Admissions Requirements & Recommendations

The UUSOM employs a holistic review process, which means all aspects of the application are considered, not just grades and test scores. Applicants must meet a variety of academic and activity requirements, since the balance of outside activities and responsibilities with school work is an indicator of one’s ability to deal with the rigors of life as a physician. 

Navigate the sections below to learn more about the specific requirements that we hold our applicants accountable to:



DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

  • Bachelor's degree
    • An applicant’s bachelor’s degree must be completed at a regionally accredited institution in the United States or Canada prior to matriculation to the University of Utah School of Medicine.
    • Accepted students will be required to provide official transcripts for each college attended, and the degree must be posted on the transcript prior to matriculation.
  • No specific or recommended undergraduate major required
    • The University of Utah School of Medicine recommends that students choose a major field for which they have enthusiasm and interest.

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GPA & MCAT REQUIREMENTS

  • GPA
    • Applicants must have a science, non-science and overall GPA of at least 3.00 or above to be eligible for consideration. 

Due to online courses being mandatory at most colleges for the Spring and Summer 2020 semesters, applicants will not be required to earn a letter grade to meet our premedical coursework requirements during this time period. All courses must be taken for credit, but can be taken as Pass/Fail. We encourage applicants to earn a letter grade if possible to impact their GPA. We are monitoring the situation for Fall 2020 and beyond, and will update requirements accordingly. Premedical coursework prior to Spring 2020 must have a letter grade.


  • MCAT
    • For the 2020-2021 application cycle, a minimum MCAT score of 124 in all sections with a combined score equal or higher than 500 is required to be considered further.
    • All applicants are required to take the MCAT within four (4) years of their application. Only MCAT dates after January 1, 2017 will be considered for the 2020-2021 cycle.
    • Only an applicant’s most recent MCAT score is considered.

We understand multiple MCAT testing centers schedules have changed, so we are working closely with the AAMC to monitor when MCAT testing will be available.  Currently, the last date to take the MCAT for 2020 is September 28, 2020. We will accept MCAT scores up to this date unless otherwise directed by the AAMC. For most recent updates, check the AAMC COVID-19 MCAT page.

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PREMEDICAL COURSEWORK REQUIREMENTS

  • Premedical courses must be taken for a passing grade at a regionally accredited institution in the United States or Canada prior to matriculation to medical school.
  • Courses in mathematics, statistics, physiology, anatomy, biochemistry, human behavior, foreign language, research methods, and computer literacy are recommended but are not required.
  • Applicants should seek out courses that will help develop skills in independent thinking, decision-making, communication, and research, as these are invaluable skills physicians regularly employ throughout their careers.

Required Coursework:

Premed Coursework Table 2020

PLEASE NOTE:

  • One course may not be used to fulfill two requirements.
    • Example: Biochemistry cannot count for both a Biology requirement and a Chemistry requirement.
  • Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), independent study, and correspondence courses do not satisfy these requirements and will not be counted. 
    • Exception: AP Chemistry credit earned with a score of 4 or 5 can fulfill one (1) semester of general chemistry. AP Chemistry credit must be posted on the official transcript in order to be counted.
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ACTIVITY RECOMMENDATIONS


Personal Statements & Short Essays

Applicants are required to submit a variety of statements and short answer essays throughout the application process. We encourage applicants to pull from all corners of their experiences - past and present - and focus on how those experiences have directed you toward medicine and shaped you into the physician you hope to become.

  • Personal Statement
    • When writing essays and personal statements for this upcoming application cycle, we highly encourage you to focus on your experiences prior to March 2020. We understand this pandemic is a significant event in all of our lives, but do not want it to overshadow your previous experiences and aspirations for pursuing medicine. We are very interested in your entire journey in applying to medical school, both pre-COVID-19 and possibly how the current pandemic has affected you. 
  • COVID-19 Short Essay
    • This optional short essay section in our Secondary Application will give applicants a designated space to reflect upon their experiences or the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on them during this time period. 
  • Non-Resident Explanation (“Why University of Utah School of Medicine?” Statement)
    • If applicants are not from Utah, they are given the opportunity to briefly explain their decision to apply to the University of Utah School of Medicine. They should include whether they have any ties to Utah.
  • Reapplication Explanation 
    • If applicants are reapplying to the University of Utah School of Medicine, they should explain what they have done in the past year to improve their application.
  • Gap Year Explanation
    • A gap year is defined as at least a one year break in time between graduation and medical school application. Applicants should use this space to explain what they have done during their gap year to improve their application.
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Community Engagement

Demonstrated leadership experience and service activity within the community.

Leadership and community engagement are vitally important for all medical school applicants, as the medical profession is strongly oriented toward leadership and service within one’s community.  

Dedication, determination, and decision making with a willingness to contribute to the welfare of others are indicators of one's ability to succeed in medicine. Individuals with these attributes readily accept leadership positions and are assets to their community and the medical profession. 

  • Expectations: 
    • Service and leadership activities should occur within the past 5 years. 
    • Leadership activities should last longer than 3 months. 
    • Leadership experience can be earned through either employment or service, while acts of community service must be served without reward or compensation. 
    • The admissions committee will take into account whether the applicant has consistently maintained involvement in a variety of experiences where they have expressed a sincere interest.
    • Experiences can be performed domestically or abroad.
  • Examples: 
    • Educational, university-based, or community-based activities: tutoring, club participation, humanitarian aid, etc. 
    • Leadership roles through employment: training, managing, plan implementation, etc. 
    • Activities through a religious organization: teaching, mentoring, leading, etc. 
    • Other activities that engage the community. 
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Clinical Experience

Demonstrated understanding of the typical day of a physician, interaction with different specialties, medical environments, and patients with meaningful experiences in a clinical setting.

