General Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to common questions you may have when applying to Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

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.

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.

MCAT scores are valid for four years. January, 2019 is the last MCAT considered for applicants applying in 2022 for matriculation in 2023.

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.

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.

Please be sure to review our application procedures carefully. Take special note of the timeline, 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.

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.

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

Tuition and fees for the 2021-2022 school year is $68,788.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. The project will begin in the summer between the first and second year, and will have dedicated time in the third year to complete the project. However, temporal placement in the curriculum is flexible to accommodate the needs of students and the project is not due until December of the fourth year.

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.

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

Technically, yes, but this is only for the University Program and it occurs very rarely and largely depends if we have room for more students in our clinical sites.  Read more about transfers on our Transfers and Advanced Standing page.

Yes, for more information visit our online learning website.

International Frequently Asked Questions

The University Program and Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine (College Program) accept applications from all international students (including Canadians).  The University Program and College Program accepts applicants with the DACA status but the MSTP does not.  

No. We admit regardless of citizenship status.

No.  Applicants with these immigration statuses are evaluated in the same manner as US citizens and green card holders. We do not have special academic criteria or cut-offs for applicants with these statuses. All components of the application are taken into consideration, including metrics, life experiences, letters of recommendation, essays, etc.

For the University Program: A candidate who graduates from an institution outside the United States will be considered if he/she completes one or two undergraduate or graduate years of science coursework in an accredited four-year college or university in the U.S. or Canada, and demonstrates the ability to perform well in the U.S. academic environment.

For the College program: One degree (bachelor, master or PhD) must be earned from a school in the U.S. or Canada. The applicant must also have resided in the U.S. or Canada for one to two years.

Case Western Reserve University has a Center for International Affairs with student services which can help coordinate much of the documentation necessary to enroll in our School.

Visit the CWRU International Student Services page for detailed information regarding these important documents.

It is your responsibility to notify the Admissions Office immediately if you have a change in your status. You should also update your new status in your AMCAS application.

For the University program: Our financial aid office is unable to provide needs-based aid for students who are not US citizens or green card holders. Federal loans are also not available. We will require proof of payment for 1 year up front. International and DACA applicants often take out private loans to cover costs, and these must be cosigned by a U.S. citizen.

For the College Program: Although a full tuition scholarship is given to all matriculants, International matriculants will need to cover living expenses. International applicants often take out private loans to cover costs, and these must be cosigned by a US citizen.

The CWRU Center for International Affairs' International Student Services page has more details.