17 Best Pre-Med Courses List for you in 2024

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A lot of aspiring medical students are seeking the best pre-med courses that would help them in their medical journey. The field of medicine is one of the most challenging and rewarding career paths one can choose. However, the journey to becoming a doctor is not an easy one. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and perseverance.

One of the most important steps in this journey is choosing the right pre-med courses. These courses are designed to provide students with the foundational knowledge and skills they need to succeed in medical school and beyond.

In this article, we will be discussing the 17 best pre-med courses that you should consider taking in 2024. Our goal is to help you make an informed decision about which courses to take so that you can achieve your dream of becoming a medical student.

Why are Pre-med courses important?

Pre-medical studies serve as a crucial steppingstone for aspiring medical professionals. Let’s delve into why these courses are significant:

  1. Path to Medical School: Pre-medical studies, often referred to as “pre-med”, encompass a series of undergraduate courses and extracurricular activities designed to prepare students for medical school after graduation. While pre-med is not a major, it provides the foundational knowledge necessary for success in medical education.
  2. Baseline Understanding: These courses lay the groundwork for concepts you’ll encounter during medical training. They equip you with the fundamental knowledge needed to tackle the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and navigate the medical school application process.
  3. Exploring Healthcare Professions: Pre-med studies also benefit students interested in careers beyond becoming physicians. You’ll gain exposure to various healthcare professions, including pharmacists, dentists, optometrists, physician assistants, and physical therapists.
  4. High Demand for Healthcare Workers: The demand for healthcare professionals in the U.S. is currently at an all-time high. A recent study by the American Association of Medical Colleges predicts a potential shortage of physicians by 2034.

Pre-Medical School Requirements in the USA

To study medicine in the USA, you will need to complete a four-year pre-med undergraduate degree in a relevant subject and demonstrate your scientific knowledge in areas of Biology, General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry.

The premedical coursework requirements vary from school to school, so it is best to check with the specific medical school you are interested in attending.

In addition to a good GPA of 3.0 or more, you will need to show strong competence in science, proof of your desire to become a physician by way of having experience working with patients by perhaps volunteering at a hospital, letters of recommendation, personal statement, high school transcripts, and good TOEFL scores.

The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is required for acceptance, and it must be taken no later than September of the year the application is submitted. The oldest MCAT considered will be four yearsbeforeo the date of expected matriculation.

List of the Best Pre-Med Courses

Below is a list of the best pre-med courses:

17 Best Pre-Med Courses List for You

1. Physics

Physics is a natural science that deals with the study of matter, energy, and their interactions. It is concerned with the fundamental principles of the universe and the laws that govern them.

The scope of physics is vast, ranging from the study of subatomic particles to the behavior of the universe as a whole. The subject is divided into several branches, including mechanics, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, optics, and quantum mechanics.

2. Biology

Biology is the study of living organisms and their interactions with the environment. It encompasses a wide range of topics, including genetics, ecology, evolution, and physiology. The field of biology is essential to our understanding of the natural world and has many practical applications in medicine, agriculture, and conservation.

One of the fundamental principles of biology is the theory of evolution, which explains how species change over time through natural selection. Another important concept is the cell theory, which states that all living organisms are composed of one or more cells. Biology also explores the structure and function of DNA, the genetic material that carries the instructions for life.

The study of biology is divided into many sub-disciplines, including botany, zoology, microbiology, and ecology. Botany is the study of plants, while zoology is the study of animals. Microbiology focuses on the study of microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses. Ecology is the study of how organisms interact with each other and their environment.

3. Biochemistry

Biochemistry is a branch of science that studies the chemical processes and substances that occur within living organisms. It is a crucial field of study for medical students, as it helps them understand the chemical basis of life and the mechanisms of biological processes.

The MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) is a standardized test that aspiring medical students take before applying to medical school. Since 2015, the MCAT has increased its emphasis on biochemistry, making it an important subject for medical students to master.Biochemistryy is tested on two sections of the MCAT, and it constitutes about 25% of the Chemistry and Physics (C/P) and Biology and Biochemistry (B/B) sections. This means that understanding biochemistry is essential for achieving a high score on the MCAT.

4. English

It is interesting to note that English majors are well-represented in the medical field, despite not being a typical pre-med course. This is because studying literature requires critical thinking, research, attention to detail, and excellent writing and citation skills, which are all essential qualities for a physician.

In fact, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, over half of all 2021-2022 medical school applicants majored in biology or biological sciences for their undergraduate degrees, while some even studied topics like business, English, or fine arts. Therefore, it is not surprising that English majors can and do make excellent physicians. Additionally, strong reading comprehension skills are beneficial for performing well on the MCAT exam.

