Our goal is to select the most capable students to attend our school by using AAMC Holistic Review Project E-A-M Model of evaluating Experiences, Attributes and Metrics to determine how the applicant might contribute to VCU School of Medicine learning environment as well as to the medical profession as a future physician.
Holistic review is examining an applicant’s full application to determine how the applicant might contribute to Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and as a future physician.
VCU SOM has adapted the AAMC Holistic Review Process E-A-M Model of evaluating Experiences, Attributes and Metrics. It’s our mission to select diverse class aligned with our mission and promote diversity as an essential element to achieving institutional excellence.
Grades and test scores are important predictors of future academic and testing performance. However, academic metrics do not measure all the skills and abilities to be a successful student or physician. By utilizing a holistic review process, we evaluate academic metrics along with experiences and attributes to assess potential for academic and clinical achievement.
VCU SOM committee members uses a holistic approach to evaluate an array of applicant attributes, including academic excellence, personal characteristics, leadership, service to others, contribution to diversity (gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, geographic origin) and extracurricular activities.
The decision to send a supplemental is based on AAMC Holistic Review Project E-A-M Model of evaluating Experiences, Attributes and Metrics and the 15 Core Competencies for Entering Medical School to determine how the applicant might contribute to VCU School of Medicine learning environment as well as to the medical profession as a future physician.
- Evidence of academic preparation for a rigorous medical school curriculum
- Dedication to serving others
- Ability to work in teams toward a shared goal or mission
- Excellence in an activity that shows commitment, drive and passion
- Competence for delivering quality care in a global society
- Understanding of the medical field and what it takes to be a physician
MD Program Demographics
(1,129 VA residents, 6,869 nonresidents)
(TBD VA residents, TBD nonresidents)
Average age of students
Number of students over the age of 25
MD Admissions Requirements
Below are the requirements an applicant must meet in order to be accepted at the VCU School of Medicine.
All applications should be made through the American Medical College Application Services (AMCAS). Applications must be submitted to AMCAS no later than 11:59 pm EST on December 1. Early Decision Program (EDP): Applications must be submitted to AMCAS no later than 11:59 pm EST on August 1. Acceptance offers must be sent by October 1. The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is required for admission. Applicants are required to take the MCAT within three years of their application.
- American Medical College Application Services
- Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)
- CASPer - All applicants to Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine are required to complete the American Professional Health Sciences (CSP-10111) CASPer test in order to be eligible for an interview invitation. Please note there are limited test date options available. You can find them at takecasper.com. Scores take 3 weeks for medical schools to receive. CASPer scores are used at the time of interview invitation decisions. Please review CASPer Instructions 2020 for full details.
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine participates in the American College Application Services (AMCAS). All application materials may be obtained through AMCAS.
VCU SOM seeks to admit students with the potential to become competent and caring physicians with a passion for learning and a commitment to serving others. VCU SOM weighs all these attributes in making decisions:
- Grade Point Average
- Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
- Community/Volunteer Service (preference non-clinical)
- Patient Exposure
We strongly encourage students to meet with their premedical advisor as they prepare to apply to medical school. Premedical advisors are familiar with the admissions requirements of most medical schools.
Grade Point Average (GPA)
The minimum acceptable GPA is 3.3. The average GPA is approximately 3.7 in science, non-science, and overall. All grades received for college credit are included in the AMCAS GPA calculation. If a course is repeated, both grades received for that course are calculated into the GPA.
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
It is best to take the MCAT when you are most prepared. All applicants are required to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Submit your existing MCAT scores with your AMCAS application. Our committee has elected to apply the highest attempt. The minimum required on the new MCAT is 503. The average MCAT 512. Applicants can register for the MCAT by visiting www.aamc.org.
Changes to MCAT information in AMCAS
If there is any change to your MCAT intent (changing your "Addl MCAT Intent Date" to a future date or removing it), you must recertify and resubmit your AMCAS application in order for this change to become an official update. Simply saving the change and exiting the application is not enough.
If you are taking the MCAT after you submit your AMCAS application, your application will possibly be held for further decision until your MCAT scores are received. To avoid any delay in reviewing your application once your scores are received, we suggest that you go ahead and pay your Supplemental Application Fee and submit your Supplemental Application.
