How/where should I include my foreign school credits on the AMCAS app ?

sharmi

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Oct 15, 2009
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When I complete the AMCAS app - do I detail out the courses I took at a foreign university towards my foreign BS and MS degrees ? I know AMCAS will not verify them, but is it worthwhile to include them ? I have had them evaluated by WES to their US equivalent.

I have been and also am currently taking classes at Cal State Universities and UCs and I will be including them for sure and I know that AMCAS will verify them. I will have 70+ semester credits on US soil before I apply (retaking all the BPCM on US soil and yes, all the chemistry too + tons of upper div bio courses + english - I didn't have any bio before).
My MCAT score is 30Q (first attempt was a 28Q - both with sub-optimal verbal score but good science scores).

If I don't include my foreign school credits, my application will look leaner than I would ideally like it to be. If I don't include them, then where can I at least mention them ? My BS and MS are in chemistry/organic chemistry so I would not want the ADCOMs to completely loose sight of the fact that I have already have BS and MS (although from a foreign school).

Please advise if you have been through a similar situation or know of someone who was / is in this situation. Also, I would like to know of folks that successfully got into med school with a foreign BS.
 

sunsfan

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I'm assuming you did NOT transfer those credits to a new US-based degree. If I assumed correctly then read on--

AMCAS advised me to list all coursework and grades as it appears on the WES translation. They will just mark it as 'not meant to be verified', and the schools will understand what this means. It is then up to the schools if they want to verify your foreign records on their own. The schools may ask you to submit the translation and/or the transcript, so have those ready.

None of the schools I applied to asked for my foreign transcripts during the application process. They did ask for it, though, after I got accepted. At that point, I sent them both the original transcript from the foreign school and the WES translation.

(Disclaimer: It is a slightly different process if you transferred these credits to a US institution for a new degree. If that is your case, read the AMCAS manual or let me know and I will describe the steps.)

I personally think it is worthwhile to include info about completed degrees. It adds depth to your app and gives a complete picture of what you've been up to all these years.
 
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sharmi

sharmi

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Thanks for the info. No, I did not transfer those credits over to a US university. How many credits did you take on US soil ? I am assuming that you re-took the pre-reqs at a minimum.
 

sunsfan

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I went for the 2nd BS, so I have ~90 US units under my belt when I applied, and will have ~120 US units when I matriculate this Sept. I have that many units because my 1st foreign BS was not science. I took the prereqs for the first time here in the US, and took the additional English and GE classes to satisfy the graduation requirements.
 
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sharmi

sharmi

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Oct 15, 2009
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Houston
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Medical Student
Once again, thanks for your reply. I expect to have over 70 by the time I apply (next year) and 90 after Sping 2012 right before I matriculate (hopefully!) I decided on doing the 90 credits primarily because I want to apply to Texas schools also; especially after talking to several SDN-rs including yourself, in the past. I am from California and will be applying very broadly IS and OOS. I decided to take this extra year to get all the pre-reqs done once again on US soil. I am also taking a whole bunch of Upper Div Bio courses and expect to have a 3.9+ GPA from my Post Bacc when I apply. Will that be enough to overcome my 30Q MCAT (with low VR) and foreign academic background ? I have been pretty successful in the Hi Tech industry (work-wise) so far and work full-time.
 

sunsfan

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I think you planned it well. Congrats on that Postbac GPA. :thumbup: IMO, your 30Q MCAT is good enough. I mean, it won't impress adcoms who've seen 40+ scores before, but it won't close doors on you either. Hopefully there are other aspects of your app such as your successful previous career which you can highlight instead of the MCAT. You will be right to apply broadly since CA schools can be unpredictable; I'm sure you've heard that before. You are on the right track, so just keep giving your best effort. :luck: