How old can the prerequisites be?

Hi everybody,

Does anyone know if there is a general consensus regarding the age of prerequisites for medical school and their admissibility?

For example, if the prerequisites are older than x years, then they must be retaken.


This changes from school to school. So you should look up on the websites of the schools you target, or get in touch with adcoms. Generally, it seems that courses more than 7 years might have to be retaken, especially science ones - but again, this a school dependent issue.

Many threads on the forum have discussed the issue. Try to search and dig though.


My physics and intro bio is over 10 years old and have heard no complaints about it. Everything else I have retaken and I have also taken upper bio so that might explain the bio. Now as far as what you need in order to do well. I wouldn’t recommend using prereques older than 5 years as far as MCAT prep goes. Trying to remember old physics was a hard row to hoe.

The definitive answer is…

Rule 3: It Depends:

it completely varies by school, by course, by student.

Some schools specifically state on their website the time limit

Einstein: “Applicants who have completed all of their pre-medical requirements prior to five years at the time of application must show evidence of participation in either academic or work experience in the biological sciences. Academic experience should include at least one course in a discipline such as cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, immunology or neuroscience. Work experience may include research in the biological sciences.”

NYU: “Courses will only be accepted up to 10 years back.”

Cornell: “to fulfill an admissions requirement, courses must have been satisfactorily completed within 10 years of application”

I looked at most of the other NY schools and could not find any mention.

Mayo told me that they would look at my MCAT to show if my science knowledge base was adequate, not the age of my courses. Though they also stated that it was a good thing that I have very recently taken upper division courses (genetics, biochem) and done well in them. So now my next hurdles are to do well on physics and my MCATs …

We’ll see how it goes.


Thanks for the helpful advice everyone! I had a feeling it would be in the 7-10 year range, although I understand it can vary from one institution to the next.

As long as I don’t have to redo physics—eek! shudders