US permanent resident with foreign BSN degree needing help with prereqs

Hello everyone. I’m new here and i’m hoping I could get some helpful advice from this forum.

I’m a permanent resident with a US citizenship application in process. I have a BSN degree from Philippines (I graduated in 2004) and it’s been awhile since I last went to school. I’ve been wanting to go to med school since I was very young and I originally wanted to go to med school back home straight after college. However, like all of us, life happens and i ended up here in US. I had an immigrant visa, so I had to leave home before I turn 21, which meant that I had to leave right after I got my nursing license over there. Now, with 6 years of nursing experience, I finally decided to go for it. I’m well aware about the prerequisites, however, after meeting with 2 premed advisors from different schools, now I feel stuck. This is what I’ve been told:

Advisor #1: US med schools will accept my BSN degree, BUT I have to repeat ALL the prerequisites (regardless of grade) since ALL US med schools will ONLY accept them if they were taken in a 4-yr institution accredited in the US.

Advisor #2: US med schools will accept prerequisites from foreign institutions as long as the grades earned are good and the credits are transferred to a US school.

Now, I’m not that old, but I’ve delayed myself for quite a few years already and I feel that the longer I take to start, the harder it will be for me to adjust my life accordingly. So… which one was more accurate??? I’ve also looked into another school’s premed post-bacc program but as far as registering for classes, priority is given to those who are degree-seeking students. So now I’m having this dilemma of whether to enroll in a post-bacc program or get a second bachelor’s degree (and have some credits transferred). Which do you think is more appealing to med schools? I really want to get the ball rolling already but I don’t want to make wrong assumptions from the beginning because that could cost me time & effort for nothing.

Thank you for reading my post (and sorry for making it a long one). Hope to hear from you guys.

This is my personal opinion, so take that into note before you continue reading.

I think that for your situation, Advisor # 1 is more right than Advisor # 2. There are people on this board who have had their pre-req credits transferred, but that would probably require your undergrad institute in PI to be USA accredited and so on. Therefore, I think you should go with what Advisor # 1 says, which means a post-bacc. A second B.S won’t hurt, but I feel that a post-bacc would be sufficient. This topic comes up frequently on here and I’ve been part of those discussions a couple of times. Here are links to those threads:………

There are people similar to your situation on this board who have been admitted to med-schools without a second B.S. They took the pre-reqs and a few additional classes. This is my plan as well. Again, all this is just my opinion. Wait a few days and read what others have to say as well.

The answer is complex. I don’t see much advantage to getting a second bachelors degree - more money and time studying stuff you don’t need.

You should definately redo the biology prerequisites. Even from 2004 there have been sufficient changes that it would be valuable. Did you have both inorganic and organic chemistry, and 2 semesters of physics with labs? Maybe you are already looking at doing some of these prerequisites as you may not have taken them all.

One of my classmates in my post-bacc program was from England, and had done some courses at a community college in the US (with poor grades as an 18-20 year old) and done his degree at Oxford in later 20’s with excellent marks (although their grading system is different).

In applying to allopathic medical schools (the AMCAS application), NONE of his foreign educational credits transferred (which made his GPA awful), although they accepted that he had a degree, so he did not have to redo the years of english, math, etc. In applying to osteopathic medical school, his “foreign” courses DID count although I’m not sure how they were figured in. I would call an osteopathic medical school’s admissions office to get further info. there.

One inaccuracy in what #1 told you - it is NOT true that NO us med school accepts credits except at US 4-year colleges. Some do take community college courses. That varies - refer to the other topics here.

Some students have to 4-year colleges and enrolled as a degree-seeking student for another bachelor’s degree, then used that priority enrollment to get their prerequisites, and left without completing the 2nd degree - some have even been advised by the 4-year institution to do exactly that to get the prereqs in. Another thought.


Thank you so much Dullhead & Kate429 for the advice. I’ve read other topics on this forum similar to my situation but not the ones mentioned here. I’ll probably enroll as a non-degree student for now since I already missed the deadline for degree-seeking status application. I had one semester of biology, inorganic chem, organic chem, biochem, and physics (all with labs). I think it’s better for me to repeat them anyway since I don’t remember much about them; it’ll be better for my MCAT prep too.

Good luck to you as you start classes this fall!

Thank you! I just got my credentials evaluation from Josef Silny today. I have a GPA of 2.42… My heart just sank knowing how extremely competitive my school was & all that effort I’ve put into it. I mean, I was in the top 3 out of 100 students in my graduating class. Oh well… at least I know where I stand. Time to get back to work!

Some questions for you:

  1. Are you having your credentials evaluated because you were told that you could transfer credits? If so, will those transfer credits appear on your transcript at the 4-yr college you will be attending? I guess I’m trying to understand why the credentials eval.

  2. Was Josef Silny the only “approved” evaluator? There’s also WES and ECI, if I recall. Just putting it out there.

  3. If you’re intending to enroll for pre-reqs this Fall, make sure you don’t have to clear any pre-reqs for taking pre-reqs. I completed forms to apply for admission at my local community college and am starting to realize that there is a possibility that I may not be able to enroll in G.Chem I or Physics I this semester without taking a Math/Chem placement or assessment. I’ve not spoken to an advisor yet, but I’m hoping I can enroll without taking any challenge exams etc. You should look into this kind of stuff too.

    I remember going through the credentials eval rigmarole when I applied for my engineering license. Those unpleasant memories are returning. I’m learning to hate the word “accreditation” but this is the way the game’s played so I have to grin and bear it. Good luck to you.

I had my credentials evaluated because all the schools I’ve looked into required it for students who had foreign credentials (our grading system in the PI is totally different… a 1.0 is actually the highest grade attainable and a 4.0 is equivalent to F). Plus, the schools here in Miami who actually have a formal post-bacc program had a GPA requirement and I didn’t know what mine was. Anxious about the results of the eval, I applied to a community college as a non-degree student.

As for placement, FL DOE requires a CLAST (College Level Academic Skills Test) for English and Math for students seeking a AA/BA/BS degree. From what I understand, if we have a degree already and need to take some courses post-bacc (like me), I think we don’t have to go through all that placement tests/assessments as prerequisites for the courses we want/need to take since we already have a degree. The first advisor I spoke to before also mentioned that. I don’t know how that applies to your state though.

Correction: The FL CLAST is no longer in effect since June 2009.

Prereq COURSES for taking prereqs might be a different story though. Like here in FL International Univ., Trigonometry is a prerequisite for Physics 1 (without calculus). I’ve never taken that before. My advice: Talk to your school’s advisor.

to jmcj83, we are in the same boat. i graduated in ust and is very confused with school system here in US. obviously, you’re already in the first steps to medschool. what part of miami are you from? i used to live in kendall drive back in 2006. hope you post more regarding your journey so i can read on your thread.