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Core Studies Sample Schedule

As a new student in the Pre-Health Core Studies Program, you will meet with a Pre-Health advisor to review your previous experiences and your future goals. Based on this discussion, you will create an individualized academic schedule.

The following sample schedule is provided as examples to illustrate potential study sequences. Course availability varies each year. Please stay in regular contact with your Pre-Health advisor and refer to the Course Guide for the most up-to-date course offerings.

Two-year, full-time Core Studies sample schedule 

The Core Studies Program may be completed full time in four semesters or part time over two years. You will most likely take biology and inorganic/general chemistry the first year, followed by physics, organic chemistry and biochemistry the second year in preparation for taking the May/June MCAT, DAT or GRE.

Term Course Course Units (c.u.)*
Year One
Fall Semester Introductory Biology A (lecture and lab): BIOL 101-601 1.5
Introductory Chemistry I lecture: CHEM 001-601 1
General Chemistry I lab:  CHEM 053-601 0.5
Spring Semester Introductory Biology B (lecture and lab):  BIOL 102-601 1.5
General Chemistry I lecture:  CHEM 102-601 1
General Chemistry II lab:  CHEM 054-601 0.5
Options for Summer 1

Complete your physics requirements

Take additional courses

Get involved in activities such as research, volunteering or shadowing

Year Two
Fall Semester Organic Chemistry I lecture: CHEM 241-601 1
Experimental Organic Chemistry I lab (Part I):  CHEM 245-601 0 (c.u. earned in spring)
Physics I: Mechanics (lecture and lab):  PHYS 101-601 1.5
Spring Semester Organic Chemistry II lecture:  CHEM 242-601 1
Experimental Organic Chemistry I lab (Part II):  CHEM 245-601 1 (continuing from fall)
Physics II: Electromagnetism  (lecture and lab):  PHYS 102-601 1.5

Biochemistry 1: Essentials of Biochemistry: BIOL 203-601 

1.0 c.u.

Options for Summer 2 Take advanced science courses or nonscience prerequisite courses for professional school if needed. Get involved in activities such as research, volunteering or shadowing.
Total c.u. 12 (minimum)
  • On the two-year schedule, you will complete the MCAT, DAT or GRE in late April-beginning of June of the second year.
  • Please keep in mind that the recommended prep time for the MCAT and DAT exams are 300-350 hours.
  • You can apply to medical, dental or veterinary medical school at the beginning of June for the following fall entry term.

*Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). Generally, a 1 c.u. course at Penn is equivalent to a three or four semester hour course elsewhere. In general, the average course offered at Penn is listed as being worth 1 c.u.; courses that include a lecture and a lab are often worth 1.5 c.u.

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