Admissions Policies

Admissions Values Statement

The University of Washington School of Medicine admits to its MD program individuals who have achieved a high level of academic performance and who possess the maturity, motivation, and aptitude to become excellent practitioners and scholars of medicine. Applicants admitted must demonstrate humanitarian concerns and high ethical/moral standards. 

Diverse backgrounds are sought among applicants admitted to each class of the MD program, with the intention of providing access to medical education for those who are underrepresented in the medical profession in the WWAMI region. 

The people of the WWAMI region are best served when graduates from diverse backgrounds choose a variety of careers that will meet the healthcare needs of the WWAMI region. Therefore, the University of Washington School of Medicine’s MD program seeks applicants interested in exploring a variety of careers, recognizing the importance of primary care as well as clinical specialties, and demonstrating promise for advancing knowledge and assuming leadership in the biomedical sciences and academic medicine. 

Applicant Profile Policy Statement
It is the policy of the University of Washington School of Medicine’s MD program to seek applicants who will pursue careers in primary care as well as clinical specialties, and demonstrate promise for advancing knowledge and assuming leadership in the biomedical sciences and academic medicine. 

Effective: Current
Last updated: August 11, 2020
Policy Contact: UW School of Medicine, Admissions Office, askuwsom@uw.edu; Education Quality Improvement Office, eqi@uw.edu

Admissions Requirements and Selection Factors Policy Statement
Premedical course admissions requirements for the MD program must be completed before matriculation, and preferably before the time of application. Undergraduate or post-baccalaureate required courses must be completed at a college or university accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting body.   

Requirements, Procedures and Guidelines
The minimum premedical course requirements include the following:   

Course  Semesters      or   Quarters 
Social Sciences or humanities:   4   6  
Chemistry and biology:   6   9  
Physics, or   2   3  
    Physics plus Calculus or Linear Algebra   1 each   2 each  

The content of chemistry and biology courses must include:  

  • General Chemistry  
  • General Biology  
  • Biochemistry  
  • Molecular Genetics  
  • Cell Biology/Cell Physiology  

The following courses are recommended, but not required:  

  • Ethics  
  • Anatomy or Comparative Anatomy  
  • Human or Mammalian Physiology  
  • Embryology  

Other requirements and selection factors: 
All applicants must demonstrate substantial academic ability in their major field as well as in the required science courses. Applicants should be proficient in the use of the English language and basic mathematics. Applicants are expected to be able to meet the essential requirements of the MD program with or without accommodations. It is also expected that applicants have demonstrated appropriate behavior and conduct in their educational and community environments.  

Whereas no specific major is advised, a broad background in the humanities and liberal arts is encouraged.  

Applicants are expected to have a basic understanding of personal computing and information technology prior to entry.  

Applicants must complete and submit the Medical Colleges Admissions Test (MCAT) in a timely manner related to their application to medical school. The MCAT must have been taken no more than three years prior to the date of matriculation.  

Completion of a degree from a college or university accredited by the appropriate regional accreditation body is required before matriculation.  

All accepted applicants must complete the criminal background check required by the University of Washington School of Medicine in the timeframe specified within the admissions process.  

Residents of the states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, or Idaho are eligible to apply.  

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.  

Individuals with a demonstrated interest in research may apply for the MD/PhD program (Medical Science Training Program, or MSTP) regardless of residency.  

Applicants with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status who reside in a WWAMI state and who are legally authorized and recognized by their respective state’s residency office as a state resident for WWAMI educational purposes will be considered.  

As part of the application process for the Entering Class of 2012 and subsequent classes, applicants are informed about the University of Washington School of Medicine Honor Code and asked to sign a statement demonstrating their understanding of this policy and their agreement to abide by it. Applicants who are unwilling to sign the code will not be considered for admission.  

As part of the application process for the Entering Class of 2016 and subsequent classes, applicants are made aware of the policy that all students are expected to complete clerkships both inside and outside of the Puget Sound area and are asked to sign a statement demonstrating their understanding of this policy. Students will be advised concerning their clinical training which will include different locations throughout the WWAMI region. All students will complete eight weeks in Seattle at one of the following hospitals: UWMC, Harborview, Seattle Children’s, or Puget Sound VA.  

As part of the application process, applicants interested in working in rural or underserved areas may apply to the Targeted Rural and Underserved Track (TRUST). Applicants who are accepted to TRUST, but who then decide prior to matriculation not to participate in TRUST will have their offer of acceptance to the University of Washington School of Medicine rescinded for that application year. Should the University of Washington School of Medicine’s Matriculation Deferral Policy apply, the deferred applicant may enter the program in the following year as stipulated in the deferral policy. Applicants who have applied to TRUST but who are accepted into the regular class while holding a position on the TRUST alternate list will not be obligated to participate in TRUST should a position in the TRUST cohort become available. Applicants who applied to TRUST but are not accepted will be considered for admission into the regular medical school class for the same entering year. Applicants are made aware of this policy at the time of application to TRUST and asked to sign a statement demonstrating their understanding of this policy.  

