Classes Not At Duke

You should plan to take most of your prehealth requirements at Duke so that health professions schools will know that you've received a sound foundation in the sciences. Your coursework and grades from Duke will also tell them that you have acquired the necessary skills in the sciences and are capable of handling the advanced course work in a health professions school. Summer school at Duke or the Duke Marine Laboratory is always acceptable. If you find it difficult to fit in all required prehealth courses over your four years at Duke, you may choose to take some courses at home during the summer at a local university or college. 

Courses Taken At Other Schools

A few thoughts regarding taking courses away from Duke:

Transfer Credits
  • The course should be equivalent to that offered at Duke. You can obtain a course description, a syllabus, and the title of the textbook used and compare these with the corresponding Duke course. If you have questions, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) in the Duke department in which the comparable course is taught for advice. If the course is required for your major, be certain that your major department will accept the course as fulfilling the major requirement.
  • Trinity students can transfer 2 course credits back to Duke; Pratt students can transfer 4 credits. Follow the appropriate procedure for transferring courses to Duke. You should receive approval before taking a course to be sure it will meet necessary requirements. Procedures for transfer credit are online for Trinity and Pratt students. 
  • If the course you take is not necessary for a major or requirement at Duke, you can choose NOT to transfer it to Duke. When you apply to health professions schools, you will send transcripts from all colleges and universities that you've enrolled in, so the health professions schools will see that you have completed requirements away from Duke. 
Community College Credit
  • We discourage community college work for Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Math courses; such courses cannot be transferred back to Duke and the level of instruction is often not as rigorous.
Study Abroad
  • It is fine to take science courses abroad, but you should not take the required courses for health professions schools. Those must be take at U.S. institutions.
In-Class versus Online Courses
  • Courses taken to fulfill requirements (Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Math) should be taken in a usual classroom setting.  However, courses such as Psychology and Sociology that are taken for Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) preparation might be taken online.  
Can you repeat a course?
  • Be aware that you cannot take a course elsewhere and then repeat it at Duke. While this may seem like a good way to prepare for a difficult course, it is against Duke policy and health profession schools will see it as a lack of confidence. If you are worried about a particular course(s), talk with your health professions advisor so that you can develop workable plans.