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UC Berkeley courses that most students use to fulfill requirements

General and Organic Chemistry

Most schools require 2 semesters of general chemistry with lab and 2 semesters of organic chemistry with lab. Some schools also require a semester of biochemistry. However, Berkeley has a unique chemistry sequence where you fulfill these requirements through the 4-course sequence below. Medical schools look for course work that includes cellular metabolism:

  • Chem 1A/1AL
  • Chem 3A/3AL
  • Chem 3B/3BL
  • MCB 102 or MCB C100A/100B (both must be taken), Chem C130 and 100B or Chem 135 and 100B or
  • BioE 103 (for BioE majors only)



  • If you are in the College of Chemistry, you would instead take Chem 4A, 12A, 12B, and an upper-division biochemistry course.

The sequence must all be taken at Berkeley.  If one of the Chem courses is taken elsewhere, then a student needs to add Chem 1B and lab


Most schools require 2 semesters. The most typical sequences are:

  • Physics 8A and 8B
  • Physics 7A and 7B


Medical schools require one year of Biology with lab. Students fulfill this by taking Bio1B (lab included), Bio1A/1AL. (Substituting another MCB course for Bio 1B is not recommended, since medical schools vary as to what they take as a substitute for Bio 1B.  In order to apply broadly, Bio 1B is recommended.  

Some schools require an upper division Biology course, as well. Any course in MCB or IB should fulfill this requirement. Some suggested courses: Immunology, Histology, Physiology, Genetics, Neurobiology, Anatomy

Math and Statistics

Requirements can vary greatly- from no requirement to a year. Unless your major requires 1 year of calculus, you can plan to take 1 semester of stats and 1 semester of calculus to satisfy this requirement for medical schools

  • Math 1A & 1B
  • Math 10A* & 10B*
  • Math 16A & 16B
  • Math 53 & 54

Common stats courses at Berkeley:

  • Stats 2
  • Stats 20
  • Stats 131A
  • Public Health 142 (limited enrollment for non-public health majors)
  • Data 8 (must take a connector course to count as fulfillment of stats requirement)

*The Math 10 series fulfills both the math AND statistics requirement for medical school admissions including Texas medical schools.

English Requirement

Taking two R&C courses is your safest bet even if you have placed out of them with AP credit. These are our writing-intensive courses at Berkeley and will satisfy the one-year requirement that some medical schools have. If you did not (or choose not to) take any R&C courses, we recommend looking into classes from the following departments: English, Rhetoric, Comparative Literature, and the College Writing Program.

Behavioral Sciences

Some medical schools require coursework in the behavioral and social sciences
We recommend exposure to these topics as part of your preparation for the Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior section of the MCAT.