Four Tips for Using the Medical School Admission Requirements™ (MSAR®)

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The Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR®) is an online database that allows you to browse, search, sort, and compare information based on your personal requirements for every MD-granting, LCME-accredited medical school in the U.S. and Canada. This year, the MSAR received major enhancements, including a new look and feel. To help you get the most out of the new design and find the schools that are the right fit for you, check out these four tips.

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Every year, we work to enhance the MSAR to better meet your needs when finding the right programs for you. For example, last year, we added new information about each medical school’s waitlist policies, interview day requirements, clinical rotations, matriculant data, and student-patient interaction. Last month, the AAMC released the most up-to-date version of the MSAR with a completely new design.

Now responsive, mobile friendly, and packed with new features, this updated format will help you stay organized as you identify the schools that might be a good fit for you.

Here are four tips to help you get the most out of the new design and features:

1. Filter to narrow your options

With so many different medical schools out there, you might be wondering how you can focus your research to find the programs that are the best fit for you. Before you start making your school list, it can be helpful to set MSAR filters to personalize the search results by location, class size, public or private, and degree program. Additionally, you can now search based on the median MCAT® and GPA ranges for each school, and by a particular campus setting (urban, suburban, rural). This filter feature will help you identify schools within the parameters of what you are looking for in a particular program and may pull up results you hadn’t even considered.

2. Utilize data with new MCAT and GPA charts

While your MCAT scores and GPA are just one part of your overall application to medical school, it can be helpful to understand the range of metrics of past applicants and matriculants to each program you are interested in. This will help you compare how your scores trend nationally and within that particular program so you can make informed and realistic decisions about where to apply. As you do your research, use the MSAR’s new dynamic GPA and MCAT exam charts. The MCAT exam chart (pictured below) includes national, applicant, and matriculant data for both total and section scores. The default setting will be “Accepted Applicants,” but the drop down categories above each chart will allow you to narrow by school-specific accepted, matriculant, and national data for both total and section scores.

MSAR 2017 MCAT Chart.JPG

3. Review expanded coursework descriptions

One of the questions we often hear from students is “Does this particular course fulfill this medical school’s requirement?” We encourage you to talk directly with each medical school if you have specific questions, however, the MSAR has expanded the coursework requirement section of each profile to include additional explanatory text for each course. These were provided directly by the medical schools to describe which courses fulfill their specific prerequisite requirements.

4. Save time with the compare feature

When trying to make a decision between schools, it can be helpful to see the side-by-side comparisons in the MSAR. Select the schools you’d like to compare from the search results, and scroll through an expanded list to compare things like financial aid, degrees offered, and interview information. We’ve expanded the list from 13 to 26 items this year.

We know there are lots of factors to consider when deciding where to apply to medical school, so we created the MSAR tool to help you keep your decision process organized. If you are already subscribed to the MSAR, you’ll automatically see the new site when you log in. Learn more about the MSAR and how to subscribe.

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2023 Official Guide
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The Official Guide to Medical School Admissions: How to Prepare for and Apply to Medical School contains updated and trusted information on medical school admissions information.

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