Frequently Asked Questions

Process Overview




Application

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Interview

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Acceptance

Alternate

Not Accepted

Reapplying

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Application:

Is the application to the University of Utah School of Medicine available online?

No.  All applications must be made through the American Medical College Application Services (AMCAS) between June 1st and no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on November 1st.              

What is the deadline for applying?

Applications must be submitted to AMCAS no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on November 1st.

What are the average GPA and MCAT scores of entering students at the University of Utah School of Medicine?  Is there a minimum that I need to be above?

The average GPA for entering students is 3.7 with an average MCAT score of 10 in each section. The minimum acceptable GPA is 3.2. Applicants with a science, non-science, or overall GPA below 3.2 will not be considered. The minimum acceptable MCAT score for each section, (physical science, biological science and verbal reasoning) of the 2013, 2014 and January, 2015 MCAT examination is 7. For tests taken in 2013, 2014 and January, 2015 only, the best score for each section will be considered.

If the test is taken after April 1, 2015, only the scores from the latest test will be accepted.  The minimum acceptable score is 123 in each of the four sections. 


What criteria does the Admissions Committee consider when evaluating applicants?

We evaluate applications against minimum and average standards in 7 specific areas. Applicants must achieve the minimum level of performance in all 7 areas and be average or above in 5 out of the 7 areas in order to be eligible for further consideration. The 7 areas are listed below.

Do you accept out of state residents?

Yes.  100 positions are awarded to Utah residents or non-residents who graduated from a Utah high school, college or university, 8 positions are reserved for Idaho residents and the remaining positions are open to all applicants, including non-residents.

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Do you accept international students?

International students are eligible for consideration as long as they obtained their bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States or Canada.

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I received my undergraduate degree from an institution not in the United States or Canada.  Can I apply to your school?

Unfortunately not.

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Do you have a dedicated amount of positions for Idaho?

Yes.  The state of Idaho has contracted to provide access to 8 positions. Students must be certified through Idaho State University as residents of Idaho prior to applying. http://www.isu.edu/areg/residency/residencyInfo.shtml

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Do I need a college degree to apply to your medical school?

Yes. A bachelor’s degree is required to matriculate at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Applicants must complete their coursework and degree at a regionally accredited college or university in the United States or Canada. The degree must be posted on your transcript prior to matriculation.

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Do I have to major in “Pre-Med” or have a science degree to be considered for your school?

No. We recommend that undergraduate students choose a major or field for which they have enthusiasm and interest.

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Do I have to complete my required coursework before I can apply?

No.  You may apply before the coursework and degree has been completed; however, completion of coursework and degree must occur prior to matriculation. Premedical courses must be taken for a passing grade from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or Canada.

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Is there a math course requirement?

No.  A mathematics course is not required, but recommended.    

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Does your school have rolling admissions?

The majority of the applicants will be notified of their acceptance no later than March 15.

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When do you start accepting students?

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) recommends that each school notify applicants of acceptance to medical school only after October 15 of each admissions cycle. AAMC Recommendations for Medical School and M.D.-Ph.D. Admission Officers

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At my school, there isn't a Premedical Advisor, so where do I go for assistance with my application?

The National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP)

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Do you offer secondary invites to all applicants?

Yes. In an effort to expedite the distribution of secondary applications to our applicants, we do not prescreen AMCAS applications for eligibility requirements.  It is your responsibility to verify you meet eligibility requirements prior to submitting the application fee.  Refunds will not be issued after payment has been made under any circumstances.

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How many applicants do you interview each year?

Approximately 500 applicants are interviewed each year.

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How do you view the MCAT scores if an applicant took the test more than once?

For tests taken 2013, 2014 and January, 2015 only, the best score for each section will be considered.  If the test is taken after April 1, 2015, only the scores from the latest test will be accepted.

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What is the latest day I can take the MCAT and still be considered for the 2016 application cycle?

September 12, 2015

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Can I use one of my activities to count for two or more of the required activities?

Many preparatory experiences could reasonably be considered under more than one category and you should list them in each applicable area so that you do not fall short of meeting the criteria in any areas. The admissions committee suggests that you make your decisions about where to list your activities based on the impact that they have had on you and on your personal development.

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What if I haven’t completed some of the activities prior to submitting my secondary forms?

