Students interested in a career in allopathic (MD) or osteopathic (DO) medicine have the option of completing a four-year degree in any major along with completing specific prerequisites. Medical school admission is very competitive and students should work closely with the Pre-Med Advisor throughout their college years to stay on track with both academic and co-curricular preparation. Students should gain clinical experience through hospital volunteerism and shadowing physicians. Academic admission requirements vary somewhat by medical school. The new Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) exam that was implemented in 2015 includes some content from courses not specifically required by all medical schools. Students must complete coursework that both satisfies medical school requirements and also prepares them to score well on the MCAT. In addition to the information in this section, please check the general information at the pre-medical and pre-health section of the catalog.

Joint and Early Assurance Programs

Canisius College students may apply to Early Assurance programs (4+4) at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse and the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (PA and FL campuses). Students apply to the Upstate program during the sophomore year. Students may apply to the LECOM program during the freshman or sophomore year. Highly qualified students may be admitted to the LECOM joint seven-year (3+4) program upon enrolling at Canisius as freshmen. Students may also apply into the LECOM joint programs during the freshman year. A six-year (3+3) primary care physician pathway is also available through LECOM. Students in the LECOM programs with the appropriate academic indices are not required to take the MCAT. An Early Opportunity in Medicine Program for students underrepresented in medicine is offered in conjunction with the SUNY University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Recommended Pre-Medical Courses

Recommendations include those courses needed to meet most medical school requirements and to prepare for the MCAT 2015 exam. Students must consult individual medical schools for additional specific requirements. The PreMed Center has resources to help students in this process.


One year of English composition (ENG 111 & ENG 112, or students who entered Canisius prior to fall 2018 may use FYS 101 and ENG 101) or the Honors Program equivalent (HON 101 and an Honors Literature course).


At least one year of general biology with laboratory:

BIO 111
Introductory Biology I
and Introductory Biology Laboratory I
BIO 112
Introductory Biology II
and Introductory Biology Laboratory II


One year of general chemistry and one year of organic chemistry with laboratories:

CHM 111
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Laboratory
CHM 112
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Laboratory
CHM 227
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Laboratory
CHM 228
Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry II Laboratory


Students may take biochemistry in either the Biology Department (BIO 211-BIO 212) or the Chemistry Department (BCH 301-BCH 302).


One year of introductory physics with laboratory:

Select one of the following:8
Option 1:
College Physics I
and College Physics I Laboratory
College Physics II
and College Physics II Laboratory
Option 2:
General Physics for Physical Science Majors I
and General Physics for Physical Science Majors I Laboratory
General Physics for Physical Science Majors II
and General Physics for Physical Science Majors I Laboratory


Math requirements vary at the different medical schools. Many of the more competitive medical schools require one year of college level math. Some require calculus, some require statistics. The MCAT utilizes statistics typically learned through science courses. We recommend students take a minimum of one semester of statistics (MAT 141 or PSY 201) and strongly encourage students to also take one semester of calculus (MAT 111 or MAT 109/MAT 110). Chemistry majors must take MAT 141.

Behavioral/Social Science

One semester each of psychology (PSY 101 or PSY 102) and sociology (SOC 110). Some medical schools require more than two courses in the behavior/social sciences. The MCAT 2015 will include content from PSY 101, PSY 102 and SOC 110. If a student does not take both PSY 101 and PSY 102, they may learn some psychology content independently.

Elective Courses

Several specialized courses of interest are available to help students explore aspects of medicine and healthcare in more depth.

HRP 101 allows students to explore different health professions.

HRP 201 and HRP 202 allow students to explore areas of medicine in more depth.

HRP 498 is an internship in medical informatics.