Does this count as a 'biology course with lab'?

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Feb 17, 2016
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I took this one course a while back which has the following description:


However, I did not state in AMCAS that the course has a lab. Some schools want to see a year of general biology with labs, and in my case, that would be satisfied if I had labelled this course as having a lab component; otherwise, this prerequisite would not be satisfied. However, it is a strange course in that it had the usual 3 hours of lecture per week, but had a seminar/lab hybrid for two hours per week, in which one hour was, more or less, lab work.

My question is, should I message the schools requiring a year of general biology with labs and tell them that because this course did not have a traditional lab component, I did not mark the course on AMCAS as a lab course, but after getting in touch with student advisers in my school, I was notified that this was in fact a lab component?


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No, do not message them. Schools do not typically utilized AMCAS for checking prereq fulfillment. Leave it alone

One of the schools I applied to stated that a full-year general biology sequence with labs is necessary to be considered. I did not indicate that my general biology course had labs in my primary application. This is why I have been concerned about the issue for the past several days. I called some of the schools and they said it would be okay to send them an email requesting an update to my course work list.

If schools don't use AMCAS for checking prerequisite fulfillment, what then do they (especially this school) use? And what purpose does the AMCAS course work list serve if schools don't look at it?

At most schools, you do not need to have all prerequisites fulfilled to apply, though it may make you less competitive. Prerequisites are not typically checked via the AMCAS application or during the admissions process. They are typically checked for fulfillment after you have taken up an offer of acceptance at a school during the pre-matriculation phase of the admissions process. Here you will be typically required to have all official transcripts sent to the medical school where, among other things, they will be screened for fulfilling the specific prereq requirements. If they do not, you may be able to request a waiver or appeal the decision.

Thanks for all your help, I really appreciate it.

Just one final question: I understand that sending them the email might be pointless, but would it do any harm? The uncertainty with this prerequisite issue has been bothering me for a while now.
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Why? You cant get a definative answer and it highlights potential weaknesses. Writing them has no upside and only downside. What you want is peace of mind and you aint gonna get it until after acceptance

Because I have this (perhaps irrational) fear in my head that I’ll be rejected at schools that mentioned something about only “considering” applicants that have fulfilled the biology with lab prerequisite.
It turns out the school does mention (albeit in a section unrelated to the prerequisite courses) that these courses are needed before matriculation rather than before application. Thanks to @gonnif for pointing that out