Academic Requirements

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (UPSOM) has adopted the following policies concerning the academic pre-requisite requirements: 

  • We are accepting Pass/Fail (Pass/No Credit, Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory) for pre-requisite courses completed.
  • Students participating in our special programs (Guaranteed Admit Program-GAP and Summer Premedical Academic Enrichment Program Early Assurance-SPAEP-EA) must obtain letter grades for all required pre-requisite course work.
  • We are accepting on-line course work for pre-requisites and labs and require that the course work be completed at the student’s undergraduate or graduate college or university or at an accredited academic institution.
  • On-line degrees will be accepted with an additional year of in-person instruction at a regionally accredited institution recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation within the United States and Canada. 
  • When deciding whether or not to use pass /fail or a graded system, you should select the option that is optimal for your application. 

All of those who matriculate at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine must have an undergraduate degree which includes at least one year of post secondary education in the United States or Canada. 

A strong background in mathematics is recommended. The School of Medicine prefers candidates who have a variety of course work typical of a liberal arts education, but this is not mandatory. Course work in the humanities and social sciences is desirable. Many applicants have majors outside the sciences; the School of Medicine looks favorably on such applicants as long as the science requirements are met.    

Acceptance of courses taken at foreign universities is determined individually at the discretion of the Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid. You should have completed most premedical requirements by the time of submitting your application to receive serious consideration. All requirements must be met before matriculation.

We will accept AP credit if that credit was awarded by your college/university and the course credit granted appears on your transcript. College Board’s College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) credits are not accepted.

In examining your candidacy, the following pre-requisites for the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine will be:


  • Biology – one full year (excluding Microbiology, Botany, Ecology, and Anatomy) with one full year lab or a single two credit lab;
  • General/Inorganic Chemistry – one full year with one full year lab or a single two credit lab;
  • Organic Chemistry – one half year with one half year lab or a single credit lab; PLUS
  • Biochemistry – one half year;
  • Physics – one full year with one full year lab or a single two credit lab;
  • English/Intensive writing course – one full year (We will accept courses taken outside of the English department that are deemed writing intensive by your college/university and Philosophy courses to fulfill this requirement.)
  • Statistics course – one half year, preferably Biostatistics (excluding Calculus). (Courses with substantial biostatistics may be accepted to meet the biostatistics requirement).


In addition to the requirements listed above, the UPSOM Curriculum Committee recommends:

  • Psychology - one half year. 


* Laboratory work experience may be substituted for lab courses

* Alternative course formats or combinations that represent equivalent preparation will be accepted on a case by case basis.

* Advanced level course can be used to satisfy basic course requirements.

Effective December 6, 2021, all University of Pittsburgh students, faculty and staff on all campuses must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or have received an approved exemption to remain a community member.  Please visit the following site about the requirement, providing proof of vaccination or to request an exemption: