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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 website 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 physics and inorganic/general chemistry the first year, followed by biology, organic chemistry and biochemistry the second year in preparation for taking the April/May/June MCAT, DAT or GRE.

Term Course Course Units (c.u.)*
Year One

Fall Semester

Physics I: Mechanics (lecture and lab): PHYS 101-601


Introductory Chemistry I lecture: CHEM 001-601


General Chemistry I lab: CHEM 053-601


Spring Semester

Physics II: Electromagnetism (lecture and lab): PHYS 102-601


General Chemistry II lecture: CHEM 102-601


General Chemistry II lab: CHEM 054-601


Summer Year 1

Complete your Biology sequence requirements: Biol 101.910 (lecture and lab) 1.5 cu in Summer Session 1 and Biol 102.920 (lecture and lab) 1.5 cu in Summer Session 2.

Year Two

Fall Semester

Organic Chemistry I lecture: CHEM 241-601


Experimental Organic Chemistry I lab (Part I): CHEM 245-601

0 (c.u. earned in spring)

Advanced BIOL or BIBB course optional


Spring Semester

Organic Chemistry II lecture: CHEM 242-601


Experimental Organic Chemistry I lab (Part II): CHEM 245-601

1 (continuing from fall)

Advanced BIOL or BIBB course optional


Essentials of Biochemistry: BIOL 203.601 or CHEM 251.601 Biological Chemistry


Total Course Units (c.u.) 13
  • 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 (PDF) is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.

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Penn LPS

The lifelong learning division of Penn Arts & Sciences

3440 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335

(215) 898-7326

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