Old transcripts?

I have a transcript from 20 years ago that is less than stellar. In fact it is downright embarassing. It is from my first experience as an undergraduate when I was far too immature and not ready for university.

The transcript is from the UK, and is not graded along A-F scale. Some of the classes are P/F some are using a UK specific system(3, 2:2, 2:1, 1).

Will I have to add this to my application? If so then how do they evaluate foreign transcripts?

Unfortunately the classes are all science based, I was enrolled in a Genetics BSc, and in England, at that time there was no General studies or other requirements. Every class you took was related to your major. I’m hoping I can just leave it out.

My take and perhaps I am wrong:

DO NOT LEAVE OUT ANYTHING! All your courses should be evaluated by a credential evaluation service (I used one that I do not recommend given the stringency of the verification process). Usually, the cost is minor ($200-300), the issue is the paperwork and the time. I even had to go back to France for this.

I am a Med School dropout somehow myself (really a pre-med dropout). I could have hidden the facts, but in the end, they made me a very competitive applicant when I wrote my PS and shared my experiences with the interviewers. I am sure they all felt my commitment and passion of a dream that started long ago, and is still alive today despite the difficulties encountered along the way. I interviewed at 3 schools and was accepted at all 3. Declined a 4 th invitation later on.

So mistakes in the past are OK. Just explain what happened and how it makes you better. Young kids usually do not have that breadth of experience and I am convinced that bumps along the way, and yet still trying later in life makes us very passionate and motivated.

Plus, should you leave things out and should the committee of a school find out later, even when you have the degree (MD or DO), then the school can have the power to rescind the degree. So I would be very careful with this. I am quite sure that it is clearly stated that you should not leave courses out even if very old. Be careful. It wouldn’t be worth to try in my opinion.

Again my opinion. Not worth much. It worked well for me though.

Thanks redo,

I won’t leave it out if it is required to include them, that wouldn’t be right. I was hoping there was some kind of statute of limitations on transcripts.

Did you choose the evaluating company or did AACOMAS and AMCAS specify the one you should use?

For evaluation companies it is really hit and miss. To pick one, I went on the website of the school I was interested in and they suggested a bunch. I later discovered that this company was not listed by the TMDSAS (since I was applying in Texas), but they said it was still OK. I picked one called World Education Services. I kind of regretted it because of how stringent they were, much more so that other companies, so it resulted in headaches. But there work forced me into full disclosure (which appeared to be good in the end) and I was kind of reluctant, mainly because of the extra work and effort, so I had to fly to France!

Another institution that my wife used after that was AACRAO. The experience was much smoother, and I know they are very serious and well respected.

Reviews of all these companies, will vary from pissed to happy, so it is very hard to pick the right company for you. For sure you should check out websites of schools or AMCAS/AACOMAS. You will usually see the same ones more or less. But as long as it is listed by a respectable institution, then it probably is accredited to do the job and you should be fine.

Be prepared to wait a while so you should do this as early as possible. Your foreign transcripts won’t change so just do it now. No point in waiting.

Did a quick search for this on AMCAS and found this:

“How do I know if AMCAS requires an Official Transcript?

One (1) official transcript is required from each U.S., U.S. Territorial, or Canadian post-secondary institution at which you have attempted coursework, regardless of whether credit was earned.”

From here:

https://www.aamc.org/students/download/182 162/data…

You could also call them up.


you are right when you say that transcript from abroad are not required by AMCAS (although there are exceptions like if you took courses for MD degree outside the US, these would have to be provided).

But the issue will not be AMCAS, but the school who accepts an applicant. Generally, they will require transcripts either before of after acceptance.

TMDSAS (Texas specific) by the way requires that a course by course evaluation be submitted for foreign coursework.

Thank you both for your replies.

I have done more research looking at some of the DO schools that I am interested in. It seems that they are interested in the most recent 120 credit hours of course work.

My main concern is the grades from this old transcripts negatively impacting my sGPA and cGPA that the schools will see on my application.

My understanding that these scores, along with your MCAT score, are the initial filter schools use to sort applicants. My concern was I would fall at this first hurdle due to a low GPA. I am starting to think this is no longer the case.

I am going to contact some of my target schools and confirm this with them.

