Preparing for a Career in Medicine

Good news! When you complete your B.S. degree in Biology, Biomedical Sciences emphasis, you also complete all of the required premed courses! Play a role in helping people live healthier lives with a degree that prepares you to be a leader in the medical field.  Our Biomedical Sciences emphasis is for students dedicated to the advancement of science and who plan to pursue careers in medicine, biomedical research, or other health professions. The program of study includes training in biological systems with a focus on anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, genetics and genomics. Our department is renowned for its groundbreaking research of which you can join. 

You can download a pdf of the degree check sheet with the premed classes highlighted

Here is a look at the typical medical school requirements paired with the UA Course Number:

Requirement Course Number
8 units Biology

MCB 181 R & 181 L 

ECOL 182 R & 182 L

8 units Inorganic Chemistry 

CHEM 151 or CHEM 141/143

CHEM 152 or CHEM 142/144

8 units Organic Chemistry

CHEM 241 A & 243 A

CHEM 241 B & 243 B

8 units Physics 

PHYS 102  & 181 or PHYS 141

PHYS 103 & 182 or PHYS 241

6 units English

ENGL 101 & 102 

or ENGL 109H and additional course like ENGL 306

3-6 units Math MATH 112 minimum; MATH 122A/B where calculus is required

The UA College of Medicine has a few additional requirements, listed below, which are also included (or can be counted towards requirements) in your Biomedical Sciences track:

Requirement  Course Number
Biostatistics  MATH 263 or ECOL 379
Anatomy and Physiology PSIO 201 & PSIO 202 or two semesters of any other relevant physiology or anatomy course 
2 semesters Biochemistry  BIOC 384 and BIOC 385 or BIOC 462 A and B

We also recommend taking Introductory Psychology PSY 150 A1 in your gen ed requirements. Some medical schools require Biochemistry, which we require in our degree as BIOC 384. 

Electives of Interest

ECOL 379 Evidence Based Medicine 

We emphasize randomized clinical trials, Bayes Theorem, and the interaction between science and society as students design their own trials.  At least one of these trials will be carried out by the class.


ECOL 409 Evolution of Infections Disease 

We examine causes and consequences of evolutionary change in pathogens.  Course highlights include: evolutionary principles, vertebrate immunity, evolution of antimicrobial resistance, predicting epidemics, HIV evolution and more.


ECOL 220 Evolutionary Medicine 

We will explore evolutionary answers to questions such as: Why do parasites harm us? Why do we age? Why do we suffer from allergies or develop cancer? Why do we reproduce sexually? Why do babies cry?

Outstanding Senior Highlight

“Designing and carrying out a research project with immediate real-world applications was a great learning experience and solidified my desire to become a research scientist ... Overall, my undergraduate research experience not only allowed me to present my work to the scientific community and to the public, but also directly to mining companies.“

-Karen Serrano 

Spring 2019 Graduate 

Poster Session Highlight

Our Poster Session 2017 winner Sarah White worked with Dr. Janko Nikolich-Zugich, Department Head and Professor in Immunobiology. 

Her poster title and Honors Thesis was:  Can current methods of immune rejuvenation improve humoral immunity against a viral infection?

MCAT Resources

You will take the MCAT exam prior to applying to medical school. The MCAT exam includes biological sciences, physical sciences, verbal skills, social and behavioral sciences, biochemistry, statistics, research methods and social sciences. 

The AAMC Fee Assistance Program assists those who, without financial assistance, would be unable to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), apply to medical schools that use the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS), and more.

The College of Medicine offers many resources including an intensive one-day seminar for premed students who are ready to apply to medical school. See the Arizona Applicant Academy here

Additionally, the College of Medicine Tucson Office of Diversity and Inclusion offers an MCAP Preparation Bootcamp and many additional resources you can find here 

Think Tank offers an intensive MCAT Prep Course

The A Center Pre Health Professions Advising team is here to help navigate preparation and the application process to professional schools 

See the A Center MD Fact Sheet 

Ready to learn more?