Incoming freshman who is not 100% sure of applying to med school. Should I transfer my AP credits?

I am thinking of applying to med-school at the end of my 4 years, that is my primary path right now, but that may or may not change. So should I use my AP credits from highschool to replace pre-med requirements or not?

Does IU School of Medicine accept Advanced Placement (AP) credit? And if so, which ones?


You will need to either
– a) contact the IU admission office to ask which AP classes the school will accept
–b) buy access to MSAR ( Medical School Admission Requirements) database. Cost $30 for a 1 year subscription
to find out which AP credits the school accepts.


I’ve seen an older (and possibly out of date) list that indicates IUSOM will accept AP credit for bio, gen chem, physics, social science and behavioral science. But check…

What is your intended major?
If you’re pursuing a science major (biology, biochemistry, chemistry, neuroscience, etc) and will be taking higher level coursework in the same subject area as your AP credits I don’t see a downside to taking the AP credits. Most medical schools** will accept AP credit if those credits are supplemented by additional upper level electives in the same subject area.

** Contact IUSOM admission office to confirm this is their policy.

If you try for medical school, you will probably apply to a dozen or few medical schools, which may have varying policies regarding AP credit.

If you do take AP credit, you may want to substitute an equal number of more advanced college courses in the same subject areas for the courses skipped with AP credit.

It is important to meet premed requirements with college credits since you need a Science GPA and AP credits are not usually given a GPA unless your college translates them an actual college credit with an actual grade.

If an AP Biology class translates to Biology XXX with an A based on a 5, this is usually acceptable to med schools. If it simply says AP Biology - college credits of 4 then it does not meet the GPA threshold requirement for science GPA.

In either case, rules keep changing every year and it is best to follow generally accepted principle of taking the science classes in college to meet science requirements for someone just starting out. English credit is a gray area.

Also be aware that if you do send your AP score to your college and receive credit for an equivalent class at the college (AP Bio score 5 = 4 credits Bio 100) then if you do retake the course at your college, it will be marked as a repeated class by AMCAS.

@wayoutwestmom since it is a repeat course, doesn’t the school drop the AP credit automatically? Just curious if different schools have different policies. My daughter’s school just dropped the AP credit that deemed equal to the college class for all classes she took in college.

School policies vary.

If a student received AP credit for a class, then retakes the class, the student is still obligated to report both classes their AMCAS application.

There is no record of AP anywhere that student can provide to colleges if it does not stay on the college transcript. So not sure how they can justify that. My Ds had an extra 13 AP classes that they could never use because their colleges only gave credit for 4-5 classes as a max allowed. For one of them, the credit dropped out of transcript the moment she took an equivalent Chemistry class or Math class.

AMCAS states that even if the previous record for a class was removed due to a retake, the student is required to report BOTH grades even if it doesn’t show up on the transcript.

Absent communication from AMCAS that says otherwise, I maintain that if a student receives course credit equivalent to a specific course at their college from AP exams, and that credit is later removed due to institutional policies when the course is repeated, the student is still obligated to report the class. The course name would be listed with a grade of P or C (since colleges do not assign grades for AP/IB/CLEP credits).

Kiddo #2 had a bunch AP exams that did not transfer as actual course credits, but as general science and GE credits that did not count toward graduation requirements. Her AP and post AP math classes did transfer as actual math class equivalents, but only gave her advanced standing in math, not credit toward graduation. She duly reported the math on her AMCAS application, but not the other AP coursework since they didn’t give her credit for specific equivalent classes.

If it’s considered a repeat course if you don’t transfer AP credits, wouldn’t medical schools look down upon that?

If you don’t send your AP scores and don’t receive credit, med schools will never know.

However, some colleges REQUIRE students who take AP classes to send their scores and some high school automatically include AP scores on final senior transcripts. (Thus even if you don’t send your scores, your high school has…)

But as I said–if you’re planning on majoring in a science, then there is really no downside to taking the AP credits and starting at higher level in college. It will allow you to skip the typical freshman “weeder” classes and get on to the meat of your major courses. AP credits will open space in your schedule to explore topics/classes/electives not in your major or to take grad classes. Also if you’re paying by the credit (which is true at most public colleges), then utilizing AP credits saves you (or your parents) some $$.

I have read instructions from both AMCAS and TMDSAS that we can not include anything from AP or IB that is not on a transcript. There is only one transcript that goes to AMCAS and what the college said in year 1 to student vs what they send out as the current transcript - there is no way absolutely to make such notifications since there is no reason for a student to have a transcript in year 1.