AICE New Orleans Symposium – April 4, 2020

“Setting the Standard: Evaluating Professional Qualifications in Law and Medicine from Around the World”

The 2020 Symposium will take place on April 4, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana, prior to the start of AACRAO’s 106th Annual Meeting. This symposium will strive to answer questions, generate discussion, and update the AICE Standards on the topic of evaluating international professional qualifications in law and medicine and the U.S. educational and professional comparability.  The Symposium with explore how professional degrees in law and medicine differ from academic degrees and determine what standards may be employed in their evaluation. Discussion will revolve around the criteria used by US institutions of higher education for the admission of professional degree holders to undergraduate or graduate degree programs and transfer credit considerations.  

AICE invites all those registered to attend a reception on the evening of April 4th from 6:00 PM-7:30 PM following the symposium.

SYMPOSIUM PROGRAM

Module 1: Evaluating foreign Law programs for admission to law schools

Law is a professional field of study in the United States that usually requires completion of a bachelor’s degree for admission. The first professional degree is a Juris Doctor, a three-year full-time program. In other countries, Law can be studied at the undergraduate level, with many programs requiring completion of secondary school for admission, and completion of a first degree as short as three years to practice. Foreign law graduates have several options for studying law in the United States, including Juris Doctor (JD), Master of Laws (LLM). This module examines academic requirements for admission to US law programs for holders of foreign law education credentials.

  • What are the academic admission requirements for international students to JD programs?
  • What are the academic admission requirements for international students to LLM or other law programs?
  • Can a first professional degree in law from a foreign country expedite the study of law in the United States with the intent of professional practice?
  • What kinds of legal education is available to international students who do not expect to practice law in the United States?
  • What are the primary factors in international credential evaluation for admission to law programs in the United States?

Module 2: Evaluating foreign Law programs for university admission

International professional Law degrees are not uniform and determining their US equivalency may not always be straightforward. Insufficient understanding of this type of degree could put applicants with international qualifications at a disadvantage because professional programs in law are not offered at the undergraduate level in the United States. This module will examine the eligibility of international Law degrees for university admission at various levels.

  • Do US institutions have a standard procedure for evaluating international Law degrees for undergraduate or graduate admission?
  • Are individual academic departments involved in setting the admission requirements for applicants with international Law degrees?
  • Can coursework in law be evaluated for transfer credit? If so, is this transferred as general education or as subject-specific credit?
  • Are five-year or more undergraduate international Law degrees eligible for transfer credits at the graduate level? If yes, to what extent is the type of graduate degree they are pursuing an important factor in this decision?

Module 3: Evaluating foreign Medicine programs for admission to medical school

Medicine is a professional field of study that usually requires completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution for admission, including specific premedical coursework requirements that vary from school to school. In other countries, medicine can be studied immediately after completion of secondary school at the undergraduate level, with curricula varying across countries. There are several types of first professional degree credentials awarded in the United States, including the Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), and Doctor of Medicine and of Philosophy (MD-PhD), but all of these require completion of a bachelor’s degree or pre-professional undergraduate studies for admission. This module examines the academic requirements for admission to medicine programs in the United States for holders of foreign medical education credentials, specifically first professional degrees that allow them to practice medicine.

  • What are the admission requirements for international students to medicine programs in the United States?
  • Can a first professional degree in medicine from a foreign country expedite the study of medicine in the United States with the intent of professional practice?
  • What kind of medical education is available to international students who do not expect to practice medicine in the United States?
  • How to evaluate off-shore medical programs geared for professional practice or licensure in the United States?
  • What are the primary factors in international credential evaluation for admission to medicine programs in the United States?

Module 4: Evaluating foreign Medicine programs for university admission

Medicine (Dentistry and Pharmacy included), is perhaps one of the most disparate degrees around the world, with each country establishing their own degree structure and professional licensures. In the United States, these fields of study are not offered at the undergraduate level, as they are in most other countries. Additionally, as a professional degree with the potential of incurring personal liability, degrees in medicine may also be under more intense scrutiny by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Evaluating international medical credentials for admission to graduate school would need to consider these aspects when determining its suitability for entry requirements. This module will try to determine the factors involved in how universities review for admission applicants with international undergraduate medical degrees.

  • How do US universities evaluate medical degrees for admission? Is it based on degree description, qualification framework, entry requirements and core curriculum or on year benchmarking?
  • Is the USCIS interpretation of international medical degrees a factor in reviewing this credential?
  • Are additional qualifications obtained by the applicant — medical residency or professional internships — considered to determine admissibility to graduate school?
  • Can coursework in medicine be evaluated for transfer credit? If so, is this transferred as general education, or as subject-specific credit?
  • Are five-year or more medical degrees eligible for transfer credits at the graduate level? If yes, to what extent is the type of graduate degree they are pursuing an important factor in this decision?