Undergrad AP Credits?

I realize many medical schools do not recognize AP credited courses for prerequisites. What is the current thought on testing out and taking higher level courses (to fit med-school pre-recs) versus simply retaking the course and making what might be an easier A?

Assuming the following: AP Bio (5), AP Chem (5), AP Physics (4-5, taking now), and AP Calc_AB (5, taking now).

This may be helpful. I’d verify with any schools of interest. I would consider retaking classes that would be helpful for the MCAT. An upper level class may not be covering the same material. And AP classes are typically a watered down version of what you learn in a college class.

1 Like

Take the higher level course. Taking the same course won’t do you any good…it’s called grade grubbing to retake a course a second time for an A grade.



Med school policies on AP credit and the substitution of an upper level course for an intro one are all over the place. Please consult MSAR for the policies of individual schools.

Read this FAQ on the topic–

Many (most?) med school do allow the use of AP credits for pre-reqs, although every med school that does also expects everyone who uses AP credit to supplement those credits with additional UL coursework in the same academic department which granted the AP credits. (IOW, if you accept the credits for AP bio, you’re expected to take additional UL coursework in the bio dept. )

if you do decide to accept AP credit, do not retake the same class you received credit for. That’s called grade grubbing and adcomms do not look favorably at people who do that.

1 Like

Double dipping or “grade grubbing” wasn’t the crux of the question. Any repeat would be for an AP class taken but not used for credit, despite a good score on the AP exam. For example, an engineering major on a pre-med track taking Calc 1 freshman year despite scoring a 5 on the AP exam doesn’t seem unreasonable given the foundational level of the course.

Is it grade grubbing if no credit was ever requested for the passing AP score?

1 Like

And, thank you all for the replies. I had not heard the term grade grubbing before.

The simplest way is simply not send any AP scores to the college your child will be attending. Or not to take the AP exam. No scores means the college cannot offer credit for the class

You can also check the AP credit policies for the college.Some college automatically give a student credit if any AP score is reported; others don’t.

For example, at our state college any AP score of 3 or better automatically get course credit toward graduation. The student isn’t given the option of declining it. However, at the private U one one of my daughters attended, the policy was to disallow any AP credit for courses within the major. So AP Bio appeared on D’s transcript as “other biology credit = 3 credits”. It could not be used toward fulfilling graduation requirements.

It’s not grade grubbing if no specific class credit for the AP class appears on the student’s transcript.

My kid has a transcript from our flagship state U which shows a year of Bio with lab, with good grades, but it was from 10th grade. They’ll have to submit this transcript when applying. It never even occurred to us that kid should not also take two semesters of Bio with lab in college as an undergrad to satisfy the pre-reqs for applying to med school. The classes were not identical, and I don’t think that med schools would’ve been happy to accept the Bio credits done in high school as fulfilling pre-reqs. But I’m also sure that they wouldn’t consider it “grade grubbing” to have done both AP science in high school, dual enrollment, and college level sciences as an undergrad, too.

The reality is that some high schools offer AP level sciences starting in 9th grade, and some bright kids just skip the high school level science and go straight into AP sciences. Just because they also wind up with a dual enrollment college transcript for these doesn’t mean that med schools are gonna be happy to accept kids who only did their pre-reqs in high school, nor does a repeat of them while in college (unless they wind up at the same college that issued the credits during high school) look like grade grubbing.

1 Like

Makes sense, thanks. Our HS requires everyone to take all AP tests. We will follow up accordingly.

@parentologist— some medical schools have time limits on how old course grades can be and still be accepted as fulfilling med school requirements. Some say 3 years; some say 5; some say 10; some have no expiration dates, but want more recent coursework to confirm an applicants ability to perform well in a classroom.

The MSAR has information about grade expiration dates.