Academic Preparation for Texas Medical (MD or DO) Programs

There are sixteen medical schools in Texas. Thirteen of these are allopathic medical schools that award the M.D. degree, and three of these are osteopathic medical schools that award the D.O. degree. The academic preparation and clinical experience required is similar at all of the medical schools. 

MD vs. DO

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Medical schools require no specific academic major but do require that certain prerequisite coursework be completed to apply. Prerequisites for admission can vary by program and the classes listed below are common course prerequisites for programs in Texas. (SHSU course codes provided.)

  • 14 hours of Biological Sciences (BIOL 1406 and BIOL 1407 recommended)
  • 6-8 hours of Advanced Junior/Senior level Biological Sciences (may be included in the 14 hours of Biological Sciences above)
  • 8 hours of General Chemistry (CHEM 1411 and CHEM 1412)
  • 8 hours of Organic Chemistry (CHEM 2323 & 2123 and CHEM 2325 & 2125)
  • 3 hours of Biochemistry (CHEM 3438)
  • 8 hours of Physics (PHYS 1301 & 1101 and PHYS 1302 & 1102)
  • 3 hours of Statistics (MATH 1342 or MATH 1370 or MATH 3379 or BIOL 4374)
  • 6 hours of English Composition (ENGL 1301 and ENGL 1302)
  • Additional coursework in Psychology, Sociology, Philosophy, Humanities, and Social Sciences (for Texas Core) is highly recommended.

Most students find additional science and social science coursework to be beneficial in performing well on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). All prerequisite courses must be science major credible (not intended for non-science majors). Medical Schools of other states may have a different prerequisites required. Some medical colleges do not accept AP credit to meet admission requirements.

While medical schools require no specific undergraduate academic major, selecting a major in Biomedical Sciences, Biology, or Chemistry can be an efficient pathway. Other disciplines may offer a variety of interesting courses appropriate for students interested in medical school. However, if you choose a major outside of the Physical and Biological Science area, you must still complete the requirements for medical school, and these may be in addition to the requirements needed to satisfy your degree plan for your selected major.

You can apply to most Texas medical schools using the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Services (TMDSAS) website. This application opens in May, and early application is recommended since admissions for medical school is very competitive. The average GPA of students accepted into medical school in Texas is high, and the application requires additional components, such as letters of recommendation and a list of related activities (including but not limited to things like shadowing hours and volunteer work).

Students applying to out-of-state M.D. schools (and Texas Christian University’s medical school) will need to apply through the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) application service (AMCAS). Students applying to out-of-state D.O. schools (and University of Incarnate Word’s medical school) will need to apply through the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) application service (AACOMAS).

Successful candidates demonstrate a passion for medicine, academic excellence, and seek experiences to develop the core competencies needed for medical school.