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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 do not 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.

      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.

      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.

      MCAT Test Results During the Pandemic

      COVID 19 Update

      For applicants who are applying during the 2023-2024 admissions cycle and who are experiencing delays completing their first MCAT exam may submit their MCAT score through January 31, 2024. This means that your application could be screened without the MCAT score.

      Once your secondary application is submitted and the November 1 primary deadline has passed, the admissions committee will review the contents of the application as-is. If the committee decides to offer you an interview without a score, they will revisit your file and make a final admissions decision once the score is received.

      Applicants who plan to retake the MCAT exam should submit your new score no later than November 1, 2023. If you cannot submit your score before the primary deadline, you application will be reviewed with your current MCAT score.