Cornell Medical School, also called Weill Cornell Medicine or Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC), offers one of the top M.D. programs in the US. This medical school provides an innovative curriculum that focuses on self-directed learning aimed at producing the leading medical practitioners of the future. Their special emphasis on global health, progressive education and collaborative learning along with their exceptional research opportunities makes them one of the top ranked medical schools in New York. In this blog, you’ll learn all about how you can get into this medical school.

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Article Contents
12 min read

Mission Statement Available Programs Academic Curriculum Application Timeline Admissions Statistics and Eligibility Recommended Courses Tuition and Debt Funding Opportunities Selection Factors Interview Formats Acceptance and Waitlist Information Contact Information FAQs

Mission Statement 

Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC) is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care, and the advancement of the art and science of medicine. To this end, our mission is to provide the finest education possible for medical students, to provide superior continuing medical education for the lifelong education of physicians throughout their careers, to conduct research at the leading edge of knowledge, to improve the health care of the nation and world both now and for further generations, and to provide the highest level of clinical care for the communities we serve. 

Available Programs 

Looking to apply to an Ivy League medical school? Check out our tips:

Academic Curriculum 

The updated curriculum at the Cornell medical school combines a strong scientific foundation with training on the most up to date technological innovations and medical discoveries. They emphasize a self-directed, problem-based education, offering a variety of learning experiences including seminars, lectures, sessions, lab hours, clinical experience, simulator sessions and more. 

Clinical experiences start in the first year, along with classes and labs aimed at imparting a solid foundational education in medical science subjects such as health, illness, fundamental disease processes, patient care and physicianship. In the second year, students continue with their foundational education until January, which is when they begin their clinical clerkships across multiple medical disciplines. These provide the students with a chance to hone their academic and research skills as well as get clinical experience at a variety of specialty, private, and public hospitals. About mid-way through their third year, students select their electives geared towards gaining the necessary clinical and research experience in their area of concentration.  

Global health is a major priority at Cornell medical school, which is why they provide their third-year and fourth-year medical students with both financial and logistical support to perform research and clinical care in countries across the world in their chosen field. 


At the Cornell medical school, grading is Pass/Fail for all courses except for clerkships, where students can receive Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail. 

Checkout Cornell's acceptance info, available programs, and interview format:

Application Timeline 

Medical school applications are highly competitive, especially at an Ivy League medical school such as Weill Cornell Medical College. That’s why it's important to keep track of your medical school application timelines and stay on top of the deadlines. 

The following diagram shows the general application timeline for Cornell’s medical school. Make sure you check their admissions portal or the AAMC website portal to confirm the exact application dates. 

Note that Cornell’s medical school does not have rolling admissions or an Early Decision program. 

Admissions Statistics and Eligibility 

Total number of matriculants per year: 106 

Success rate (overall): 1.34% 

Success rate (in-state): 2.72% 

Success rate (out-of-state): 1.12% 

Success rate (international): 0.24% 

Average Accepted GPA: 3.91 

Average Accepted MCAT score: 520


Cornell medical school accepts applications from US citizens, US permanent residents, Canadian citizens as well as other international students. However, it is strongly recommended that those students who have completed their education abroad should complete at least one year of education, including the recommended medical school prerequisites, in the US. There is no preference given to in-state students.  

All applicants must submit their MCAT scores, which should not be more than three years old. 

Recommended Courses 

Cornell Medical School looks for a diversity in educational experience and meaningful life experiences from its applicants. While many applicants may be science majors, they also accept social science and liberal arts majors as well as returning students, as long as they have completed the required coursework, listed below: 

In some instances, students can substitute integrated science courses, AP courses and actual laboratory experience instead of the required coursework. Besides these requirements, WCMC also recommends that applicants should have a variety of educational experiences covering courses such as statistics, anthropology, calculus, study of a second language etc. along with at least one in-depth, advanced study in an applicable area of specialization.  

This coursework should have been completed within the last 10 years of applying and students should have received a minimum grade of “C” for these courses. 

Tuition and Debt

Since Cornell medical school is a private institution, there is no difference between the tuition of in-state and out-of-state students. All students pay the same amount. 

