Pre-Health Course Requirements

Students considering apply to medical school generally must meet the following course requirements. Please keep in mind that these requirements can change depending upon which schools that you apply to, and these are general recommendations. It is imperative that you research the schools you are applying to in order to meet any additional requirements that school may have. 

Two semesters of introductory biology plus lab

  • BIOL 1010/1015
  • BIOL 2120/2125  

Two semesters of general chemistry plus lab

  • CHEM 1100 or 1110
  • CHEM 1200

Two semesters of organic chemistry plus lab

  • CHEM 2250/2230
  • CHEM 2260/2240

Two semesters of physics plus lab  

  • PHYS 1100 or 1150
  • PHYS 1200 or 1250

Two semesters of English

  • Any two courses in LITR-, WRIT-, or COMM- preferably with the Communication Intensive descriptor
MCAT Preparation Courses

In order to best prepare for the MCAT, the following courses are highly recommended. In addition, the content or courses themselves may be required by certain schools, and you should always check your planned schools' application requirements to see if their application requires a specific course while planning your schedule. 

One semester of Biochemistry 

  • CHEM/BCBP/BIOL 4760 - Molecular Biochemistry I 

One semester of General Psychology

  • PSYC 1200 - Introduction to Psychological Science

One semester of Sociology  

  • STSS 2520 - Introduction to Sociology

One semester of Critical Thinking 

  • PHIL 2100 - Introduction to Ethics

One semester of neurobiology

  • BIOL 4100 - From Neuron to Behavior

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I transfer in courses towards pre-med requirements at RPI?

It is preferable to take your courses at RPI. With that said, this is not a steadfast rule. All transcripts of all courses that you have taken will be evaluated by your medical school application committees and will count towards your overall GPA for medical school admissions. Generally, four-year schools with good academic reputations are weighed more heavily in admissions decisions than community colleges, particularly if you plan to take courses while enrolled at RPI. For that reason, if you do plan to take courses outside of RPI while enrolled as a student at RPI, we recommend taking any outside coursework at a reputable, four-year institution and ensure that your GPA remains a top priority if your plan is to apply to a high-ranking medical school. It is also worth keeping in mind that your application is a mosaic of many different factors, and a single course will rarely be a determining factor in your application’s success.  

What is the Pre-Health Advising Committee?

The Pre-Health Advising Committee offers assistance in writing recommendation letters for students who are seeking admission into medical school or other allied health professions. This committee's role is to offer guidance on the admissions process, assistance in ensuring that your application is complete, and a letter of recommendation that speaks to your unique talents as an individual. They also assist in preparation for the medical school admissions interview process.  

I was not directly admitted, but can I apply to RPI’s BS-MD (BIAM) program? 

Generally, no. The RPI Accelerated Physician-Scientist Program does not accept students who have not been directly admitted into the program except under exceptional circumstances. With that said, there are other guaranteed admit programs - including RPI’s partnership with Mount Sinai’s College of Medicine - that you may wish to consider if you want to secure an early place in a medical school without the traditional application process being a concern. Keep in mind that these programs remain highly competitive. 

Does RPI offer a pre-medical ‘track’ to students?

Only to students within the Biomedical Engineering Program; see below for information about that program. For students in other majors, Instead, you can see above a set of courses that students in any major should follow if they are interested in seeking admission into a medical school program. This is general advice - requirements vary by school - but this set of courses is generally going to help prepare you for the MCAT and for admission to most medical schools in the United States.

If you have specific questions about the medical field and how best to prepare, you should contact the School of Science Hub’s pre-health advising email.

What is the Biomedical Engineering pre-Medical Track?

Students in the Biomedical Engineering major should consult with their advisors in that program about the pre-medical track specific to that major. In general, the pre-medical track requires a total of 133 credit hours and is designed to ensure that you reach your goal of having all pre-Health course requirements met prior to graduation, but is more formalized within the BME curriculum to ensure that you can meet all BME and pre-medical requirements within a reasonable timeframe. 

What is the Physician-Engineer Program?

The Biomedical Engineering Department, in conjunction with Albany Medical College, offers the Physician Engineer program in which students are able to earn a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Rensselaer and an M.D. from Albany Medical College in 8 years. The MCAT requirement is waived for this combined program. A separate application for this program is needed, where students apply just before the Arch, i.e., by May 31 of their second year. Application requirements are that a student follows the BME B.S. pre-med template, has a GPA > 3.5, has a strong interest in research, and is on track to meet all degree requirements. The application material consists of a one-page statement of purpose, a letter of recommendation, an official transcript, and a waiver/release form allowing the BME Department to obtain your application material. Application materials should be submitted to the departmental staff. Applications are reviewed by the department and a decision will be made during the summer of the second year. Selected students will be invited to interview at Albany Medical College in the second half of this summer and will be informed about their application before the beginning of the third year. Students admitted to the program need to participate in The Arch and plan to spend their “away” semester in the Personal Care Assistant program at AMC to start/increase their hours of patient contact. Students will receive a B.S. in BME from Rensselaer after the fourth year and a M.D. from Albany Medical College after the eighth year. Please note that this program is very selective.