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Medical school admissions requirements nationwide have for the most part remained unchanged for decades. While students who have achieved them performed well in medical school, these requirements have often burdened and even discouraged non-science majors from applying to medical school and they impeded creativity in undergraduate premedical education. Furthermore, they fail to convey the need to cover modern topics. After considering the ongoing transformation in medical school admissions, the array of admissions requirements used by medical schools nationwide and the type of applicant this medical school seeks to educate, an Admissions Task Force appointed by the vice dean of the School of Medicine (SOM) concluded that 1) it was in the best interest of this medical school to abandon the current list of prescribed courses and 2) to afford applicants flexibility in meeting requirements for admission. Recommendations of the Admission Task Force were endorsed by the SOM Admissions Committee and approved by the Council of Deans.
Dates for phasing out current admissions requirements, phasing in new admissions criteria options (detailed below) and when Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT®) scores from the current (MCAT1991) and forthcoming (MCAT2015) exams will be acceptable are summarized in the following table. Further explanation of each admissions criteria options follows. Starting with the 2015 entering class, applicants must indicate on the SOM Secondary Application which criteria they wish to use to qualify for admission and courses taken or planned that fulfill that option.
(acceptable through 2017 entering class)
Students, in consultation with a premedical adviser, should develop proficiency in a specific major area of study while in undergraduate school and acquire a background in the humanities and social sciences. Non-science majors with an interest in medicine are encouraged to apply.
Course credits are acceptable from only accredited U.S. colleges and universities. The applicant must show credit for at least three years of college work, totaling not fewer than 90 acceptable semester hours (excluding unacceptable courses described below), completed in an accredited college. These minimum 90 hours consist of courses required for entrance to this medical school and other courses (referred to here as electives) required by an undergraduate institution for a baccalaureate degree.
Strong preference is given to applicants who will have completed all requirements for a baccalaureate degree prior to entering medical school. For those applicants applying with the minimum 90 acceptable semester hours, a maximum of 65 semester hours of credit from an accredited community college may be applied toward the minimum 90 acceptable semester hours required for admission. College graduates may complete additional post-baccalaureate coursework to satisfy prerequisites at any accredited U.S. college or university, regardless of the number of community college credit hours applied toward their completed undergraduate degree.
Required courses for entrance into this medical school include one academic year each of four core science courses with laboratories (biological science, general chemistry, organic chemistry and physics) plus one year each of mathematics, English and advanced science.
All required courses must have a college grade; therefore, advanced placement credit cannot meet these requirements. If an applicant has advanced placement credit for any required course, he/she can fulfill the requirement by taking either that course for a grade or a higher-level course in the same department for a grade. The minimum 90 acceptable semester hours will be completed by other course work (such as approved electives described below).
When evaluating course work, the Admissions Committee focuses on courses that contribute to the biology, chemistry, physics and math (BCPM) grade point average (GPA) calculated in the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS®) application. Courses that contribute to the BCPM GPA are determined by AMCAS® course classification; however, when determining whether or not a science or math course will be acceptable as a prerequisite for this medical school, Student Records and Registrar examines the course number for a relevant prefix (such as BIOL, CHEM, PHYS or MATH). Required core science, advanced science and math courses must be taken in either science or math departments; thus, courses with either a related name or BCPM course classification but with a course number that contains another prefix (including but not limited to BESS, CLS, COMP, ENGI, HEAL, MEDC, NPSC, PHARM, PHCL) are not acceptable as requirements for entrance to this medical school.
There is no time limit on the validity of a baccalaureate degree; however, the Admissions Committee has concerns when prerequisite courses have been taken 10 or more years ago. If a required core science course (biological science, general chemistry, organic chemistry and physics) was taken 10 or more years ago, it should be repeated.
If all required core science courses were taken 10 or more years ago, the applicant should take at least 32 semester hours of BCPM course work to convince the committee that they are currently capable of sustaining the rigors of learning in a classroom environment. Such applicants are encouraged to retake the required core science courses; however, this may be substituted by either 32 credits of upper level undergraduate BCPM courses beyond the advanced science requirement (see below) or 32 credits of graduate BCPM courses. In the evaluation of applicants for interviews, the admissions committee initially considers only those courses that contribute to an undergraduate BCPM GPA; however, post-baccalaureate and graduate BCPM GPAs are considered later in the interview screening process.
Traditional Applicant Must take all pre-requisites described below or acceptable substitutes
Non-Traditional Applicant Must take pre-requisites described for Traditional Applicant
(6 lecture + 2 lab)
Equal credits of higher level BIOL
If any core pre-requisite course(s) is 10 years old, retake that course(s).
If ALL pre-requisites 10 years old, recommend re-taking 32 core credits; however, accept 32 credits of either upper level BCPM beyond Advanced Science requirement or graduate BCPM.
(6 lecture + 2 lab)
Equal credits of higher level CHEM
Equal credits of higher level PHYS
Other writing intensive courses (writing for scientists, honors, courses, specifically petitioned, thesis credits)
No need to repeat
Math (Trigonometry, Algebra)
3 credits Calculus
Any junior or seniorlevel BCPM courses
Required courses in biological science, general chemistry, organic chemistry and physics must be taken in science departments (course number prefix must be BIOL, CHEM or PHYS) and include formal laboratory work. If a department spreads the content of a typical two-semester required science course over three semesters, students enrolled at that institution must take all three semesters to satisfy the course requirement. The advanced science courses (see below) must be taken in a senior college.