Tuition and fees: $62,860 

Other costs: $26,270 

Estimated total cost of attendance: $89,130 

Students receiving financial aid: 79% 

Average graduating indebtedness: $124,379 

Check out how to pay back your medical school loans:

Funding Opportunities 

Cornell medical school offers need-based institutional aid as well as federal aid to all US citizens and permanent residents. Additionally, housing (priced below market value) is guaranteed for all students and they offer financial support for community service, summer research, and international electives. 

Debt-free need-based financial aid

Cornell medical school offers a generous debt-free, need-based financial aid program, which contributes to their lower than national average graduating indebtedness amongst medical students. All of WCMC’s need-based aid is funded by donors and offered as a grant, without the obligation to pay the amount back. For a student with the highest need, this financial aid program covers all costs of attendance, including tuition, room and board, health insurance, cost of supplies etc. To receive this grant, students must be qualified for need-based aid by the Office of Financial Aid. Students must submit proof of their family income to qualify for financial aid. To continue to be eligible for aid through medical school, students must remain in good academic standing. 


If not eligible for the WCMC need-based financial aid program, students have the option to submit a FAFSA application and request federal loans. These include: 

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan 
  • Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan 

These are need-based loans for US citizens and offer subsidized interest rates. 

External Scholarships and Grants

Cornell medical school does not offer any merit-based scholarships but if you do not qualify for financial aid or want to supplement your financial aid, you can seek out private medical school scholarships. These can be need- or merit-based and you can find specific scholarships that provide support to students from a particular region, community, gender etc. 

Private Loans

If all the above options don’t pan out, you can consider taking a private loan. Typically, private loans do not offer subsidized rates. 

Learn more about how to pay for medical school in our blog. 

Selection Factors 

With an overall medical school acceptance rate of just 1.54 %, it’s no surprise that Weill Cornell Medical College has an extremely competitive admissions process. While WCMC evaluates applications on a need-blind basis and accepts students from varying educational backgrounds, including liberal arts, they are also rigorous with their admissions requirements, demanding excellent academic records, a diverse academic portfolio with studies in a broad range of academic disciplines, and a range of meaningful extracurricular activities that demonstrate leadership skills, initiative, and commitment to medicine. By the way, you can gauge your acceptance chances by using our MDChance predictor.  

Read on to learn about the key selection factors to ensure your admission into the Cornell medical school: 

Academic History:

Weill Cornell Medical College is one of the best medical schools in the US, which naturally means they expect a stellar academic record from their applicants. The median GPA of matriculants for this program is 3.91, so if you hope to get in, you need to focus on maintaining a high GPA through your undergraduate years. However, at Cornell, it’s not just about the medical school GPA requirements. They also have a set of mandatory coursework requirements that include both science and humanities courses. Besides this, the school encourages applicants who display familiarity with a wide range of academic disciplines, specifically subjects that are valuable in the modern practice of medicine, such as statistics, sociology, psychology etc. WCMC also prefers applicants who go above and beyond the minimal requirements of competency in basic science to complete an in-depth, advanced study in at least one relevant discipline. 

MCAT Score:

The average score of matriculants in the M.D. program at Cornell medical school is 519. This doesn’t mean that you absolutely can’t get in with a lower MCAT score as Cornell medical school doesn’t have an official cut-off and may accept students with lower MCAT scores if all other aspects of their application are excellent. Nevertheless, your MCAT score is an extremely important component of your med school application and you should not take your MCAT prep lightly. Make sure you do your research about the MCAT test and release dates well in advance, so you can accordingly prepare your MCAT study schedule. Focus on gathering all the required data about the test format, studying all the test content and taking multiple practice tests. If required, you can get external help via an MCAT tutor or MCAT prep class to help you improve your score. The official AAMC website also has great resources to help you prepare for the MCAT exam

Letters of Recommendation:

Cornell medical school requires a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 10 medical school recommendation letters from their applicants. They accept both individual letters and latter packets but prefer that at least one letter should be a committee letter, i.e., a composite letter of recommendation from the applicant's university pre-health advising office. If this is not available, then two letters can be provided instead from other sources such as teachers or supervisors. If written by a teacher or professor, they should have personally taught or worked with you. Additionally, if in your application you include information about a significant research, work, clinical, or service experience, Cornell medical school requests a letter from the supervisor for that experience. It is crucial that the letter writers know you well and can attest to your capabilities. In your letters, they should be able to discuss your skills, achievements, and character in detail. 

