Premedical Education/Required Coursework

Policy Title:  Premedical Education/Required Coursework for Acceptance into the MD Degree Program

Classification:           University 

Approval Authority:  College of Medicine Undergraduate Curriculum Committee

Responsible Entity:  College of Medicine Undergraduate Curriculum Committee

Policy Owner:           College of Medicine Undergraduate Curriculum Committee

I.        Policy Statement


In compliance with LCME Element 10.1, the College of Medicine establishes and publishes requirements for premedical education coursework for potential applicants to the medical education program. These requirements encourage potential applicants to acquire a broad undergraduate education that includes the study of the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences, and confines specific premedical course requirements to those deemed essential preparation for successful completion of the medical curriculum. The criteria are made available to potential applicants and their advisors.

II.       Scope


This policy applies to admission of applicants to the College of Medicine students enrolled in the MD degree or dual degree programs.

III.      Review Cycle


Premedical Education/Required Coursework requirements are reviewed at least every three years by an ad hoc committee appointed by the Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education; the committee consists of members of the College of Medicine Admissions Committee and members of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. Recommendations are presented to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee for final approval. This policy will be reviewed and revised every three years to reflect any changes to prerequisite requirements.

IV.     Approval Authority


The College of Medicine Undergraduate Curriculum Committee owns this policy and has final approval authority.


V.      Who Should Be Knowledgeable about This Policy


Applicants to the College of Medicine, Admissions Committee leadership, members and staff.


VI.     The Policy for Premedical Education/Required Coursework


Courses required for acceptance into the MD degree program

1.       Required:

a.       MUSC has no defined prerequisite course requirements.

b.       Academic rigor and evidence of exposure to highly recommended coursework will be considered in any holistic review of an applicant’s preparedness for the College of Medicine Curriculum.

2.       Highly recommended:

a.       2 semesters General Biology with lab

b.       2 semesters General Inorganic Chemistry with lab

c.       1 to 2 semesters Organic Chemistry with lab

d.       1 to 2 semesters Physics with lab

3.       Suggested coursework exposing students to the following disciplines:

a.       Biochemistry

b.       Anatomy/Physiology

c.       Cell Biology

d.       Embryology

e.       Genetics

f.        Immunology

g.       Statistics

h.       College level Mathematics

i.         Courses involving intensive writing experiences


4.       Online courses

Online courses from an accredited college or university may be acceptable. However, applicants who have successfully completed science coursework in a formal classroom setting will be deemed more competitive in the selection process than students who completed these courses in online programs. We strongly recommend that any science course work include an in-person laboratory experience.


5.       AP/IB credit

AP and IB courses awarded credit by the institution granting a baccalaureate degree are acceptable. Applicants receiving AP/IB credit for recommended courses are encouraged to complete additional advanced coursework in these disciplines. Students applying to Bachelor-MD degree programs must consult the guiding documents that explains the exclusion of AP/IB courses from prerequisite hours.


VII.      Special situations


Applicants seeking to enroll in a dual degree program (i.e., Medical Scientist Training Program, Bachelor-MD degree program) must consult the guiding documents that explain the prerequisite requirements for these degree programs.

VIII.     Communication Plan


Information regarding Premedical Education/Required Coursework is to be posted online on the admissions website, and shared in printed publications that describe application to the MD degree program. This policy is posted on the COM Academic Policies website and shared with the relevant committee members. 


IX.       Approval History

Approval Authority                                                Date Approved

Undergraduate Curriculum Committee               August 16, 2019


X.        Approval Signature



                     Donna Kern, MD

Title:     Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education