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Physicians diagnose and treat injuries or illnesses. They examine patients, take medical histories, prescribe medications, and order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests. They often counsel patients on diet, hygiene, and preventive healthcare.

There are three paths to a medical degree.

Allopathic Medical Schools confer a MD (Medical Doctor) degree. Osteopathic Medical Schools confer a DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) degree.   These physicians are licensed to practice medicine in all 50 states. Both paths require 4 years of medical school and 3-7 years of continued training through a residency program, as well as an optional period of advanced training known as a fellowship.

Podiatric Medical Schools confer a DPM (Doctor of Podiatric Medicine) degree. A DPM, is a podiatric physician or surgeon that diagnoses and treats conditions affecting the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg.


Make sure you verify with you chosen school(s) their application process and deadlines.

  1. MD: Most U.S. MD medical schools use AMCAS as the primary application method. *Most Texas schools are not included, they use TMDSAS.
  2. DO: AACOMAS is the centralized online application service for U.S. DO Medical Schools.
  3. DPM: Podiatry Medical Schools use AACPMAS.


Most medical schools (allopathic, osteopathic, podiatry) require the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). The timeline for when to take the MCAT will depend on when you are applying; make sure to take in to account that it usually takes 30 days to receive your score and it is recommended to know your score before applying!


Top 10 Tips for MCAT Test Day (AAMC)

Letters of Recommendation

You must get to know faculty members so that they can write letters of recommendation for you. UNC has no Pre-Medical Committee or Advisor’s Letter.


  1. MD: The AMCAS application requires official transcripts from each U.S., U.S. Territorial, or Canadian post-secondary institution at which you have attempted coursework, regardless of whether credit was earned.
  2. DO: You are required to report to AACOMAS all institutions attended, including but not limited to college-level courses taken in high school, summer courses, community college courses, undergraduate institutions, military institutions, postbaccalaureate, graduate, and doctoral work, study abroad, foreign work, etc.
  3. DPM: AACPMAS requires official transcripts from all colleges attended.

** If you transferred into UNC, you need to request transcripts from the institutions you transferred from – UNC transcripts only show the total number of transfer credits accepted by UNC, not the specific courses.

Transcripts must be sent directly from the schools’ registrar’s offices.

Prerequisite Coursework

Admission requirements vary from school to school. Every medical school has determined their own list of required or recommended coursework.  There are medical schools that have progressed to a competency-based admissions and do not require students to complete a particular list of courses prior to applying.

These are common prerequisite courses for medical schools and MCAT preparation – make sure to work with your Academic Advisor to determine the sequence of courses required to take the following medical school prerequisites:

  • Biology: UNC’s Biology Department has a new curriculum starting with the incoming class of Fall 2022 and later (example schedules can be found here):
    • Biol 220 (old curriculum Biol 202)
    • Biol 252/L or 474/L
    • Biol 240 is highly recommended (old curriculum Biol 205)
  • Chemistry
    • Chem 241/L
    • Chem 261 (UNC does not have a lab for 261)
    • Chem 262/L
    • *Note: The chemistry department does not offer a lab for Chemistry 261.  In order to obtain the 8 hours of organic chemistry and lab, students should take Chemistry 241 and 241L.  Please be aware that Chemistry 241L is a prerequisite for Chemistry 262L.  Medical schools know this and look for it on the transcripts of UNC students.
  • Biochemistry
    • Chem 430
  • Physics
    • Phys 114 and 115 OR
    • Phys 118 and 119
  • Statistics
    • Stor 151 or Stor 155 (Psyc 210 and Bios 600 are also options)
  • A semester of Psychology AND Sociology
  • A few schools require 1 semester of Calculus (Math 231) 

Most medical schools require a grade of C or higher in prerequisite coursework

Admissions requirements at the UNC School of Medicine

Extra Curricular

Extracurriculars are a very important part of the applicant’s materials. Most medical schools place emphasis on volunteer community service. Some volunteer experience in a medical setting is a must. Undergraduate research is a plus. UNC has a several very active pre-health student organizations. The Health Professions Advising Listserv is a good resource to get plugged into these activities.

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