Programs & Requirements


Doctor of Medicine

MDs are considered allopathic physicians.  MDs typically have a 4 year undergraduate degree and spend about 4 years in medical school. Students must take and pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). Students also apply for a residency after graduation; depending on level of desired specialty, residencies may take 3-7 years.

Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine

DOs are considered osteopathic physicians. DOs typically have a 4 year undergraduate degree and spend about 4 years in medical school. Students must take and pass the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX). DOs can compete for the same residencies as MDs, which may last 3-7 years.

DOs and MDs use the same tools, treatments, and technologies to practice medicine. Osteopathy has a holistic approach in practicing, working with, and diagnosing patients than allopathic. Osteopathic doctors receive additional training in musculo-skeletal manipulation.

If you want to learn more about what it's like to be a DO, read here.

M.D./Ph.D. Degrees

Students interested in becoming a medical scientist or conducting research can obtain an MD alongside a PhD.  Sometimes this option means adding 3-4 years additional schooling to medical school. Occasionally, MD/PhD programs offer tuition waivers or stipends.

Schools in Alabama

Course & GPA Requirements

Most schools have a 3.0 minimum GPA, but a competitive applicant will have a 3.5+ cumulative and science GPA.  "Science" includes Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Math.

Pre-requisites of the below courses are enforced.

All three schools in AL look for these classes:

Hrs Required   Course Name What to Take at UAH
8 hrs General Biology BYS 119 & BYS 120
8 hrs (w/lab) General Chemistry CH 121/125 & CH 123/126
8 hrs (w/lab) General Physics

PH (101&102) or PH (111/114 & 112/115)

8 hrs (w/lab) Organic Chemistry Ch 331/335 & CH 332/336
6 hrs Math/Stats MA 171 & MA 281/ST 281


Courses positively adding to your application, but are not required:


Course What to Take at UAH
Social & Behavioral Sciences PY 101 & SOC 100
Physics w/Calc PH (111/114 & 112/115)
Genetics BYS 219
Anatomy & Physiology I & II BYS 313 & 314
Cell & Dev. Biology BYS 300
Microbiology BYS 321/321L
Biochem BYS 361


Biochemistry and Genetics are strong recommended and encouraged. Also, biochemistry and social/behavioral sciences will be on the new version of the MCAT, released in 2015. Upper level science courses illustrate interest in science, provide an in depth look into such subjects, and greatly assist on the MCAT.

There is a lot more to make an application stand out, visit Outside Class to learn more.

The above courses support required and suggested coursework for Alabama medical schools. Please keep in mind this is a guideline and specific requirements differ amongst different schools.