It depends on your over-all educational picture. Many schools require that you take at least a years worth of college-level courses at a US educational institute before applying. According to the Albert Einstein web page 1 year = about 30 credits. Albert Einstein for instance also states that these credits must be in the sciences, though many schools do not state this. If you have done this then likely whether you took the pre-reqs abroad or not would not be an issue.
If your degree is from a country like Australia, Britain, New Zealand, Canada there will be no issue.
If your degree was a science degree abroad, schools look more favorably on this than if you have just the pre-reqs as they feel more certain you will have covered the 'pre-req' courses at the level required.
If you have any kind of advanced degree, even if this too was from abroad, they will be less fussy about your pre-reqs.
If you have worked in an academic lab in the states they care less about the pre-reqs.
So...as you can see, there are a lot of factors, and it will vary by school. I doubt you will get a straight answer calling schools as often you will reach the secretary rather than the dean of admissions, and at some schools only the whole admissions committee can vote to waive or accept requirements. Some schools eg U Miami state that they will not accept *any* foreign class work, let alone the pre-reqs.
What education have you received in the US? Any? If so it will improve your chances as it gives them another 'reference' level to judge your current course work on.
Thanks for the replies! For clarification, I graduated with a BA from a US school. I am currently working on my premed classes, and I might have the opportunity to spend next year in Scotland. I found out it would be possible to take inorganic chemistry while I am there. Would this be frowned upon?
i spent a year in england, and am using one of the biology courses there as a premed requirement. from my research into schools, i only saw 1 that said all coursework had to be taken in the states. of course, i didn't look at every single school. for the 25 schools i'm applying to, none of them said there is a problem with international coursework except some said that your degree needs to be from the states. it probably won't be a problem if it's just one class.
If your degree is from a US university you will have no problem. I assume that the visit to Scotland is a 'study abroad' program and the courses you take will transfer back to your home institution. Again, therefore, you will have no problem - Medical Schools will treat such courses as if done at the home institution.
I do not know which college in Scotland you plan on attending. However, be aware that college courses in Britain are generally harder than those in the US. If you are attending one of the "new universities" like Napier or one of the second tier ones like Strathclyde, you should have no problem getting the same GPA. If you are attending something like University of Edinburgh be aware that you will be competing for that A with some very good students, most of whom will already have covered that inorganic chemistry in CSYS and A-levels. You may find it tougher to get an A at such an institute.
that's a good point about taking an intro chemistry course. if you've never had it before or only had a high school course in it, you will probably be in trouble, because the students there will have quite an extensive background in it. if you had an AP course you might be ok. i never had a problem with the difficulty of my classes in england, but i took 2nd year courses as a junior. but hey, my grades didn't end up transferring to my home institution, and i was quite surprised to find out that amcas didn't want the transcript. too bad cause it would've raised my science gpa. such is life... so if the grades don't transfer, it doesn't matter what kind of grade you get anyway, and you could go ahead and take the course even if your chem background is weak.
uni of edinborough is a well known school - and it can be tough - so just be concientous about that. grades etc... aren't always on curves like many places here. i don't know if they do this anymore, but what does 1st class honors, 1st class, second class etc... translate to (if it does) - a,b and lower?
the grading is really different. >70% is an A, but that's all i remember really. it's not like here, though, where half the class gets >70%. first class honors is like an A. a II.1 (however that's spelled) is like an A-/B+. that's all i know. i went to king's college in london for a year, and they translate the british grades to american grades for the american students since they have so many studying there. i doubt many schools do that. i never actually got to see my grades in british terms and never bothered to get my exams back.
Thanks for all the helpful advice. Lola, I am curious as to why AMCAS would not want your transcript from abroad? My grades (or credits) would not exactly be getting transferred to my undergrad transcript because I have already graduated, would this fact make a difference?
Excellent points about the chem being potentially more difficult; that is definitely something I will have to consider. It had not really occured to me. I haven't had chemistry since high school..
as far as i know, they don't want any transcripts from foreign schools unless they are american universities abroad. i could be wrong about this, though, so you should double check. i know it's the case if you went for a year abroad and your credits transferred to your home institution but your grades didn't. your best bet would be to go to the amcas website and find the application instructions. this should tell you what will happen for your particular situation. http://www.aamc.org/audienceamcas.htm
Thanks Engg! I asked too and got a similar response:
AMCAS does not verify foreign course work. However, you may wish to list these courses so the medical schools to which you will be applying will be aware of the courses you have taken.
So I guess I would just eventually need to send transcripts directly from the university to the med schools?
I'm kind of confused because the study abroad director at my undergrad school swore up and down that you shouldn't worry about taking courses abroad even though your grades themselves would not transfer because AMCAS would recalculate your GPA based on all coursework. That wouldn't really apply to me anyway, but I guess that it not the case in any circumstance.