Recommended Duke Courses

Individual health professions schools set their own admission requirements. However, all expect applicants to have a sound foundation in the sciences. We recommend the following courses for all premed, predental and prevet students. You can use the course pathways in AdviseStream to help you evaluate and then populate different course plans based on your background in the Academics and Engagements Planner.

Requirement Duke Courses
General Chemistry: 2 semesters with lab
  • CHEM 101DL (Core Concepts in Chemistry) and CHEM 210DL (Modern Applications of Chemical Principles) or
  • CHEM 20 (AP) (General Chemistry Credit) and CHEM 110DL (Honors Chemistry: Core Concepts in Context) or
  • CHEM 21 (AP) (General Chemistry Credit)
Organic Chemistry: 2 semesters with lab
Biochemistry: 1 semester
  • BIOCHEM 301 (Introductory Biochemistry I: Intermediary Metabolism)
Math: 1 semester
Biology: 3 semesters (2 with lab)
Physics: 2 semesters with lab
  • PHYSICS 141L (General Physics I) and PHYSICS 142L (General Physics II) or
  • PHYSICS 151L (Introductory Mechanics) and PHYSICS 152L (Introductory Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics) or
  • PHYSICS 161L (Introductory Experimental Physics I) and PHYSICS 162L (physics, biophysics and math majors) (Introductory Experimental Physics II)
  • See the physics section for info on AP credit
Statistics: 1 semester
  • See the statistics section for options
English: 2 semesters
  • Trinity students will fulfill this with Writing 101 and the two W courses required for graduation
Psychology: 1 semester
  • PSY 101 (Introductory Psychology), PSY 106 (Biological Bases of Behavior: Introduction and Survey) or other
Sociology: 1 semester
  • SOCIOL 110D (Sociological Inquiry) or other or self-study
Additional requirements?
  • Check schools for their specific requirements

AP/IPC credit may place you out of some courses; see the section on AP/IPC credit for details.

Pratt Students

Follow the recommended Pratt schedule and work in prehealth courses wherever possible. You should substitute:

  • BME 244L (Quantitative Physiology with Biostatistical Applications) instead of BIOLOGY 202L, the physiology and statistics. BIOLOGY 202L is optional (you may need to self-study any topics you are not familiar with)

Be careful of the English requirement. Writing 101 will serve as one semester, but you will need a second semester, which could be AP English or an English course at Duke or a course with a W code.

Pre-dental Students

Follow the guidelines above but check the websites of dental schools to which you're interested in applying. Some schools may require additional coursework in Biology (e.g. Microbiology and Anatomy). See the Duke Predental website.   

Pre-vet Students

Follow the guidelines above and later on, check the websites of veterinary schools you are applying. Some schools may require/recommend Microbiology, Anatomy, sometimes a second semester of Biochemistry, Introductory Biochemistry II (BIOCHEM 302), as well as Animal Nutrition, Animal Science, and Public Speaking. Animal Science courses are not taught at Duke. You can enroll in these at North Carolina State University in Raleigh during the regular fall or spring semesters as interinstitutional courses. Alternatively, you may enroll in an accredited institution in the summer. More details on course recommendations for veterinary schools can be found at the Duke PreVet website. 

Preparation for Physical Therapy, Physicians Assistant, Pharmacy and Nursing

Begin with Math, Chemistry and Biology, then check the websites of schools to which you might apply. Requirements can vary greatly from school to school.

International Students

NOTE:  If you are here on a visa, you face several obstacles. Many medical schools will only accept US citizens or permanent residents, so the number of schools you can apply to are fewer and these schools are often very selective and thus it is more difficult to gain admission. Additionally, US government funding and loans are not available to you. Nevertheless, each year we have a small number of international students who apply and are accepted to US medical schools or to foreign schools. You should plan to follow the prehealth courses recommended above and make sure to check the requirements of schools to which you are interested in applying. For more information, see the section on International Students under Apply.


The above list of courses satisfies requirements at most health professions schools, but some schools may have additional requirements. You should periodically check the websites of schools in your home state and any others you may apply, to see if they have additional requirements or recommendations and for their policy on AP credit.