Pre-Med Curriculum Advice on Advanced Placement (AP) Credit

The MB&B department allows AP credit to substitute for the introductory courses we normally require of our students. However, many medical schools do not. Premed students majoring in MB&B must be aware of how medical schools will treat their AP credit. Policies vary at different medical schools. Students are urged to contact the Yale Premedical Advisory Program (1 Hillhouse Ave., 203-432-0818) for information regarding specific schools. 

Some general trends in medical school admissions requirements as of 2012 are described below.  Note that premedical requirements are changing and students should consult the premedical advisory program for the most up-to-date information.

Advice for Each Subject Area


Most medical schools require students to take two semesters of biology (with lab) in college. AP credit cannot be used to substitute for this requirement. However, students with AP credit may usually take more advanced biology electives (with lab) instead of introductory biology. This fits nicely with MB&B’s B.S. requirements, which ask students to take at least one advanced biology elective anyway (although MB&B does not require labs with advanced courses). Appropriate biology electives would include courses in areas such as genetics or cell biology. Courses in the areas of botany or evolutionary biology may not satisfy medical school admissions requirements. 
Important exceptions to the above discussion are certain University of Texas schools. These programs require students to take a year of introductory biology, with lab, in college. Students may not substitute AP credit or more advanced biology courses.


Most medical schools require two semesters of general chemistry, with lab, and two semesters of organic chemistry, with lab. However, students with AP credit for introductory chemistry will satisfy most medical school admissions requirements by taking one year of organic chemistry (with lab) followed by one semester of biochemistry (with lab).

MB&B asks students with AP credit for introductory chemistry to take a year of organic chemistry, with lab, followed by two semesters of biochemistry, with lab. Any student who fulfills the MB&B requirements should satisfy chemistry admissions requirements at most medical schools. 


This is the most difficult area for MB&B students with AP credit to negotiate. The MB&B department allows students to substitute AP credit for introductory physics. Some medical schools also allow this. Many do not. Also, medical schools require physics lab, while the MB&B major does not require any physics lab. The safest bet for a premedical MB&B student with AP physics credit is to take two semesters of introductory physics at Yale, with labs, or to take two semesters of more advanced physics courses, with labs.


Some medical schools require two semesters of mathematics to be taken in college, and will not allow AP credit to substitute. However, the Yale Premedical Advising Office finds that medical schools will accept students who use AP credit to skip MATH 112 and MATH 115, and then complete the one semester of MATH 120. Certain schools do strictly require two semesters of math to be taken in college. However, courses in computer science, statistics, or other quantitative disciplines will generally substitute for one of the two required “math” semesters. The safest bet is to take MATH 120 and an additional quantitative course, e.g. in computer science.