If you want to go DO, I have read that many schools also practice a grade replacement policy in the GPA calculation where say you take a course and get a bad grade, if you retake the same course and score better, then the former grade is no longer part of your GPA calculation. So this would be a great way to quickly improve your GPA as well.

MD schools would count both grades so your GPA would n’t increase as fast.

Actually, any DO school that uses the AACOMAS application (which I think is any DO school not in Texas) will “practice” grade replacement because that is how GPA is calculated on the AACOMAS application. However, you still have to enter EVERY COURSE you have taken. So the initial lower grade will be visible when they review your application, but at least the overall GPA should as you say be improved by retakes (assuming you do better - they use the most recent grade, not necessarily the highest one), so this is a potential way to avoid having a “filter” prevent the school from reviewing your application.


I thought I would provide an update for anyone who may have a similar issue.

I emailed AMCAS regarding my foreign transcript. They sent me two documents in reply. The first “Are transcripts required?” contains the following

“AMCAS requires an official transcript from any college or university (in the US/Canada) an applicant has attended, whether or not credit was granted.”

From that I take it that as my old University is not in the US or Canada, a transcript is not required. The second link was to a document, “How should Course Work be Entered in the AMCAS Application?”. Basically it says that all courses, including repeats, should be entered.

So the good news for me, from an AMCAS standpoint, is that my UK transcript is not required. Whether schools will request it for their secondaries I do not know.

I also emailed my local DO school. Unfortunately they told me that all transcripts, foreign or otherwise MUST be entered in AACOMAS. In the “AACOMAS Application Instruction Manual 2013” I found the following relevant instruction,

"coursework taken at foreign institutions must be evaluated for U.S. equivalence by one of the evaluation services listed below, and an official copy must be sent from the service directly to AACOMAS. "

SO my terrible past must be accounted for. They do however do grade replacement and only the most recent grade is used to calculate your GPA. In my case though it means that my GPA plummets from a not too shabby 3.7 to a 2.7. Even with Grade replacement, I do not know if I will be able to make it competitive.

The local DO school admissions people are very helpful. They have offered to sit down and do an unofficial transcript review with me to see what they can suggest I do in my circumstance. At this point it looks like I may only be applying through AMCAS but we shall see how the next few semesters go.

I hope this information maybe useful to anybody in a similar circumstance.

The way I’m reading it, both AMCAS and AACOMAS are telling you to enter your UK coursework. Difference is that AACOMAS is asking for an equivalence evaluation report from an approved evaluation service, while AMCAS is not.

I’m also curious as to how you determined that your current 3.7 drops to a 2.7. Did you calculate that yourself, or is it based on a report prepared by an evaluation service. I ask because grading scales here are different. Where I’m from, a 70% grade was a “First class with distinction.” Here, it would be a C at best. Similarly, a 35% was the passing score. Out here, a 35% would not even register on the scale.


I am not sure about your GPA, but even if transcripts are required THEY ARE NOT PART OF GPA Calculation (at least at most schools including texas).

Like Dull said, these are my rankings (they figure on my transcripts from France):

Bachelor 4th/170 students average= 68% (D)

Masters 5th/140 students average= 65% (D)

Post-grad 1st/15 students average= 73 % ©

I went to the med school in which I will matriculate before I applied and discussed that with the admission director and she understood. What helps also in my case is that they actually have a partnership with a French Medical school and according to her ("French universities have rigorous curiculums that can be compared to IVY league US universities).

The equivalent GPA I got from my evaluation report is 3.04. So this is meaningless and they know it.

Don’t sweat, just get it done. Do well on any pre-reqs you take and on the MCAT, your past grades should not be too much of a problem because for one thing they don’t see many applicants for foreign countries, and secondly pre-reqs here and MCAT will equalize things for them.

But yes, any school that will accept you will require ALL the transcripts. Not so much to check, as they will have already accepted you, but more for compliance and law issues. That’s likely part of the accreditation they receive and audits they must go through.

Good luck.

  • redo-it-all Said:

I am not sure about your GPA, but even if transcripts are required THEY ARE NOT PART OF GPA Calculation (at least at most schools including texas).

And there's this, too. I think this applies, even if you have your coursework evaluated by an agency. And don't worry too much - most evaluation agencies in the business know that grading scales are different. I had my engineering degree evaluated twice. Once each by WES and ACEI. They both generated similar results. Differences were in the +/-, but they both came up with the same letter grades on the coursework.