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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 2021 incoming class:

2020-2021 Applicants

For those of you who are considering applying to the 2021 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 2020. You can submit your AMCAS application between May 28, 2020 and November 1, 2020.

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, 2020. 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.

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 2019 entering class was 3.17-4.0 and the MCAT range was 77th-100th percentile.


Vanderbilt University School of Medicine will accept the old test scores for three years. For applicants who have an old and new test score, our committee has elected to apply the highest attempt. We have no minimum score on the MCAT, but predict that competitive applicants on the new MCAT will have percentile scores reflective of successful scores in the past.

The latest MCAT Vanderbilt University School of Medicine will accept are September 2020 scores from applicants applying to enter medical school in 2021. 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 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 a second MCAT, we will not consider the MCAT scores after AMCAS submission, nor will we reconsider our initial screening decision.

For the 2020-2021 Admissions Cycle

  • MCAT required: Yes
  • Latest MCAT considered: September 2020
  • Oldest MCAT considered: January 2017

Letters of Evaluation

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine will be receiving letters of evaluation through the AMCAS Letter Service for the incoming 2021 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. Please send this additional information in a Word document or PDF file via email to We ask that you limit your updates to those that are significant and relevant to your application.