As part of the application process, applicants interested in working in urban underserved communities in the WWAMI region and have lived or worked in an urban underserved community for at least 12 months may apply to the Community-focused Urban Scholars Program (CUSP). Applicants must also have at least one of the following: 

  • received a Pell Grant or WA State Opportunity Scholarship during undergraduate career 
  • English as a second language 
  • annual family income less than $60,000 during childhood 
  • first-generation college student 
  • self-identify as disadvantaged or underrepresented (including LGBTQ+, disabilities) 
  • received state or federal benefits (TANF, food stamps, Medicaid) during childhood 

Applicants who are accepted to CUSP, but who then decide prior to matriculation not to participate in CUSP will have their offer of acceptance to the University of Washington School of Medicine rescinded for that application year. Should the University of Washington School of Medicine’s Deferral Policy apply, the deferred applicant may enter the program in the following year as stipulated in the deferral policy. Applicants who have applied to CUSP but who are accepted into the regular class while holding a position on the CUSP alternate list will not be obligated to participate in CUSP should a position in the CUSP cohort become available. Applicants who applied to CUSP but are not accepted will be considered for admission into the regular medical school class for the same entering year. Applicants are made aware of this policy at the time of application to CUSP and asked to sign a statement demonstrating their understanding of this policy.  

Disqualifying factors: 
Applications from persons who have failed to meet minimum standards at this or another medical (MD or DO) or dental school will not be considered. Applications from individuals who have been rejected by the University of Washington School of Medicine on three prior occasions will not be considered.  

Effective: Current
Last updated: August 11, 2020
Policy Contact: UW School of Medicine, Admissions Office, askuwsom@uw.edu; Education Quality Improvement Office, eqi@uw.edu

Admissions Requirements and Selection Factors Policy Statement
The pre-medical course requirements must be completed before matriculating. The school recommends candidates for admission complete the prerequisite courses prior to applying to medical school. There is no limit on the timeframe during which the courses must be completed, but if an applicant has been out of school for a few years or more, it is strongly recommended to take more recent science coursework to demonstrate ability to still do well in a classroom setting.

Undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, graduate-level and online required courses must be completed at a regionally accredited college, university or community college. The University of Washington School of Medicine does not have a preference for where applicants receive their degree(s) or where they complete their premedical coursework. Advanced Placement (AP) credits are acceptable substitutes for prerequisite course requirements as long as the undergraduate institution grants credit on the transcript and it appears (and is verified) on the AMCAS application.

Under exceptional circumstances, some course requirements may be waived for individuals with unusual achievements and academic promise. All candidates should demonstrate substantial academic ability in their major field as well as in the required science courses. Candidates should be proficient in the use of the English language, basic mathematics and navigating information technologies at a college level.

All entrants in recent years have fulfilled requirements for a bachelor’s degree. No specific major is advised. A broad background in the humanities and liberal arts is encouraged.

Requirements, Procedures and Guidelines
Required Courses: Must include a minimum of the following (this list is for information only and is not exhaustive):

1. Social sciences, humanities or “human condition”, Demonstrated competency
Entering medical students should understand the social forces that shape the health of the individuals and communities they will serve. This includes understanding how social contextual factors and policy operate at the community and national level to impact the health of individuals. Students should be familiar with disparities in health currently present in society and their underlying etiologies. Candidates seeking acceptance to UWSOM can establish competency in this area through course work in the social sciences, humanities or related interdisciplinary fields such as public health or ethnic and gender studies, clinical and/or population health research, service learning, lived experience or a combination of thereof. Determination of competency will be evaluated through the secondary application and/or interview.

Examples of social science/humanities coursework to consider:

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology
  • Political Science
  • Economics
  • Psychology
  • Religion
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • English Literature

2. Biology, 1 year (lab recommended)
The subject matter in these courses must include college-level biology, molecular genetics and cell biology/cell physiology, although applicants are not required to take courses with these specific titles. The Foundations curriculum is taught with the expectation that students arrive with a solid grounding in the fundamentals of the following human biological principles: homeostasis and feedback, neuronal signaling, hormone receptors, immunology, cell biology including subcellular organization, differentiation, cellular metabolic function, energy transfer, reproduction, Mendelian genetic principles of nucleic acid structure and function, genetic recombination and mechanisms of gene expression.

