Important Update: COVID-19 Impacts on Prerequisite Planning

S/N Grade Policy Changes

The University of Minnesota is adjusting it's policy which will allow any undergraduate student to change their grade in any of their Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 courses to S/N. This change is of particular importance to students who are on the road to a health professional program (and likely other graduate and professional schools).

In normal circumstances, most health professional schools require any course that is being used as a prerequisite to be taken A-F, and will not accept courses taken S/N. As we are well aware of, these are not normal circumstances!

We are actively following the implications of this issue by:

  • reaching out to our UMN health science admissions directors to request updates
  • reaching out to contacts at the top schools that our UMN undergraduates apply to (across many disciplines),
  • following national listserv conversations with updates from individual schools and national associations

Visit the Office of Undergraduate Education site for important updates on this issue and other UMN policy changes. 

A few key points to keep in mind when considering this decision:

Students have time to consider this decision. The deadline to make the decision was April 30, but was extended until May 22. We encourage taking time before making a decision. We will continue to communicate updates as we hear them from UMN health science schools and colleges (see link directly below), and health professional degree programs around the nation. 

UMN Health Science Programs: Decisions on S/N Acceptance

Most health science schools and colleges are working to adapt to the current situation, and have likely made a statement on their official policy position.

Keep in mind that this is an unprecedented situation that is affecting applicants and health professional schools alike. It will require unique considerations for this year, and for application cycles to come. 

Students: we encourage you to prioritize your own physical and mental well-being at this time, and let the policies fall into place. As future health professionals, you will surely find yourself again making difficult decisions during challenging times. This experience will test your resilience, and we are here to support you as we work together to persevere. 

We will be communicating with students and advisors with the most accurate and up-to-date information on this issue and any other changes to health profession program applications that might be taking place due to this unusual and unprecedented situation. 

Prerequisite courses are the foundational coursework required for most health professional programs.

Prerequisite courses, also referred to as "requisite" or "required" courses, are typically defined as college-level courses needed for entry into a health professional program. Each health professional program will specify the prerequisite courses that are required for that program and when those courses need to be completed. 

Keep in mind that additional courses may be needed for successful performance on the MCAT, PCAT, GRE, or other standardized admission tests.

Paper with notes

Will high school courses work?

Will high school courses work?

Different health professional programs will have policies on whether courses taken at the high school level (such as AP courses) will count or not towards the prerequisites for their program. Check with the individual programs for details on the policies for those programs.

When do they need to be completed?

When do they need to be completed?

Prerequisite courses do not necessarily need to be complete upon applying to professional programs, but selected courses may be required at the time of application. If you still have prerequisites to complete at the time of application, indicate that on your application under current/future courses listed. When you complete those courses, follow the instructions from each school regarding how to submit an updated official transcript.