Medical School Requirements (Complete Guide)

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medical school requirements

You might do a lot of hard work while finding the good medical school because the competition in medical schools are so high. We are here to make your job easy to find the requirements of medical schools where you will peruse your career.

Here are some of the medical school requirements that you should need to be considered before applying in medical schools. Please note that all these requirements are not necessary for every medical school. So, always recheck the requirements from there official website.  

Having all the requirements will not guarantee your admission but the committee will consider all of your academic achievements and your interview to check either you will fit in their circle or not. You should be confident in your interview and work hard for it. So, these are the requirements for medical schools that you should need to be considered.

1. MCAT Test

MCAT

This is the top most requirement of every medical school. Usually medical schools require the score of MCAT test that you have taken within last three years.

If you have taken the MCAT test before 3 years then you have to retake the test.

MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) is the multiple choice, computer base test that is developed by AAMC. Almost every medical school in United States require MCAT result.

MCAT requires the skill and knowledge that the medical student should have to pursued their career in medical degree. There are 4 sections in MCAT test.

  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

MCAT test takes about 7 and half hours to complete and these above sections combined to form the total score that ranges from 472 to 528. For highly competitive schools you must have score above 517 and for average schools you must pass the MCAT test for above 510 marks.

2. High school diploma

High school diploma

To check the academic qualification, the medical schools also require your high school diploma of your 3-4 years’ degree from grade 9 to 12.

The school will issue the diploma certificate when you successfully passed the courses with acceptable passing grades.

However, it does not matter much when you are taking admission in medical school. They just check you have passed your high school with good grades and what subject you choose in your high school. Make sure you check the official website of school because some schools require attested certificates.

3. 4 Year of Undergraduate degree in the field of Sciences

undergraduate degree

This is the utmost requirement of almost every medical school that they want your 4-year degree of undergraduate from accredited university.

Here 4 years does not mean you should stay in university to complete the time period of 4-years but you can complete it in 3 and half years by taking more credit hours per semester.

Some medical schools accepted the students if they are in their final year or their result is late because of some reasons with the assumption that they submit their degree before matriculation into the medical school and the students who are selected earlier will be withdrawn if they are unable to submit their undergraduate degree.

Medical schools don’t require some sort of special degree to get admission but many schools prefer to study biology and chemistry programs because they also have to pass the test of MCAT. Courses in Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology are

  • Chemistry
  • Biological studies
  • Physics

Some medical schools explicitly require to study these above courses before applying in their school.

4. Minimum GPA requirement in Undergraduate

gpa requirement

A lot of medical schools don’t officially declare the minimum GPA requirement and some of them expects very high GPA in undergraduate but some of the schools process your secondary application once your primary application get approved.

Some schools announce the minimum criteria but some takes certain percentage of GPA, MCAT and SAT/ACT score.

If you have low GPA, don’t worry you should have to struggle hard to get good score in SAT/ACT result. For highly competitive medical schools it requires above 3.75 GPA but for least competitive schools it is good if you have above 3.5 GPA.

5. Letters of recommendation

recommendation letter

Other requirement that is very important in the medical school requirement is the letter of recommendation. It carries the weight in the application either you apply for admission or for scholarship.

It is written by your teacher or your supervisor who is familiar with your previous academic and personal achievements. So, it is very important to write the letter effectively.

Recommendation letter must have these following things

  • Your strengths (what are the qualities in you that are different from others)
  • Academic achievement
  • Personal and professional achievements (skills
    and achievements that are relevant)
  • Call to action (e.g. feel free to contact me
    if you have any question)

Some of the universities require only 1 recommendation letter but most of universities demands at least 2 recommendation letter for both admission and scholarships. Telling your teachers to write your recommendation letter is quite hectic task but you can be successful if you ask them as polite as possible.

“ In almost all cases, politeness is the most important factor in convincing someone to accept your request. “

Make sure your skills, personal qualities and your academic achievements that your supervisor add in the letter of recommendation should be correct and true because the interviewer ask you about that.

6. Minimum SAT/ACT Score

sat and act score

The SAT (Suite of Assessments Test) is widely used for getting the admission in the universities of United States. Students can find the SAT online resources on Khan Academy website and also from the Amazon kindle store.

SAT is a multiple-choice, pencil-and-paper test that is 3 hours long (plus 50 minutes if you want to attempt optional essay) and has the highest score of 1600. Usually SAT exams starts in August and lasts till the June of every year.