3. Chemistry/Biochemistry, 2 years (lab recommended)
The subject matter in these courses must include college-level inorganic and organic chemistry and biochemistry. Typically, students will complete 1 year of general (inorganic) chemistry and a year of organic and biochemistry combined, at minimum, to meet this requirement. Many applicants will however, take a full year of organic chemistry as well as at least one term of biochemistry. The Foundations curriculum is taught with the assumption that students arrive with a solid grounding in the fundamentals of foundational chemistry and biochemistry topics, including molecular structure, chemical reactivity, energetics, protein structure and function and intermediary metabolism.

4. Physics, 1 year
The subject matter in these courses must include college-level physics principles including mechanics, kinetics, thermodynamics, properties of matter, wave theory, electricity and magnetism and optics although applicants are not required to take courses with these specific titles.

The following subject matter is recommended, but not required:

  • Anatomy or comparative anatomy
  • Calculus
  • Embryology
  • Ethics
  • Human or mammalian physiology
  • Microbiology and/or Immunology
  • Psychology
  • Statistics (biostatistics preferred)

Other requirements and selection factors: 
All applicants must demonstrate substantial academic ability in their major field as well as in the required science courses. Applicants should be proficient in the use of the English language and basic mathematics. Applicants are expected to be able to meet the essential requirements of the MD program with or without accommodations. It is also expected that applicants have demonstrated appropriate behavior and conduct in their educational and community environments.

Whereas no specific major is advised, a broad background in the humanities and liberal arts is encouraged.

Applicants are expected to have a basic understanding of personal computing and information technology prior to entry.

Applicants must complete and submit the Medical Colleges Admissions Test (MCAT) in a timely manner related to their application to medical school. The MCAT must have been taken no more than three years prior to the date of matriculation.

Completion of a degree from a college or university accredited by the appropriate regional accreditation body is required before matriculation.

All accepted applicants must complete the criminal background check required by the University of Washington School of Medicine in the timeframe specified within the admissions process.

Residents of the states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, or Idaho are eligible to apply.

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.

Individuals with a demonstrated interest in research may apply for the MD/PhD program (Medical Science Training Program, or MSTP) regardless of residency.

Applicants with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status who reside in a WWAMI state and who are legally authorized and recognized by their respective state’s residency office as a state resident for WWAMI educational purposes will be considered.

As part of the application process for the Entering Class of 2012 and subsequent classes, applicants are informed about the University of Washington School of Medicine Honor Code and asked to sign a statement demonstrating their understanding of this policy and their agreement to abide by it. Applicants who are unwilling to sign the code will not be considered for admission.

As part of the application process for the Entering Class of 2016 and subsequent classes, applicants are made aware of the policy that all students are expected to complete clerkships both inside and outside of the Puget Sound area and are asked to sign a statement demonstrating their understanding of this policy. Students will be advised concerning their clinical training which will include different locations throughout the WWAMI region. All students will complete eight weeks in Seattle at one of the following hospitals: UWMC, Harborview, Seattle Children’s, or Puget Sound VA.

As part of the application process, applicants interested in working in rural or underserved areas may apply to the Targeted Rural and Underserved Track (TRUST). Applicants who are accepted to TRUST, but who then decide prior to matriculation not to participate in TRUST will have their offer of acceptance to the University of Washington School of Medicine rescinded for that application year. Should the University of Washington School of Medicine’s Matriculation Deferral Policy apply, the deferred applicant may enter the program in the following year as stipulated in the deferral policy. Applicants who have applied to TRUST but who are accepted into the regular class while holding a position on the TRUST alternate list will not be obligated to participate in TRUST should a position in the TRUST cohort become available. Applicants who applied to TRUST but are not accepted will be considered for admission into the regular medical school class for the same entering year. Applicants are made aware of this policy at the time of application to TRUST and asked to sign a statement demonstrating their understanding of this policy.

As part of the application process, applicants interested in working in urban underserved communities in the WWAMI region and have lived or worked in an urban underserved community for at least 12 months may apply to the Community-focused Urban Scholars Program (CUSP). Applicants must also have at least one of the following:

  • received a Pell Grant or WA State Opportunity Scholarship during undergraduate career
  • English as a second language
  • annual family income less than $60,000 during childhood
  • first-generation college student
  • self-identify as disadvantaged or underrepresented (including LGBTQ+, disabilities)
  • received state or federal benefits (TANF, food stamps, Medicaid) during childhood

Applicants who are accepted to CUSP, but who then decide prior to matriculation not to participate in CUSP will have their offer of acceptance to the University of Washington School of Medicine rescinded for that application year. Should the University of Washington School of Medicine’s Deferral Policy apply, the deferred applicant may enter the program in the following year as stipulated in the deferral policy.