A minimum of three semester hours of college algebra and three semester hours of trigonometry is required. A two-semester course, including algebra, trigonometry, analytical geometry and calculus, also is acceptable. Students who qualify by placement tests to enter calculus I directly can satisfy their mathematics requirement with a three- or four-hour calculus I course; the remaining two or three hours required to meet the 90-hour minimum may be met with a recommended elective course.
The usual freshman college course of six semester hours in English composition or literature is required. The applicant is urged to take an advanced course in English composition.
These courses must be taken at a senior college science or math department (course number prefix must be BIOL, CHEM, PHYS or MATH). Examples of advanced science courses that are relevant to medical school are comparative anatomy, embryology, genetics, histology, physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, quantitative analysis, physical chemistry, calculus II, III or IV, differential equations and advanced physics. It is recognized that laboratories are not offered with all advanced sciences.
A partial list of recommended elective courses includes advanced English, sociology, psychology, philosophy, history, geography, foreign language, computer science, fine arts (up to six semester hours) and selected advanced courses in mathematics, chemistry, physics and biology.
None of the 90 semester hours of minimum collegiate requirements listed or described or recommended above may be met by the following: correspondence courses; courses in physical training, military science, or dogmatic religion; courses in mathematics or science designed for non-science majors; or course credit granted without college-level testing. A limited number of telecourse credits may be accepted for liberal arts electives; however, none will be accepted for required science and math courses. Courses taken outside science and math departments (course prefix other than BIOL, CHEM, PHYS or MATH) are not acceptable as required courses.
An applicant enrolled in a degree-granting program at any college or university is expected to complete the requirements for and earn that degree before enrollment in medical school. Unless prior approval has been granted by the admissions committee, this applies to both undergraduate and graduate degrees.
(available starting with the 2015 entering class)
Course credits are acceptable from only accredited U.S. colleges and universities. The applicant must show credit for at least three years of college work, totaling not fewer than 90 acceptable semester hours. These minimum 90 hours consist of courses required for entrance to this medical school and other courses required by an undergraduate institution for a baccalaureate degree. None of the 90 semester hours of minimum collegiate course work may be met by the following: correspondence courses; courses in physical training, military science, or dogmatic religion.
An applicant must indicate on the SOM Secondary Application which of the following three admissions criteria options they wish to use to qualify for admission and courses taken or planned that fulfill that option.
For all options described below, the admissions committee evaluation of academic performance will not be limited to these courses; an applicant's entire academic record is subject to evaluation.
The objective of this option is to describe what courses need to be taken; but, not the path to achieve this end point. Undergraduate institutions will decide acceptable pathways to these end-point courses that may include traditional course requirements, condensed or novel requirements, AP credit and online course work.
Any applicant selecting this option must document on a transcript that required end-point courses have been taken; well prepared applicants may also indicate which recommended courses have been taken.
The following courses are required:
Life Sciences: 2 semesters of any combination of the following:
- Cellular Biology
- Molecular Biology
Biochemistry: 1 semester
Physics: 2nd semester
Familiarity with the following subjects is recommended; content might be acquired by taking courses by that name, courses with different names but similar content or self-study:
Applicants eligible for this admissions criteria option are limited to those enrolled at institutions with departments that have constructed course-competency maps that have been submitted to the School of Medicine and approved by the Admissions Committee. The current list includes:
The current model for this option is derived from 2010 Howard Hughes Medical Institute -Association of American Medical Colleges report, Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians. These competencies or their source may change.
To qualify for admission, an applicant must complete any combination of courses whose combined content has been mapped to cover the 37 learning objectives that can provide the following eight entering medical student competencies. .
E1- Apply quantitative reasoning and appropriate mathematics to describe or explain phenomena in the natural world.
E2- Demonstrate understanding of the process of scientific inquiry, and explain how scientific knowledge is discovered and validated.
E3- Demonstrate knowledge of basic physical principles and their applications to the understanding of living systems.
E4- Demonstrate knowledge of basic principles of chemistry and some of their applications to the understanding of living systems.
E5- Demonstrate knowledge of how biomolecules contribute to the structure and function of cells.
E6- Apply understanding of principles of how molecular and cell assemblies, organs, and organisms develop structure and carry out function.
E7- Explain how organisms sense and control their internal environment and how they respond to external change.
E8- Demonstrate an understanding of how the organizing principle of evolution by natural selection explains the diversity of life on earth.
Novel Curricular Tracks
Applicants eligible for this admissions criteria option are limited to those enrolled at institutions that have devised novel premedical curricula that have been submitted to the School of Medicine and approved by the Admissions Committee.
Institutions currently planning such curricula include:
To qualify for admission, an applicant must complete an approved track of multidisciplinary courses that integrate the learning objectives that can provide entering medical student competencies.
There is no time limit on the validity of a baccalaureate degree; however, the Admissions Committee has concerns when relevant courses have been taken 10 or more years ago. Required courses should be recently completed or current regardless of the option chosen. End-point courses (life sciences, biochemistry or physics) or any course used to meet the course-competency map option that were completed 10 more years prior to applying are not acceptable. Applicants have the choice of either repeating 10 year old courses or completing new coursework to satisfy the selected admissions option.
Upon receipt of a verified AMCAS® application, the medical school admissions office will email an applicant the URL for the SOM Applicant Portal. This online tool provides access to the Secondary Application to this medical school which, among other information, will ask applicants to select the admission criteria options they wish to use to qualify for admission and courses taken or planned that fulfill that option. Options include the following.
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