’t be a good idea. 

Is it possible to take prerequisite premed courses in the summer school?

As long as your summer school is an accredited four-year U.S. college or university, you can take the required premed courses with a lab where that school’s premed students take part in. 

Should I study abroad before getting into premed school?

If it interests you, you should not miss the chance to study abroad. Most medical schools want students who have gone to abroad and experienced interesting college experiences. Typically, your time in abroad will demonstrate that you are capable of getting along with a different culture from your own.

Should I take premed courses abroad?

No! It is not allowed and therefore, you should not take any of the premed courses abroad. 

What extracurricular experiences do all medical schools seek? 

Taking extracurricular experiences should depend on your choice. Most of the medical schools want students who are active contributors on campus with a broad range of interests. You should pick a few things that are meaningful and demonstrate your keen interests in what you are doing. For example – community service is a significant extracurricular activity that demonstrates your concern and compassion towards the society and others. 

Is it necessary to have medical experience to get into premed schools? 

Yes! You must have prior medical related experiences to demonstrate that you can excel in a medical practice. 

Is there any chance to work as a volunteer in a medical facility throughout my school years? 

A lot of premed students work as a volunteer at different hospitals like at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia or Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and at Springfield and Crozer Hospitals nearby.

What is the MCAT Exam?

MCAT is the most standardized test that all medical schools require. MCAT is typically a seven hour, computer-based exam. This exam is taken 25 times a year. It has different sections on verbal reasoning, physical sciences, biological sciences, and behavioral sciences. You can sit for MCAT exam if you have finished chemistry, physics, and biology premed requirements. 

How can I arrange my letters of recommendation?

If you are applying for a medical school, you must have five letters of recommendation from faculty and other credible persons such as your supervisors or coaches. All letter of recommendations will then be submitted to the Health Sciences Advisory Committee. The committee will then use these letters to create a committee letter of recommendation for you. 

When is the right time of applying for a medical school? 

A good time to apply to a medical school is in June of the year before you wish to admit in medical school. In other words, if you wish to start your medical school in August 2018, you should apply in June 2017. Additionally, you should take the MCAT exam by July 2017 as well. Note that you must compile all information for the Health Sciences Office January before June 2018.