Frequently Asked Questions

UMASS Medical School - School of Medicine

May I arrange a tour of UMMS?

The Office of Admissions does not arrange tours except for applicants who have been invited for an interview by the Admissions Committee. UMMS is a public institution and at all times our priority is patient rights and confidentiality. You are welcome to take a self-guided tour.

May I schedule an appointment with the dean or director of admissions for premedical counseling?

We strongly urge you to meet with your premedical advisor for counseling. Applicants are advised to apply to several medical schools and premedical advisors are the best source for guidance in applying to medical schools.

It is our policy that no member of the school, whether administration or faculty, shall counsel any applicant about his/her application during the time that it is under active consideration by the Admissions Committee. This policy insures complete fairness and equality to all applicants. Again, we emphasize the knowledge and experience that college premedical advisors have had with a variety of medical schools to which their students apply and urge students to continue consulting with them.

What if I do not have a premedical advisor available to me?

  1. As an alumnus/a you have access to the premedical advisor at your undergraduate school regardless of when you graduated.
  2. If you have been out of undergraduate school for more than four years, you must retake the required courses and you must have access to the premed advisor where you are taking the courses. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for applicants who have been involved in biomedical sciences after graduation.
  3. In the event that there is no premedical advisor available at your institution, then you should request that a premedical committee be convened preferably consisting of members from the biology, chemistry and physics departments.

Applying to Medical School

How can I find out more about applying to medical school?

Applications for admission must be made through the American College Application Service (AMCAS). Applicants should consult the AAMC Medical School Admissions Requirements publication. This provides general recommendations concerning preparation for the study of medicine as well as specific information about UMMS and other accredited U.S./Canadian medical schools.

If I am contemplating application to medical school, should I be a science major in undergraduate school?

UMMS encourages students to pursue a premedical education of considerable breadth including liberal arts and all students must complete the required coursework. No single program is recommended as the best or preferred plan of study.

Can I be accepted to Medical School while I am currently enrolled in a degree program?

Applicants enrolled in a degree granting program are responsible for completing that program by the time they expect to matriculate at UMMS. The admissions committee considers withdrawal from a degree program for the purpose of matriculating to medical school as unacceptable behavior. 

Application Process

Do you accept foreign college graduates?

Applications are considered provided all prerequisite courses are taken at a U.S. or Canadian college or university. Applicants who have graduated from foreign colleges must complete a minimum of one year of study in the U.S. or Canada. Be sure to review our academic requirements page for details on what programs of study can be completed to meet our requirements for foregin college graduates interested in appling to UMass Medical School.

Who is eligible to apply to UMMS?

All applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Are applications from older students considered?

The University provides equal opportunity and access to all applicants and students regardless of age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, disability and veteran's status. The University adheres strictly to all applicable state and federal regulations relating to nondiscrimination and equal opportunity.

What allowances do you make for disadvantaged students?

One of our missions is to make medical school education available to those who might otherwise not be able to access or afford private medical education.

May I contact UMMS to schedule an interview after I have submitted my application?

The decision to grant an interview is made by the Admissions Committee and the Office of Admissions will notify those applicants who are selected for an interview. Due to the large number of applications, it is not possible to interview all applicants.

What is the UMMS deferral policy?

UMMS will consider one year deferrals for academic work with a scholarly element or for compelling personal reasons. Requests for deferral will be considered on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by the associate dean for admissions.  

If my application is rejected may I seek counseling from the dean or director of admissions as to why I was rejected and how I can improve my application?

We do not provide such counseling. We strongly recommend that first you yourself look for any weaknesses in your application and remedy them, i.e., improve GPA, MCATs and fill in any experiential gaps. Secondly, confer with your premedical advisor.

Why do you have technical standards?

The technical standards reflect the key attributes that all applicants must possess in order to successfully complete the undergraduate medical education program and continue to perform competently in postgraduate medical training.

Do you accept transfers from osteopathic and/or foreign medical schools?

We will consider transfer students, if spots are available, from Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accredited medical schools only. See the Transfer to School section of our website for more information.

Pre-Requisite Coursework

What prerequisite courses are required for UMMS?

Please review our academic requirements for full details and policies.

