Prerequisites and MCATs

Thank you for your interest in our program. The goal of the UNC School of Medicine is to produce outstanding physicians who are well-prepared to meet society's rapidly evolving health care needs. Our Admissions Committee seeks to find students who will thrive in our rigorous educational setting, and who demonstrate the altruism, integrity, leadership, communication skills, motivation, and passion for service that set Tar Heel Doctors apart. 

Prerequisites

Barring extraordinary circumstances, a bachelor's degree is required for admission. In fact, all students in recent years have had a bachelor's degree, and some have also had a graduate degree. Students are encouraged to pursue one or more scholarly interests in depth during their undergraduate years, but course work must demonstrate proficiency in the natural sciences. A student who earns a degree in less than four years may apply, but should recognize that understanding the human condition and developing good judgement require experience. Without unusual qualifications, questions about the breadth of education, maturity, experience, and motivation may put such an applicant at a disadvantage. 

Academic preparation should include the prerequisite courses listed below, regardless of your field of study. An undergrad degree, during which the prerequisite courses were completed, must have been finished within five (5) years prior to submitting an AMCAS application to our school.  Alternatively, undergraduate prerequisite science courses completed after a four-year degree was obtained, must have been completed within five (5) years prior to submitting an AMCAS application to our school.

If completion of the science prerequisites is older than five (5) years, then the applicant must do one of the following before applying

  • Repeat the prerequisite science coursework (30 credit hours or more) - OR -
  • Demonstrate current mastery in the natural sciences by satisfactorily completing a graduate science program in the natural sciences - OR -
  • Complete 30 credit hours or more of upper level science course work in Chemistry, Biology, Physiology, Physics, Microbiology, etc.

Please note that CLEP credits are not accepted for required courses. 

 

Course Requirements

    Minimum Semester Hours
    Substitutions are not acceptable for any of the required courses, and the science course work should be taken in a seated class. --
    General Biology including at least one course with lab 
    8
    It is strongly recommended that students take at least one course in Cell and Molecular Biology, Physiology or Genetics to enhance preparation. --

    General  Chemistry with lab 
    8
    Organic Chemistry with lab 8
    General Physics with lab 8
    In addition, a course in Biochemistry is strongly recommended. --
    English Please note that if you satisfy your undergraduate institution's English or Literature requirement for your degree program, you will also satisfy ours. 6
    Behavioral or Social Sciences (Humanities, Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology, Social Diversity, etc.) 3
    Advanced Placement (AP) courses are accepted as long as they appear on your official transcript. If you have received AP credit for any of the required science courses, we do require that you to take advanced-level college courses to enhance your academic preparation for medical school.Your AP courses must meet the equivalent semester hours required, including any of the associating labs.
    --

    Additional Requirements

    • Students should also plan to take the MCAT no later than September prior to the year they are applying. MCAT scores cannot be older than three years at the time you submit your AMCAS application.
    • Review the technical standards that apply to all entering medical students.
    • We do require that your undergraduate coursework has been completed at an accredited college or university within the US or Canada, and that your grades are documented in letter-grade format on your transcript (and not pass/fail). 

    If your degree is from an educational institution not located in the United States or Canada, then AMCAS, the degree verification service, will not certify your credentials. Therefore, our prerequisites must be met from an accredited college or university within the United States or Canada to allow eligibility for verification by AMCAS.

    After your prerequisites have been successfully completed, and AMCAS has verified your credentials, UNC School of Medicine will review your application and take into consideration all of your educational degrees.

    Beyond the fixed requirements, a variety of undergraduate educational experiences are appropriate to medicine. UNC School of Medicine values a pattern of preparation for medicine that shows serious and mature use of your undergraduate years. Course work in the humanities and social sciences as well as advanced work in the sciences and mathematics is preferred. Proficiency in English is essential.

    For more information on who we consider to be our ideal candidate, click here. 

    MCAT Requirements

    Information About the New MCAT:

    The Admissions Committee will use the MCAT scores from the current exam in the same way they have used previous scores - in conjunction with other academic information presented on the AMCAS application and the letters of recommendation. Because these scores are new to Admissions Committee members, they will use the percentile ranks for the new scores to determine how individual applicants compare to others who took the new exam. 

    Students should plan to take the MCAT no later than September prior to the year they are planning to matriculate. 

    If you took your MCAT exam in
    the calendar year of:
    Your MCAT scores will be valid
    for the following application cycles:
    2011 (no longer valid) 2012, 2013 and 2014
    2012 (no longer valid) 2013, 2014 and 2015
    2013 (no longer valid) 2014, 2015 and 2016
    2014 2015, 2016 and 2017
    2015 2016, 2017 and 2018
    2016 2017, 2018 and 2019
    2017 2018, 2019 and 2020

    The latest exam scores we will accept for the 2017 application cycle will be from the September 10, 2016 test administration. There will be no exceptions. 

    If you submitted your AMCAS application prior to taking the MCAT, please note that your application will not be reviewed until the scores have been reported by AMCAS. For in-state applicants, total MCAT scores below 25 (old MCAT) or 500 (new MCAT) are typically not considered competitive. If your initial MCAT score does not meet our criteria and you plan to retake the exam, make sure you indicate your next MCAT exam date on your AMCAS application and we will review your application after we receive the new scores. There is no need to call us to give us your new scores, because AMCAS will automatically upload them to your application as soon as they are available. 

    The mean MCAT scores for the current first year class are:

    • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems: 127.43
    • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems: 127.41
    • Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior: 128.00
    • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills: 127:14
    • New MCAT - Average total score: 510
    • Old MCAT - Physical Science: 10.40
    • Old MCAT - Biological Science: 10.80
    • Old MCAT - Verbal Reasoning: 9.85
    • Old MCAT - Average Total: 31.06

    To prepare for the MCAT, we recommend checking out the AAMC Pre-Med Navigator at Khan Academy.

    For more information about our application process, click here

    Computer Requirements

    All UNC medical students must bring a laptop to the program. Student laptops are required for all exams and should be in good working order. Students may choose their own device as long as it meets the minimum requirements.

    Statement on Equal Educational Opportunity

    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is open to all people of all races, is committed to equality of educational opportunity, and does not discriminate against applicants, students, or employees based on based on race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. The Equal Opportunity/ADA Office has primary responsibility for administering this policy. Moreover, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill actively seeks to promote diversity by recruiting and enrolling disadvantaged students and students from underrepresented groups.