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Doctor of Medicine


(These procedures and policies described are subject to change. Information regarding changes is available from the School of Medicine Admissions Office.)

Selection Factors

Candidates for admission to the University of Washington School of Medicine are considered comparatively on the basis of academic performance, motivation, maturity, personal integrity, and demonstrated humanitarian qualities. A knowledge of and exposure to the needs of individuals and society and an awareness of health-care delivery systems are desired. Extenuating circumstances in an applicant's background are evaluated as they relate to these selection factors.

Applicants must submit scores from the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). This exam must be taken no later than autumn of the year before matriculation and cannot be more than three years old at the time of matriculation. MCAT registration blanks are available through premedical advisers or through the Office of Admissions. Under exceptional circumstances, to be determined by the Admissions Committee, the GRE may be considered during the admissions process; however, if accepted, the applicant will be required to take the MCAT prior to matriculation.

The following science course requirements must be completed before matriculation but preferably should be completed by the time of application: A total of 32 semester hours or 48 quarter hours of undergraduate courses divided into (a) Chemistry, 12 semester/18 quarter hours, which can be satisfied by taking any combination of inorganic, organic, biochemistry, or molecular biology courses; (b) Physics, 4 semester/6 quarter hours; (c) Biology, 8 semester/12 quarter hours; and (d) Other ("open") science subjects, 8 semester/12 quarter hours, which can be met by taking other courses in any of the three categories above.

Under exceptional circumstances certain course requirements may be waived for individuals who present unusual achievements and academic promise. All candidates must demonstrate substantial academic ability in their major field as well as in the required courses. Candidates should be proficient in the use of the English language and basic mathematics and are expected to have a basic understanding of personal computing and information technologies. In the field of biochemistry/molecular biology, applicants should know the chemical nature of DNA, RNA, genes, and in general how genes are organized in chromosomes; understand the nature of eukaryotic DNA replication; be familiar with transcription of genes and intron splicing; have an overview of the mechanism of protein synthesis; understand principles of recombinant DNA technology (e.g., restriction endonucleases, PCR, southern blots, transformation); understand pH, pKa, and buffers; understand how proteins fold and how ligand binding and enzymatic activity depend upon three-dimensional folding; understand principles of enzyme kinetics (Km, Vmax, competitive inhibition, allostery, and regulation by phosphorylation); understand principles of energetics (e.g., free energy change, equilibrium constants, concentration gradients, and redox potentials); understand glycolysis, the TCA cycle, and how ATP is produced by oxidative phosphorylation; be familiar with how fatty acids are oxidized and synthesized; be familiar with patterns of amino acid catabolism and the urea cycle; understand the nature of phospholipids, lipid bilayers, and membranes; and have an overview of nucleotide biosynthesis. All of this is generally covered in a beginning biochemistry course.

Those students who entered in the fall of 2001 had a mean GPA of 3.64 and the following mean MCAT scores: Verbal, 10.0; Physical Science, 10.5; Biological Science, 10.7; and a median Writing Sample of Q.

Completion of three years of course work at an accredited college or university is the minimum required before possible matriculation; however, all entrants in recent years have earned bachelor's degrees. No specific major is advised. A broad background in the humanities and liberal arts is encouraged, indeed expected.

Application Procedure

The University of Washington participates in the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). The deadline for submitting an application to AMCAS is November 1. After receiving the application from AMCAS, the School of Medicine will ask qualified individuals to submit a $35 application fee and supplemental application materials. Every attempt will be made to notify applicants of the final action by the end of March of the year of matriculation.

Residents of the states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, or Idaho are eligible to apply. Individuals with a demonstrated interest in research may apply for the M.D./Ph.D. program (MSTP) regardless of residency. Applicants from outside this five-state region who come from disadvantaged backgrounds or who have demonstrated a commitment to serving underserved populations will be considered. Foreign applicants, in addition to the above requirements, must also have a permanent-resident visa. Applications will not be considered from persons who have failed to meet minimum standards in another medical or dental school.

The deadline for submitting the additional application materials is January 15. These supplemental materials include:

  1. A supplemental application form. This will be sent to qualified applicants after the School of Medicine has received the AMCAS application.
  2. A 300-word autobiographical statement in which the candidate describes the origin and development of his or her motivation to be a physician and any other issues of importance to the candidate. The applicant may request that the Personal Comments section of the AMCAS application be used to fulfill this requirement.
  3. A concise statement, not exceeding 200 words, as to why the candidate wants to attend the University of Washington School of Medicine.
  4. A premedical-committee letter of recommendation or three letters from instructors from whom the candidate has taken courses. These letters should be critical evaluations of the candidate's academic ability, strengths and weaknesses, the difficulty of course work undertaken, motivation for medicine, personal maturity, and special attributes and assets.
  5. A $35 fee. This will automatically be waived for those who have qualified for AMCAS fee waivers. Others seeking a waiver of this fee should submit their requests directly to the School of Medicine Admissions Office.
  6. Acknowledgment of having read, understood, and of being able to meet, with or without reasonable accommodation, the Essential Requirements of Medical Education at the University of Washington School of Medicine: Admission, Retention and Graduation Standards to be sent with the supplemental application form.
  7. Conviction/Criminal History Information Form. Washington state law requires that all individuals who have access to children under 16 years of age, developmentally disabled people, and other vulnerable persons, disclose background information concerning crimes and offenses against these populations.

Candidates from Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho will be required to submit residency certifications from their respective state certifying officers. Proof of legal residence for Washington residents also may be requested. Determination of state of legal residence is not made by the School of Medicine; specific instructions regarding this requirement are furnished at the time of application. Those who enter as residents of Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho are expected to spend their first year at the university site in their particular state. Twenty Washington students begin their medical education by spending the first year at Washington State University. Offers of acceptance, therefore, are conditional upon agreement to participate in the WWAMI Program. Inquiries, address changes, or other information regarding the application should be transmitted in writing and directed to the Committee on Admissions, Office of Admissions, Box 356340, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195-6340; or email