Frequently Asked Questions: Pre-Medical and General Science (2024)

What courses should I start with?

If you are thinking of starting our certificate program, and have never taken math or science courses, we strongly advise students to have a firm grasp on Calculus before enrolling in other science courses such as Chemistry and Physics. A first-quarter course plan typically looks like this:

  • CHEM XL 14AGeneral Chemistry for Life Scientists I

    LIFESCI XL 7ACell and Molecular Biology

  • Ora math course

How do I know my math proficiency level?

Because most of the courses require a base knowledge of Calculus, you may want to start off taking either Math XL 1 (Precalculus) or Math XL 31A (Calculus Part I).

If you are unsure where you stand at your mathematics level, the following courses offer a preliminary examination that students must complete before enrolling in the courses below:

This mandatory preliminary examination does not count toward your grade. The mandatory exam is merely a diagnostic tool designed to help you determine what mathematics course level is appropriate for you.

How should I plan my schedule?

We suggest students move sequentially in the Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Life Sciences series.

Furthermore, since Chemistry is the most extensive of the academic disciplines (the General, Organic, and Biochemistry series total 9 individual courses), it will take the longest time to complete. Therefore, students are strongly encouraged to start the Chemistry sequence as soon as possible and take at least one Chemistry course each quarter to complete the courses as efficiently as possible. Students can take the lab 14BL with or after 14B, and the lab 14CL with or after 14C.

Regarding the other disciplines, it is recommended that once a student starts a sequence, the student should complete the series by taking each course consecutively. Doing so may give the student the best opportunity for success in completing the series.

For example, if you choose to start the Physics series alongside Chemistry, we recommend that you take Physics XL 5A, 5B, and 5C in three consecutive quarters. For instance, if you choose to skip a few quarters between 5A and 5B, you may lose a significant amount of information you gathered from 5A once you start 5B and may have a more difficult time keeping up with the material in 5B. Please note, this is just a suggestion and by no means must you follow these guidelines.

Is there a minimum number of courses I can take?

The number of courses a student may take depends on the student’s ability to handle heavy workloads with rigorous material. Furthermore, some of the courses’ schedules may overlap, meaning that time conflicts may limit the number (or selection) of courses one can take per quarter. Generally, full-time students (students who are not working or work limited hours) can take three courses per quarter, whereas students with full-time jobs typically manage a maximum of two courses per quarter.

There is no minimum number of courses you must take per quarter unless you are receiving financial aid or if you are an international student. If you are receiving financial aid or are an international student, there will be a minimum course requirement. Please check with theFinancial Aid Office or International Students Office for specific requirements.

Can I enroll in overlapping courses?

No. Overlapping courses do not qualify students for a make-up quiz as this is a foreseeable conflict when signing up for the course(s).

Is there guaranteed enrollment?

Enrollment is open for all students on the designated enrollment opening datefor each quarter; no students are given priority enrollment. We recommend that students stay aware of when enrollment opens for upcoming quarters and enroll early during the enrollment period to have a better chance at getting into their desired classes.

Can we hold enrollment seats?

Due to policy, we are not able to hold seats for students. Students must pay for the course in full in order to secure a seat.

What is our course's waitlist policy?

Students are able to add themselves to a waitlist at no cost. Waitlists are managed by our department and follow a strict first-come, first-served policy. You will be notified via email and will have 24 hours to enroll if a spot becomes available for you.

Are any students given priority enrollment?

All UCLA Extension courses are composed of only UCLA Extension students. Enrollment opens on the scheduled day every quarter to everyone (including non-certificate students) at the same time and there is no priority enrollment.

How can I enroll in courses?

Follow the instructions by using the following link.

What couses do you need to take to apply to medical school?

If you are planning on applying to medical schools or other pre-health related fields please be sure to visit this link.

How will medical or graduate schools evaluate and weigh the courses I take at UCLA Extension?

These courses are UCLA Undergraduate equivalent and are seen as such. If you have questions on how UCLA Extension’s courses will be evaluated by the medical school(s) to which you plan to apply to, especially if you are planning on re-taking courses for better grades, please contact the Transcript Auditor or Transcript Evaluators at the various medical schools’ admissions department to get further information on how they evaluate courses and transcripts. Because each school has its specific standards for evaluating coursework and academic portfolios, it is best to contact them directly and inquire about their criteria.

How will re-taken courses appear on UCLA Extension transcripts?

The grades you receive for these UCLA Extension courses will reflect only on your UCLA Extension transcript and will have no impact on any past grades. The UCLA Extension transcript will be completely separate from any other academic record. If you choose to retake a course here that you took elsewhere.

