This part of the medical school application can be time consuming since you will have to enter in the title, units, and grade as well as classification for every college level class you’ve ever taken. It’s easy to make mistakes here since there are so many to list. Besides entering in the basic information about each class, you’ll need to specify whether it is a BCPM or AO course. BCPM stands for Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Math while AO, means All Other. Medical schools calculate a cumulative, science, and “all other” GPA that they use in review of your application.
As a medical school admissions consultant, I give the med school applicants I work with the following guidelines when they fill out the coursework section of their application:
1. DO NOT leave out courses that were taken for college credit during high school.
Even if the class does not appear on your high school transcript, if you received college credit for a class you took in high school, list it in the coursework section of your medical school application. It will make your application look more impressive if you got started on your Bachelor’s Degree before you even graduated from high school. If you do not share all the information as accurately as possible, it could look like you’re trying to hide something. These things have a way of turning up.
2. DO NOT exclude courses taken abroad since they already appear on the official transcript.
Even if you took classes at another school as part of an exchange program at your school, list the university where you took the class and received the course credit. Don’t take any shortcuts. If you do everything right the first time, there won’t be any issues.
3. DO NOT enter all coursework in at one time.
If you try to complete this section in one sitting, you will likely make silly mistakes. Have patience. Give yourself time to double check your work before adding new information. Plan to complete this section in multiple sessions. I’ve gotten numerous phone calls over the years from medical school applicants, panicked over what they accidentally entered.
4. DO NOT rely on memory.
Using your own handwritten notes or an old unofficial copy of your transcripts can be dangerous. Order official copies of your transcripts to make sure that you are up to date on the status of all your coursework and grades. It’s better to correct mistakes or have grades updated before you mail out transcripts.
5. DO NOT list classes as BCPM without careful consideration.
Make sure that all classes that should be considered BCPM are and that you double check dates and grades. If you’re not sure whether you should list a class as BCPM or not, read the course description. If you’re still confused, talk to an academic or premed advisor. If all else fails, you can always contact the AAMC.
6. DO NOT guesstimate the unit translation.
Be precise. Follow instructions on how to convert your units to hours. Take your time to learn how to do it correctly. Ask for help if you have questions.
7. Take your time!
While this may not seem like an important part of the application, the cumulative and science GPAs that are calculated using the information you share will play a major role in how the selection committee views your application. Don’t leave it for the last minute or you’ll risk being sloppy. Pace yourself and make sure you input all information accurately.
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