AP Credit and Med School

I’m thinking I want to go to med school after my undergrad, but I also want to use AP credit to skip a semester or maybe a full year. These credits include Biology, Physics, History (credit from Euro), Chemistry, Calculus AB, and English (which generally I think could allow me to skip a semester). This does not take into account credit I could get my senior year of high school, including a foreign language.

I have seen on some med school websites, however, that they would like students to replace the courses for which they used AP credit with a higher-level class of its subject. It seems a bit counter-intuitive for me to have taken AP tests without really being able to cut down on college costs.

At this point might a Master’s degree be better? I don’t think adding classes to replace AP credit for a Bachelor’s to make a 4 year degree would be better than using AP credit to potentially have a 5 year Master’s.

I’m thinking of majoring in biology/biochem.

Thank you in advance!

One more thing–I’m also considering attending law school after my undergrad, which I think(?) doesn’t care about using AP credit. Just another alternative.

Your AP credits can only be used if your college gives you credit for an official university class as a credit or else they would not matter. Even then, if they dont allocate a grade, medical schools would still require you to take enough science classes with a grade to count them - one year of biology with a grade, one year of physics with a grade and so on.

If you are still a senior in high school, this planning is farfetched since every university treats these credits differently and if you attend a school where they dont designate an equivalent class, you will need to meet all of medical school prerequisites.


Anything is possible. But life is full of trade off and pros and cons.

Example: Some folks want to do UG only in Ivy/T20 and want to do MD only in T20. Then doing UG in 3 years and getting admission for MD is nearly impossible.

But is it possible to do in UG in 3 years. Definitely. Seen kids coming out from UC in CS in 3 years to get a job and move on in life. If you are keen on medicine, ensure you can start OChem I in first semester, do bulk of STEM courses in 4 semesters and take MCAT by April and apply when you start the 3rd/final year. Is it easy, no. Is it impossible, no.

Come up with the realistic plan based on who you are, your capabilities, your passion, your finance situation, your preferences for which college and location, your plan A, B, C (since it will evolve as you move from HS to UG). GL.

Here’s thread that explains AP/IB/dual enrollment and med school admissions–


I think you’re making your AP credits into an issue when they don’t need to be.

As a bio or biochem major in college, you’re going to need to take UL requirements or electives in bio, chem and math anyway just to fulfill your degree/major requirements. So your supplementing your AP science credits isn’t really going to be an issue, except maybe in physics.

IIRC, there is not a single med school in the US that allows the use English AP credits to fulfill the 2 semesters of writing/English requirements. You need 2 semesters of writing intensive classes that you take at college.

(Writing intensive means any course that satisfies your particular college’s writing requirement for graduation. At most colleges, there are a wide variety of classes that will do this. You could knock out a GE requirement AND a semester of your writing requirement at the same time. One D took technical writing as her writing class; the other D took a writing in [subject area] class–which basically just added writing 2 research papers to one her mathematics classes and wasn’t an entirely separate class. The writing requirement isn’t onerous and having technical writing skills make you more employable post graduation.)

You also need to know that earning a grad degree does not make one a more attractive candidate to medical schools. MD programs do not consider coursework taken as part of graduate degree when making admission decisions. (Except for SMP programs.)

Thank you for the responses, they really helped out. I have a couple more questions:

Would I be a really stand-out applicant if I applied to med school with a 5-year Master’s?

Now, let’s say I was to attend law school rather than med school, would the law school typically care if I completed my Bachelor’s in only 3 years?

No, having a MS degree won’t make you a stand out applicant for med schools. Med schools get plenty of applicants with graduate degrees, including a fairly significant number with PhDs.

Stand out applicants have significant non-academic personal achievements. (Think Peace Corps, military service, pro athlete/Olympic qualifier, first author publications in major scientific journals, and other exceptional ECs.)

As for law school admission–ask in the Law School forum–

Rice has an extremely useful list of med schools’ ap credit policies (updated yearly in the summer) that you can use to research credit policies at the schools you’re interested in (though keep in mind that they might change.)

Scroll down to “Health Professions Resources:” https://oaa.rice.edu/specialized-advising/pre-health-professions

Hope that helps!


In U of Oklahoma (OU), it is not uncommon for many students to do BS/MS or BA/JD or BS/MD in 5/6/7 years. Because OU gives merit aid for 5 years. So even 1 or 2 years of master level free tuition is good chunk, especially for OOS. In fact 1 outlier student did BA/JD in 5 years.