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Visit Case Western Reserve University's uniquely urban campus, located in the heart of Cleveland's cultural hub, University Circle. Plan your trip:

2014-2015 REQUIREMENTS & ACADEMIC CRITERIA

Although strong academic credentials are important in the admissions process, equally as important are interpersonal skills, exposure to medicine, well-roundedness and qualities such as professionalism, empathy and leadership ability.

General Degree Criteria

Applicants for admission must complete a course of study leading to a baccalaureate degree at an accredited US or Canadian college or university prior to matriculation. If you have received your undergraduate degree outside the US, then you must complete at least 1 year of advanced science-based course work at an accredited US institution prior to application. This can be achieved through a Masters or Phd degree, formalized post-baccalaureate program, or through a variety of upper-level science coursework.

Exploration of Medicine and Shadowing

It is imperative that you demonstrate on your application that you have carefully considered a career in medicine, make sure to thoughtfully describe your medically-related experiences and interactions with physicians. The AAMC provides a number of career exploration resources and advice for students.

Early Decision Program (EDP)

Find out more about this program.

University Track & CCLCM Track Pre-Requisite Requirements

Our Admissions Committee makes its decisions based on a variety of different components of the application, one of which is the depth and breadth of study in the sciences and in liberal arts, both of which are vital to success in the practice of medicine. Although we list our required and recommended coursework, it is in your best interest, both as an applicant to medical school and as an aspiring physician, to present a broad and meaningful record of study.

Science credit hours typically seen with our successful applications at the time of application are:

  • Non-science majors: at least 40 credit hours
  • Science majors: at least 55 credit hours
  • Post-bacc students: at least 32 credit hours

Note that these are simply guidelines to help you as you structure your course of study and that exceptions are always seen.

REQUIRED COURSEWORK: These are the minimum number of courses we expect you to have completed at the time of matriculation, not necessarily at the time of application. That said, it is to your advantage to have as many of the required courses as possible completed in preparation for the MCAT and to strengthen your application to medical school. Community college credits in these courses are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

  • General/Inorganic chemistry: 2 semesters/3quarters with 2 semesters of lab. AP/IB credit accepted.
  • Organic chemistry: 1 semester with 1 semester of lab. AP/IB not accepted.
  • Biochemistry (must include metabolism): 1 semester course, lab not required.
  • Writing/college English: 1 semester. This can also be fulfilled with other expository writing courses in the humanities. Science courses with extensive writing components can also fulfill this requirement. AP/IB credit not accepted.

RECOMMENDED COURSEWORK: These are courses or areas of study that we strongly encourage you to consider in preparation for the MCAT and more importantly, in preparation for medical school. While formal coursework in these areas is the most frequent method of learning the content material, it may also be accomplished in other ways, with the most common being through research experiences.

  • Cellular Biology
  • Physics
  • Biostatistics
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology, etc.)
  • Research Experience:
    University Track (4 yr. MD): Research experience is not required.  However, a successful applicant must be able to demonstrate an interest in participating in a future research project as a medical student.
    CCLCM Track (5 yr. MD): More than one summer of hypothesis-driven research experience in a medical or non-medical field is a requirement for the CCLCM track since the CCLCM curriculum program is designed to train physician investigators.

Medical Scientist Training Program Pre-Requisite Requirements

REQUIRED COURSEWORK: These are the minimum amount of courses we expect you to have completed at the time of matriculation, not necessarily at the time of application. That said, it is to your advantage to have as many of the required courses completed in preparation for the MCAT and to strengthen your application to medical school. Community college credits in these courses are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

  • Inorganic chemistry: 2 semesters/3 quarters with 2 semesters of lab. AP/IB credit accepted.
  • Organic chemistry: 1 semester with 1 semester of lab. AP/IB not accepted.
  • Biochemistry (must include metabolism): 1 semester course, lab not required.
  • Physics: 2 semesters/3 quarters with 2 semesters of laboratory. AP/IB credit accepted.
  • Advanced Biology or Biology Subfield: 1 semester, lab not required. AP/IB credit not accepted.
  • Calculus or Statistics: 2 semesters/3 quarters. AP/IB credit accepted.
  • Writing/College English: 1 semester. This can also be fulfilled with other expository writing courses in the humanities. Science courses with extensive writing components can also fulfill this requirement. AP/IB credit not accepted.
  • Research Experience: Substantive research experience during the summers and during the school year as an undergraduate, or during post-baccalaureate research time is required. Applicants must also seriously consider and explain why they want to pursue both the MD and the PhD degrees.

RECOMMENDED COURSEWORK: These are courses or areas of study that we strongly encourage you to consider in preparation for the MCAT and, more importantly, in preparation for medical school. While formal coursework in these areas is the most frequent method of learning the content material, it may also be accomplished in other ways, with the most common being through research experiences.

  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology, etc.)

The MCAT

All applicants are required to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). You are able to submit an AMCAS application without an MCAT score, however, your application will not be considered complete and ready for review until an MCAT score has posted. Review the AAMC's MCAT Essentials guide for more information and registration instructions.

The October 25, 2014 MCAT testing date will be the latest exam date accepted (see the 2014 MCAT exam schedule) for the 2014-2015 application year. We will not accept MCAT scores from administration dates after the October 25, 2014 administration for the 2014-2015 application year.

The oldest MCAT year that will be accepted for the 2014-2015 application cycle is 2011.