In the past, the grades may be averaged out or only the higher grade may be considered, but this is all based on the transcript-evaluating practices of the medical schools in which you are looking to apply to. Please note that our transcripts do not list the course’s instruction method. If you want further information on how your grades will be evaluated and quantified, please contact the various admissions departments of the medical schools to which you are looking to apply.

Does UCLA Extension link its students to the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine?

UCLA Extension does not directly work with or refer students to the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. Students must apply to the Geffen School of Medicine independently. For information on applying to the Geffen School of Medicine, please visit their admissions website.

What are the success rates of your students who go on to medical school?

Because we do not have a mechanism in place that tracks students’ activities after they complete the program, we do not have formal statistics on students who have gone on to medical school.

How can I schedule a one-one-one appointment with an advisor?

You may do so by emailing a program representative at

Frequently Asked Questions: Pre-Medical and General Science (2024)


What is the easiest major for pre-med? ›

What's the Easiest Pre-Med Major for Medical School? For the most clear path, biological sciences includes several majors like neuroscience and molecular biology that will overlap with med school. Many students choose this path as it is the most straightforward.

What is a good pre-med science GPA? ›

Many admissions officers view a GPA of 3.8 as very competitive, and they like to see at least a GPA of 3.5 or above.

Is pre-med hard? ›

Pre-Med Is Very Challenging

Having an exceptional GPA that will distinguish you from other medical school applicants, taking difficult classes such as Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry, and beginning to prepare to earn a good MCAT score are all reasons why pre-med is hard work.

What is the hardest premed major? ›

However, there are definitely some classes that get a bad reputation among premeds. Among the hardest premed classes, and the most hated, is organic chemistry.

What is the minimum GPA for pre-med? ›

The minimum GPA for most med schools is 3.0. But if you're a pre-med student, you'll need to aim for a GPA of 3.6 or higher to compete with other applicants. Not all medical schools require a certain minimum GPA to apply.

Is a 3.4 GPA bad premed? ›

The typical cutoff for DO programs is around a 3.4 GPA, while most MD programs require at least a 3.7 GPA. Another option is to consider attending a school that has a higher acceptance rate.

What GPA is too low for med school? ›

What Is the Lowest Acceptable GPA for Med School? A GPA of 3.0 or higher is generally considered to be the minimum requirement for medical schools. Some schools may have a lower minimum requirement, such as a 2.5 or 2.75, but these are less common.

Is a 3.7 GPA bad for med school? ›

Is a 3.7 GPA too low for medical school? A GPA of 3.7 is far from low and is generally competitive for many medical schools. Remember that medical schools assess various elements of your application, including your MCAT score, extracurriculars, and personal qualities.

Is premed just memorization? ›

Medical School Is Not Just Memorization

“You can expect to put in the same long hours and hard work as a practicing physician. No one can remember everything, and critical thinking is essential for success in medical school and throughout a career in medicine.”

How many hours should a pre-med student study? ›

It varies per student, but there are studies that say that most students would study 3-4 hours per day. For some, that would be enough, others… not so much. Another study showed that a majority of high-ranking students study 6-8 hours per day, but there was no correlation with success from studying more than 8 hours.

Is there a lot of math in pre-med? ›

Some medical schools specified math courses that they want incoming students to have taken. Twenty-six of the schools recommend or require that students take calculus and nine of the schools require or recommend statistics. So, just to get into medical school, pre-meds frequently have to take calculus or statistics.

What is the #1 US medical school? ›

Harvard Medical School is the highest ranked in the US. Established in 1782, Harvard has spent 2½ centuries building a reputation of excellence.

How many pre-med students drop out? ›

Only 16.5% of students who intended to major in pre-med graduate college with the required coursework for medical schools. Attrition rates are highest initially but drop as students take more advanced courses.

What is the easiest pre-med program? ›

If you're looking for the most straightforward path, biological sciences, including majors like molecular biology, cell biology, and neuroscience, feature several courses that overlap with your medical school prerequisites. That's why nearly 60% of all applicants choose this major.

What is the easiest med school degree? ›

Every medical specialty presents unique challenges; however, family medicine is generally considered the easiest MD to become. This is because it takes less time than most other specialties and doesn't require as much intense training as other programs, such as general surgery.

What major is the easiest? ›

“Typically, the easiest majors are those that fall within the liberal arts and social sciences such as anthropology, English, and creative writing,” said Lonnie Woods III, assistant director of employer engagement and industry connections at California Institute of the Arts.

What major is best for med school? ›

There's a misconception that students should major in biology or another science if they want to get into medical school. In fact, there's no required or even preferred majors that medical schools are looking for. Consider majoring in whatever interests you and will keep you engaged and motivated during undergrad.


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