Working alongside physicians and some health care professionals is helpful in determining future career goals, and it is important that the applicant has a thorough understanding of what it is like to be a practicing physician. This includes having some idea of how science is involved in patient care as well as being comfortable around individuals who are physically and/or mentally ill. This knowledge is best obtained through a combination of direct patient services and physician shadowing.

** Due to COVID-19 and other general patient privacy concerns, the committee recognizes that there are many barriers for pre-medical applicants to shadow health care professionals at this time.  


  • Expectations: 
    • Participation in activities must have occurred since high school graduation.
    • Patient care experiences can include international work, however, strong domestic (U.S. or Canada) experience is recommended.
    • Direct patient exposure is expected, and best obtained by volunteering or working directly one-on-one with patients.
    • Physician shadowing-type experiences should be conducted with a physician in the U.S. or Canada. 
    • Direct patient exposure does not include indirect patient care such as housekeeping, staffing the information desk, administration, or working in a pharmacy. Any type of indirect patient exposure should not be counted towards this criteria. 
    • Caring for an ill family member should not be counted towards this criteria. 
    • Some applicants have functioned as military medics, EMT’s, nurses, CNA’s, MA’s, etc. When applicants are certified as EMT’s, CNA’s, etc. the Admissions Committee will take into account whether the applicant has actually functioned as an EMT, CNA, etc. 
  • Examples:
    • Shadowing allopathic and osteopathic physicians, interns, residents, fellows, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, EMT’s, and paramedics. 
    • Shadowing primary care physicians is encouraged when possible.
    • Locations can include hospitals, emergency rooms, clinics, nursing care facilities, hospice, group homes, home health, rehabilitation centers, humanitarian projects, etc.
    • Other acceptable experiences include being a medical scribe, a clinical research coordinator (if it includes interaction with patients), and telehealth providers (if supplementing a non-telehealth experience)
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Intellectual Curiosity

Involvement in activities that demonstrate an applicant’s pursuits of intellectual curiosity, participation, and achievement.

Applicants should identify their involvement in academics, research, creative endeavors, performance, and other activities that demonstrate an applicant’s pursuits of intellectual curiosity, participation, and achievements. Success in the medical field requires life-long learning, teachability, flexibility, curiosity, and engagement.

Applicants should express how these activities will assist their preparation for medical school, and ultimately their performance as a physician. 

  • Expectations:
    • Participation in activities must have occurred since high school graduation.
    • Activities should be identified whether  they are part of a class or an independent activity. 
    • Applicants should be prepared to describe their specific role and the hypothesis or goal of the activity. 
    • Include the number of hours involved and whether the activity resulted in a publication, poster, conference presentation, thesis, capstone project, patent, performance, distributed recordings, awards or recognition, etc.
    • If your activity was published or “in press”, please provide the specific citation and, if possible, a website link.
    • It is recommended to include a letter of recommendation from your advisor or supervisor in any activity where you have felt the most intellectual growth.
  • Examples:
    • Research
      • Including biomedical, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, social science, humanities, agriculture, ethics, fine arts studies, etc.

    • Continuing Education
      • Courses taken outside of your degree to further your education or skills 

      • Learning an additional language, trade/tech courses, international development experiences 

    • Creative interests that expand thinking
      • Academics, performance, creative endeavors, entrepreneurship, etc. 

back to ACTIVITIES

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Letters of Recommendation 

  • Three (3) letters of recommendation are required, but up to four (4) will be accepted.
  • Letter suggestions and requirements:
    • All letters are to be submitted to the AMCAS Letter Service.
    • Letters must include contact information (phone, email) and valid signature from the letter writer.
    • It is strongly recommended that all letters be dated within a year of application.
    • Use of letterhead is preferred.

Due to the global pandemic, we understand that access to scanners, letterhead, and signatures may be challenging. Electronic signatures and letters submitted without letterhead will still be accepted if other requirements are met.

Any questions regarding letter requirements can be directed to the Admissions Office at deans.admissions@hsc.utah.edu


  • Premedical committee letters will not be accepted.
  • Individual letters included in a premedical letter packet can be submitted towards your four (4) letters of recommendation. 
    • Applicants will be required to supply specific names of letter writers in the secondary application. 

  • It is recommended that applicants provide:
    • At least one (1) ACADEMIC letter where the letter writer can speak to the your academic ability and/or intellectual curiosity
    • At least one (1) MENTORING letter where the letter writer can speak to your commitment to service, leadership ability, growth as an individual, and/or interpersonal/teamwork skills. 
  • These letters should be from individuals who directly taught or supervised you in an academic setting and can address your intellectual curiosity, service, and leadership ability.
    • Examples:
      • A professor you did research with or worked with as a teaching assistant.
      • An advisor or supervisor in any activity where you have felt the most intellectual growth.
      • Employers, military supervisors, athletic coaches, religious leaders. 

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CONNECT WITH US

NOTICE: Due to guidance released and monitored by the University of Utah and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Admissions Office will be offering limited in-person support Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm.

Please contact us to make an appointment with a member of our team.

Any questions can still be addressed via email or by phone. 

Contact:

Email: deans.admissions@hsc.utah.edu
Phone: 801-581-7498
              800-444-8638 ext. 17498

Fax: 801-581-2931

Address:
Eccles Health Sciences Education Bldg - Suite 5900
26 South 2000 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84112

For information and updates on the University’s response to the COVID-19 health crisis, please visit https://coronavirus.utah.edu/

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