Extracurricular Activities for Medical School:

This is an extremely important component of your application that can help to set you apart from all the other applicants who have a similar academic record and MCAT score. You can cover your extracurricular activities in detail in the AMCAS Work and Activities section, the AMCAS most meaningful experiences section and finally, in your medical school personal statement.  

These are the most important extracurricular activities and life experiences that Weill Cornell Medical College is looking for in applicants: 

  • Research: For WCMC’s admissions board, it’s not just about academic prowess. They are also looking for students who show great initiative and strive for innovation. By taking up an advanced research project related to subject you are passionate about, you can demonstrate your passion for medicine and show your commitment to innovation and excellence. 
  • Clinical or work experience: Cornell medical school encourages students to explore the field of medicine before applying to medical school. Meaningful clinical work experience or shadowing experience can actually be a great way to figure out why you want to be a doctor and what field you might like to specialize in later.  
  • Volunteer work: WCMC’s admissions board looks for impactful volunteer work in a student’s resume as an indicator of their character and integrity. Volunteer work indicates a commitment to community service and exemplary leadership skills, which is exactly what they’re looking for in a candidate. 
  • Hobbies and other skills: This could include any number of non-medical specialties that demonstrate your well-rounded personality and useful skills. For example, fluency in a second language can be a useful skill to help communicate with patients in specific areas. Check out our AMCAS hobbies examples to get an idea of how to include yours. 

Remember that this section of your application is not just about ticking off a list of requirements from a list; Cornell medical school is looking for bright, motivated students who have a passion for medicine and a wealth of meaningful experiences to prove it. Build up your medical school resume with activities that truly interest you and can lay the ground for your future career in medicine. 

Supplemental Application:

After you submit your primary application at AMCAS, Cornell medical school will request a supplemental application including three specific 200-word essay prompts to know more about you and your suitability for their program: these are your Cornell essays. These medical school secondary essay prompts may change from year to year, but you can typically expect the following: 

  • If you are not attending college during the coming academic year, what are your plans? 
  • Please write a brief statement giving your reasons for applying to Cornell’s medical school. 
  • Please describe a challenge you faced and how you addressed it. 

The supplemental application is a great chance for you to tie together your most significant achievements and also highlight any other key factors you haven’t had a chance to talk about yet. For example, when talking about challenges you faced, you can talk about more personal topics that you feel are relevant to your medical school journey such as your family, mental health, background and so on. Remember, the AMCAS application is not school specific. These Cornell medical school secondary essays are also your opportunity to demonstrate why you are applying to Cornell medical school specifically. If you’re feeling stumped, it’s best to read a few exemplary medical school application secondary essays so you can get an idea of how to write a well-structured, effective answer. You should also make sure you complete and submit your supplemental application by the deadline of Nov 15. 

Interview Formats 

Weill Cornell Medical College starts sending out interview invitations in late August, via an email that includes available dates and times. The admission committee typically conduct their interviews on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The interviews take place as a part of a full day of activities.  

The schedule on “interview day” includes the following: 

  • An information meeting with the Associate Dean or Director of Admissions 
  • A meeting with representatives from the Office of Diversity and Student Life 
  • A student tour of the med school campus 
  • Meetings and lunch with medical students 
  • Two 30-minute interviews with members of the Committee on Admissions – these are the key interviews that will determine the next steps on your application 

Few students make it through to the interview round after the application review; but that’s not the end of the road. To actually receive the acceptance letter, you have to ace your interview. At this stage, the students who have made it through will all, most likely, have great academic records and impressive extracurriculars. So you really need to put your best foot forward and showcase your best achievements, your passion for medicine, your meaningful experiences and your exemplary personal qualities. In order to do this, make sure you thoroughly prepare for your medical school interview. Start by researching the common med school interview questions. Next, think through your answers and identify the key points you would like to hit in your interview. Finally, conduct several mock interviews to ensure you are confident with your talking points and well-versed in the final interview format.  