5. Chemistry

Chemistry is a branch of science that deals with the study of matter, including its properties, composition, and the changes that occur to it as a result of various activities. It is a vast field of study that has been further divided into many branches based on specialized disciplines of research. The study of chemistry is essential for understanding the world around us and how it works.

The science of chemistry has been around for centuries and has been instrumental in many people’s research endeavors around the globe.

It has helped humans to systematize and organize the knowledge acquired through observations and experimentation, which was necessary for the good of humanity. Chemistry has also been quite interested in learning about the surroundings of man and studying and explaining the things that are happening around him.

6. Organic Chemistry

Organic Chemistry is a critical course for pre-med students. The course is designed to teach students about the structure, properties, and reactions of organic compounds.

Organic Chemistry is a challenging course, but it is also an essential one. It provides a foundation for understanding the chemical processes that occur in the human body and the drugs used to treat diseases.

To succeed in Organic Chemistry, students need to understand the underlying mechanisms of reactions. Much of Organic Chemistry is about understanding a variety of chemical reactions that take place between different organic molecules and knowing what product is formed when specific compounds react.

7. Psychology

Psychology is a popular major for students interested in pursuing a career in medicine. A bachelor’s degree in psychology can prepare students to get into medical school by providing them with a comprehensive background in psychology and the necessary prerequisite coursework.

While physicians treat patients’ physical ailments, they also must engage their clients’ mental health. Interactions can reveal psychological issues that contribute to the reason for a patient’s visit. A degree in psychology emphasizes the interpersonal, intrapersonal, reasoning, and thinking competencies that medical schools seek. This includes ethical responsibility, critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, and awareness of human behavior.

Students interested in psychiatry, neurology, or behavioral medicine can get valuable skills as a psychology pre-med student. For instance, taking developmental psychology allows graduates to appreciate differences in patients by age.

8. Ethics

Ethics is a branch of philosophy that deals with moral principles and values. It is concerned with what is right and wrong, good and bad, and just and unjust.

Ethics is a fundamental aspect of human life and is essential in guiding our actions and decisions. It is important to note that ethics is not the same as law, as not all actions that are unethical are illegal.

Ethics can be divided into three main categories: meta-ethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics. Meta-ethics is concerned with the nature of ethical thought and language.

Normative ethics is concerned with the moral standards that regulate right and wrong conduct. Applied ethics is concerned with the application of moral principles to specific issues or fields, such as medical ethics, business ethics, and environmental ethics.

9. Sociology

Sociology is a social science that studies human behavior, society, and culture. It is not a traditional pre-med course, but it can be a valuable addition to a pre-med student’s curriculum.

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has identified sociology as an important lens for understanding health and healthcare disparities in the United States. The AAMC now seeks candidates with exposure to sociology and psychology, in addition to a solid background in the natural sciences.

Sociology courses can help pre-med students develop a better understanding of the social factors that impact the health of Americans and that often result in significant and systematic disparities in its distribution.

10. Anatomy

Anatomy is a fundamental course for students who aspire to become medical professionals. While it is not a prerequisite for most medical schools in the United States, some institutions such as Creighton University: School of Medicine and the University of Arizona: College of Medicine require it.

Anatomy is the study of the structure and organization of living organisms, including humans. It is a pre-med course that provides a foundation for understanding the human body’s structure and function, which is essential for medical professionals.

Anatomy is a challenging course that requires a lot of memorization and attention to detail. It covers topics such as the skeletal system, muscular system, nervous system, and cardiovascular system, among others.

Students who take anatomy as a pre-med course will learn about the different organs and systems in the human body, their functions, and how they work together. This knowledge is essential for medical professionals as it helps them diagnose and treat various medical conditions.

11. Human Biology

Human biology is a field of study that focuses on the human body and its functions. It is an essential course for pre-med students at many schools, as it covers many of the subjects that you will study as a medical student.

Human biology is not an official pre-med major, but it is the most commonly required pre-med course. In addition to genetics, human physiology, and neurobiology, you may also study topics such as anatomy, biochemistry, and immunology.

Human biology is a broad field that encompasses many different areas of study, including the structure and function of the human body, the mechanisms of disease, and how the body responds to environmental factors. Studying human biology can provide you with a strong foundation for a career in medicine, research, or public health.

