Application Requirements

The UUSOM employs a holistic review process, meaning 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. 

The sections below list the specific criteria required for the UUSOM MD application:


  • 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 by July 1 of the year they will begin medical school.
      • Degrees completed over the summer semester and other exceptions accommodated on a case by case basis.
    • If an applicant does not have a bachelor’s degree but has earned a doctoral-level (terminal degree) from a regionally accredited U.S. or Canadian institution that did not require a bachelor’s degree for entrance, they may apply if they will earn or have earned the doctoral degree by July 1 of the year they will begin medical school.
  • No specific or recommended undergraduate major required
    • The degree may be in the discipline of the applicant's choosing, as long as required premedical coursework has been completed. The UUSOM recommends that students choose a major field for which they have enthusiasm and interest.

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  • GPA
    • 3.00 or above in science, non-science, and overall
  • MCAT
    • Total score of 500 or higher
      • Only an applicant’s overall highest MCAT score will be considered
      • MCAT scores must be received within four (4) years of the projected year of matriculation to medical school.
      • Only MCAT dates after January 1, 2018 will be considered for the 2021-2022 application cycle.

For more information on COVID-19 procedures for MCAT testing, visit the AAMC COVID-19 MCAT FAQ page.


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Personal Statement
  • The Personal Statement is submitted with the AMCAS application, and applicants should consider why they want to be a physician and use this essay as an opportunity to genuinely express their reasons and passion for choosing this career path.
AAMC Fee Assistance Program
  • The AAMC Fee Assistance Program is available to assist those who may require financial assistance with application fees, MCAT costs, and other costs associated with applying to medical school. 


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  • If invited to complete a Secondary Application, applicants will be required to submit the application by the deadline provided at the time of invite. 
Application Fee - $110.00
  • Application fees are non-refundable and must be paid by an applicant's Secondary Application deadline.

  • The UUSOM does not offer fee waivers, but will honor fee waivers granted by the AAMC Fee Assistance Program and their guidelines. Applicants applying for AAMC fee assistance should submit their UUSOM application after the AAMC waiver has been granted to guarantee eligibility for fee exception. 

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Letters of Recommendation 

  • Three (3) letters of recommendation are required, but no more than four (4) will be considered.

  • Individual letters included in a committee letter or letter packet can be submitted toward the four (4) letters of recommendation.

    • If the committee letter or letter packet contains four (4) individual letters, no further letters will be considered, as this fulfills the maximum of four (4) individual letters

    • If the committee letter or letter packet contains less than four (4) individual letters, the applicant may submit additional individual letters (not to exceed the maximum of four (4) total letters)

    • If the committee letter or letter packet contains no individual letters, the committee letter will not be considered and should not be submitted

    • Composite letters or evaluations by multiple authors will not be considered, even if submitted with the letter packet 

  • Letters must include contact information (name, phone, or email) and valid signature from the letter writer.

    • Electronic or digital signatures are accepted

  • It is strongly recommended that all letters be dated within a year of application.

  • Use of letterhead is preferred but not required.

  • We do not accept letters from University Regents/Trustees, University Administrators (i.e. President, Provost, Faculty Senate President) and Publicly Elected Officials. Avoid letters from family, friends, or parents' colleagues.
  • It is recommended that applicants provide:

    • At least one (1) ACADEMIC letter where the letter writer can speak to an applicant's academic ability and/or intellectual curiosity

    • At least one (1) MENTORING letter where the letter writer can speak to an applicant's 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. 

Any questions regarding letter requirements can be directed to


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  • Prerequisite 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 completed through regionally accredited online institutions, two-year institutions, and/or community colleges are also accepted.
  • Acceptance is conditional pending successful completion of prerequisite coursework requirements. 
Due to online courses being mandatory at most colleges for the majority of the 2020-2021 school year, applicants will not be required to earn a letter grade to meet our premedical coursework requirements during the Spring 2020 – Spring 2022 time period. 

  • All courses must be taken for credit, but can be graded as Pass/Fail.

  • Applicants are encouraged to earn a letter grade if possible to impact GPA.

  • We are monitoring the situation moving forward, and will update requirements accordingly.

  • Premedical coursework prior to Spring 2020 must have a letter grade.


General Chemistry

Two (2) semesters or three (3) quarters with applicable labs

Organic Chemistry

Two (2) semesters or three (3) quarters with applicable labs


Two (2) semesters or three (3) quarters with applicable labs



Two (2) courses

  • One (1) course must be in Cellular Biology or Biochemistry


Two (2) courses

  • Courses must emphasize written or verbal communication in the English language

Social Science

One (1) course

  • Examples include: Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Economics, Political Science


One (1) course

  • Examples include: Art, Music, Dance, Theatre, History, Philosophy, Literature, Communication


  • One course may not be used to fulfill two requirements.
    • Example: “Biochemistry I” 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.
  • Courses in mathematics, statistics, physiology, anatomy, biochemistry, human behavior, foreign language, research methods, and computer literacy are recommended but are not required.
  • Applicants should consider 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.


