Physicians and surgeons are medical professionals 
who assess patients to establish diagnoses and 
provide treatments for injuries or illnesses. They 
seek to keep patients’ overall health maintained as 
well. Although physicians and surgeons play similar 
healthcare roles, physicians primarily identify and
attend to patients’ medical conditions, while surgeons 
perform operations on patients to remedy injuries and 
diseases. Physicians often work in clinical settings such as hospitals and clinics. 

Professional Degree Required to Practice

Doctor of Allopathic Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)

Physicians are...
communicative, empathetic, straightforward, professional, thorough, and knowledgeable



Requirements Vary by Program

General Requirements for Graduate Admission

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher 
  • Completion of the College Admission Test (MCAT)
  • Specific prerequisites as dictated by individual programs. These may include: 
    • Specific undergraduate coursework
    • Professional observation and/or clinical experience 
    • Academic and professional letters of reference (letter from the institutional Pre-Med Committee is typically requested)
    • Admission interviews typically required

Additional Requirements Vary by State

Preparation to Practice

  • Complete an approved internship or residency program
  • Pass national licensing exam such as the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX) to become professionally credentialed
  • Obtain state-awarded professional license 


Common Pre-Med Requirements


Number of Courses

English/Writing Composition Two courses
General Biology or Zoology (with lab) Two courses
Genetics One course
Anatomy (with lab) One course
Physiology (with lab) One course
Cell Biology or Microbiology (with lab) One course
General Chemistry (with lab) Two courses
Organic Chemistry (with lab) Two courses
Biochemistry (with lab) One course
Introductory/General Psychology One course
General Physics (with lab) Two courses
Introductory/General Sociology One course
Statistics One course
College Math One course

*Requirements vary by university. Review requirements on programs' dedicated sites.

MSU Equivalent Courses MSU Transfer Equivalencies