If you indicated on your AMCAS application that you were going to take an MCAT exam on a particular date but do not take it, notify our office by email so that we can go ahead and review your application.
If you indicated that you were not going to retake the MCAT exam on your AMCAS application but changed your mind and will take the exam again, in or before September, you must notify our office by email so that we will hold your application for review for an interview decision until we receive those scores.
It is recommended and customary that a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution be completed prior to enrollment. Students must demonstrate that they have acquired a broad education that extends beyond the basic sciences to include the social sciences, history, arts, and languages. Broad academic training provides prospective physicians with the strong scientific skills necessary to continue study in medical science as well as a comprehensive understanding of social, historical and cultural forces that affect their professional lives and the lives of their patients.
- English or writing intensive courses: six credits of writing intensive courses. Other courses may be substituted upon request, please contact the admissions office.
- College mathematics: six credits of college level math/statistics
- Biological science: eight semester hours, including laboratory. This may be satisfied by general biology, general zoology, or botany.
- General or introductory chemistry: eight semester hours, including laboratory.
- Organic chemistry: eight semester hours, including laboratory.
- General or introductory physics: eight semester hours, including laboratory experience.
- Upper level biological science courses. Such as biochemistry, cell biology, anatomy, embryology, genetics, microbiology, molecular biology, immunology or neuroscience.
- Psychology: Highly recommended
- Sociology: Highly recommended
Students are encouraged to pursue their own intellectual interests in college in order to obtain a broad education consistent with their major program. Courses in medically related science areas will not relieve the student of his/her responsibility for these subjects in the medical curriculum. Science GPA is highly regarded by the Admissions Committee.
We accept AP and CLEP credit to meet premedical course requirements, if documented on an official transcript. Please note that lab credit will still be required. Applicants may meet lab credit with the lab sections of advanced science courses or practical experience, such as documented relevant experience in a research lab.
Applicants should submit a minimum of three letters of recommendation (maximum of five). A letter packet is assembled and distributed by your school. It may or may not include a cover letter from your pre-health advisor or committee, but it does not include a committee evaluation. If the letter packet contains at least three individual letters, it will fulfill our requirements. However, if the letter packet includes fewer than three individual letters, you will need to submit additional individual letters to meet our minimum requirement of three letters. All letters should be submitted through AMCAS Letters of Evaluation/Recommendation Service.
We receive many questions about who should write letters of recommendation. We highly recommend you select writers who know you well and can speak to your qualifications for entering the field of medicine. Letters from family members and/or friends are discouraged. Learn more here.
- Letters must address personal experiences and characteristics that will help us to develop an overall portrait of you. A letter based upon direct interaction with you and addressing qualities such as maturity, empathy, character, reliability, interpersonal skills, and any special attributes or experiences will be the most helpful.
- Letters may be authored by individuals from an academic, clinical, employment, research, or volunteer setting. People who know you well and who can attest to your character and abilities based upon their personal experience with you will be the most meaningful.
- If you have taken time off between college and medical school, you should also send a letter of evaluation from a person who can comment about experiences during that period.
- If there are special circumstances or potential concerns raised within your application (ex: lower grades one semester, compelling reason for withdrawal from a class, minor institutional action), consider securing a letter that could validate or clarify the situation.
- Ideally, letters should be dated within one year of your application.
- We DO NOT provide a status message indicating receipt of letters of evaluation. If AMCAS has confirmed receipt of your letters, then we have them as well. It is not necessary to contact our office to ask if we have your letters.
- Unsolicited letters sent directly to the college outside of the AMCAS Letters service will not be reviewed, placed in your file, or retained in any form; they will be discarded.
Physicians serve people from a variety of economic and educational backgrounds as well as a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Become more culturally competent while offering your time and talents to others.
Community/Volunteer service is defined as involvement in a service activity without constraint or guarantee of reward or compensation. The medical profession is strongly oriented to service in the community. Applicants should demonstrate a commitment to the community by involving themselves in service and volunteer activities. Work performed in service learning courses and community service performed as part of employment does not satisfy this requirement.
