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Enrollment in Premedical Program

Most students need two years to complete our premedical requirements, although depending on their credit assignment some are able to do so in one year and a summer.

You begin your studies in a summer or fall term. Due to the scheduling of prerequisite courses, you cannot begin in a spring term.

A Typical Program Timeline

Since our students come to us with varying levels of science coursework, there is no “typical” curriculum; however, students who need to complete all prerequisites follow this path.

  • Year One. Complete general chemistry and physics. Consult with the Premedical Program each term.
  • Year Two. Complete biology*, organic chemistry, and biochemistry. Consult with the Premedical Program each term.
  • Adhere to all Sponsorship Requirements, including notifying the Premedical Program director in writing of your intent to apply to medical school, listing courses completed and courses to be completed, no later than September 30 of the year preceding application to professional school.
  • Take the MCAT or DAT in the spring or early summer of your application year.
  • Notify the program of your MCAT or DAT results.
  • Apply to professional school (AMCAS and AADSAS open in early June, AACOMAS, TMDSAS, and VMCA open in early May).
  • Notify program of your acceptances as well as where you’ve decided to attend.

Advising note (biology*): It is critical that you complete chemistry prior to biology. Students who attempt to complete biology first (or at the same time as general chemistry) have a lower academic performance than those students who have already completed general chemistry.

Advising note (timeline): If you are contemplating an alternative schedule to Year One and Year Two or are uncertain about which courses to take, consult the Premedical Program office before enrolling.

Enrollment Requirements

Once admitted in June, you need to register during the upcoming summer or fall term. If not, your admission will be rescinded and you’ll need to re-apply to the program the following year.

Once you begin your studies, you must maintain continuous enrollment (fall and spring) throughout the program. If not, you’ll be voluntarily withdrawn from the program and will need to re-apply.

You are required to complete the program within two years. At the end of two years, your program participation will automatically end, along with program privileges, such as Harvard University ID card access. If you complete your assigned credit requirement in less than two years, we will consider the program complete, and your program participation will end. You may remain eligible for Sponsorship for one year beyond program completion, as long as you remain enrolled in medical sciences coursework at Harvard during that year.

Petitions to take a semester off from the program or to have extended time to complete the program are considered on a case-by-case basis. Speak to the program advisor or director should you need special enrollment consideration. If granted, you’ll be given a firm deadline to complete, which cannot exceed three years. 

You cannot be enrolled as a candidate in the Premedical Program and another Harvard Extension School degree program simultaneously. For an explanation of our repeat policy, see Academic Standing.