Applicants must achieve at least the minimum level of performance in all 7 areas and be average or above in 5 of the 7 areas in order to be eligible for further consideration.

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How long do I have to complete the secondary materials?

30 days from the date of the email inviting you to complete secondary materials (including the letters of recommendation).

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What if I am unable to complete the secondary materials by the deadline date?

If your secondary materials are not submitted by your deadline, you will not be eligible for consideration for our school. No further processing will be considered during this admission cycle. The application fee will not be refunded under any circumstances.

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Can I make changes to my secondary forms once submitted?

Changes to your application must be submitted to the Office of Admissions in writing via email at deans.admissions@hsc.utah.edu and approved by the Admissions Committee prior to acceptance. This includes, but is not limited to course changes, and changes in planned degree(s).

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Does the University of Utah School of Medicine accept letters from the AMCAS letter service?

Yes. Letters of recommendation must be submitted to AMCAS.

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Can I use one letter of recommendation to fulfill two required areas?

No. You must submit 4 different letters to fulfill the letter of recommendation requirements.

What 4 letters of recommendation are required?

2 Academic Letters

1 letter must be from a faculty member who taught you in a traditional lecture classroom setting an assigned you a grade in chemistry, biology or physics.

1 letter must be from a faculty member who taught you and assigned you a grade.  May include science and non-science courses including music, labs, dance, etc.

2 Supervisor Letters

1 letter must be from your direct supervisor for Community/Volunteer Service or Patient Exposure. 

1 letter must from your direct supervisor for Research or a supervisor of your choice.

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When will my letters of recommendation be reviewed?

Letters of recommendation will not be downloaded from AMCAS until your application fee has been paid and processed.  However, if your MCAT &/or GPA are below the minimum your letters will not be processed. The application fee will not be refundable under any circumstances.

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Can a family member write one of my letters of recommendation?

This is strongly discouraged.  Your application will be considered stronger if you have objective individuals write your letters.

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What should I do if I have changes to my coursework or degree after I submitted my application to your school?

During the admissions process, changes to your courses or planned degree(s) must be submitted to the Office of Admissions in writing via email at deans.admissions@hsc.utah.edu and approved by the Admissions Committee.

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If I decide to drop or add a minor or major after I submit my application, should I let the Admissions Office know?

Yes. During the admissions process, changes to your planned degree(s) must be submitted to the Office of Admissions in writing via email at deans.admissions@hsc.utah.edu and approved by the Admissions Committee prior to acceptance. This includes, but is not limited to course changes, and changes in planned degree(s).  

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Is there a Quota System at the UUSOM?

No.  Each applicant is held to the exact same standard.

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How can I withdraw my application?

Send an email to deans.admissions@hsc.utah.edu

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What are the reasons that my application may be incomplete?

The number 1 reason for an incomplete application is with letters of recommendation. Letters will be reviewed to determine which requirement they meet. If the letter writer does not clearly indicate that they are writing on behalf of you as your coach, professor, work supervisor, research etc. and what activity they supervised you in, it will be ineligible for consideration.

The number 2 reason is failure to submit the secondary forms by the deadline date.

The number 3 reason is if you are an Idaho resident and you neglected to obtain your Idaho State certification before your 30 day deadline date. Information about the Idaho State certification may be found at http://www.isu.edu/areg/residency/residencyInfo.shtml

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Can I come take a tour of the School of Medicine?

You are able to conduct a self-guided tour of the Health Science Education Building on Monday-Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Please download and print the self-guided tour information.  

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Interview

If I am invited for an interview what can I expect of the interview day?

The Assessment Day begins promptly at 7:30 a.m. and ends by 3:30 p.m.  You will have an orientation that explains your Assessment Day, 2 one-on-one interviews, Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI), and a Moral and Ethical Problem Exam (MEPE).

Can I schedule a mock interview with a member of the admissions committee?

No.  Contact your premedical advisor for assistance with practice interviews.

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When do interviews begin?

Interviews begin in September and continue until the end of February.

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How should I dress for my interview?

Dress in professional business attire.

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Can I find out who I am interviewing with before my interview day?

No.  The names of your interviewers will be provided to you on your interview day.

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What information does the traditional interviewer receive?

  • AMCAS Personal Statement and Experiences
  • Essay Questions
  • Activities Form
  • Current/Future Course List
  • The 4 required Letters of Recommendation

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What type of questions will I be asked in the traditional interview?

