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Admission Process

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine participates in the American Medical College Application Service. All application materials may be obtained through AMCAS.

Here are some guidelines for applying to the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine for the 2022 incoming class:

2021-2022 Applicants

For those of you who are considering applying to the 2022 incoming class, you may complete your AMCAS application and indicate that you want your data sent to Vanderbilt University School of Medicine beginning late May 2021. You can submit your AMCAS application between May 27, 2021 and November 1, 2021.

Required Coursework

Vanderbilt announces a change in our course requirements.

Review Process

Applications are reviewed in two stages. First, a group of specially trained screeners who represent the diversity of our community review the material provided from AMCAS. Each application receives multiple independent evaluations. This enables us to do a holistic review of the competitive strength of the applicant’s credentials. We take into consideration the following factors:

  • Academic accomplishment
  • Motivation
  • Personal qualities
  • Leadership skills
  • Educational background

After this first screening, the most competitive applicants are offered an opportunity to submit a Vanderbilt-specific secondary application and are under consideration to be invited to come to campus for a personal interview. We anticipate that secondary invitations will be sent out starting mid-July, 2021. Approximately two-thirds of the applicants will be offered the secondary application. We will interview approximately 550 applicants; approximately 250 applicants will be offered admission for 96 positions.

Secondary Application Essay Prompts

We understand the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a particularly stressful time for many applicants. To allow applicants more time for reflection when completing our secondary application, we are publishing our secondary application essay prompts in advance. Please note that the MSTP and MIDP programs may have additional essay prompts for you to respond to.

  • Please reflect on the upbringing, background, and experiences in your life that have shaped who you are as a person and will help define the person you want to be in the future. In other words, what makes you who you are? (800 words)
  • Tell us about a time when you interacted with someone who is different than you. What did you learn? What would you do differently? (600 words)
  • Everyone needs help at various times in their lives. Describe a time you asked for help and what you gained from that experience that has influenced your approach to asking for help. (600 words)
  • Optional: If you have completed your undergraduate education, please comment on what you have done or have been doing since graduation. (200 words)
  • Optional: If applicable, please describe how the COVID-19 outbreak affected your pathway to medical school. You may discuss any academic, personal, financial, or professional alterations to your plans. NOTE: Disclosing certain hardships or obstacles that have been faced during this time will not negatively affect an application. (200 words)

Selection Factors

The Committee for Admissions seeks applicants who have demonstrated academic excellence and leadership qualities, with broad extracurricular experience. Experience in research and evidence of a concern for others are positive factors for selection.

The applicant’s essay, letters of recommendation, activities, and interviews are also important factors in the Committee’s evaluation. Interviews are conducted only at Vanderbilt.

The members of the committee represent a cross section of the school – full time basic science faculty, clinical faculty, and students.

Because the number of applicants is far greater (approximately 5700 applications on average are received for the MD program) than the number of positions offered, admission is highly selective. The School does not require a minimum GPA or minimum MCAT score, but intense competition tends to eliminate applicants with low GPA’s and/or MCAT scores. The GPA range for the 2020 entering class was 3.5-4.0 and the MCAT range was 74th-100th percentile.

MCAT

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine requires the final MCAT score to be officially received from the AAMC before the candidate’s file will be reviewed for secondary application consideration. Vanderbilt will accept the old test scores for three years. For applicants who have more than one test score, our committee has elected to consider the super scored MCAT – taking the highest score from each section to create the highest possible composite score. We have no minimum score requirement for the MCAT.

The latest MCAT Vanderbilt University School of Medicine will accept are September 2021 scores from applicants applying to enter medical school in 2022. Applicants who change their dates for the MCAT must submit their changes to AMCAS and notify the Office of Enrollment Services at VUSM of the change in their MCAT decision date. Email this information to mdadmissions@vanderbilt.edu. Applications are processed strictly according to what is submitted by the applicant on the AMCAS application. If an applicant makes any changes from what was originally submitted on the AMCAS application, they must notify AMCAS and VUSM.

Unless an applicant enters a “next MCAT date” in their AMCAS application when taking an additional MCAT, we will not consider the MCAT scores after AMCAS submission, nor will we reconsider our initial screening decision.

For the 2021-2022 Admissions Cycle

  • MCAT required: Yes
  • Latest MCAT considered: September 2021
  • Oldest MCAT considered: January 2018

Letters of Evaluation

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine will be receiving letters of evaluation through the AMCAS Letter Service for the incoming 2022 class. Learn more information about Letters of Evaluation in our Admission Requirements section.

Application Fee

The secondary application fee for Vanderbilt University School of Medicine is $85. It is non-refundable and must be returned with the secondary application. This secondary fee will be waived if an applicant has a FAP (Fee Assistance Program) voucher through the AAMC.

Application Updates

We are happy to receive updates to your application and add them to your application file for review and consideration by our admissions committee once your application has been verified by AMCAS. Please send this additional information in a Word document or PDF file via email to mdadmissions@vanderbilt.edu. We ask that you limit your updates to those that are significant and relevant to your application.