Volunteer for service organizations and become an active participant. Consider the American Red Cross, your local Chamber of Commerce, Habitat for Humanity, community recreational facilities, faith-based organizations, homeless shelters, food banks, domestic assault centers, public schools, etc.
Contact the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (or equivalent) at your college.
Contact the community organizers of Special Olympics or Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
Volunteer at a summer camp for disabled or chronically ill children.
Consider Peace Corps or AmeriCorps service.
*(Average is 200 hours within the last 4 years)
Medical / Clinical Experiences
Your goal to become a physician must be based upon experience. Long term, in-depth medical/clinical work and/or volunteer experiences will help you understand yourself and the medical profession while serving others. Seek out medical, clinical, and shadowing opportunities, whether paid and volunteer, within your community and your college or university.
Patient exposure is defined as direct interaction with patients and hands-on involvement in the care of conscious people in a health care-related environment, attending to their health maintenance, progression, or end of life needs. It is important that the applicant be comfortable working with and around people who are ill, sick, injured, or diseased.
Direct patient exposure can be gained in a variety of ways e.g. volunteering or working in hospitals, emergency rooms, clinics or nursing care facilities, hospice, or physical rehabilitation centers. Patient contact does not include indirect patient care such as housekeeping (cleaning, operating, or patient rooms) staffing the hospital information desk, or working in a pharmacy.
Train and serve as a hospice volunteer (see the Yellow Pages).
Contact volunteer coordinators at your local American Red Cross, hospitals, geriatric centers, or clinics.
Secure a position providing home health care services.
Work as a Certified Nurse’s Assistant (CNA), an EMT, or at a camp for disabled or chronically ill children.
Secure a physician mentor. Contact your own physician or physicians who practice in the medical career areas that most interest you.
Keep a journal detailing the insights you have gained from your medical/clinical experiences. This can assist you when writing personal statements and secondary essays.
*Note: Physician shadowing and caring for friends and family members cannot be used to meet this requirement.
MD Admissions Process
Below is the process an applicant must complete in order to be accepted at the VCU School of Medicine.
Step One: AMCAS Application
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine participates with the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). To submit an application, visit AMCAS at www.aamc.org/students/amcas. The AMCAS application cycle is from June through December. VCU SOM will not review incomplete or unverified AMCAS applications. VCU SOM accepts Early Decision and regular MD applications. All applicants are required to submit valid Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores. Applicants can register for the MCAT by visiting AMCAS website at www.aamc.org.
Step Two: Supplemental Application
Select applicants will be invited to submit a supplemental application based on completed and verified AMCAS applications (including transcripts, MCAT score and letters of recommendation). The supplemental application should be submitted within 60 days of supplemental granted notification by 6 pm.
The minimum required on the new MCAT is 503. The average MCAT is 512. All applicants aren’t granted a supplemental application.
Step Three: Screening
VCU SOM will complete a holistic review of your completed application materials to determine whether to invite you for an interview. An applicant’s match to the VCU SOM mission is critical, and metrics alone do not show how well a candidate’s application will resonate with VCU SOM.
Step Four: Interview
When we have received all of your application materials, the Admissions Review Committee will carefully evaluate your entire application. When this detailed evaluation is complete, one of three things will happen:
1. You will be invited to interview.
2. Your application will be deemed unsuccessful and will receive no further consideration
3. Your application will be placed on Hold for Interview Decision
It is very common to hold applications for an interview decision, for comparison to the larger applicant pool that evolves over the year. This may significantly delay a decision to extend an invitation to interview or reject the application. If your application is on hold for an interview decision, our admissions process is structured so that seats remain available for those applicants who interview later in the year. All decisions made by the Review Committee are final. Your patience is appreciated as we give individual consideration to all applications during this time.
Step Five: Admission Offer
Early Decision applicants will be notified of the admissions decision by October 1. The first Regular MD acceptance notices will be released on October 16 in accordance with AAMC traffic rules. Offer dates are October 16, December 16, February 1 and March 1.
Step Six: Acceptance and Deposit
Admitted students are asked to accept the offer within two weeks of acceptance. The matriculation deposit of $100 will go towards your tuition. If you decide to withdraw you will be entitled to a full refund if your withdrawal is received before or on April 30.
