Stressed Pre-med
Apr 2, 2010
I have read many threads about using AP credit for prereqs, but I am not exactly sure how to deal with my specific situation. I am a sophomore at a small liberal arts college majoring in neuroscience. I came into college with numerous AP credits, including chemistry and physics. When I was initially registering for classes freshman year, I wasn't well-versed on the situation of using AP credits for prereqs, and on the advice of an academic advisor who apparently wasn't aware either, I accepted the credit for the two semesters of gen-chem I got from my AP and went straight into orgo. This did not go well. I got a C first semester and ended up dropping second semester, which I am repeating now and will probably end up with a decent grade, but that's not the issue at hand. My problem comes now in trying to decide how to supplement the AP credit I regret accepting. As I said, I go to a small school, so there are not many course options available. Complicating the situation is the fact that I am studying abroad in the fall, so I only have three semesters left on campus. In terms of chemistry, I plan on taking a 300-level biochem I can use for my major, but this is a non-lab course. My options for upper-level labs are all either courses that would be very difficult to schedule or I do not think I would do well in (aka P-Chem). I also could just not apply anywhere that requires more chem than I will be able to fit in, but given that my GPA is within norms, but not overly competitive, I hate to rule out schools at this point. My other issue then arises with my physics. I have credit for both semesters of General Physics. These I could feasibly still take senior year even though I have credit for them. Taking an upper-level is not really an option for me. I am not sure if it is worth it though, since I have looked at many different AP credit policies, and I do not think it is likely I will run into a situation where a school will take my AP credit for chem but not for physics. Since I am stuck with the AP credit for chem, my time might be better spent taking additional upper-level bio and psych courses. I also could just take second semester general physics (electricity, magnetics, optics), even though I have credit, just to show I can. I realize this has been rather long, but my pre-med advisor was literally no help, and I do not know how to proceed.


Moderator Emeritus
5+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 6, 2009
Attending Physician
I applied to a bunch of schools and only one really had an issue with using AP credit. Even that school was willing to replace AP Bio and Chem with other classes. As a neuroscience major, you'll definitely have some upper level courses that will fill them in. A lot of schools that don't require biochem will let you use that as upper level chem.

The frustrating part is that you're going to have to find out by school since they each have their own policies and they may not always be the same. If you have any top choices, definitely look into that now so you can make sure you have the right courses before it's too late.


10+ Year Member
Jul 6, 2006
Fellow [Any Field]
I had Bio and Physics (and English) AP credits. I took upper division bio credits (as that seems to be the one that schools have the hardest time accepting), and just took the labs for Physics (they only gave me credit for the lectures. They actually only gave me credit for the bio lectures too, they just exempted me from the labs, and I didn't figure this out until my senior year).

Does your school have a two semester sequence for biochem? That might be the best option for you. Physics wasn't really a problem, though some schools will require upper division coursework, so it might be better just not to apply there (Rochester, SLU, and Columbia come to mind).


...failure to communicate
Mar 26, 2010
Medical Student
It is not easy to read a giant block paragraph with no clear points, and no spacing to break up your ideas. Perhaps if you sent your advisor an email he simply did not work through it.

AMCAS and AACOMAS accept your AP credits, but you seem to have lost 24 credit hours of potentially high grades to add to your GPA. I did this with Bio 1&2, and Chem 1&2 and it hurt me on my cGPA. If you have bad grade karma on your application, do something to erase it.

It is a tough situation. Look at your stats, your options for time and your life goals, and decide what to do. A lot of people get into med school with no advice and tough situations.


10+ Year Member
Sep 2, 2007
Medical Student
AP credit is school dependent, but generally if the credit is shown on the transcripts for a given class, you should be ok...generally. If not, most schools will allow you to take upper division classes.

As for chem, does your school offer analytical chemistry? I would do that. Gen, orgo, anal, and one biochem would have fulfilled a chem minor at my UG so maybe that's something to look into.

Kind of a pain, but you probably already know some of the schools you are going to apply to, ie, most/all instate schools. Take a few minutes and find out what their AP policies are.

Also be aware that psych generally do not count towards your science GPA.