Summary Prerequisite Comparison for Five Professions

(See a detailed lists of courses and application guide by profession)

CSUS Courses

Semester Units

Medicine (MD/OD)

Dentistry

Optometry

Physician Assistant

Pharmacy

Intro Biology
BIO 1 & 2

8 or more
(most)
8
(most)
8
0-8
(highly variable)
8-12

Inorganic Chemistry
CHEM 1A & 1B

8
8
(most)
4-8
(varies)
0-8
(highly variable)
8

Organic Chemistry
CHEM 24, 25 & 124

8 w/ lab (most)
8 w/ lab (most)
4-8
(varies)
0
(but some include as a topic in a 1 year course)
8 w/ lab

Biochemistry
CHEM 161

3
(required or strongly recommended)
0-3
(most require at least one course)
3-4
(varies)
3
(most strongly recommend 1 upper division course)
3-6
(highly variable)

Physics
PHYS 5A & 5B

8
8
8
0-8
(most in CA do not require)
8

Calculus
MATH 26A & 26B

1 year
(most require or strongly recommend)
0-1 year
(most out of state schools require 1 year)
1 semester
(most)
0
(intermediate Algebra required; Calculus recommended)
6-8
(most)

Statistics
STAT 1

0-1 semester
(a few out of state schools require statistics)
1 semester (most)
1 semester (most require or strongly recommend)
0-1 semester
(varies)
0-1
(a few require 1 semester)
  • Intended as a general comparison across professions.
  • Prerequisites are set by individual schools and do vary
    • see Assist.org for specific CA professional school prerequisites
    • see the department web site of each prospective professional school