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Frequently Asked Admissions Questions

Is there a preferred major of study?

There is no one major that is considered "better." Obviously, a major with more rigorous science coursework may make a student feel more prepared for the medical school curriculum. Further, please know that undergraduate programs have career advisors that can and should give you the direction you need in selecting courses and planning for your future.

What criteria are used to evaluate applicants?

Academic credentials cannot be assessed without the context of a complete application. The admissions committee evaluates each candidate’s academic success (GPA, coursework, MCAT), letters of recommendations, meaningful life experiences, leadership, clinical experiences, research, and demonstrated commitment to medicine. All of those pieces of information factor into decisions to interview and/or accept.

Does the School of Medicine have an early decision program?

YES! More information can be found on our Early Decision Program page.

What is the latest MCAT score considered for this year?

MCAT scores are valid for three years. April, 2015 is the last MCAT considered for applicants applying in 2018 for matriculation in 2019.

When should I take the MCAT?

When you feel most prepared. All students learn differently, and therefore, we encourage students to prepare for the MCAT in the way that suits them best. Some students prefer self-study while others take prep courses. We endorse only the method that works best for you.

Am I at a disadvantage if I take (or retake) the MCAT in September and I am applying that year for medical school?

Potentially. Since most medical schools use “rolling admissions” it is helpful to complete your AMCAS and secondary applications (including sending letters of recommendation) while you are waiting for your MCAT scores, so as not to delay your application’s review too much.

Will you accept the January 2019 MCAT for the 2018-2019 application year?

No. It is simply too late in our admissions process.

What if I've already taken the MCAT and applied, and then decide to take the January 2019 MCAT? Will you consider those scores?

No, not for the 2018-2019 application cycle.

Will you be accepting both versions of the MCAT?

No, for the 2018-2019 application cycle, we will not be accepting the old version of the MCAT.

What is the schedule and procedure for the application process?

Please be sure to review our application procedures carefully. Take special note of the following deadlines, which could jeopardize your application if not followed. Any changes in your status or information (address, email, phone number, etc.) should be reported to our office as well as to AMCAS. We have a rolling admissions process.

  • May 30, 2018 - Consideration of preliminary (AMCAS) applications begins.
  • October 15, 2018 - Per AMCAS Guidelines, earliest notification date of acceptance.
  • November 1, 2018 - Deadline for filing AMCAS application.
  • December 1, 2018 - Deadline for submitting the electronic secondary application.
  • April 30, 2019 - Notify the University Program, College Program or MSTP of your final decision to attend CWRU. You may remain on other schools' alternate lists.
  • July, 2019 - Classes begin

How long after I submit my AMCAS application will I receive word about my secondary application?

Approximately two weeks after the verified AMCAS application is received by our admissions office all applicants will receive an invitation to complete our secondary application. The email contains a unique URL and password that will allow you to access our secondary website. We suggest that you complete your secondary as soon as possible, but do not sacrifice quality for an immediate completion. Detailed instructions for completing the secondary applications are provided online.

Does the School of Medicine give preference to Ohio residents?

No. We have a national application pool and do not have an in-state admissions quota.

What is tuition for 2018-2019?

Tuition for the 2018-2019 school year is $59,346.

What is the grading system?

University Program and MSTP: Pass/fail in the first eighteen months of didactic coursework.  There is no class ranking either. In the third and fourth year clinical rotations, students are given more formative assessments as Honors, Commendable, Satisfactory, and Unsatisfactory.

Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine (CCLCM): There are no grades but students are evaluated by achievement in competencies. Learn more on CCLCM's website.

Does the School of Medicine accept AP credits for premedical requirements?

Yes, AP credits are acceptable for general chemistry. They are not acceptable for organic chemistry. We do advise that if you are not a science major you complete some upper level science courses in order to demonstrate to the Admissions Committee a mastery of the more difficult sciences. More information about our pre-requisites can be found here.

Are laboratory courses considered prerequisites for the School of Medicine?

Laboratory courses are considered prerequisites. Most premedical courses have laboratory components that enhance and reinforce students’ knowledge of the scientific topic, and may be helpful in preparing for the MCAT and for the basic sciences in medical school. Further, many schools require laboratory work to complete the requirements in a specific major.

Does the School of Medicine accept premedical requirements that were taken at community colleges?

If all science pre-requisites were taken at a community college we strongly recommend that you take at least of year of upper-level sciences from an accredited four-year degree granting university within the United States or Canada. If a few science pre-requisite courses were taken at a community college we will evaluate them on a case-by-case basis.

Is the alternate list “ranked?”

No. As positions become available in the entering class, we offer acceptance to students on the alternate list on an individual basis. Since some students who eventually matriculate are accepted via the alternate list, list position should not be construed as an unfavorable decision by the Admissions Committee.

If accepted, is a deposit required to hold a spot in the incoming class?


How do I apply for a Dual Degree?

Several joint degree programs are offered in conjunction with the medical degree. The MSTP application is included in the secondary application. Applicants applying to other joint degree programs must submit separate applications to the School of Medicine and to the school that will grant the second degree. This means that applicants must meet the application requirements of each school. Typically, students wait to hear if they have been accepted to the medical school before they pursue a second degree application. Accepted students’ applications to second degree programs are usually expedited.

Is research experience necessary for an applicant applying to the School of Medicine?

Prior research experience is not a requirement for the University Program but does enhance an application to any medical school. Research is broadly defined as "scholarly work" and can be in a wide variety of disciplines. If you have no research experience, simply state “none” when asked about it on your secondary application.

Some prior research experience in a medical or non-medical field is a requirement for the College Program, based at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, and the Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD), since these programs are designed to train clinician investigators/scientists.

What is the MD research thesis for the University Program?

Research, scholarship and an environment of scientific inquiry and curiosity is embedded throughout the four-year curriculum. All types of research are encouraged. Research opportunities in basic, translational, clinical and population-based science are numerous. Research programs investigating disease at the molecular and cellular levels exist within both the basic science and clinical departments. Students select mentors from CWRU faculty based at the School of Medicine, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, the Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth Medical Center and the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center.

The thesis project can involve collaborations with others outside the University, but a CWRU faculty member must be involved in the project. Time and preparation for selection of a thesis project will be ample and does not reduce clinical experiences. Beginning in the third year, four-month block of dedicated time is incorporated into the curriculum for the thesis project, but temporal placement in the curriculum is flexible to accommodate the needs of students.

The thesis is not a masters level work, but many students will conduct research of that depth and quality. Review of the thesis is done by the student's mentor and the Office of Medical Student Research. The Office of Medical Student Research also assists students in their thesis efforts.

How many students are accepted annually?

170 to the University Program, 32 students to the College Program and 10-15 to the Medical Scientist Training Program.

Do you accept transfer students or students in advanced standing?

Technically, yes, but this is only for the University Program and it occurs very rarely.  Read more about transfers on our Transfers and Advanced Standing page.

Does CWRU Participate in SARA?

Yes, for more information visit our online learning website.

What are the admissions practices and procedures?

Download our admission policies ยป