Medical education

Defining Prerequisites: A Complete Guide

Applying to colleges and universities is an exciting process. To get into your dream college, you must consider certain things like a good GPA, extracurricular activities, and some courses apart from your syllabus. These are all prerequisites that every applicant needs to fulfill to get into the college of their choice.

The universities’ reasons for having them and how you can ace these requirements are essential details that every applying student must know. This is why we bring a complete guide to prerequisites that can help you get into any Medical school. However, some students prefer accelerated nursing programs without prerequisites, aiming for a quicker completion than traditional programs.”

What Are Prerequisites: An Overview:

  • Prerequisites are requirements that benefit the applicant by explaining his/her eligibility for the course.
  • Different prerequisites, like academic and field-related ones, are required to enter any nursing school.
  • Different schools may ask for different prerequisites, but a few common course prerequisites are important to all the schools and their admission panels.

What Are Prerequisites?

Prerequisites are requirements or conditions that must be fulfilled or met before anything else can be done, achieved, or learned. They are typically necessary for proper preparation, understanding, or successful completion of a task, course, project, or goal. Before embarking on a specific academic program, it is important to inquire about what are prerequisites courses.

what are prerequisites

When you are to apply for medical school, you need to opt for specific courses in your high school which would prove to be helpful in your academic career. These specific courses are called prerequisite courses. They are designed to provide foundational knowledge or skills necessary for understanding and succeeding in the subsequent course.

Prerequisite courses ensure that students have the required background knowledge or competencies to handle the content and challenges of the more advanced coursework.

Why Are Prerequisites Required?

Prerequisite courses are essential because they help your academician to tutor you better. Once they gauge your knowledge level, they can plan their class accordingly. Besides, it is always better to know what is being taught priorly.

Prerequisite courses help you succeed academically with little to no inconvenience. These courses can help you boost your confidence and will not make you look like you have no knowledge of the subject in front of the entire class.

Different Types Of Prerequisites

There are different types of prerequisites based on your life position. For instance, you need to fulfill job requisites before applying for a job. Similarly, if you are applying to your dream college, you must fulfill these prerequisites to strengthen your chances.

Course Prerequisites

Before applying to the course of your choice, you are required to opt for and complete a few courses which would prove helpful in your further studies.

GPA requisite

To ensure you position in your desired school, you must keep a high GPA score. Anything below 3.0 GPA can hurt your chances to get in.

Extracurricular Activity Requirement

Extracurricular doesn’t mean sports here. You are required to do shadow work, gain clinical and research experience, and perform community service to increase your chances of getting into a nursing school.

Recommendation Letters and CASPER Requirements

These are important prerequisites to get into a nursing school. You must submit atleast 5 recommendation letters and the CASPER test scores.

Health Requisities

As a caregiver, you’ll be in constant contact with patients who might have communicable diseases.

For this reason you must maintain a high immunity level and to prove that you have one, you need to fulfill certain health requisites.

Common Course Prerequisites Required To Get Into A Nursing School

It is evident that every course, including researching and evaluating nursing schools, as does their eligibility requirement, differs from each other. But there are a few common prerequisites that are necessary for the students to opt for to get into any medical school they wish to, irrespective of their major.

common prerequisites to get into nursing school


  • Required Duration: 1-2 semesters with labwork
  • Has no additional criteria, but some universities might suggest you take the Calculus based Physics classes.


  • Required Duration: 2-3 years with labwork
  • Recommended Subjects:
  1. Introductory Chemistry
  2. Organic Chemistry
  3. Inorganic Chemistry
  4. Biochemistry


  • Required Duration:1-2 semesters
  • Required Subjects:
  1. Calculus
  2. Statistics
  3. Both


  • Required Duration: 1 year/8 semesters with lab work
  • Required subjects:
  1. Physiology
  2. Genetics
  3. Cell Biology
  4. Pathophysiology
  5. Nutrition
  6.  Microbiology Lecture & Lab
  7. Anatomy
  8. Human Growth & Development


  • Required Duration: 2 or more semesters
  • Required/Recommended Subjects:
  1. English literature/ Writing course
  2. History
  3. Sociology
  4. Psychology
  5. Fine Arts
  6. Music
  7. Ethics

The Bottom Line

Prerequisites are essential for numerous reasons, and being a game-changer in your admission game is one of them. You must fulfill these requirements if you wish to get admitted to the school of your choice. These requisites will help you believe in yourself more.

Good luck with your admissions!!


How do I know if a course I want to take has a prerequisite?

The answer is simple; you can just list courses you wish to apply to and check out the websites of schools and universities that offer the course of your choice. Usually, the basic criteria are posted on their website under the Academics section.

How can I do a nursing course after the 12th?

If you wish to pursue nursing as your career, you have 2 options: either graduate with a science course and apply for nursing school or enroll yourself in the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) course.

Are prerequisites tougher than the Nursing Course?

You will be studying the subjects for the first time, and this may make it feel more challenging. But after the completion of the prerequisite courses, your academic path through the nursing program will turn out to be much easier.

Can I change my career from nursing to medicine?

Yes, you can. However, the more significant differences might take a toll on you but speaking of basics, it won’t be difficult. The prerequisites for applying to medical school are almost similar to that of nursing school. You may have to opt for a few other courses to qualify.

Where can I take prerequisite courses for nursing?

This is for non-nurses who wish to apply for a nursing course but cannot do so due to the lack of fulfilling the prerequisites. In such cases, you can go online and look for institutes that offer online prerequisite courses. University of Rochester and columbia are some of them.

Brie Larson

Dr. Brie Larson, a seasoned physician, brings a wealth of medical knowledge and a strong commitment to patient education to her role at Medical Grants Help. A graduate from Stanford University School of Medicine, she has honed her expertise through years of patient care, delivering comprehensive healthcare services for individuals of all ages. Brie has a particular interest in expanding access to medical services through grants and funding initiatives. With her broad-based medical experience and a passion for patient advocacy, she navigates the complexities of medical grants, striving to make them more accessible for those in need. A steadfast believer in the transformative power of medical grants, Dr. Larson guides readers through the often overwhelming world of funding options, simplifying the process for patients and their families.

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