High School Advanced Preparation

Preparation for medical school can begin as early as high school. Follow these four guidelines and review the specific pre-college recommended classes^ listed below.

Basic Preparation Guidelines

  1. Study as many different sciences as you can (e.g., a year each of biology, chemistry, physics, and geology).
  2. Take as many mathematics classes as you can.
  3. Study a foreign language as many years as you can.
  4. Develop as many computer skills as you can.

Pre-College Recommended Classes^


  • 1 year biology
  • 1 year chemistry
  • At least 3 years of math, including basic and advanced algebra, geometry, and trigonometry
  • English (ability to write and read at the appropriate level, including understanding math word problems)

Strongly recommended:

  • Physics
  • Calculus
  • Advanced biology or anatomy and physiology

Also recommended:

  • Speech
  • Computer sciences
  • Social studies and history

Additional learning:

  • Medical terminology
  • Critical thinking
  • Logic (rational, deductive, and inductive reasoning)
  • Professional behaviors (punctuality, attendance, attire, personal interactions with patients or health care team, etc.)

^Compiled by the APU premedical major advisor based on a survey posted on the American Medical Association website.

Note: This information is current for the 2016-17 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.