Is undergrad degree necessary first?

Hello, I have another question.

I see a lot of posts from people who did an undergrad degree first and then went on to med school. I just have an Associates degree (albeit it is filled with ‘sciencey’ classes. Can I reasonably apply to medical school with just that?



I will never say never, but every school I have ever heard of required a 4 year degree

Not all med schools require a 4 year degree. There are plenty of students who apply their junior or even sophomore year and go straight to med school without finishing a bachelor’s. However, you are likely at a big disadvantage only having taken science classes at a community college. Few med schools will look favorably on that, although… it depends. If you are attending community college in CA, that might be seen in a better light.

And, what science classes? You should have taken the pre-med courses: Bio, Gen Chem, Orgo, and Physics. Calculus and English are required more often than not. If you haven’t taken all these classes, you should – at a 4-year college if you can.

I have everything except the Physics. In Ireland, kids go into medicine straight out of high school but I don’t know if oldies are held to a different standard.

United States system is quite different than European. Most medical schools require at least 90 undergraduate credits. The very few people who go under that are the really best and brightest who overly excel. I have also met a few Russian and other East European emigres who had a significant college and/or professional work before coming to US.

Please correct me if I am wrong but most European countries place middle and high school students onto a “track” (science, math, art, etc) and specifically college prep’d in those areas. A medical degree is MBBS is an undergraduate degree.

I can’t correct you about most European countries Richard but I can tell you in Ireland, it’s all about the points. There’s a big exam at the end of high school called the ‘Leaving Certificate’. It’s extremely intensive and you have to get perfect results or very close to it in order to qualiy for Medicine. Perfect A-ones in 6 subjects = 600 points. The number of points required every year varies according to the number of applicants versus the number of places available, I believe this year it was 585. The kicker is, beyond English, Irish and Maths, the subjects can be ANYthing, don’t even have to be science at all. It truly does mean only the best and the brightest make it but at the same time, it disqualifies a whole lot of people who would probably make better doctors than some of those who get the points. I would rather have a 550 point person with a bedside manner rather than a God complex looking after me any day of the week.

  • minan Said:
Not all med schools require a 4 year degree. There are plenty of students who apply their junior or even sophomore year and go straight to med school without finishing a bachelor's.

This is not accurate. Many medical schools list the possibility of applying with "just" 90 credits because the universities with which they're affiliated have a 7-year program in which undergrads are on track for the med school, and able to enter after junior year if they attain a certain GPA. These programs are NOT for regular ol' folks who don't have degrees yet, they're for very specific people usually.

I have heard of exactly ONE person who got into med school without an undergraduate degree and without being in a 7-year track. That person had an extraordinary background including extensive time in the military, if I remember right.

But for the average student applying to multiple medical schools, count on needing an undergraduate degree. The exceptions to this requirement are so .... exceptional... that it's not even worth looking into, frankly.


I was thinking about those students who do the BS/MD programs, and also I actually have met a few people who got in early – but they had applied to Caribbean and other foreign med programs. I should have clarified that.

I’m just guesstimating, but I figure that if you are in the US going for med school, you have a 99.9% chance of getting into med school if you have a bachelors degree vs. going into medical school with 90 or less credits.

Also, even though CC’s have some harder classes like organic chemistry, physics and some maths, it is in the 4-yr upper levels that you’ll get the more advanced classes…and medical school definitely have advanced, advanced classes.

Also, and this is my feeling, having committed to earning a bachelors degree, can show the motivation to finish the medical degree which I’m sure that all medical schools are looking for…they want those they’ve accepted to finish the degree.

While I can substantiate a few more than Mary has noted, it would only mislead and give false promise that this is a viable path. I have known two absolutely young brilliant students who started medical school prior to finishing undergraduate work. I also know of 4 others older either Russian or other emigres who were able to enter either medical school or dental school who had not completed degrees.

However, this is highly unusual and highly unlikely, and should NOT be considered a viable option. These are so rare that it should be considered a statistically zero possibility

I agree with Mary and Rich. Statistically, the odds of getting into a U.S. medical school without a bachelor’s degree are close to zero and should generally be viewed as “no chance.”



You need a four year degree period. Most medical schools are NOT going to seriously consider accepting someone w/o one UNLESS you won a Nobel Prize.