As we seek to develop an engaged, diverse class that will go on to meet the health care needs of Wisconsin and beyond, these are some of the attributes considered by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Wisconsin residency

Strong applicants from throughout the United States are encouraged to apply to our MD Program. As a state institution, the UW School of Medicine and Public Health is mandated to ensure 70 percent of its MD course seats are given to outstanding applicants who are residents of Wisconsin.

For non-residents, this makes admission to our MD Program more competitive. Statistically, about one in 50 non-resident applicants are selected for acceptance to the MD Program.

Residency is not a factor in admissions for the MD-PhD Program.


Medical school is rigorous. Does your past academic performance predict success in this intense academic environment? To ensure that every admitted applicant has the best chance of completing our curriculum and successfully passing USMLE exams, we have the following academic minimums:

  • Cumulative Undergraduate GPA: at least 3.0
  • MCAT: at least a 60th percentile score

To receive a secondary application from us, you must meet these minimums, with one exception: Applicants who do not have a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, but who have taken at least 12 credits of post-baccalaureate coursework in premedical hard sciences and earned a 3.0 GPA in that coursework, may still receive a secondary application.

If you have taken the MCAT multiple times, our admissions committee members will be able to see each score, and it is up to each of them to interpret the multiple scores as they see fit. You only need one MCAT score that meets our minimum to receive a secondary application.

Medical exposure and motivation

Do you know “what medicine smells like?” Have you volunteered or worked in clinical, patient-facing contexts? Some examples include:

  • Medical scribing
  • Working as a Certified Nursing Assistant
  • Working as an EMT or other medic
  • Physician shadowing
  • Volunteering in assisted living facilities
  • Volunteering in free clinics

Achievements and experiences

What non-medical experiences have contributed to your personal development? Where have you demonstrated leadership, or a commitment to humanitarian ideals? Have you won any awards, scholarships or other honors? What about any non-medically related jobs you have held that have helped you develop your work ethic? Have you conducted laboratory or public health research? Have you participated in any student or community organizations? Be sure to tell us about these experiences on your application.

Personal qualities

Are you sufficiently mature to begin medical school? Do you have healthy strategies for addressing challenges? What hobbies interest you and help you relieve stress? Will you succeed in a curriculum rich in team-based learning? Will you fit in a culture of “Midwest nice?”

Unique or outstanding characteristics

What about your background might make your application stand out, or align particularly well with the UW School of Medicine and Public Health’s mission as a top research institution with a commitment to public health? Some areas of interest for our admissions committee you could address in your application include:

  • Interest in practicing medicine in Wisconsin
  • Interest in urban or rural health programs
  • Background in a racial or ethnic group traditionally underrepresented in medicine
  • Languages spoken in addition to English
  • Gender identity and expression
  • Sexual orientation
  • Socioeconomic status
  • First-generation learner status
  • Non-traditional educational experience
  • Participation in a religious community, especially for non-majority religions