Overview of Medicine

An M.D. degree is the most highly sought after prize. Admission to medical school is prestigious and the eventual monetary benefits are great. Approximately one out of three qualified students who apply are admitted. Students need to know that:

  • the admission process is highly competitive;
  • an overall GPA of 3.5 and MCAT scores of 8 or better in each section are competitive. Anything less can lower your chances of being accepted; and
  • four years of undergraduate level coursework, four years in medical school, and three to seven years in a certified residency program are typically before you make any money; and
  • background checks are often conducted.

See the Occupational Outlook Handbook: Medicine. Also, see the American Medical Association


The courses listed below are general suggestions. Check the professional school of your choice to see specific admission requirements.

Minimum Science Coursework

  • Principles of Biology I and II (BSC 120 and 121)
  • Introductory Biochemistry (CHM 365)
  • Principles of Chemistry I and II and Labs (CHM 211, 212, 217, and 218)
  • Organic Chemistry I and II and Organic Lab (CHM 355, 356, and 361)
  • General Physics I and II and labs (PHY 201, 202, 203 and 204)
  • Mathematics to meet prerequisite requirements for the science courses listed above

General Education Coursework

  • English Composition I and II (ENG 101 and 201)
  • Social and Behavioral Science: General Psychology (PSY 201) and/or Introductory Sociology (SOC 200)
  • Follow catalog for degree requirements B.S. or B.A.

Recommended Coursework

  • Histology (BSC 300)
  • Principles of Microbiology and Lab (BSC 302 and BSC 304)
  • Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (BSC 310) or Human Anatomy (BSC 227) Note: BSC 227 does not count toward a Biological Science degree.
  • Principles of Cell Biology (BSC 322)
  • Animal Physiology (BSC 422) or Human Physiology (BSC 228) Note: BSC 228 does not count toward a Biological Science degree.
  • Introductory Immunology (BSC 448)

Medical School Coursework

Medical school is demanding, fast paced and long hours. Typically the first two years of medical school is divided into three week blocks. The last two years are clinical experiences. Click here to view an idea of the overall requirements at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. Of course medical schools vary so you should check the school of your choice for more information.

Professional Exam

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), is taken preferably in the fall or early spring of your junior year of undergraduate school. Currently, the MCAT is a five and one-half hour self-paced computerized exam. Optional breaks are including during the exam. For the most current information on cost, review the MCAT web site.

Links to Professional Schools

College of Science • One John Marshall Drive • Science Building 270 • Huntington, WV 25755
(304) 696-2372