Sep 6, 2015
Hi everyone, I'm pretty new on SDN and I had a question that I hope you all could answer for me.
I'm currently a pre-med student at UCSB planning ahead for applying to medical school in 2017. I've seen that a lot of schools require a year of English Composition and AMCAS even states that: "At a minimum, students will likely complete the following types of courses: One year of English..."
This doesn't mean that they REQUIRE it to apply through AMCAS does it? I'm just unsure of their wording (or maybe I'm just being dumb). I've taken writing courses but no English at all :/ should I be worried and take a year of English? Halppp!


2+ Year Member
Feb 1, 2015
Medical Student (Accepted)
Check with schools you're interested in. Sometimes they will substitute English courses with writing intensive courses. If website doesn't make it clear, contact the admissions office, especially if you're unsure you're class is "writing intensive" enough.
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2+ Year Member
Jul 7, 2015
Medical Student
AMCAS doesn't have course requirements, schools do. As @moemoekyun said you have to find out what each school wants, but English is a common enough prerequisite that you'd be closing a lot of doors by not taking it. You can, however, get the credit prior to matriculation. This means that you could take it after you apply and it would not influence your GPA, if that's what you're worried about. Some schools might want an update, but if you get a conditional acceptance you'd just have to pass it.
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Only 389 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
The Big Bad Apple
A few thoughts

1) AMCAS is only an application service. It does not set requirements for any medical school nor does it check that you have fulfilled prerequisite requirements.
2) Requirements are set by the medical schools themselves and differ quite widely at the moment with a shift from course based to competency based requirements
3) Most medical schools allow you to apply with w/o prerequisites completed. These can be done prior to matriculation but note that some medical schools are setting this date earlier in the matriculation, some going to January 1st.
4) Prerequisites are typically checked after you have take up an offer of acceptance at the pre-matriculaton phase. Here your official transcripts must be sent directly to the medical school for verification yet again, this time for fulfillment of requirements.
5) Schools vary widely in the flexibility in their requirements. Some will list it as writing requirement which can be filled by many courses and disciplines. Others specifically list an English composition class.
6) Most, if not all schools, have a waiver or appeal process for prerequisite fulfillment. Again, some schools are flexible and others are extremely strict.
7) Therefore, make sure you read both in the MSAR and on the school's website for specific requirements for every medical school you intend to apply to
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