Applicants to the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine must meet all the academic criteria and requirements of the University Program of the School of Medicine. In addition, the MSTP requires one year of college calculus and strongly recommends a course in biochemistry. For the past ten years, the average GPA and MCAT percentile scores of students in our program has been 3.8 and 92%, respectively.
However, while your application will tell us many important details about you, one of the most important qualifications we look for in the MSTP programs is substantive research experience. For most applicants, this happens during the summers and during the school year as an undergraduate, or during post-baccalaureate research time. Additionally, we ask our applicants to seriously consider and explain to us why they want to pursue both an MD and a PhD.
Admissions Procedures 2022-23 Cycle
Dear Case Western Reserve applicants,
At CWRU’s MSTP, we recognize the enormous challenge brought by COVID-19. In response, we are altering our admissions procedures and this update is an attempt to be as open and transparent as possible to our applicants.
- Given the challenges of travel and the impossibility of predicting where hot-spots will arise, interviews will be virtual.
- We have far more qualified applicants than can even be interviewed. This has caused us a lot of worry—we might be passing on someone who might be a really good student for a very minor reason. Virtual interviewing is an opportunity to open the window for more applicants. Given this, we plan to increase the number of interviewed applicants by 50%.
- While we can increase the number of interview offers, we are unable to increase the number of available matriculation slots. For this reason, the most likely outcome of an interview is to place the applicant on the deferral list. We simply do not know likely matriculation numbers and are under a strict numbers crunch. For this reason, we need to be conservative. When candidates are on the deferral list, we will revisit your application after the entire interview process has been completed—in late February.
- A disadvantage to virtual visits is that the applicant in-person interaction with current students is missed. Our students are fun, smart, ambitious, funny and have varied hobbies. They are a strength of our program and love to interact with our applicants. Given this, during the interview days, we will be setting up interactive experiences such that our applicants can get to know our students and have a chance for informal Q&A.
- A second disadvantage is that our applicants cannot see how great a city Cleveland is. Many people don’t realize it, but Cleveland is affordable and fun; a metropolitan atmosphere surrounded by many inviting parks and waterways. World class restaurants are nearby and affordable. The Cavaliers, Browns and Guardians (well the Guardians, anyway) are competitive. Many of our students buy or rent homes or apartments and live walking distance from the medical school. Again, we will try to highlight Cleveland in the interview, but nothing replaces a visit. We hope to have an in-person revisit weekend in April to allow accepted students to see for themselves what a great place CWRU is to study.
This application cycle is unprecedented and MSTPs nationwide are all trying to do their best. It isn’t ideal for us, our students or you the applicant, however, we can work together to identify whether the CWRU MSTP will be the best fit. Hopefully, the transparency outlined above is a first step.
How To Apply to the MSTP
- Complete the AMCAS application and apply to Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Check boxes to indicate interest in MD/PhD study and provide relevant information.
- Once the Admissions Department receives your AMCAS application, they will send you an email with a link to the CWRU School of Medicine online secondary application (iApply). Be sure to check the box in the secondary application indicating that you’re applying to the MSTP. If you also wish to be considered for the University Program or College Program, mark the corresponding box as well.
- You will need to send the application fee, as specified in the secondary application.
- You must submit 3-5 letters of recommendation. The recommendations should come from people sufficiently familiar with you to assess your academic preparation, abilities, and accomplishments. Letters from research advisors are particularly important. All letters of recommendation must be submitted to the AMCAS letters service.
- Application deadlines are Nov. 1 for completion of the AMCAS application and 12:00 a.m. EST on Dec. 1 for the completion of the CWRU secondary application. If you are unable to meet these deadlines, please contact the MSTP office to see if an extension of the deadline is possible.
- Transcripts need not be submitted at the time of application, but all students who are accepted must have original, official transcripts submitted from all post-secondary schools that they have attended. These transcripts must be submitted at the time of acceptance to finalize admission to the program and are required for matriculation.
Once your application is complete, it will be reviewed by the MSTP Steering Committee and placed in one of three categories:
- Invite for an interview. You will receive an e-mail asking you to contact the MSTP office to schedule an interview.
- Hold For Future Consideration. The Steering Committee may decide to invite you for an interview after it has reviewed more applications.
- Decline. You are not eligible for our program, or your current application is not competitive with this year's applicant pool. If your application is declined, you will receive a letter telling you so.
You should feel free to contact the MSTP office with any questions regarding the application process or the status of your application.
The MSTP interview process takes two days, and includes your School of Medicine (University Program) interview.
You will interview with members of the MSTP Steering Committee as well as other MSTP mentors whose research focus matches your interests. When we schedule your interview, we'll ask you to look at our mentors list and tell us which faculty you'd like to meet with, and we do our best to include them in your schedule.
Your interview itinerary also includes School of Medicine information sessions, and two School of Medicine interviews. One interview is with a member of the Admissions Committee, and the other is with a current MSTP student. Both the student and the Admissions Committee member will write an evaluation and make a recommendation to the Admissions Committee. The School of Medicine Admissions Committee will forward its decision, based on input from both the student and faculty interview, to the MSTP Steering Committee.
The MSTP Steering Committee meets once a month to review interview evaluations and make admission decisions.
The MSTP Steering Committee meets once a month to make admission decisions. The MSTP utilizes a rolling admissions process and accepts applicants throughout the year. Your application will be placed in one of three categories:
- Wait list (Qualified for admission, may be admitted if slots become available).
You will be notified of the committee's decision by e-mail. Admitted applicants must notify the MSTP of their decision by May 1.
Accepted applicants visit CWRU and Cleveland in a relaxed environment. Our Revisit Weekend is a great opportunity to learn more about Case Western Reserve University, the MSTP, and Cleveland.
The weekend includes meetings with MSTP faculty and students to learn more about the program, and a neighborhood tour that includes stops at MSTP student homes, to give you a feel for what it will be like to live here.