Answers to our frequently asked questions relating to the Medical School Admission Requirements™ (MSAR®) content. Topics include purchasing and using the MSAR.
Medical School Requirements
I’m trying to decide which undergraduate college to attend. Does the AAMC have data on medical school acceptance rates from undergraduate colleges?
While this is not information that we have here at the AAMC, it’s a good idea to talk with the students, faculty, orientation and admissions offices of the undergraduate colleges and universities you are considering. The school may be able to put you in touch with alumni who are now in medical school so that you can talk with them about their experiences. We have more information for high school students here.
Is it okay to take some courses online or through a community college?
Medical schools have varying requirements on the types of courses that they require you to complete prior to matriculating. It’s a good idea to connect with a pre-health advisor to discuss your specific coursework background and application plans. If you don’t have access to an advisor at your school, you can contact the National Association of Advisors in the Health Professions to talk with an advisor. In the MSAR, you can see a premedical coursework chart for each medical school which shows which courses they require and recommend as well as which courses can be taken online, through a community college, or through AP credit.
Besides GPA, MCAT scores, and clinical experience, what else makes an application stand out?
We find that successful applicants come to medical school from all paths, experiences and majors. Admission officers love to see that you are doing things that you are passionate about rather than trying to fulfill a checklist of requirements. You can learn more about the requirements from the Medical School Admission Requirements website or directly from each medical school’s admissions website. For information about how to get experience, review some of the resources the AAMC has on its website such as:
And you can always check out our Aspiring Docs Dairies blog to see what pre-meds, medical students, and residents are doing.
I am an international aspiring medical student. What steps do I need to take prior to applying to medical school in the U.S.?
Medical schools in the United States have varying policies on accepting international applicants. One thing to keep in mind is that the AMCAS application does not accept transcripts from international evaluation services. Some schools accept international applicants, but require students to prove that they are able to pay for all four years of medical school before they begin their studies. You can find more information for international applicants here.
Nearly all US M.D.-granting medical schools do require you to complete the MCAT exam, and you can find more information about registering for the MCAT here. In addition to completing the MCAT exam, all USA medical schools require the completion of a four-year degree from an accredited institution. Each school also has unique requirements for coursework, lab experience, volunteer experience, and “shadowing” experience. You can see which schools accept international applicants in the Medical School Admission Requirements. To see all of the data, you can purchase a subscription for $28.