SAT paper has 3 sections.

  • Math
  • Evidence-Based Reading and Writing 
  • Essay (optional)

There is the optional essay in SAT score. Sometime it is the requirement of medical schools to complete the essay. You can check the school policy from their official website. So, if you attempt the essay then the marks are not added in your SAT score but they are counted as separately.

The ACT (American College Testing) is also the standardize multiple choice test that is widely accepted by medical schools in America and also accepted by more than 230+ universities outside the US.

Total time for this paper is 2 hrs. and 55 minutes (plus 40 minutes if taking ACT with writing). ACT paper has 5 sections including one optional section of writing.

  • English
  • Math
  • Reading
  • Science
  • Writing (optional)

Tip for You:   “You should take the SAT/ACT test for multiple times to improve your score.”

7. Extracurricular activities/Community Service

community service

The difficult preparation for medical school make your whole day so busy that you will not do any physical or other productive activity besides your study.

So, these medical schools and other universities may have special quote of marks if you submit your certificates but it is not necessary because sometime it may not be the requirement of medical schools.

These certificates also help you during your interview so the evaluator can judge how you spend your time outside your class. Some of the medical schools expects you to obtain these certificates

  • Community Service certificate
  • Clinical experience
  • Research experience

Make sure you have the in depth knowledge about the experience that you added here because maximum questions in interview could be asked from your past activities like your experience and your academic achievements.

If your previous school has the course of community service than it is good but if you have no course regarding community service than you can spend you time to serve the humanity either in hospital or in a plantation drive and after you can ask the certificate from their representatives.

8. Passing the interview

interview

Interview is not the requirement of every medical school but some medical schools conduct the interview to judge your personality and your past work experience.

So, when you go out for interview you should prepare well about your past work experience because maximum time they ask about your work that you have written in your application.

Tip for You: when they ask you to introduce yourself. You should end your introduction in that technology/work experience or something other in which you are confident because there is 90% percent chance, the interviewer will ask all the remaining questions from the last part of your introduction.  

Moreover, they will ask these common questions

  • What major challenge you face and how you overcome that challenge?
  • What are your strengths and weakness?
  • Have you any commit a mistake that embarrass you?
  • What will you do after your medical degree?


Tip for you: Don’t be monotonic in interview because it can be considered cramming. Use your gestures appropriately and you must be confident during interview.

Requirements for international students

These requirements are only required for international students only.

9. Good TOEFL language scores

TOEFL test

If English is not your principal language, then you must pass the test of International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Each university has its own passing criteria. So check the university website for its requirements.

Test format of IELTS test
Time 2:45 min

Listening40 Questions
Reading40 Questions
Writing2 Tasks
Speaking3 Tasks

Test format of TOEFL test
Time 4 hrs

Reading36-56 Questions
Listening34-51 Questions
Beak10 min
Speaking6 Tasks
Writing2 Tasks

Minor Requirements for medical schools

Some of the minor requirements for the medical schools are follows that are not necessary in every medical school but some medical schools need this also.

10. Statement of Purpose

statement of purpose

Personal statement is not scored but it is accessed in interview. It tells the admission committee who are you and why you are joining this school and what makes you different from other students that applied here.

This letter not only tells about your background but also tells about your writing skills because in medical schools you require to write tons to pages so you it is very important to show you are competent writer.

11. Specific Requirements for Individual Courses

There are some prerequisites course that might vary from school to school. Some medical school may require only one prerequisite course while the other may require many courses with labs. However, if you have passed all the following courses with some lab experience then you can easily clear the medical school requirement about courses. Some of the courses are follows.

  • Biology with laboratory experience of 1 year
  • Chemistry organic chemistry with experience of 6 months and Biochemistry with 3 or 4 semester hours.
  • Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Mathematics calculus and statistics
  • Physics with laboratory experience of 1 year

12. Passport Number for Few Universities

Passport is the first requirement to travel abroad. So, some universities require the passport number to check either you can travel or not. It is necessary to make your passport before the deadline of application to avoid any inconvenience.

13. Financial Resources

For international students some embassy requires the proof of financial resources. So, you have to show certain amount in your bank to verify you can afford your expenditures. There are some medical schools that are very expensive so it is important to check the university fee before applying.

 

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