MD Admissions Timeline
Applicants should apply and complete application requirements early to guarantee consideration for admission.
|Early May||AMCAS applications available at www.aamc.org/students/amcas|
|Early June||AMCAS applications may be submitted|
|July - December||Select applicants invited to submit supplemental application materials|
|August - March||Select applicants invited for interviews|
|September||Last acceptable MCAT score, up to three years prior to application|
|November 1||All primary applications are due to AMCAS|
|October 16||Offer Date|
|Within 2 weeks of acceptance||
Admitted students are asked to accept the offer within two weeks of admission. A $100 matriculation fee will be required to hold your slot (refundable until April 30).
|December 16||Offer Date|
No supplemental materials will be accepted after January 30. Submit Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (VCU SOM Code - 003735)
|April 30||Deadline for non-refundable tuition deposit. Students may hold only one acceptance (AAMC Guidelines)|
|February 1||Offer Date|
|March 1||Offer Date|
|Early August||White Coat Ceremony, Orientation, and Classes Begin|
Future Applicant Overview
The information and advice below will assist you with planning and preparation for medical school.
Please visit the pages within our website to learn more about us and the application process. We also recommend you visit the AAMC’s Considering a Career in Medicine site to help you while preparing to apply to medical school.
We strongly encourage students to meet with their premedical advisor as they prepare to apply to medical school. Premedical advisors are familiar with the admissions requirements of most medical schools.
Why VCU School of Medicine?
Additional resources for MD Program future applicants
Yes, but all prerequisites must be completed before matriculation.
We do not accept transfer students at this time.
Oldest MCAT accepted is 3 years or last to the year of matriculation. For example applying in 2019 for 2020 start of medical school, MCAT must be taken no earlier than Jan 2017.
While academics is only a portion of what we consider, there are general figures typically expected of competitive applicants. We use a holistic review process to evaluate full application. The average GPA is 3.7 and average MCAT 512.
In addition to GPA and MCAT scores, the college evaluates a number of nonacademic factors.
For additional information, please visit our SELECTION FACTORS page.
ONLY at the request of the Admissions Committee. Otherwise, please DO NOT submit additional materials or updates. We believe that the AMCAS application you initially submitted is representative of your academic abilities and activities. Unsolicited materials will be discarded.
A successful applicant typically demonstrates a passion for medicine through community service and clinical experience along with a stellar academic profile. Personal characteristics consistent with the college's values are also assessed via activity descriptions, application essays, letters of recommendation, and interviews.
Simply put, we use a holistic review process because, while grades and scores are important, personal characteristics and experience are very telling in regards to being a fit at VCU SOM.
More information is available via this link.
Prerequisite requirements are minimums that must be fulfilled prior to matriculation at VCU SOM. Please find detailed information in the prerequisite requirements portion of the ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS page.
Office of Admissions is pleased to assist applicants planning to reapply to SOM in developing a strategy for becoming a more competitive applicant. While we cannot give you any specifics as to why your application was unsuccessful, there are steps you can take to carefully review and evaluate your application.
Yes, we do. The deadline for the AMCAS application is August 1st.
Yes. International/Inner City/Rural Preceptorship (four year) Program (I2CRP) and HOMBRE (Dominican Republic and Honduras), Guatemala, Peru, Zimbabwe, Reach for Ghana, and exchange programs in Italy and Spain.
We do not offer individualized tours. However, you can tour the campus on your own.
Yes, VCU has 2 post-baccalaureate Certificate Programs.
- Students who completed undergraduate majors in science and are seeking to enhance their academic preparedness, demonstrate success in rigorous graduate-level anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, and related coursework, improve study skills and time management, and augment their preparation for the MCAT may consider applying to the Premedical Graduate Health Sciences Certificate Program (CERT).
- Non-science majors who have not yet completed the prerequisite coursework for admission to either the VCU medical school or CERT may wish to consider VCU’s ‘career-changer’ Undergraduate Post-Baccalaureate Health Sciences Certificate Program.
Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) FAQ's
The Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) is funded through the military. Prospective or current medical students can apply to receive a scholarship for their health profession school tuition. The program is restricted to schools within the United States and Puerto Rico. The training requirements during medical school are minimal to allow students to focus on their education. In exchange for the scholarship, students accrue a short service commitment. Students serve in the military branch of their choice on completion of school.
