Harvard Medical School Programs

Always wanted to know about Harvard Medical School Programs, but were afraid to ask?  Then fear no more!  Here’s where you’ll get the scoop on what it takes to be admitted into this prestigious medical school program.  Let’s begin with the basics.  What are you looking to accomplish in your career and what are your educational goals?  Are you looking to practice medicine or are you looking into administration or research?  If you’re not sure, or again, just curious, then this is what Harvard has to offer:

Harvard Medical School Programs

Fact number one:  Harvard Medical School (HMS) does not accept transfer students.

Fact number two:  You don’t need to have majored in the sciences to be eligible to be accepted into Harvard’s graduate medical school programs.  What this means is that perhaps your undergraduate major was in history, but you took some classes in biology and chemistry.  This is a good foundation, as Harvard encourages interdisciplinary learning. One must be more than a roboticized human being to qualify as a potentially good Harvard medical doctor. However, you do have to be able to provide documentation that you have successfully taken and passed undergraduate courses in the physical and biological sciences.  If you are applying for admissions for the 2015 semesters or earlier, these are the guidelines that are used to review your application:

You must have taken a minimum of coursework equivalent to one year’s study of physics, calculus, biology, and the physical sciences.  Advanced placement courses are also acceptable.  Accordingly, this offers some students a bit of flexibility, especially those who are on a fast track. However, advanced placement credits may not be used to satisfy course requirements.  If a student has earned advanced placement credits, then upper level courses must be taken at Harvard.

If a student has earned credit for one year’s study in inorganic chemistry and one year in organic chemistry, these courses must have covered topics in biochemistry.  Alternatively, if a single semester course in organic chemistry was earned that also included enough relative material in biochemistry, then it may be substituted for the one year requirement of a year’s study of organic chemistry.  Regardless of which combination satisfies admissions, all courses must have included two full years in the laboratory in order to be considered eligible for any of Harvard’s medical school programs.

One year undergraduate coursework in Calculus, but advanced placement courses taken may satisfy this requirement; Calculus AB = 1 semester and  Calculus BC = 2 semesters.


Coursework requirement is somewhat flexible.  No specific undergraduate course is required, but all science taken must have covered the study of biologically relevant areas of mechanics, kinetics, and thermodynamics.  Further, past coursework covering the properties of quantum theory (matter), wave theory, electricity, magnetism, and optics must also be demonstrated.


  • Expository Writing course which demonstrates a strong ability in analytical writing.
  • Reading and writing proficiency in a foreign language is optional, but not required.
  • Additional 16 credits of literature, arts, humanities, e.g. history or philosophy, as well as the social sciences.  Social science topics include psychology, sociology, anthropology, and ethics.

In closing, successful admission to one of Harvard’s medical school programs is rooted in a broad education, with the addition of mathematics and the sciences.  Most undergraduate programs require that a student take a good portion of these courses.  If you have already completed an undergraduate degree, you may want to look into courses that may fulfill any additional requirement at a local community college or online university.  It is recommended that you consult with an admissions counselor at Harvard about specific and in-depth guidelines before formally submitting you’re application.