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In order to become a physician, you must:

  • complete a bachelor’s degree (in any major)
  • take the appropriate prerequisite coursework
  • take the Medical College Admission Test ( MCAT)
  • complete the course of study at medical school (4 years)
  • complete a residency (3 – 7 years)
  • complete all necessary certification and licensure examinations

What should I major in?

While there is no prescribed major for admission into medical school, it is imperative that students complete all required courses for admission. Medical schools vary in their requirements, and it is important for you to learn what coursework the schools that interest you want. Choose your major according to your strengths, interest and alternative career choices.

There are some excellent summer programs for future doctors. Students may consider attending these programs between their junior and senior years.

Minimally, a student should complete these courses at WCU for many medical schools:

  • BIOL 140, BIOL 141
    Principles of Biology I, Principles of Biology lI
  • CHEM 139, CHEM 140, CHEM 241, CHEM 242
    General Chemistry I, General Chemistry II, Organic Chemistry I, Organic Chemistry II
  • PHYS 130, PHYS 131
    Introductory Physics I, Introductory Physics II

Mathematics requirements vary among medical schools, with many requiring statistics and/or calculus.
Additional coursework in Psychology, Sociology, Anatomy/Physiology, and Biology and Chemistry including Biochemistry is highly recommended in preparing for the MCAT.

Many majors require a "second major" or a "minor" or an "approved program". An "approved program" that includes the prerequisite coursework indicated above can be added to your degree requirements. Requests must be made to your major department.

Who can help me at WCU?

Zachary Williams at 828.227.2555 or

Honors College students contact: Emily Sharpe at 828.227.3277 or


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