12. Microbiology

As a biology major, you’ll learn about human health, but you’ll also likely take classes in ecology, evolution, and/or Microbiology. Microbiology is the scientific study of microorganisms, which include bacteria, viruses, fungi, algae, protozoa, and archaea.

It is a fascinating field that explores the structure, function, and classification of these organisms, as well as ways to exploit and control their activities.

Microorganisms are ubiquitous and play a vital role in our daily lives, from populating both the inner and outer surfaces of the human body to fermenting sugar to wine and beer, causing bread to rise, flavoring cheeses, and producing valued products such as antibiotics and insulin.

Microbiology has many subfields, including bacteriology, virology, mycology, and parasitology, among others. It is a rapidly evolving field that has contributed significantly to our understanding of the world around us and has led to many important discoveries and innovations.

13. Pharmacology

Pharmacology is a branch of medicine that deals with the study of drugs and their effects on living organisms. It is a pre-med course that provides a strong foundation for students who aspire to become medical doctors.

Pharmacology is a multidisciplinary field that encompasses various aspects of biology, chemistry, and medicine. It is a challenging course that requires a lot of hard work and dedication.

Pharmacology is an essential course for pre-med students because it provides them with a comprehensive understanding of how drugs work in the human body. It teaches students about the mechanisms of drug action, drug metabolism, and drug toxicity.

This knowledge is crucial for medical students because they need to know how to prescribe drugs safely and effectively. Pharmacology also provides students with an understanding of the principles of drug development, which is essential for the discovery of new drugs.

14. Philosophy

Philosophy is a great choice as a pre-med or pre-professional health major for students who are interested in the topic and plan on a career in the health professions.

According to the Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR) book, Philosophy majors have had the highest andsecond-highestt rates of acceptance of any major to medical school in recent years.

This is because a successful Philosophy major is thoroughly trained in a variety of useful skills, including critical thinking, ethical reasoning, intellectual history,y and both oral and written communication. In short, they tend to be well-rounded, well-educated students. This is certainly part of the reason that Philosophy majors do so well in medical school.

Moreover, the MCAT doesn’t separate data on scores by individual majors, but Philosophy majors score at or near the top of other graduate school exams, and humanities majors statistically outperform biosciences majors on the MCAT exam, so there is good reason to think that philosophers are top performers on the MCAT.

15. Nutrition and Dietetics

Nutrition and Dietetics is a popular pre-med course that provides a strong foundation in the principles of nutrition, food science, and dietetics. The course is designed to prepare students for a career in medicine or other health-related fields.

The curriculum of Nutrition and Dietetics is designed to meet the admission requirements for most professional health programs, including medical, dental, physical therapy, physician assistant, accelerated nursing, optometry, veterinary, and public health programs.

The course provides students with a strong grounding in Nutritional Sciences while meeting the coursework requirements for students planning to apply to most medical or dental schools.

16. Public Health

If you’re interested in the medical industry, a degree in public health can be a great way to learn about healthcare policies and processes. It can also be an excellent pre-med course, as it exposes students to a side of medicine that many do not see and may not fully comprehend as doctors.

During their undergraduate careers, students should make invaluable connections through internships and working with hospital professionals in areas such as healthcare policy, prevention, and substance abuse.

Pursuing a degree in public health can lead to a variety of career paths, apart from medicine, including epidemiology, health education, biostatistics, and environmental health.

17. Medical Anthropology

Medical Anthropology is a field of study that examines the social, cultural, and biological factors that influence health and illness. It is an interdisciplinary field that combines the perspectives of anthropology, biology, and sociology to understand how people experience health and illness in different cultures and societies.

Medical Anthropology can be a valuable pre-med course because it provides students with a unique perspective on health and illness that is not typically covered in traditional pre-med courses.

Taking an anthropology course as a pre-med student can help doctors empathize with patients and cater healthcare to the needs of individuals and communities. Anthropology can help pre-med students better understand the impact of illness on the lives of patients and help them deal with the consequences of their illness.

Anthropology can also help pre-med students learn how to ask questions better and empathize with patients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important to choose the right pre-med courses?

The right pre-med courses form the foundation for a successful medical career. They provide essential knowledge and skills needed for medical school and future medical practice.

Are these courses suitable for all pre-med students?

While the listed courses are generally beneficial, individual needs may vary. Consider personal interests, career goals, and medical school requirements when choosing courses.

Can these courses be taken online?

Not all pre-med courses are offered online, it's necessary to ensure that the online courses are recognized by medical schools.


In conclusion, the 17 courses we’ve listed are a great starting point for anyone looking to pursue a healthcare career. However, it’s important to remember that there are many other great pre-med programs available.

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