Biology Pre-req question

hey guys. I have signed up for Biology for Science majors in the Fall and wanted to make sure I’m taking the right thing. they have a Bio I and Bio II here for the science majors. From the med school requirements I’ve been reading it just says 8 hrs. of biology. does that mean any biology? i took 2 diff courses in undergrad (zoology and Human anatomy) but am just planning on taking the regular biology I and II this time for freshing. someone the other day told me not to take Bio I and Bio II, but to just take A & P. I think I’ll add A & P later maybe before taking the MCAT or during glide year but for now will Bio I and Bio II for Science majors get me done? thanks

My understanding is that many people do the Bio I/II sequence. That wasn’t recommended at my school, as Bio II focused on botany and ecology. It was suggested that my best path would be Bio I + one upper level bio course - you may want to explore similar options.

Bio I&II will mean different things at different places. What you need to do is read the description of the course, and compare it with the biology topics that will be covered on the MCAT. Key things to watch for are cell biology and some genetics (many folks will suggest genetics as a separate course but that isn’t necessary). You also will need to see what other bio courses might be useful - in addition to genetics, microbiology is often useful. Look at where these courses may fall at your school and what the prerequisites for them are.

You are right that med schools simply state “8 credits of biology,” that’s because of all of the above – it seems that no two undergrad schools have exactly the same courses in biology. So you get to do some customizing. Don’t take any biology course that wouldn’t count towards a B.A. or B.S. in biology (e.g. at my school the only A&P was a nursing course that wasn’t for bio majors). Don’t waste time in survey courses that cover plant phylla and invertebrates if you can help it (those may be part of a “Bio I & II” survey sequence, and they MAY be required before you can take higher-level courses, but see what you can do).

hope that helps


Perhaps I can start with Bio I and then take a different course for the second semester such as Microbiology or something? I didn’t know if it was set in stone that if I took Bio I that I had to take Bio II as well or could it be at your discretion. I took 8 hrs. of bio in Undergrad too so hopefully I’ll be covered either way. planning on Biochem as a supplement;

If you took Bio I/II as an undergrad, I’d definitely recommend at least one higher-level bio course this time through (ideally with lab). You may even consider two higher-level bio courses; I think that some schools prefer that, instead of repeating coursework. Definitely double check for yourself, though; that’s a bit different from the path I took and thus (in theory, at least) know.