Students planning to take the MCAT in 2015 will be administered a revised version of the examination. Please visit the AAMC's MCAT 2015 site for additional information regarding the changes, new course requirements, preview guides, and how to best prepare for the test.

For the 2015-2016 application cycle, we will be accepting the old and new version of the MCAT.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation are very important in our decision-making process. These letters should come from individuals who know the candidate well and who are in a capacity to objectively judge the applicant's performance (no family members or friends of family). Confidential letters and a specific statement that a student is in good standing are preferred. Commentary on any institutional action taken is desirable, when applicable. All letters of recommendation must be submitted through AMCAS. Instructions for submitting letters of recommendation can be found here, as well as on the AMCAS application. The AAMC has created some useful guidelines to provide your letter writers should they be unfamiliar with the kind of information that is to be included in a recommendation letter. Keep in mind that your application will not be considered complete until ALL letters have been received by AMCAS. Late submission will delay the review of your application!

Letters of Recommendation Requirements For All Tracks:

  • 3-5 Letters of Recommendations. At least two should be from science advisors/professors.

OR

  • 1 Pre-Medical Committee evaluation letter will be accepted in lieu of the 3-5 individual letters if your institution offers this service.

An additional evaluation letter from a research advisor is required for the College Track and Medical Scientist Training Program and recommended for the University Track, if applicable.

Letters of Recommendation FAQs

Q. Do you have any advice or guidelines for letter writers?

A. The AAMC assembled a group of admissions representatives and pre-health advisors to develop a set of optional guidelines to assist letter writers, and your recommenders may find these to be helpful.

Q. How do we define letters from "science advisors/professors"?

A. We will accept letters from professors or advisors in the disciplines of:

  • Life Sciences (Biology, Zoology, Human Biology, Physiology, Microbiology, Immunology, Neuroscience, etc.)
  • Physical Sciences (Physics & Chemistry)
  • Mathematics (Calculus, Statistics, Biostatistics)
  • Engineering Sciences (Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, etc.)
  • Exercise Science or Physiology
  • Nursing

We will not accept letters from Psychology, Earth Sciences (Geology, Ecology, Oceanography, and Botany), and Computer Sciences as satisfying the science letters requirement but are acceptable as additional letters of recommendation.

Q. Will we accept letters of recommendation from Graduate Students or Graduate Teaching Assistants in my science courses?

A. While this is not the preferred method of obtaining a letter of recommendation, we will accept a letter of recommendation from a graduate student or graduate teaching assistant if it is co-signed by the course instructor or professor. We recommend that you obtain an additional science letter from another professor/instructor from another class, if possible, to completely satisfy the science letters requirement.

Q. What if I've been out of school for a while and find it difficult to obtain science letters from professors I had as an undergraduate?

A. While we will accept letters of recommendation for your current employer and physicians you may have observed, we truly value letters from instructors that can comment on your abilities in the classroom. We suggest obtaining letters from the science faculty you have interacted with in your post-bacc or masters studies.

Technical Standards

As outlined below in the School of Medicine's Specific Standards for student admission, each medical student must possess sufficient use of sensory faculties to acquire and assimilate relevant information, the capacity to learn, evaluate, and utilize information in a stable, predictable, and responsible way, and the other motor skills necessary to carry out responsibilities.  A disability does not preclude a student from admission or progression, and the Medical School makes reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities.  However, each enrolled student is expected to demonstrate, without unreasonable dependence on technology or intermediaries, the skills, attributes, and qualities set forth in the specific standards for student admission.

In any case in which a medical student appears unable to meet the technical standards set forth in the specific standards for admission, the student’s entire folder and current functioning in all areas of technical skills assessment are formally reviewed by the Admissions Committee and/or the Committee on Students.  Additional information may be sought if deemed necessary by either Committee.

Specific Standards

In addition to documented academic ability and other relevant personal characteristics, the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine expects all applicants for admission to possess and be able to demonstrate the skills, attributes, and qualities set forth below, without unreasonable dependence on technology or intermediaries.

  • Physical Health
    A medical student must possess the physical health and stamina needed to carry out the program of medical education.
  • Intellectual Skills
    A medical student must have sufficient powers of intellect to acquire, assimilate, integrate, and apply information.  A medical student must have the intellectual ability to solve problems.  A medical student must possess the ability to comprehend three-dimensional and spatial relationships.
  • Motor Skills
    A medical student must have sufficient use of motor skills to carry out all necessary procedures, both those involved in learning the fundamental sciences and those required in hospital and clinical environments.  This includes the ability to participate in relevant educational exercises and to extract information from written sources.
  • Communication
    A medical student must have sufficient use of speech, hearing, and vision to communicate effectively with patients, teachers, and peers in both oral and written forms.
  • Sensory Abilities
    A medical student must have sufficient use of the senses of vision, hearing, touch, and smell to observe effectively in the classroom, laboratory, and clinical setting.  Students must possess the ability to observe both close at hand and at a distance.
  • Behavioral Qualities
    A medical student must possess emotional health sufficient to carry out the tasks above, must have good judgment, and must behave in a professional, reliable, mature, and responsible manner.  A medical student must be adaptable, possessing sufficient flexibility to function in new and stressful environments.  A medical student must have appropriate motivation, integrity, compassion, and a genuine interest in caring for others regardless of gender, sexual orientation, cultural and ethnic background, socio-economic status, religious affiliation and age.