Academic requirements for the entering class of 2019 are:

- Biology or zoology with a lab - one year or two semesters

- Physics with lab - one year or two semesters

- English composition, literature or writing intensive coursework - one year or two semesters

- Chemistry – applicants must fulfil one of the following chemistry sequences:

            - Sequence 1 – One year or two semesters of general (inorganic) chemistry with lab AND one year or two semesters of organic chemistry with lab

            - Sequence 2 – One year or two semesters of general (inorganic) chemistry with lab AND one year or two semesters of organic chemistry with lab AND one semester of biochemistry

            - Sequence 3 – One year or two semesters of general (inorganic) chemistry with lab AND one semester of organic chemistry with lab AND one semester of biochemistry

            - Sequence 4 – One semester of general (inorganic) chemistry with lab AND one year or two semesters of organic chemistry with lab AND one semester of biochemistry

Biochemistry is strongly recommended for the entering class of 2019.

One semester of calculus and one semester of statistics is also recommended for the entering class of 2019.

 

Academic requirements for the entering class of 2020 are:

- Biology or zoology with a lab - one year or two semesters

- Physics with lab - one year or two semesters

- English composition, literature or writing intensive coursework - one year or two semesters

- Calculus - one semester

- Statistics – one semester

- Chemistry – applicants must fulfil one of the following chemistry sequences:

            - Sequence 1 – One year or two semesters of general (inorganic) chemistry with lab AND one year or two semesters of organic chemistry with lab AND one semester of biochemistry

            - Sequence 2 – One year or two semesters of general (inorganic) chemistry with lab AND one semester of organic chemistry with lab AND one semester of biochemistry

            - Sequence 3 – One semester of general (inorganic) chemistry with lab AND one year or two semesters of organic chemistry with lab AND one semester of biochemistry

Do the prerequisite courses need to be completed prior to applying to UMMS?

Prerequisite coursework can be in progress during the application process. An official transcript with final grades should be sent to UMMS once coursework has been completed.

How long is prerequisite coursework effective?

Required courses must have been completed within 6 years prior to application. Recent graduates, up to 3 years prior to application, would still meet the time frame for completing prerequisite courses. Exceptions may be made for applicants who have been involved in biomedical sciences after graduation.

Can I substitute a course for the required courses?

If your premedical advisor states in writing that a course is equivalent to one of our required courses, we will accept the substitution.

May I take my required courses during the summer?

It is preferable that required courses be taken during the regular academic year at a rigorous four-year college or university.

May I take my required courses at different schools?

We strongly recommend that you take them at the same institution and where a premedical advisor is available.

May I take my required courses online?

All prerequisite coursework must be completed via classroom-based learning.

MCAT and GPA

What do you consider acceptable standards for MCAT scores?

We accept both the new and old MCAT exam if taken between 1/1/2015 and 9/19/2018 for the entering class of 2019. With that in mind, it is best to look at the percentile and strive for 65th percentile or greater overall and in each subsection. The Admissions Committee reviews all completed applications in their entirety and MCAT scores are only one of many factors considered by the Admissions Committee.

What do you consider acceptable standards for GPA?

Our entering students have an average GPA (BCPM, AO and Total) of 3.7. We have no "automatic cut-offs". The Admissions Committee reviews all completed applications in their entirety and GPA scores are only one of many factors considered by the Admissions Committee.

Letters of Recommendation

What do you require for letters of recommendation?

At minimum we require a premed committee letter, if your school has a premed committee, or two letters of recommendation from prerequisite science instructors. We will mark your application complete based on our office receiving letters from all of the individuals you list on your application. If there are any changes to your list of letters of recommendation, it is your responsibility as the applicant to notify the Office of Admissions of these changes in writing via email at admissions@umassmed.edu.

How many letters are allowed?

UMMS does not have a maximum. Please confirm with AMCAS regarding their limits surrounding letters of recommendation. On average, applications have no more than five letters of recommendation including a premed committee letter packet. Your application will be deemed complete upon receipt of all of the letters you listed on your application. If there are any changes to your list of letters of recommendation, it is your responsibility as the applicant to notify the Office of Admissions of these changes in writing via email at admissions@umassmed.edu.

  

Residency

What is your residency policy?

UMass Medical School accepts both residents and non-residents of Massachusetts into the School of Medicine. To determine if you qualify as a Massachusetts resident for tution and fees purposes, please review our Residency Classification Policy. Please note attending a Massachusetts college does not establish residency in and of itself.

Do you accept applications from Non-Mass residents?

Residents and nonresidents of Massachusetts are eligible to apply to the MD and MD/PhD programs. Please review our Residency Classification Policy to determine if you qualify for in-state tuition.