Admission Requirements


An official college transcript, with bachelor's degree posted when earned, must be received before you can enroll in the first year class. Applicants must have attended a regionally accredited institution of postsecondary education. AP credits, CLEP credits and Pass/Fail credits may not be used to fulfill ANY of the premedical course requirements. Preparation in foreign universities, in most cases, should be supplemented by a year or more of course work at an approved university in the United States.

All official credentials including transcripts from foreign universities and letters of recommendation must be sent from the source and cannot be accepted from the applicant. Transcripts should be sent to the following address:

Office of Medical School Admissions
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
303 Light Hall, Nashville, Tennessee 37232-0685

Required Courses

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine seeks students with a strong background in both science and the liberal arts who will have the baccalaureate degree before matriculation. The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is required and used along with other data to predict success in preclinical course work.

Applicants must present evidence of having satisfactorily completed the minimum requirements listed below by the end of the fall semester in the year in which they apply to medical school. A semester hour is the credit value of sixteen weeks of work consisting of one hour of lecture or recitation or at least two hours of laboratory.

Advanced placement credits, CLEP credits, and pass/fail credits are not acceptable in lieu of ANY required courses. Advanced courses in the same discipline may be substituted for the requirements when the applicant has placed out of the entry level course. Vanderbilt University School of Medicine does not accept online coursework for required coursework.

  • Biology: A minimum of 8 semester hours, including laboratory.
  • General Chemistry: A minimum of 8 semester hours including laboratory.
  • Organic Chemistry: A minimum of 8 semester hours including laboratory.
  • English and Composition: A minimum of 6 semester hours in English literature and/or writing.
  • Physics: A minimum of 8 semester hours, including laboratory.

Criminal/Background Check Policy

Background checks will be conducted on all students conditionally accepted for admission or conditionally designated as an alternate for admission to the M.D. and M.D./Ph.D. programs at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Read the full policy (PDF).

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Letters of Recommendation

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine will be receiving letters of recommendation through the AMCAS Letter Service for the 2015 First Year Class. Applicants are individually responsible for ensuring receipt by AMCAS. Please designate Vanderbilt University School of Medicine as one of the institutions assigned to receive your letters when you submit your primary AMCAS application. Please note that failure to send to AMCAS will delay your application.

A letter of recommendation or letter packet should be sent from your Premedical Committee. If your university does not have this committee, send three letters of recommendation:

  • two letter from science (biology, chemistry, physics, biomedical engineering, neuroscience, etc.) faculty who have taught you
  • one letter from another person of your choice.

If you have advanced degrees or at least one year of postgraduate full time employment, it is advisable to ask your supervisor at work or a member of the graduate faculty to send a letter of recommendation.