Applicants who have applied to CUSP but who are accepted into the regular class while holding a position on the CUSP alternate list will not be obligated to participate in CUSP should a position in the CUSP cohort become available. Applicants who applied to CUSP but are not accepted will be considered for admission into the regular medical school class for the same entering year. Applicants are made aware of this policy at the time of application to CUSP and asked to sign a statement demonstrating their understanding of this policy.

 Disqualifying factors: 
Applications from persons who have failed to meet minimum standards at this or another medical (MD or DO) or dental school will not be considered. Applications from individuals who have been rejected by the University of Washington School of Medicine on three prior occasions will not be considered.

Effective: Current, E23 applicants
Last updated: December 16, 2020
Policy Contact: UW School of Medicine, Admissions Office, askuwsom@uw.edu; Education Quality Improvement Office, eqi@uw.edu

Matriculation Deferral Policy Statement
The School of Medicine expects prospective students to commence their medical education in the matriculation year for which they applied and were accepted into the medical education program.  Matriculation deferrals are considered only for unexpected and extraordinary circumstances and must, at minimum, meet one of the following criteria to be considered: 

  • A serious medical condition experienced by the accepted applicant. 
  • A personal circumstance that may interrupt or greatly interfere with an accepted applicant’s medical training. 

Procedures and Guidelines 

  1. Deferral Authority: The Associate Dean for Admissions determines if the deferral request will be granted.  The Associate Dean for Admissions seeks guidance from the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and the appropriate regional deans in making deferral decisions. Deferral decisions are communicated to the accepted applicant through the Admissions Office. 
  2. Deferral Deadlines: All requests for deferral must be submitted in writing to the Admissions Office no later than June 1 of the matriculation year.  An exception to this deadline may be made for medically related deferral requests.
  3. Deferral Period: If a deferral is granted, matriculation is deferred for one year.  An exception of one additional deferral may be made only for extraordinary circumstances, as determined by the Associate Dean for Admissions. 
  4. Deferral Obligations: Accepted applicants who are granted a deferral are obligated to commence their medical education at the School of Medicine the following academic year.  Accepted applicants who are granted a deferral are prohibited from applying to other medical schools for the duration of the deferral period and a Deferral Contract is signed by the applicant indicating understanding of and agreement to this restriction. 

Effective: E20 class and entering classes thereafter
Last updated: February 2, 2020
Policy Contact: UW School of Medicine, Admissions Office, askuwadm@uw.edu; Education Quality Improvement Office, eqi@uw.edu

Transfer/Advanced Standing Policy Statement
The University of Washington School of Medicine does not accept applications from students who request to transfer from other medical schools.

Only applicants to the University of Washington School of Medicine and to the University of Washington School of Dentistry integrated MD degree and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMS) residency certificate program (hereafter known as the MD/OMS program), will be considered for entry with advanced standing.

Transfer/Advanced Standing Requirements, Procedures and Guidelines
Applicants must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) accredited dental school and successfully completed the National Board of Medical Examiners Comprehensive Basic Science Examination (NBME CBSE) or similar exam will be considered for entry with advanced standing into the Consolidation and Transition block of the University of Washington School of Medicine’s MD program.

Applicants to the UWSOM MD/OMS program will be reviewed by the School of Medicine’s Executive Committee on Admissions and approved for acceptance to the University of Washington School of Medicine with advanced standing prior to the University of Washington School of Dentistry submitting the match list for OMS programs.

Applicants who match to the integrated MD/OMS certificate program are accepted to the School of Medicine and OMS certificate program simultaneously. Entry into the MD required core clinical rotations is contingent on satisfactory completion of the OMS internship rotations, demonstration of clinical skills as assessed by the School of Medicine’s second-year OSCE examination, and taking USMLE Step 1.

Effective: Current
Last updated: April 20, 2023
Policy Contact: UW School of Medicine, Admissions Office, askuwsom@uw.edu; Education Quality Improvement Office, eqi@uw.edu

Foundations Phase Site Assignment Policy Statement
Other than out-of-region applicants, all accepted applicants must complete the Foundations Phase of the curriculum in their home state of legal residence. Washington residents accepted to the University of Washington School of Medicine will complete the Foundations Phase of the curriculum at one of the approved sites in Washington State (Seattle and Spokane) using an equitable selection process based on student preference and available space. Out of region residents will complete their Foundations Phase at the Seattle site. 

Effective: Current
Last updated: August 11, 2020
Policy Contact: UW School of Medicine, Admissions Office, askuwsom@uw.edu; Education Quality Improvement Office, eqi@uw.edu