Want to know more about the common questions asked in a medical school interview and how to answer them? Check out the video below: 

Acceptance and Waitlist Information 

Applicants start receiving their acceptance letters from Cornell medical school from March onwards. Some applicants may also be waitlisted, and the number of waitlisted applications varies from year to year. Cornell’s medical school waitlist is not ranked and acceptances are issued to waitlisted applicants on an individual basis, as places become available. Waitlisted applicants can provide updates to their application if required. 

Contact Information 

Weill Cornell Medical College admissions website  

Admissions Email: [email protected] 


1. Am I eligible for Cornell’s MD program?

All US citizens, US permanent residents, Canadian citizens and international students are welcome to apply to Cornell medical school’s MD program. However, for international students, Cornell recommends that they complete at least one year of the prerequisite coursework at a US university.

2. What are the coursework requirements to get into Cornell medical school?

Weill Cornel Medical College requires 2 semesters of basic sciences with lab and 2 semesters of organic chemistry with lab, along with 2 writing intensive courses in humanities subjects. They may accept substitutions in the form of sufficiently advanced coursework in other science subjects, AP courses or advanced research projects. Additionally, they recommend that students display a familiarity with a variety of academic disciplines, including subjects such as statistics, sociology, anthropology, and more. They also prefer applicants who have completed advanced, in-depth study into a specific area of interest with a relevant medical application.

3. What GPA/MCAT score do you need for Cornell medical school?

Cornell’s medical school does not have an official cut-off GPA or MCAT score. However, the median MCAT and GPA scores for matriculants in their MD program are 519 and 3.91 respectively. Applicants with lower-than-average scores may get in if they demonstrate excellence in other areas of their application.

4. What is the acceptance rate for Cornell medical school?

Cornell’s medical school is one of the best medical schools in the US and attracts almost 7000 applications per year. It employs a rigorous process to screen applicants and pick out the most talented, capable students for admission. It has an overall acceptance rate of just 1.54% with an in-state acceptance rate of 1.79% and an out-of-state acceptance rate of 1.58%. 

5. What is the last date to apply for Cornell medical school?

October 15 is the last date to submit your primary application via AMCAS while November 15 is the last date to submit your Cornell medical school supplementary application (as well as letters of recommendation and MCAT scores).

6. How to get into Cornell medical school?

Weill Cornell Medical College is one of the most sought-after medical programs in the country. They only accept students with a great academic record including all the required pre-med coursework, high GPA, excellent MCAT score and a medical school resume reflecting a wide range of meaningful extracurricular activities such as research hours, clinical experience, and volunteer work.  

Additionally, they look for students with an exemplary character, proven leadership qualities, and a passion for medicine, as evaluated in the letters of recommendations, personal statements, AMCAS most meaningful experiences section, interview performance, and secondary essays. 

7. Does Cornell medical school have rolling admissions?

No, Weill Cornell Medical College does not have rolling admissions or early admissions. They start sending out their acceptance letters from March, after all interviews have been conducted.

8. Can I get a full scholarship to Cornell medical school?

Cornell’s medical school is not free. However, it offers a generous debt-free need-based financial aid program to help students who can demonstrate financial need. They offer a grant that covers all the costs of medical school including tuition, living expenses, health insurance, supplies and more. Students who qualify for this program do not have to pay anything back and can graduate debt-free. Thanks to this program, Cornell has a median indebtedness figure that is lower than the national average for med school graduates.

9. What is the tuition for Cornell medical school?

At Weill Cornell Medical College, the tuition for medical school per year is $62,860 while the overall (estimated) cost per year is $89,130. This amount is the same for in-state and out-of-state students. 

10. How many letters of recommendation do I need for Cornell medical school?

Weill Cornell Medical College asks for a minimum of 2 medical school recommendation letters from their applicants. You can submit more, but they only accept a maximum of 10 letters. You can submit both individual letters and latter packets. Cornell medical school prefers that at least one of the letters should be a committee letter from the applicant's university pre-health advising office. If not available, you can provide two individual letters from other sources such as teachers or supervisors. 

11. What is the interview format for admission into Cornell medical school?

Applicants can receive their invitation to interview at Cornell medical school from late August onwards. The school sends out an email that includes available dates and times, and typically, interviews take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Applicants are invited for a full day of activities and interviews take place in the second half of the day. There are two 30-minute interviews with members of the Committee on Admissions. 

To your success, 

Your friends at BeMo 

BeMo Academic Consulting 

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