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Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Curriculum

Traditional Curriculum

We offer all medical school prerequisite lab science courses in day, evening, and summer formats. We also offer biochemistry and a full range of mathematics and behavioral science courses to aid students in preparing for the MCAT.

The core courses in the Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program meet the general requirements for American allopathic and osteopathic medical schools, as well as professional programs such as dentistry, veterinary medicine, podiatric medicine, physical therapy, and pharmacy. Students are urged to check individual schools and programs for specific entry requirements.

All courses taken as part of the Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program must be taken for letter grades, except for courses offered only on a pass/fail basis. Students who wish to take course work other than the core requirements must have advisor approval.

Learn about the program policies.

Enhancement Curriculum

Our program also provides a wide variety of advanced-level electives in biology, and some complimentary chemistry and physics courses as well, for students who have completed the core prerequisites but wish to improve their academic record to become a more competitive professional school applicant.

Students who have taken only the basic core courses are advised to choose genetics, biochemistry, anatomy & physiology, and cellular biology as part of their program.

Students who have completed an entire science major will have plenty of other relevant courses to choose from that will expose them to new knowledge in areas such as virology, immunology, the biology of aging, medicinal chemistry, cancer biology, cell signaling, regenerative medicine, and medical histology.

Students who have completed the medical school prerequisites may pursue additional course work to build on that science foundation, enhance their MCAT preparation, and improve their overall competitiveness for medical school. It is possible to retake some core courses if necessary. 

Advisors work with each student individually to determine whether a core course should be repeated based on the student’s goals, mastery of the material, and length of time since the course was taken initially. Each student’s program is individually tailored and may include both core courses and electives.

Popular electives for students pursuing an enhancement track include:

  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Anatomy & Physiology (available with or without lab)
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Biology of Aging
  • Immunology
  • Virology
  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Neural Basis of Behavior
  • Topics in Cancer Research
  • Endocrine Physiology
  • Medical Imaging of the Human Body

Relevant non science course work is also available, such as:

  • Biomedical Ethics
  • Trends in Health Care Policy
  • Strategic Planning and Management in Health Care
  • Health and Society
  • The Business of Clinical Research
  • Health Care Finance
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Introduction to Public Health
  • Spanish for Health Care Professionals

Learn about the program policies.

Blended Curriculum

You may need both core and advanced courses, or slightly different prerequisite courses. University College advisors can help you develop an individual plan customized to your needs. It is possible to repeat prerequisite courses if needed, to take a combination of entry-level and advanced courses, and to direct course choices toward professional training in health careers such as physical therapy, dentistry, podiatry, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine. 

Learn about the program policies.


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Program Policies

Premedical Requirements

Courses are typically taken during the evening, and are available in fall, spring, and summer terms. Day courses at higher tuition rates are also available to students.

Students earning at least 30 units of approved course work, 24 units of which must be completed at WUSTL with a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher, will be awarded a Certificate of Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Study.

Students wishing to complete fewer than 24 units of course work are not eligible for admission to the program but are welcome to register for courses on a non-degree basis. Learn more about our Visiting Undergraduate Student non-degree option.

Core Courses

The core courses for premedical students are listed below. Students pursuing other health careers may have different requirements and should talk with an advisor about course offerings to meet these needs.

The following core courses comprise the Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program:

Course Name Credit
Day Course Evening Course
General Biology I with lab 4 L41 2960 U29 101
General Biology II with lab 4 L41 2970 U29 102
Biochemistry 3 L41 451 U29 406
General Chemistry I 3 L07 111A U05 105
General Chemistry I Lab 2 L07 151 U05 151
General Chemistry II 3 L07 112A U05 106
General Chemistry II Lab 2 L07 152 U05 152
Organic Chemistry I with Lab 4 L07 261 U05 261
Organic Chemistry II with lab 4 L07 262 U05 262
General Physics I with lab 4 L31 117A U23 211
General Physics II with lab 4 L31 118A U23 212
Calculus I 3 L24 131 or 127 U20 155
Calculus II 3 L24 132 or 128 U20 156
Statistics 3 L24 2200 U20 305
English Composition
English Composition I 3 L13-100 U11-101
English Composition or Literature 3 Select from available options Select from available options

Elective Courses
In addition to the core courses, elective courses in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and behavioral sciences are also available during the day and evening.

Students who have not had prior course work in behavioral sciences should choose electives such as Introduction to Psychology, Social Psychology, Health Psychology, Behavioral Medicine, and Medicinal Anthropology to supplement their preparation for the MCAT.

Students generally begin their studies in the fall or the summer and complete the program within two years. Calculus I is a prerequisite or co-requisite for General Physics. The General Chemistry sequence is normally a prerequisite or co-requisite for the Principles of Biology sequence.

Sample Schedules

Please note: there are various ways to structure courses and we suggest speaking with an advisor for individualized planning.

Suggested Schedule I (beginning in fall) Suggested Schedule II (beginning in summer)
1st Year (fall) 1st Year (summer)
General Chemistry I General Biology I and II with Lab
General Chemistry Lab I MedPrep
General Physics I with Lab  
Calculus I (if needed)  
1st Year (spring) 1st Year (fall)
General Chemistry II General Chemistry I with Lab
General Chemistry Lab II Physics I with Lab
General Physics II with Lab Calculus I (if needed)
Statistics (if needed)  
1st Year (summer) 1st Year (spring)
MedPrep General Chemistry II with Lab
General Biology I with Lab Physics II with Lab
General Biology II with Lab  
2nd Year (fall) 2nd Year (summer)
Organic Chemistry I with Lab Biology elective (Microbiology or Genetics recommended)
Psychology or Sociology (if needed) Psychology or Sociology (if needed)
Biology elective (Cell Biology recommended)  
2nd Year (spring) 2nd Year (fall)
Organic Chemistry II with Lab Organic Chemistry I
Biochemistry Statistics (if needed)
  2nd Year (spring)
  Organic Chemistry II

Please speak with an academic advisor about the potential advantages of enrolling in one of the lab science sequences during the summer.

Once students begin the certificate program all course work must be taken in residence at Washington University. Cover letters will be written only for students who observe this policy.

Students generally begin their studies in the fall or the summer and complete the program within two years.

Exceptional students may be able to complete the program in 12 months beginning in the summer. Usually this is possible only when at least one of the core lab science sequences has been completed prior to entering the program. Most students spend two academic years satisfying requirements.

Students who wish to continue their post-baccalaureate premedical studies beyond three calendar years may do so as non-degree seeking students.

Students who do not enroll in any course work in the program for a span of one academic year or more will be required to reapply if they wish to return.

The program may take up to three years to complete for students who are not able to attend on a full-time basis.

Completing course work in the summer likely will affect an applicant's MCAT test date and the timing of his/her application to medical school.

Please speak with an advisor about your plans before registering for classes.

Up to six credits of appropriate course work, taken prior to acceptance to the post-baccalaureate premedical program, may be applied as transfer credit toward the certificate. Once students begin the certificate program all course work must be taken in residence at Washington University. Cover letters will be written only for students who observe this policy.