Medical School Requirements

Medical students smile during meeting in conference room

The United States and Canada are struggling to fix the shortage of physicians these countries experience. One way they are doing so is to expand the available spots in their medical schools. Because more than 60 percent of applicants are not accepted, it’s important to know about their requirements early on in your education so you can plan accordingly.

Class & Degree Requirements for Medical School

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), every medical school requires that its applicants complete a four-year degree. While this degree must be obtained from an accredited school, it is not required to be a bachelor of science (BS). In general, those students who complete a bachelor of arts (BA) degree have an equal chance of acceptance compared to those with a BS when all other factors are equal. However, some med schools require their applicants to complete specific coursework while others do not because they have implemented a competency-based admissions process.

The AAMC recommends that student complete at least one year of both English and biology, as well as two years of chemistry, including organic chemistry. In addition, a well-rounded education will also include coursework in physics as well as the humanities, social sciences, languages, arts and literature.

Extracurricular Requirements for Medical School

While the coursework, grades and MCAT scores required by the admissions committees demonstrate that a student is academically prepared for the rigors of medical school, it is the extracurriculars that can tell a great deal about how competent an applicant will be. Remember: med schools are looking for applicants that have all the elements that can support their success.

A medical school isn’t going to focus on simply obtaining a set number of hours of a particular extracurricular activity. Rather, they are searching for applicants who are passionate about science and committed to medicine. They want to know that a student is interested in providing health care to diverse populations, that they have leadership skills and expansive knowledge in the delivery of medical care. Interpersonal and communication skills are vital and must be demonstrated by applicants.

Many medical schools require some combination of the following extracurricular activity:

MCAT Score Requirements

While 500 is the average MCAT score, a student’s actual school could range between 472 and 528. A score above 520 is in the 99th percentile. According to the AAMC, the mean MCAT score of those students that matriculated in 2020-2021 was 511.5.

Medical schools have different requirements when it comes to MCAT scores. An MCAT score that is sufficient for one school might not be for another one — especially when this metric is considered alongside grades.

GPA & Grade Requirements

There is often a correlation between GPA and MCAT scores. The AAMC also noted that the mean GPA total for 2020-2021 was 3.73. Today, both of these metrics — as well as others — are considered together when a student is applying for medical school.

US & Canadian vs. Offshore Medical School Requirements

Admission to medical schools in the United States and Canada continues to be extremely competitive. Thousands of students apply to these schools each year with a tiny percentage gaining admission to any medical school.

This growing competition, along with increasing admissions requirements, make offshore medical schools attractive and attainable. Students who apply to offshore medical schools will find that their MCAT scores and GPAs are considered as part of a larger and more comprehensive picture of their ability.

What to Do if You Don’t Meet Standard Med School Criteria

It’s important to not become disheartened and give up your dream of becoming a doctor is you don’t meet the standard medical school criteria. Not only is there hope for bright, ambitious and passionate students in offshore med schools, choosing the right one provides you with an exceptional experience.

Trinity School of Medicine is located in the beautiful Caribbean. We offer small class sizes, knowledgeable faculty and rigorous coursework that prepare you for the challenges and rewards that becoming a doctor will provide you. Find out more about what makes Trinity different by contacting us today.

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