Guiding Principles

The Committee on Admissions (COA) is charged with and is granted sole authority from the dean of the school of medicine to identify, admit and recruit those applicants who have the greatest potential to reflect and embody the mission, goals, and interests of Washington University School of Medicine.

Holistic review is used to select applicants and allows for a flexible, highly individualized process which gives balanced consideration to an applicant’s experiences, attributes and metrics.  Since all MD students are admitted to study under the Gateway Curriculum, our admissions process is guided by the mission, vision, and values of this curriculum.

Factors Considered in Application Review

The selection process has multiple stages. After an application is complete (including receipt of letters of recommendation), the application is evaluated by members of the Committee on Admissions.

Factors considered include the following (see list below). For further discussion of these factors, see the “Admissions-Related” questions on our FAQ page.

  • Rigor of curriculum
  • Academic record (GPA and MCAT Score)
  • Extracurricular activities (work, service to community and others, research, leadership, sports and hobbies)
  • Other accomplishments
  • Essays (personal statement on the AMCAS application and secondary application responses)
  • Distance traveled — challenges and hardships overcome
  • Letters of recommendation

During the September-February interview season and by mid-April of each application cycle, all applicants will be notified whether they are:

  • Invited to join the class
  • Invited to remain under consideration on our Wait List
  • Not accepted

Podcast featuring
Associate Dean for Admissions Valerie Ratts

The podcast Admissions Straight Talk interviewed Valerie Ratts, MD, Associate Dean for Admissions, in August 2022. The conversation was very comprehensive, covering many aspects of the application and selection process.