Carnegie Mellon University

Transfer Credit

Health Professions Schools may not consider transfer credit as the full equivalent of academic year courses at your undergraduate institution (Carnegie Mellon).  In addition to a student's ability to succeed in a particular prerequisite course, medical admissions committees may wish to consider the academic rigor of courses as well as a student's ability to multi-task on multiple challenging courses at one time.  For these reasons, a summer transfer course taken at a less rigorous institution may not be in your best interest.  With these things in mind, here is a ranking of four options possible for a potential transfer course:
  1. (Best). Take the course at CMU during the semester (this maximizes academic rigor and demonstrates ability to multi-task)
  2. Take the course at CMU during the summer (this maximizes academic rigor)
  3. Take a summer course that is recognized by CMU to transfer in as our course number (e.g. a physics course as 33-121 or 33-122; this action carries CMU's stamp of approval).
  4. (Least good, but acceptable). Take a course that meets med school requirements, even it it will not transfer into CMU.
Consult with the Health Professions Program or the Mellon College of Science advising staff if you have questions.  Individual health professions school admissions policies do differ; details can typically found on school admissions websites.  


Advanced Placement Credit

Many health professions schools (e.g. medical schools) do not encourage or accept AP credit for their prerequisite courses (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math & English).  Students interested in these careers should consider one of the following plans to ensure that they remain competitive for admissions.

  1. Take Carnegie Mellon's introductory sequence despite the availability of AP credit; consider the Honor's versions of Modern Biology or Modern Chemistry.  Many students with AP credit find that they are challenged in Carnegie Mellon's introductory courses.  This can build a more solid foundation for advanced study.
  2. Accept the AP credit you have earned and then take an upper level course in the same discipline or sub discipline.  The general guide would be to take upper level courses that have the introductory courses as a prerequisite.  For example:
  • With AP credit for Chemistry, one could demonstrate mastery of the material by taking a course in Inorganic Chemistry (09-348) (but not organic chemistry, which is also typically required).
  • With AP credit for Physics, one could demonstrate mastery of the material by taking Physics III or another upper level Physics course such as Stars Galaxies and the Universe, Introduction to Computational  Physics, or Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.
Individual health professions school policies do differ; details can typically found on school admissions websites.