The 4-Year Premed Plan

Planning your undergraduate years.

Pre-med Plan

The following is a premed plan for what a typical student should do to prepare for the medical school admissions process. Of course, each student should create a calendar suitable for his/her needs and a calendar fitting of the medical schools in which they intend to apply. Students can use this as a general guide to planning a typical 4-year undergraduate degree program.

Year 1 – Freshman

This is your first year of college. Most universities have orientation sessions prior to the beginning of classes. Use these sessions to identify clubs and other extracurricular activities that may interest you.

Also, be sure to determine if your school has a premedical committee or a premed advisor. If it does, your freshman year is a good time to begin developing relationships with the committee members.

Fall Semester

  • Principles of Biology I
  • Principles of Chemistry I
  • Join AMSA or other student organizations
  • Initiate contact with Premedical Advisors/Committee

Spring Semester

  • Principles of Biology II
  • Principles of Chemistry II
  • Join AMSA or other student organizations
  • Research in-state medical schools


  • Clinical volunteer work
  • Shadow a physician

Year 2 – Sophomore

The second year of your undergraduate education should mark the completion of your prerequisite courses for medical school. It would be best to start reviewing the material for MCAT a little bit at a time, which should reduce the amount of time you spend studying later.

Continue to develop the relationships you have established with advisors and mentors. Keep them up-to-date on your progress and ask for advice on how to do better. The majority of your time as a sophomore should be dedicated to extracurricular involvement and studying. Be sure to keep a notebook that contains a personal record of your volunteer work, extracurricular activities, and research experience.

Fall Semester

  • Organic Chemistry I
  • Physics I

Spring Semester

  • Organic Chemistry II
  • Physics II


  • Study for Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
  • Register for Medical College Admission Test ( MCAT) to be taken in the Fall/Spring
  • Clinical volunteer work
  • Clinical job experience
  • Conduct university-sponsored research
  • Shadow a physician

Year 3 – Junior

Your junior year is crunch time. Most, if not all, of your prerequisite coursework should be complete. Reduce the number of hours involved in extracurricular activities, volunteering, and employment. Allocate more of your free time to study for the MCAT.

Fall Semester

  • Study for Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
  • Take recommended coursework* when possible
  • Take the  Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

Spring Semester

  • Take recommended coursework* when possible
  • Take the  Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) (if not already done)
  • Begin writing rough draft of personal statement
  • Have transcripts sent to AMCAS/AACOMAS
  • Request letters of recommendation


  • Visit medical schools
  • Re-take  Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) if scores are poor
  • Begin the AMCAS/AACOMAS application
  • Submit personal statement to university writing center for review
  • Shadow a physician

Year 4 – Senior

By senior year, most of the work is done, but your journey is not yet complete. Most of your senior year will include application-oriented tasks. Complete your AMCAS/AACOMAS application early to streamline the application process. At this point, reviewing and polishing your primary application should be your priority. After your applications and secondary applications are submitted, make arrangements to attend interviews, if invited.

Fall Semester

  • Submit AMCAS/AACOMAS application
  • Prepare for interviews
  • Prepare essays for secondary applications

Spring Semester

  • Complete all secondary applications
  • Allocate time for interviews
  • Submit final transcripts directly to schools
  • Check your mail for acceptance letters
  • Complete the FAFSA


  • Pack your bags
  • Search for housing located near the medical school to which you were accepted

*Recommended Courses

The following courses are recommended to take in addition to the courses that are generally required for medical school. These courses should help premedical students broaden their knowledge of the general topics of basic science courses. Many of these will provide premedical students with a supplemental education that will increase their performance in medical school. These courses are required by some, but not all, medical schools prior to matriculation.Research each medical school’s application requirements to verify prerequisites.

Anatomy & Physiology


Cell Biology



Advanced Literature Courses


Abnormal Psychology



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