Secondary Application Questions

2022-2023 Secondary Application Questions

We would like to provide our applicants with the essay prompts for this year’s CWRU secondary application.  Secondary application invitations are emailed to all CWRU applicants with a verified AMCAS application beginning in early July. One common essay prompt is required of all applicants and then each of our separate programs (University Program, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine (CCLCM), and the Medical Scientist Training Program) has essays relevant to each. Applicants are able to select which program(s) they would like to apply to within the secondary application, and this selection will then dictate which essay prompts are displayed.  We hope that this early availability will alleviate some of the stress that may be associated with the application process, and will allow our applicants more time to craft their essay responses while waiting for other processes, such as AMCAS application verification or an MCAT administration, that are required for application completion.

Required Responses For All Applicants:

Greatest Challenge Response:  The Admissions Committee is interested in gaining more insight into you as a person. Please describe a significant personal challenge you have faced, one which you feel has helped to shape you as a person. Examples may include a moral or ethical dilemma, a situation of personal adversity, or a hurdle in your life that you worked hard to overcome. Please include how you got through the experience, how you handled the uncertainty or stress, and what you learned about yourself as a result. 

Please limit your response to one page (about 3,500 characters), and leave a blank line between paragraphs.

Optional Responses For All Applicants:

  1. COVID-related Disruptions Response:  

    The past few years have reflected an unprecedented time in world history, and we are aware that many have experienced significant disruptions in numerous aspects of their lives. You may use the text field below to share with us how you may have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including academic, financial and medical disruptions, etc.

    If medically-related or patient-based experiences were interrupted, please tell us how you were able to explore these areas in alternate ways.

    Please limit your response to 1 page (about 3,500 characters), and leave a blank line between paragraphs.

  2. COVID-related Coursework Response:  If you took coursework that was Pass/No Pass due to pandemic disruptions for for 2019-2020 and/or 2020-2021 academic years, please list the courses below.

  3. Gap Year Response:  Did you take a gap year(s)?  Yes or No.  If Yes: 

    If you are taking time off between college graduation and medical school matriculation, please tell us what you are doing during this gap, and why. Please limit your response to no more than 1000 characters, and leave a blank line between paragraphs.

University Program (4 yr. MD) Applicants:


  1. Research Response: One of the four pillars of the Western Reserve2 Curriculum is Research and Scholarship. Although research is not a prerequisite requirement for the University Program, if you have participated in research or another scholarly project, please tell us about it. Describe your experience, including the question you pursued and how you approached it, your results and interpretation of the results, and most importantly, any thoughts about what this experience meant to you. Remember that research is broad-based and can include such projects as a senior capstone or a thesis and can include both medical and non-medically-related investigations. If you have not completed research, please indicate that in the text box below.  

Please limit your response to one page (about 3,500 characters), and leave a blank line between paragraphs.

  • Note that if you are applying to both the University Program and the CCLCM, the research response will default to the CCLCM required response.

     2. Additional Information Response:  Is there any further information that you wish to share with the Admissions Committee that may not be captured in the rest of your application? Please limit your response to 3,500 characters.

CCLCM (5 yr. MD) Applicants:

Essay prompts will not be shared this year. They will be available within the application when applicants receive the secondary application.  

MSTP (MD/PhD) Applicants:

There are no additional required essays for MSTP applicants in addition to the challenge essay listed above for all applicants to CWRU.