Contact a HPSP recruiting office for the branch of service in which you are interested. The recruiter will provide you with information and entry paperwork for the application process. The recruiter will work with you to complete your application packet and submit your packet for board review.
Ideally, in the same year you apply to a health professions school so you can fully utilize the benefits an HPSP scholarship offers. If you already have an acceptance to a health professions school or attend a health professions school, don’t worry, contact a recruiter to see which scholarship option is best for you.
Some of the benefits of the program include 100% tuition is paid for, a $20,000 sign on bonus, a stipend of $2400 a month. The stipend is for students to use on whatever they choose. Reimbursement is available for books, equipment (stethoscope, otoscope, ophthalmoscope, and more), required examinations (Step 1 and 2). Once medical school is done, in residency the salary is higher than in a civilian residency.
Contact a local recruiter! The Military HPSP Students and Physicians Facebook group is also a great place to network and ask questions. Medicine and the Military has basic information to get you started.
The challenges faced are mostly similar to those who follow the civilian route. These challenges include limited spots for the residency of your choice and limited geographic locations. Outside these challenges are the concerns students have. These concerns are mostly about the obligation to severe, and the concern of active duty time while in school. The priority is for students to gain a medical education. The military and VCU work with the student to ensure that all obligations are met.
The branches include Army, Air Force and Navy. Recently the Veterans Health Affairs system has launched an HPSP program as well.
There is no right or wrong reason to consider HPSP. Students join for a variety of reasons such as wanting to avoid student loans, to have no financial worries while in medical school, to have the opportunity to serve their country, to be able to partake in global health care, family tradition, and so much more. If a student is interested in learning more about HPSP they are encouraged to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
COVID-19 FAQ: Incoming Medical Students
Class of 2024
VCU has always taken a holistic approach in evaluating applicants and offering admissions, and one semester will not make or break your eligibility. Many students are in the same situation.
We are committed to minimizing socioeconomic barriers for all our students, and we will work with you to ensure that financial burdens don’t prevent you from beginning your medical career at VCU. For more information, please visit the SOM Financial Aid website or contact Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Financial Aid Pemra Cetin at email@example.com.
Our expectation is that we receive all completed criminal background checks, facilitated through the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) by Certiphi Screening, Inc., by July 20. The background check process, which involves verifying signatures, usually takes about a month, but we anticipate it taking longer than usual due to telework limitations. Once Certiphi contacts you with the completed background check, please release the results to VCU SOM immediately.
We encourage you to initiate this process no later than May 20.
The Transition to Medical Profession program, which is the class’ orientation to medical school and becoming a doctor, is scheduled to begin July 27, 2020. We are in a fluid situation and considerations for the upcoming academic year are underway. As decisions are made, our colleagues in Medical Education will be reaching out to share any updates to the current plan. Our current pre-clinical students have transition to remote learning to continue their progress during the spring semester. The plan is to return to our normal curriculum delivery whenever it becomes safe to do and include elements of remote learning that have been largely successful during this crisis to enhance our curriculum in the long run.
We are aware that the March and April testing days have been canceled, and we will adjust our application deadlines accordingly as the situation develops.
VCU has always taken a holistic approach in evaluating applicants and offering admissions, and one semester will not make or break your eligibility. Most prospective students are in the same situation, and we will work with you to make accommodations as needed.
Below is a list of activities that qualify as clinical and community service hours; please check back as we continue to update it:
- Volunteering with domestic violence hotlines
- Regular check in calls with the elderly
Frequently Asked Questions
The VCU School of Medicine remains committed to providing support and guidance to newly accepted incoming students and prospective students currently navigating the process of applying to medical school, and we want to address any concerns related to the uncertainty caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Please be safe and do everything you can to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. Prepare yourselves for the rigors of medical school through healthy eating, regular exercise, mindfulness training and restful sleep. Plan your daily activities, practice social distancing and use technology to stay connected with loved ones.
For more information about VCU’s response to this health crisis, please visit our COVID-19 website or email the Admissions Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.