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Community Engagement

Demonstrated leadership experience and volunteer community service.  

Leadership experiences and volunteer community service experiences 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.  

Activity Criteria: 

  • Leadership and volunteer community service experiences can be performed domestically or abroad, and should occur within the past 5 years.  
  • Leadership experiences should last longer than 3 months.   
  • Leadership experiences may include positions of responsibility of others through employment, school, religious groups, clubs, or community service.  
    • Roles may include teaching, tutoring, mentoring, training.   
    • Titles may include but are not limited to: President, Vice President, Lead, Supervisor, Manager, Teacher, Chairperson, Principal, Director. 
  • Volunteer community service must be served without reward or compensation.   


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 other healthcare 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 work in a healthcare setting as a practicing physician. This includes having an 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 care 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.  

Activity Criteria:  

  • Participation in activities must have occurred since high school graduation.  
  • Patient care experiences can include international work, however, strong domestic (United States or Canada) experience is recommended.  
  • Direct patient exposure is expected, and best obtained by volunteering or working directly one-on-one with patients.  
    • Direct patient exposure experiences may include any shadowing or hands-on care where the applicant provided treatment or diagnostic evaluations, translating, or assistance with direct scheduling and instructions that impact patient care.   
    • Other acceptable experiences may include being a medical scribe, a clinical research coordinator (if it includes interaction with patients), and telehealth providers (if supplementing a non-telehealth experience).  
  • Indirect patient exposure experiences do not meet these criteria.  
    • This includes tasks such as housekeeping, staffing the information desk, administration, or working in a pharmacy.  
  • Caring for an ill family member does not meet these criteria.  
  • Shadowing experiences must be conducted with a physician or healthcare professional in the United States or Canada. 
    • Shadowing primary care physicians is encouraged when possible. 
    • Other opportunities for healthcare professional shadowing may include allopathic and osteopathic physicians, interns, residents, fellows, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, EMT’s, and paramedics. 
    • Locations may include hospitals, emergency rooms, clinics, nursing care facilities, hospice, group homes, home health, rehabilitation centers, humanitarian projects, etc.  
  • Some applicants may have functioned as military medics, EMT’s, nurses, CNA’s, MA’s, etc. If these activities are listed, the Admissions Committee will consider whether the applicant has actually functioned in the role they are credentialed in. 


Intellectual Curiosity

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

The medical field is ever changing and physicians are required to keep up with current procedures, treatments and protocols.   

Applicants should express their independent pursuit of intellectual growth through participation in activities that demonstrate their interest in continuous learning. Applicants should articulate how these activities will contribute to their preparation for medical school and ultimately their performance as a physician.  

Activity Criteria: 

  • Participation in activities must have occurred since high school graduation.  
  • Activities should be identified as 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, app or program development, awards or recognition, etc.  
  • If your activity was published or “in press”, please provide the specific citation in the Activity Description and, if possible, a website link.  


  • Research  
    • Including, but not limited to biomedical, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, cultural awareness, social science, humanities, agriculture, ethics, fine arts studies, etc.  
  • Academic Projects and Achievements  
    • Thesis, capstone projects, poster presentations, awards or recognitions, academic endeavors or certifications outside of your degrees or minors that further your education or skills.  
  • Creative Endeavors that Expand Cognitive Processes  
    • Artistic or musical performance/pursuit, podcasts, creative endeavors, entrepreneurship, program development, teaching other skills and talents you have mastered, etc.  


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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.

 UUSOM Secondary Application Short Essays

    • Why UUSOM Essay
      • Applicants will be asked to explain why they are choosing to apply to the University of Utah School of Medicine. 
    • COVID-19 Essay
      • This essay will give applicants a designated space to reflect upon their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
    • Social/Cultural Awareness Essay
      • Applicants will be asked to provide their thoughts on a prompt related to social and cultural awareness and diversity.
    • Reapplication Explanation 
      • Reapplicants to the University of Utah School of Medicine will be asked to provide any new information to be considered since their previous application.


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AMCAS Application:
  • Once an application has been verified by AMCAS, information cannot be added or deleted from it.
  • The Office of Admissions is unable to make any changes to an AMCAS application, updated information can be provided to the UUSOM when completing a Secondary Application.
Secondary Application: 
  • Once a Secondary Application has been submitted, no changes or updates can be made to the application. 
    • EXCEPTION: Changes to prerequisite coursework or changes to an applicant's degree information must be reported to the Office of Admissions at
  • It is encouraged for applicants to complete all activities and application requirements by their provided Secondary Application deadline. 

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Phone: 801-581-7498
              800-444-8638 ext. 17498

Fax: 801-581-2931

Eccles Health Sciences Education Building (HSEB), Suite 5900

26 South 2000 East

Salt Lake City, UT 84112