You may be asked questions about information you provided in your application, including your motivation for medicine &/or why you are applying to the University of Utah School of Medicine.

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Can I send a thank you note to my interviewers?

Though not required, you may write a thank you note.  However, they must be sent to the Office of Admissions and we will forward them to your interviewers.

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What is the Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI)?

In the MMI, applicants rotate through a series of timed mini-interviews, or “stations,” in which they will meet individually with an interviewer.  While this is a new interview format in the United States, it has been used successfully for the better part of a decade in medical schools throughout Canada and Australia.

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How long does each station last?

Each station lasts for seven minutes.

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How long does the entire MMI process last?

The MMI sessions, lasts approximately 60 minutes.

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What do I need to know about the purpose of the MMI?

The purpose of the MMI is not to test your scientific or clinic knowledge. However, you may find it helpful to be familiar with current events and policies in health care.

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What is the Moral Ethical Problem Exam (MEPE)

It is a situational exam that presents applicants with hypothetical situations and asks them to rank their answers from most appropriate to least appropriate.

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What is the probability of acceptance?
 
The University of Utah School of Medicine receives over 2700 applications for 122 positions in the entering class.  We interview around 500 applicants each year.

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Acceptance

Acceptance by the University of Utah Graduate Office of Admissions is contingent on the verification of a baccalaureate degree.

Acceptance to the University of Utah School of Medicine is contingent upon successful completion of the Major, Minor, Degree(s) and Degree Date exactly as outlined in your application prior to matriculation.  Any courses, certificates and/or other designations mentioned in your application must be posted on your transcript in order for you to officially enroll in the University of Utah School of Medicine.

If your application states that you will receive a Master’s or Doctoral Degree, you must complete all requirements for your degree prior to matriculation.  This includes defending your thesis and/or publishing.

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Do my transcripts need to be sent to your school if they have already been sent to AMCAS?

Yes. The School of Medicine Office of Admissions must receive official transcript from all colleges or universities you have attended.  The degree(s) and courses must be posted as shown on your application prior to matriculation.

The offer of a position may be rescinded if you do not complete the degree(s) and courses exactly as stated in your application.

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Will I be required to complete a criminal background check?

Yes. Acceptance to the University of Utah School of Medicine is contingent on satisfactory results of a criminal background check. Your acceptance may be rescinded if there is information on your background check that was not listed on your AMCAS application or if the results are considered unsatisfactory by the Admissions Committee.

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Will I be required to have a Dean’s Certification letter sent from each college or University that I attended?

No. You only need to submit a Deans Certification Form from the educational institution where you earned or will earn your highest degree.

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What is a Dean’s Certification letter?

A Dean’s Certification letter is a type of academic background check that would contain any information about pending or former institutional actions taken against you as a student. Your acceptance may be rescinded if there is information on your Dean’s Certification that was not included on your AMCAS application or if the results are considered unsatisfactory by the Admissions Committee.

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If I decide to change the date of my graduation after I submit my application should I let the Admissions Office know?

Yes.  Changes to your application must be submitted to the Office of Admissions in writing via email at deans.admissions@hsc.utah.edu as soon as the change is made.

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How much does medical school cost?

For 2015, the tuition and fees for Utah residents is $36,094.00 and $67,374.54 for non-residents.

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What are the criteria for establishing Utah residency for tuition purposes?

The University of Utah School of Medicine Admissions Office does not determine residency for tuition purposes. The institutional policy for determining residency for tuition purposes may be found at http://admissions.utah.edu/apply/residency/institutional_policy.php

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Can non-residents become Utah residents for tuition purposes?

The Admissions Office does not determine residency for tuition purposes. Information and guidelines for Utah residency for tuition purposes may be obtained at http://admissions.utah.edu/apply/residency/institutional_policy.php

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Alternate List

I am on the alternate list, can I send in additional information to help improve my chances of being accepted?

Updates to your application will be accepted; however, they will not impact your rank.

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I am on the alternate list; can I call and get an update?

Your rank is confidential and will not be released.  Applicants are accepted from the alternate list in the order that the Admissions Committee ranked them. Your rank is secure throughout the admissions process.

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How many people are usually admitted from the Alternate list?

The number of applicants admitted from the alternate list varies from year to year. 

