Pre-Health Course Requirements

Pepperdine Courses Recommended to Satisfy Medical and/or Dental School Requirements

As a pre-med student at Pepperdine, it is recommended that students take the following courses. This list provides the general minimum requirements for the medical, dental, and veterinary schools to which Pepperdine students usually apply. For details on particular schools and their requirements,consult the following external resources:

Medical School Applicants
Medical School Admission Requirements -                                                               

Dental School Applicants
ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools -                                       

Recommended  courses for medical and/or dental schools Required semester hours Pepperdine University Recommended to fulfill these requirements
8 CHEM 120 and 121 - General Chemistry I and II
Organic 4 CHEM 301 - Elementary Organic Chemistry
BioChemistry 4 CHEM 330 - Cellular Biochemistry
8 BIOL 211 - Biology of Cells
BIOL 270 - Principles of Human Physiology
Advanced (Recommended) 4-8 additional

BIOL 350 - Genetics
BIOL 410 - Principles of Physiology (for biology majors)
BIOL 411 - Advanced Cell Biology
BIOL 420 - Microbiology
CHEM 331 - Advanced Cellular Biochemistry
CHEM 430 - Bio-Organic Chemistry

8 PHYS 202 and 203 - Basic Physics I and II
PHYS 210 and 211 - Physics I and II (calculus- based)
Mathematics 4 Statistics (in any major/department)
Psychology & Sociology 6 PSYC 200 - Introduction to Psychology
SOC 200 - Introduction to Sociology
English 3-6 ENG 101 - English Composition and one additional English course may be required
Additional Courses   The above listed requirements should be regarded as general requirements and students must be aware of additional required or recommended classes of individual institutions by looking these up in MSAR and/or Official Guide to Dental School.

Other Information About Required Courses

Major Courses

Students should work with their academic advisors to plan their course requirements for their major.  If you are a science major it is less likely that your pre-med science requirements will conflict with your major requirements.

Summer School Courses

Pepperdine offers many summer school courses. It is an excellent time for pre-med majors to catch up on general education courses or explore an overseas program.  The only science class regularly offered in summer school is Chemistry 121 but sometimes Physics 203 is offered. More information about summer classes at Seaver can be found at

Courses for the Medical School Admission Test (MCAT)

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a standardized test consisting of four parts: essays (one part) and three multiple-choice tests (verbal reasoning, physical sciences, and biological sciences) (one-part each). In order to prepare for this test we recommend taking the basic requirements (one year each of general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics and biology) listed above but also add some others depending on your major, high school preparation, standardized test taking ability, etc. It is advisable to include both human physiology and genetics courses in the biology courses and biochemistry in the chemistry courses you take. All of these classes should be taken by spring or summer of your junior year when the MCAT must be taken if you plan on attending medical school immediately following graduation.

For more information on the MCAT, please see:

More information on the MCAT can also be found under the “Current Applicants” tab.

Withdrawing from a Course

Medical schools generally disprove of a "W" on transcripts. Only drop a course if you are getting a D or an F and there is absolutely no way to bring your grade up. It is not advisable to withdraw from a class because you no longer need it for graduation or are changing your major. When applying to medical school it will be important to explain why you dropped a class.

Advanced Placement (AP)

At Pepperdine you can receive pre-med course credit for calculus and physics if you have the required AP score. Please refer to the AP course credit handout from Pepperdine University.  Be aware that some medical schools such as UCLA will not accept any AP course credits even though they were accepted at Pepperdine.  Check individual medical school requirements lists to see what is needed.  If you need to take a math class for example and you already have tested out of Calculus I, then it is advisable to take a higher level course in math which could be Calculus II or perhaps statistics.