SPECIFIC COURSE INFORMATION
The Biological Sciences Collegiate Division offers three different course sequences which satisfy medical school prerequisites. These sequences are accompanied by mathematical methods courses that satisfy the statistics requirement; see the “Statistics” section below for details.
Students who scored a 4 or 5 on the AP Biology exam may take the “Advanced Biology Fundamentals Sequence,” BIOS 20234-20235-20236-20242. These courses count towards a major in the biological sciences and are typically taken during a student’s first year.
All students may take the “Biology Fundamentals” sequence, BIOS 20186-20187-20188-20189. These courses count towards a major in the biological sciences and are typically taken in the end of first year/beginning of second year. For those majoring in Biology, this sequence is preceded by two courses, typically taken during the Winter/Spring Quarter of the first year: Fundamentals of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (BIOS 20153) and a mathematical modeling course (BIOS 20151 or 20152). Students who do not major in biology are not required to take these pre-courses, but BIOS 20151 or 20152 will satisfy the statistics requirement.
Students not majoring in the biological sciences, and whose major does not have more specific requirements for the biological sciences core, may take the “Pre-Med Sequence for Nonmajors.” This integrated, five-course sequence explores the molecular, cellular, organismal, and biochemical properties of living systems. These courses are designed to prepare students with the fundamental knowledge required for graduate study in the health professions. Students begin the sequence during the Winter Quarter of their first year; the sequence concludes the Winter Quarter of the second year. These courses do not count towards a major in the biological sciences. This sequence comprises:
- BIOS 20170, Microbial and Human Cell Biology
- BIOS 20171, Human Genetics and Developmental Biology
- BIOS 20172, Mathematical Modeling for Pre-Med Students (satisfies the pre-med statistics requirement)
- BIOS 20173, Principles of Human Physiology
- BIOS 20175, Biochemistry and Metabolism (satisfies the pre-med biochemistry requirement)
The Chemistry Department offers three sequences which satisfy the general chemistry prerequisite for medical schools. The department places students into the appropriate sequence based on the results of a placement exam, administered during the summer prior to matriculation.
CHEM 10100-10200, Introductory General Chemistry, is a systematic introduction to chemistry for beginning students in chemistry or for those whose exposure to the subject has been moderate. These courses feature supplemental structured learning sessions devoted to quantitative reasoning. Following these two courses, students enroll in the Spring Quarter of Comprehensive General Chemistry (CHEM 11300) to complete the three-quarter requirement.
CHEM 11100-11200-11300, Comprehensive General Chemistry, is a survey of modern descriptive, inorganic, and physical chemistry for students with a good secondary school exposure to general chemistry.
- Students in this sequence are encouraged to take CHEM 00111-00112-00113, Collaborative Learning in Chemistry (CLIC). CLIC is an optional, supplemental course which enables students to augment their understanding of chemistry while cultivating a range of study skills in a group setting.
CHEM 12100-12200-12300, Honors General Chemistry, is an accelerated course designed for students with a strong secondary school background in chemistry. Introductory materials covered in the Comprehensive General Chemistry sequences are omitted in favor of special topics which provide an in-depth examination of various subjects of current interest in chemistry.
The Chemistry Department offers two sequences which satisfy the organic chemistry prerequisite for medical schools.
CHEM 22000-22100-22200, Organic Chemistry. Enrollment in this sequence requires an average grade of C or higher in a general chemistry sequence.
- Students in this sequence are encouraged to take CHEM 00220-00221-00222, Collaborative Learning in Organic Chemistry (CLIC-O). CLIC-O is an optional, supplemental course which enables students to augment their understanding of chemistry while cultivating a range of study skills in a group setting.
CHEM 23000-23100-23200, Honors Organic Chemistry. Enrollment in this sequence requires an average grade of B+ or higher in Comprehensive or Honors General Chemistry.
The Physics Department offers three sequences which satisfy the physics prerequisite for medical schools.
Students not majoring in the physical sciences may take PHYS 12100-12200-12300, General Physics. This sequence in the fundamentals of physics covers classical mechanics, fluids, electricity and magnetism, wave motion, optics, and modern physics, using calculus as needed.
All students may take PHYS 13100-13200-13300, comprising Mechanics; Electricity and Magnetism; and Waves, Optics, and Heat. This sequence uses univariable calculus extensively, and students should have completed or be concurrently enrolled in a calculus sequence.
Students majoring in physics or the physical sciences or students with sufficient background in mathematics may take PHYS 14100-14200-14300, comprising Honors Mechanics; Honors Electricity and Magnetism; and Honors Waves, Optics, and Heat. This sequence assumes a strong background in univariable calculus, while introducing and using extensively multivariable and vector calculus.
Humanities & English
Most medical schools require that students complete a year of English. In the College, this requirement is satisfied by the completion of a three-quarter HUM sequence, or two HUM courses and any course in the Department of English Language and Literature, including creative writing courses.
Students who complete the “Advanced Biology Fundamentals Sequence” or the “Biology Fundamentals Sequence” should make sure to take BIOS 20200, Introduction to Biochemistry. Those who took the “Pre-Med Sequence for Non-Majors” do not need to take an additional biochemistry course beyond BIOS 20175.
Most medical schools require one quarter of statistics, and it is important for MCAT preparation. Students can take any statistics course in any department. Many students will complete the requirement through the Mathematical Modeling course that is part of their biology sequence.
Calculus is not required by medical schools, however, most UChicago students will take calculus or math while completing the Core, as a prerequisite for another pre-med course, or to satisfy their major requirements. Reach out to your academic adviser with questions about the mathematics sequence best for you but know that it is not required for medical school.