Secondary applications are offered to applicants who meet the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health's minimum academic requirements: a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 out of 4.0 and an MCAT score at the 60th percentile or higher.

Applicants who do not meet the undergraduate GPA minimum, but have completed 12 credits of post-baccalaureate coursework in the sciences with at least a 3.0 GPA will be reviewed manually and may be sent a secondary application.

If you submit both old and current MCAT scores, then we will consider the score with the highest percentile rank.

The invitation will come via email accompanied by instructions on how to proceed. Throughout the application cycle, we will continue to communicate with you using the email address listed in the preferred contact section of your AMCAS application.

The deadline for receipt of the required items is December 1 of each year, although early completion of the entire application is advised. Once the secondary application is submitted by the applicant, changes cannot be made by the applicant.

You are advised to print a copy of your secondary application for your records at the time of submission.

Letters of recommendation 

The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health only receives letters via the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS).

Letters needed for the UW School of Medicine and Public Health MD Program application:

  • One committee letter and one individual letter from a nonacademic source  (someone other than a faculty or family member or personal friend), or
  • One letter packet: This packet should include letters from three faculty members and a letter from a nonacademic source (someone other than a faculty or family member or personal friend), or
  • Four individual letters: three academic letters of recommendation from faculty members and a fourth nonacademic letter from someone other than a faculty or family member or personal friend.

Notes: Academic letters may be from science and/or non-science faculty members in any combination.

Nonacademic letters may be written by employers, volunteer coordinators, persons you have shadowed, community leaders, etc. Choose a letter writer that knows you well and can write about your qualities and characteristics. 

Letters written by supervisors in research labs can be considered either "academic" or "nonacademic" letters. We leave this choice to you.

Types of letters (as defined by AMCAS and adopted by the UW School of Medicine and Public Health)

  • Committee letter: A committee letter is a letter authored by a pre-health committee or pre-health advisor and intended to represent your institution's evaluation of you. A committee letter may or may not include additional letters written in support of your application.
  • Letter packet: A packet or set of letters assembled and distributed by your institution, often by the institution's career center.
  • Individual letter: An individual letter refers only to a letter authored by, and representing, a single letter writer. If you have already included an individual letter within either a committee letter or letter packet, you do not need to add a separate (AMCAS letter request) entry for the individual letter.

Content of letters

  • The letters should address one or more of the following: character, integrity, motivation for medicine, ability to relate and communicate with others, personality, emotional stability, intellectual abilities.
  • Instructions to Letter Writer forms are within the secondary application and may further assist letter writers regarding the desired content of the letters. See the instructions for writers of recommendation letters (docx) for more information.

Designating letter writers

  • The Admissions Committee gives serious consideration to letters of recommendation submitted by individuals who know the applicant well. Applicants should solicit letters from individuals who are in a position to provide informed and objective information regarding the applicant's activities, employment, service and/or health related experiences.

Means of submitting letters

  • All letters must be submitted to AMCAS by December 1.
  • Letters must be submitted directly to AMCAS per AMCAS instructions. You must create an entry for each letter of evaluation being sent to AMCAS. Up to 6 letter entries may be created for the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.
  • You may also use letter services such as Interfolio and Virtual Evals that in turn make your letters available to AMCAS Letters.

Waiver forms

  • Under no circumstances will AMCAS provide applicants access to letters of evaluation. Under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), you are entitled to either review a letter of recommendation or to waive your right to access. The majority of applicants choose to waive their right to access their recommendation letters. If you choose not to waive your right, please send an email to so that we can provide you with a form to use, letting your letter writer know that you want to review your letter. 


  • If you are reapplying to the UW School of Medicine and Public Health MD Program, all letters must be submitted via AMCAS. It is recommended that two new letters of recommendation be submitted (one academic and one nonacademic). Other letters may be resubmitted and/or updated and resubmitted. If you wish you may submit all new letters. The Admissions Committee requests a total of four letters per applicant. No letters from previous applications will be accessible for the 2018 application.