Advice: English Requirement for Med School

Hi everyone,

This might have been asked previously, so pardon if this is redundant.

The medical schools that I am looking at have minimum of 6-9 sem hours of english requirement.

Unfortunately, most US med schools do not accept TOEFL scores. I took the test and scored 114/120 … but I guess that is besides the point.

Now, I can CLEP out of CompI and then take CompII (and Advanced Composition if I apply to the schools with 9sem hours english requirement) or,

would you suggest to take CompI as well? under the “assumption” that I can score well in verbal section of the MCAT.


Hi Chickbrownie,

This is a good question and I am interested to see how the forum respond. How do universities look at CLEPing non math and science courses such English compostion,humanities, social sciences…

By the way,I assume you got your degree outside the U.S. Am I correct? was it a non-English speaking country?

I have my undergrad degree from Asia ( non-English speaking country) and my masters from Canada( English speaking province). I am yet to find out how the university evaluates my degree …i.e…do I need to take English compostion( I & II) or not…

I hope not …




I have an undergrad and postgrad degrees from a non-english speaking country.

In general, I have read that if you want to apply to med school do not CLEP out of any class. I have read on few med school websites where they will not accept CLEP/AP courses for any of the pre-reqs. (Note: Cases like you and me are few. So, the general answer is for common cases.)

At the same time I have read anecdotal examples of people who got into med schools using CLEP credits for few of the pre-reqs … even for courses like Chem and Bio. These students did take higher level courses in those subjects. I suspect these students had enough credits from US university to demonstrate to a US med school about their academic abilities.

So, it is obviously important to demonstrate that one is competitive in US education system even though previously she/he had been educated out of US education system. AND-I am thinking MCAT can demonstrate that. (Just like a FMG can score high on Step-1 and try to find a residency in US. )

The other interesting thing: I have come accross formal post-bacc programs on East Coast that give admission to international students. International students send these schools evaluation of their foreign credentials and TOEFL score. This obviously proves that not having an under-grad degree from US is not a deal breaker. I did not see the curriculum of this program (was too sleepy to think) - to find out if they had any english courses on it?

Why are you getting your credentials evaluated? Are you planning to apply to foreign med schools?

I hope someone can shed some light on this.



I can only provide my opinion (not an expertise really).

1- Generally it is best not to CLEP or AP any core pre-req (science math and english)

2- Some schools DO accept these credit by exams (and others don’t). Check your top choice.

3- Some school will find CLEP/AP acceptable if you have a terminal degree AND/OR have taken advanced courses to follow up on these credits.

4- I believe it is harder in certain cases to CLEP versus attending the classes. I would place English I in this category because the depth of the knowledge of English litterature required is important to succeed. Easier to get A in class.

5- I personally just CLEPPED Bio I/II (77 out of 80) and French I to 4 (80/80) for a total of 24 credit hours. CLEP exams are not too difficult but you have to know your stuff. Note that I teach Biology, so I can justify CLEPPING it. As for French, just a trick to get me closer to the 90 Cr H required.

6- I Intend to take AP physics in May for Phys I and II but I am trying to enroll in calc based Phys II and intend to ace it (I hope to).

7- I will CLEP other things algebra, calc, pre-calc and Spanish as well.

Again I have check with my top choice and my strategy is acceptable. May not be the case for all.

My piece of advice is

1- to check with the schools you target

2- before clepping check the topics required. You will see that sometimes you may need a lot of work and it would make more sense to attend the class.

hope this helps.

Hi, Merry Christmas! :slight_smile:

I had the same question a while ago. I am from Brazil and the Med school admissions department I asked told me that 1 year of English comp would be required of any foreigners. After my first English Comp I test, the professor called me and told me I could CLEP out of it. However, the pre-med advisor at Georgia State University strongly recommended NOT to CLEP out of any classes. So I took English Comp I - in the end I scored an A+ and it will only help my GPA. Now, it would be interesting to see if anyone else has any different experience.

Best regards and good luck!

Thanks for sharing redo and VanessaOT.

And, Merry Christmas VanessaOT.