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Program Prerequisites


Eligibility Requirements

Applicants to the UCR School of Medicine must be a US citizen, permanent resident, DACA recipient, or eligible to enroll under California AB540, prior to beginning the first year of medical study. Information for undocumented applicants can be found here.

  • All applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited US institution prior to matriculation.
  • Students must complete all premedical requirements before beginning the first year of medical study, although these requirements need not be completed at the time application for admission is filed.

Types of Bachelor's Degrees Accepted

The UCR School of Medicine accepts applicants with bachelor's degrees from all undergraduate majors. The degree must have been completed at a regionally-accredited institution within the United States.

Online bachelor's degrees are not accepted and we typically do not accept any online prerequisite coursework.

Online Course Exceptions During COVID-19

COVID-19 Update

Because of instructional changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we will accept prerequisite courses and/or labs completed as part of online or hybrid programs since March 2020.

  • Coursework completed prior to March 2020 must have been taken through in-person instruction.
  • All students are encouraged to sign up for in-person instructional courses whenever possible.
  • If your institution holds online classes for an upcoming term, we will accept the coursework.
  • If your program reverts to in-person instruction, you should adhere to the standard policy.

Pre-Medical Education

We value broad academic backgrounds that include humanities, foreign language, social sciences and the arts to help prepare future physicians for interacting with increasingly diverse patient populations, health care professionals and colleagues.

Required Science Core

Our candidates are expected to be well prepared for a curriculum in the basic sciences. Applicants are expected to cover foundational areas to demonstrate the ability to succeed in medical school. Lab course hours will count toward total semester hours.

  • Mathematics — Eight (8) semester hours in calculus and/or statistics.
  • Physics — Eight (8) semester hours, labs optional.
  • General chemistry, organic chemistry and biochemistry — 16 semester hours, labs optional.
  • Biology — Eight (8) semester hours, labs optional.

Recommended Humanities Core

In order to prepare students to meet the needs of underserved communities, it is recommended that a candidate's academic history include courses that emphasize culture, ethics, public health, spiritual practices and other aspects of diversity.

  • English, writing, composition, logic, or critical thinking — Eight (8) semester hours in any English, writing, composition, logic, or critical thinking courses.
  • Humanities/social sciences — Eight (8) semester hours.
  • Spanish — Three (3) semester hours.

Please note that while Spanish is not required, it is helpful since our medical students and local healthcare professionals serve a large Spanish-speaking population within the community.

AP Credits/International Baccalaureate Scores

AP credit with a score of 3, 4, or 5 or International Baccalaureate score of 5, 6, or 7 may be used to fulfill program prerequisites in all subjects.

Applicants Who Fail to Meet Minimum Unit Requirements

Students who have completed the necessary coursework but still fall below minimal unit requirements will not be disqualified from receiving a secondary application or being admitted to the program and may not necessarily need to complete additional coursework.

Students who are invited to complete a secondary application will have the opportunity explain the circumstances to the admissions committee, which will assess the coursework and determine if the candidate is sufficiently academically prepared to enter the medical program.

Pass/Fail Grades During COVID-19

COVID 19 update

We understand that some undergraduate schools are providing an option for students to take courses either for grades or on a pass/fail basis during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, we will accept pass/fail grades, without prejudice, for courses taken during the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants to the UCR School of Medicine should not feel pressured to choose the graded option.

It has always been our practice to consider grades in the context of numerous other aspects of the application, and an international crisis certainly provides a unique and compelling context.


UCR Letter Grade Policy

UCR School of Medicine doesn’t have a grade-specific minimum for any individual prerequisite coursework. Applicants can apply to the MD program with a C- grade in a prerequisite course or choose to repeat the course if they wish. It is at the admissions committee’s discretion whether someone is or is not admitted to UCR School of Medicine with their current grade(s). It is suggested that applicants aim to do as well as they possibly can in their classes.

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

The MCAT should be taken no later than fall of the year preceding admission to the School of Medicine. If more than one MCAT was taken, all the test grades must be included when making an application.

We will accept MCAT scores dating back three years from your application submission date. You will be required to retake the MCAT if your score expires before your secondary is submitted to us. Applicants who plan to retake the MCAT exam should submit your new score by no later than November 1, 2024.

Requests for test reports and all other correspondence and requests for information concerning the administration, processing, and scoring of the MCAT should be directed to the MCAT Program Office.