Applicants to the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health need to have earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university before starting the MD Program. Only outstanding undergraduate applicants will be considered without earning a bachelor's degree.

The following courses must be completed before beginning the MD Program at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. Please note that applicants are welcome to apply without having completed all premedical requirements, but must finish any outstanding requirements in the spring and summer before starting the MD Program if they are admitted and choose to matriculate.

1. General biology: 2 semesters, one of which must be with a lab

  • Courses that meet the general biology, general chemistry and physics prerequisites will be taught at the level required for students majoring in science or engineering.

2. General chemistry: 2 semesters, both with lab

3. Organic chemistry: 1 semester

4. Biochemistry: 1 semester

5. Physics: 2 semesters, both with lab

6. Statistics or equivalent: 1 semester

  • A basic course in statistics or the equivalent is required. The requirement may be satisfied through a wide variety of courses that include statistics topics and/or experiences that include implementation of statistics by the applicant. Such courses and experiences must be documented and submitted to the MD Admissions Office for approval. Email us at to check if a course or experience you have could satisfy this requirement.

7. Humanities/social sciences intensive writing requirement: 1 semester

  • Strong skills in written communication outside hard science disciplines are critical in medicine. The UW School of Medicine and Public Health therefore requires applicants to take a writing-intensive course in a humanities or social science field in order to gain these skills. Foreign language or introductory composition courses (e.g., ENG 101) will not satisfy this requirement. Courses that meet this requirement satisfy the following criteria:
    • The course should be in a humanities or social sciences field (i.e., no "science writing" courses).
    • At least 30 percent of the final grade should be based on written assignments.
    • Students must be required to complete one substantial research paper (at least eight pages in length).
    • Students must be required to submit a bibliography or works cited page with their substantial research paper.
    • For the course you complete in satisfaction of this requirement, please maintain a copy of the course syllabus and research paper for verification purposes. If we cannot verify that you have met this requirement, you will be required to take an additional course before matriculating.

Premedical requirement FAQs

I am not a native English speaker. Will I be required to submit a TOEFL score?

Skill in verbal communication is essential in medicine, and because English is the most common spoken language in Wisconsin, we reserve the right to request TOEFL scores from non-native English speakers. If we do not request a TOEFL score from you, you are not required to submit one.

I earned college credit through my scores on AP and CLEP exams. Will these count toward premedical requirements?

AP and CLEP exams may satisfy our premedical requirements in general biology, general chemistry, physics, and statistics, but your college or university transcripts must clearly state the course subject for which credit was granted.

Do I have to take premedical courses for a grade?

To ensure the best preparation for our MD curriculum, we recommend that applicants take premedical courses for a grade rather than on a pass/fail basis. Seminar-style courses will not satisfy premedical requirements in the hard sciences, and audited courses will not satisfy any of our premedical requirements.