Wondering when to take the MCAT? Not sure about letters of recommendation? Find answers to common questions about the MD Program admissions process.

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Eligibility to apply

What are the UW School of Medicine and Public Health's academic minimums?

To receive an invitation to complete a secondary application from the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, an applicant must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 and an MCAT score of at least 500. If an applicant does not meet the GPA minimum, but has completed at least 12 post-baccalaureate credits in hard science premedical coursework and has earned a GPA of at least 3.0 in that coursework, the applicant could still receive a secondary application.

Do you consider international applicants for the MD Program?

We consider applications from U.S. citizens, permanent residents, refugees, asylees, and DACA recipients only.

Is a bachelor’s degree required to matriculate to the MD Program at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health?

In rare cases, admitted applicants who have not completed a bachelor’s degree but who have completed another degree (e.g., a PharmD) may begin the MD Program without a bachelor’s degree. In most cases, applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree before beginning the MD Program. The degree may be earned in any discipline.

Can I apply if I completed my bachelor’s degree at a non-U.S. institution?

For otherwise eligible applicants, we accept coursework completed at non-U.S. institutions pending a foreign credential evaluation from a National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES)-approved service. In this case, we strongly recommend completing additional coursework at a U.S. college or university. This coursework should include at least two semesters of premedical courses to demonstrate your ability to perform well academically in a U.S. educational setting.

Do you accept transfer students?

Due to our highly integrated curriculum, we are unable to accept transfer students. Applicants to our MD Program must apply as first-year students. View the UW School of Medicine and Public Health’s full transfer policy

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Premedical course requirements

Do you accept AP or CLEP credit?

Yes, these credits will satisfy our premedical requirements as long as your undergraduate institution accepts them for transfer credit in the appropriate subject area. These credits must be indicated on your undergraduate transcript in the subject area of the premedical requirement.

How do I know if I have met the humanities/social sciences intensive writing requirement?

If the course meets the criteria listed on our Premedical Requirements page, it satisfies this requirement. If you have questions about a specific course you have taken or are considering, you may email the course syllabus to medadmissions@med.wisc.edu, and we will review it and let you know whether the course satisfies this requirement.

Do you accept premedical courses completed at community colleges?

Yes, we accept courses taken at community colleges in satisfaction of premedical courses.

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MCATs and GPAs

When is the best time to take the MCAT?

The best time to take the MCAT is when you are prepared for it. We consider MCAT scores up to four years prior to the year in which an applicant would begin medical school. For the entering class of 2021, the MCAT must have been taken between January 1, 2017 and September 30, 2020.

How does the UW School of Medicine and Public Health consider multiple MCAT scores?

As part of our holistic review, Admissions Committee members will consider all MCAT scores earned by each applicant.

What happens if I submit my application before a pending MCAT score has been reported?

At the time that you submit your AMCAS application, you must indicate any future dates when you intend to take the MCAT. We will hold consideration of your application until we receive those scores. Once our Admissions Committee has reached a decision on your application, we will not consider any additional MCAT scores for the current application cycle. Please do not submit your application until you have decided whether you will retake the MCAT.

What are competitive MCAT scores and GPAs for the MD Program at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health?

The average MCAT score of applicants who matriculated in 2019 was 513. The average science GPA was 3.77 for science courses, and the average cumulative overall GPA was 3.81. View our Selection Criteria page for more information about attributes of a competitive application for the UW MD Program.

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Letters of recommendation

How do I submit letters of recommendation?

All letters must be submitted via AMCAS. During the AMCAS application process, there will be a section asking for your letter of recommendation information. Please consult AMCAS for additional details; we cannot accept letters via any other means.

What kinds of letters does the UW School of Medicine and Public Health MD Program require?

For the regular MD Program, we require three academic letters of recommendation from faculty members and a fourth nonacademic letter from a mentor. The nonacademic letter should not be written by a family member or peer.

What qualifies as an academic letter?

Academic letters may be written by faculty members in any discipline. Letters written by faculty research supervisors can be considered academic or nonacademic (see below).

What qualifies as a nonacademic letter?

Nonacademic letters are often written by non-faculty employers, volunteer coordinators, individuals whom you have shadowed, or other community leaders. Letters written by faculty research supervisors can be considered nonacademic, provided that you have not enrolled in a course that the supervisor taught.

Is there a limit on how many letters may be submitted?

Our Admissions Committee members are required to read at least four letters. We cannot guarantee that they will read extra letters.

Can a teaching assistant or graduate student instructor write an academic letter for me?

We recommend that you have letters written by experienced faculty members who are either associate professors or professors. If you choose to have a teaching assistant or graduate student instructor write one of your letters, we recommend that you request that this letter be co-signed by their supervising faculty member.

What if I have been out of school for a while and am unable to get three academic letters of recommendation?

We recommend that you try to get at least two academic letters of recommendation. Your other letters can be more recent but should be from individuals who know you well and who can comment on your personal qualities and characteristics.

What are the requirements for letters of recommendation if I am reapplying?

If you are reapplying, we recommend that two new letters of recommendation be submitted: one academic and one nonacademic. Other letters may be resubmitted, with or without updates. If you wish, you may submit entirely new letters. Please note that letters from previous admissions cycles will not be accessible to us unless they are resubmitted for the current cycle.

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Facts and figures

How many applications do you receive?

For the 2020 application cycle, we received more than 5000 applications.

How many applicants are invited for an interview?

Between 450 and 500 applicants will be invited to interview.

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What percentage of the class is comprised of Wisconsin residents?

Consistent with our mission and the Wisconsin Idea, we focus on training physicians to serve the health needs of Wisconsin. Therefore, at least 70 percent of the students in each matriculating class are Wisconsin residents.

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