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I’ve been accepted to another medical school, but the University of Utah School of Medicine is my first choice.  If I contact the Admissions Office at UUSOM, would this information make a difference?

Congratulations on your acceptance to another medical school.  We strongly encourage you to pursue your goal of becoming a physician by accepting offers from other institutions.  This information will not change your placement on the alternate or rejected list.  Furthermore, such rejection of acceptance letters to other medical schools would not increase your chances of getting into the University of Utah School of Medicine the following year.

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Not Accepted

I wasn’t accepted, can I appeal the decision?

No, all Admissions Committee decisions are final.  

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I have not received notification of my status, what should I do?

Contact the Office of Admissions at deans.admissions@hsc.utah.edu to request the status of your application.

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Can I meet with my interviewers or a member of the admissions committee to find out why I wasn’t accepted?

No. We encourage you to meet with your premedical advisor to discuss ways in which you might strengthen your application. We will work with your premedical advisor to provide you with the information you need.

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My MCAT and GPA scores were very competitive, why wasn’t I accepted?

The University of Utah School of Medicine practices Holistic Review, meaning we take into account other measures when evaluating applicants.  This includes research, community service, leadership, patient exposure, physician shadowing, essays, letters of recommendation, and the Assessment Day evaluations. Though important, MCAT and GPA scores are not the sole determinants of acceptance.

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Reapplying

What is the best way to reevaluate my application?

The first step in reevaluating your application should be the self-assessment tool. From there, we suggest that you visit with your premedical advisor to review your application and develop strategies for strengthening your future application to our school.

  1. Review the admissions requirements and make significant changes in more than one area. 
  2. Before submitting your application, proofread your AMCAS personal comments, experience section, and secondary application to make sure there are no typographical or grammatical errors.
  3. The experience section of the AMCAS application gives you the opportunity to include 15 significant experiences. List as many worthwhile experiences as you can. 
  4. Re-evaluate who you asked to write your letters of recommendation.
      • Did the letter writer know you well?
      • Are you confident that they were able to write a positive letter for you?
      • Inform the letter writers what you want them to address in their letters.
      • Letters from previous year’s applications are not available. If you plan to use the same letter writers, ask them to update their letter including a current date and additional experiences if possible.
      • Timing is important. Do not wait until you have submitted your AMCAS or secondary application to request the letter writer to write a letter of recommendation for you.
  5. Re-evaluate your experiences listed on the Activity Form. If you used the same experience to fulfill more than one category, look for opportunities to gain experience in other areas.  For example, if you volunteered in a nursing home and used this for your patient exposure AND community service, you may want to volunteer in another area that will bring a diversity of experience into your life and application. Participate in activities that are of interest to you or that allow you to experience something new that will challenge what you know. Avoid double dipping whenever you can.

    All experiences should be approached with the intent to gain and/or give. If you are participating in an activity just because you think it “looks good” or because someone else did it and got into medical school, it may be obvious to the Admissions Committee.
  6. Make sure you understand and can discuss the hypothesis of your research experience. Participating in research is an opportunity for you to explore your intellectual curiosity. Actively participate and ask questions about the research you are involved in regardless of your role.
  7. We recommend that you shadow several physicians who work in various specialties including primary care so you are able to observe different perspectives regarding the profession. When reviewing your shadowing experience consider the length of time you shadowed each physician and what you learned during the experience.  Were you able to understand the pros and cons of each specialty?
  8. Evaluate your patient exposure experience. Were you able to provide hands on patient care or was your experience superficial? Expose yourself to enough of the profession so that you understand the life you are choosing.

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If I am reapplying, will you compare my previous application with my current one?

No. We only review the current application materials.

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How many years can I apply to the University of Utah School of Medicine?

Applicants may reapply to the University of Utah School of Medicine as many times as they would like.  We encourage you to meet with your premedical advisor to discuss ways in which you might strengthen your application. 

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If/when I reapply, do I get additional consideration?  If someone has reapplied one or two times, does the Admissions Committee give them credit?

We evaluate each application on its own merits.  We do not give additional consideration or credit to those who reapply multiple times.  In completing your secondary application, you have the opportunity to explain what you have done to strengthen your application. The committee takes this information into consideration.

If I was on the alternate list last year, does this mean I will be accepted this year?  

No. We evaluate each application on its own merits.  Your current application is judged and scored exactly the same as those who are applying for the first time. 

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