Students can apply to medical school with any major, including non-science areas, as long as they take the required courses listed by the school to which they apply. Generally these include a year each of General Chemistry, General Biology, General Physics, and Organic Chemistry. (OHSU also requires Genetics and Biochemistry). Liberal arts requirements often include a year each of humanities, social sciences and writing. The following majors would include the required premedical science sequences; additional coursework for each major is listed below.


Biochemists explore the chemical structure of living matter and the chemical reactions occurring in living cells. Biophysicists use the methods of physical science to study life processes at a fundamental level. Upper division courses include Physical Chemistry, Experimental Chemistry, Genetics, Biochemistry, Biophysics, etc. Note: this major requires 4 terms of calculus and calculus-based physics.

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB)

Biochemistry and Molecular Bioloy involves life science, quantitative work, and modern techniques. Molecular biologists study life processes at a molecular level and carry out both basic and applied research. They answer questions such as: How is information transmitted to direct cellular functions? What controls the expression of genes, to account for cellular differentiation? 

BioHealth Sciences (BHS)

The BioHealth Sciences (BHS) major (formerly known as General Science prior to Fall 2014) is intended to provide a basic science education in fields relevant to a career related to human health.  The major prepares students to become successful health care professionals in a variety of different fields. 


Biologists study all living organisms, from their beginnings, to their development, function, and environment. Upper division courses include Genetics, Ecology, Biochemistry, Statistics, Cell and Molecular Biology, Evolution, Microbiology, Physiology, History of Science, etc. Note: this major requires 2 terms of calculus, and algebra-based physics. 


Chemists study molecules and materials. There are 10 different options in the major; the premed option includes coursework in Quantitative Analysis, Inorganic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Genetics, and the unique Experimental Chemistry sequence which is organized around integrated projects. Note: this major requires 3 terms of calculus and the calculus-based physics is recommended.


Microbiologists study a large and diverse group of microorganisms- bacteria, viruses, protozoa, algae, and fungi. Upper division courses include Immunology, Bacterial Molecular Genetics, Pathogenic Microbiology, Virology, Plasmid Biology, Food Microbiology, etc. Note: this major requires 2 terms of calculus and algebra-based physics.


It is important to begin serious study of the liberal arts early in your program as preparation for the MCAT, which contains a Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills section in addition to sciences. Baccalaureate Core Courses which require writing are especially useful. Broad reading is also important.

Other important information for premedical students

1. Premedical Listserv: Important information is sent to students on a regular basis about scholarships, meetings, work opportunities, deadlines, seminars, etc. To subscribe: send a message to this email address from your onid account: .

2. Student Club: The Premed Society meets several times a month and sponsors field trips, speakers, a tour of OHSU, etc. For more information go to:

3. Premedical Orientation Class, BI 109, is offered spring term. General information is provided about the application process, the MCAT, admissions, volunteer opportunities, etc. and various speakers are also included.

4. Application Seminar Series: During the year in which you apply to medical school, attend the application seminars in November and Winter terms. Dates are announced via the listserv. 

5. An excellent source of general and specific information on medical school is the website of the Association of American Medical Colleges,



Questions: email