If you're looking for a list of medical schools that don't require the MCAT, you've come to the right spot. Are you feeling stressed about writing the MCAT? Are you trying to figure out ? What if there was a way to skip altogether? This blog provides a list of medical schools that don't require the MCAT in the US and Canada and discusses the difficulty of getting a good .
Disclaimer: MCAT is a registered trademark of AAMC. BeMo and AAMC do not endorse or affiliate with one another.
If you are just starting your premed journey, you might be wondering “What’s the deal with the MCAT? Why is everyone looking for medical schools that don't require the MCAT?” This is a legitimate question. What makes the MCAT so frightening? Why do students want to avoid writing the MCAT and look for medical schools without the MCAT requirement? Let’s let the students speak for themselves:
“I currently am discouraged… I am dreading having to redo MCAT. I currently don't know whether I should just take a gap year to do it… I have lots to think about.” – Alexander C., BeMo Student
Another reason why premeds look for medical schools that do not require the MCAT is that MCAT can be a real hinderance to your medical school dreams. Instead of helping you get accepted, your MCAT score can be a limiting factor, often preventing you from applying to your top-choice schools. Our student Melissa had to face a disappointment when she saw her MCAT score – her score really limited which schools she could apply to:
“After I took my MCAT, I could only choose from roughly one-third of the medical schools I wanted to apply to…” – Melissa, BeMo Student
Yes, many students choose to retake the MCAT with the hope of improving their score, but this is a huge undertaking, which is not always successful! The MCAT is incredibly hard to prepare for. Here’s what our student Charley had to say about their preparation:
“There is a much greater breadth of material to cover for the MCAT than originally expected. The concepts tested are not merely presented but are inquired over in depth. Classical study methods do not work for a test that covers so much in a rapid succession of strenuous passages. Reading passages qualitatively and effectively is the most important foundation for succeeding on the MCAT.” – Charley F., BeMo Student
These are just a few of the experiences that illustrate why students all over the US and Canada look for medical schools that do not require the MCAT. So if you're one of them - you are not alone and we are here to help! Below, we list the medical schools without the MCAT requirement and provide tips on how to approach the medical school application process if you choose to avoid the MCAT! Let’s dive in.
These joint programs offer the opportunity for exceptional high school students to secure a spot in medical school before even beginning undergraduate studies. Essentially, students will obtain either a Bachelor of Science (BS) or a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and will then proceed directly to medical school to obtain a Doctor of Medicine degree (MD).
Early assurance programs (EAPs) allow academically strong undergraduates the opportunity to apply to medical school at the end of their second year or start of their third year of undergraduate study. This can act as a fast track to medical school, as students can often bypass traditional requirements for admission.
DO Schools that Don’t Require MCAT
There is only one DO school in the US that does not require students to write the MCAT, so if you’re choosing DO vs MD, your choice of schools where no MCAT is required is limited.
The (LECOM) and the LECOM Bradenton campus are the only DO schools which will accept an alternative to the MCAT. In lieu of taking the MCAT, you can submit your ACT or SAT scores, along with your cumulative undergraduate GPA, which LECOM will use to calculate your Academic Index Score (AIS). Applicants must have an AIS score of 110 or better.
Students can submit their MCAT scores as part of the LECOM admissions process if they so choose. The exam must have been taken in the past 3 years, and students must have earned a score above 497 to be considered. Applicants who do not meet this requirement or have not taken the exam will be considered based on their AIS.
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Students often underestimate the difficulty of the MCAT; if they're used to performing well on their college or university tests, they assume that naturally, they'll perform well on the MCAT. Unfortunately, the MCAT is no pop quiz, and countless hours of review and practice are necessary to succeed. Did you know that on average, 24% of all test takers write the MCAT more than once, trying to improve their scores? According to the, in the last 3–5 years, over 85% of MCAT examinees completed courses in biology, biochemistry, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics prior to taking the test. In addition, nearly half of those test takers completed a commercial, university, or medical school preparation course. With that said, out of roughly 185,000 students who wrote the MCAT during this period, nearly a quarter of them decided to take the test again, likely in hopes of scoring better the second time around. So, how hard is the MCAT? Very hard, but not impossible. With dedicated and study, it is certainly possible to do well. If you do decide to take the MCAT, check out our blog to find out .
While the MCAT is one of the most common in the US and Canada, it is possible to become a doctor without taking this test. In the US, this route is usually reserved for those who have known that they want to become a physician for a while. There are several accelerated medical school programs like BS/MD and BA/MD and early assurance programs, such as , that forgo the MCAT (and we list them above!) Typically, only students who are certain of their choice early on in their academic career apply to these options.
And while there is an accelerated program in Canada that does not require the MCAT, , the rest of the schools we listed above are all full-fledged MD programs traditional premeds and can pursue. So you can definitely get into medical school in Canada without the MCAT!
Many students wonder whether they can skip the MCAT to get into medical school. And it’s no wonder. In addition to the challenging process of , there are impressive MCAT costs to consider as well. Some students look to avoid the MCAT because they want to get into . If you majored in something other than the physical sciences, the prospect of MCAT biology passages or may be intimidating.
Others may be more concerned with and how challenging it is to do well on such a massive exam. This is also understandable. The test covers a myriad of subjects and disciplines, so the preparation it takes to succeed is significant. Plus, there’s the MCAT CARS section – a section everyone dreads. So, in addition to content review, you must simultaneously work on a strong .
But does all this mean that you should avoid the MCAT? The answer is up to you, but consider the following:
#1 MCAT gives you a solid foundation
If you did not major in the physical sciences, the MCAT may be the biggest reason for you to complete and do well in your . And even if you are one of those students looking to get into medical school with limited science knowledge, you cannot avoid the sciences if you decide to pursue medicine. So, by skipping the MCAT, you are still not in the clear, so to speak. Needing to study and take the MCAT will give you a solid foundation for your years in medical school and beyond.
#2 MCAT is far from being your last extensive exam if you go to medical school
Whether you pursue an program, the MCAT is far from being the last test you will take. So, if you are avoiding the test due to its length, size, prep commitment, and so on, medical school might not be the best choice for you. , USMLE Step 2 and 3, as well as different and exams are going to be your constant companions throughout medical school and beyond. And if you are planning to be a medical school student in Canada, prepare to take on the extensive , as well as the if you are an international medical graduate.
So, if you are trying to avoid the MCAT because you do not like tests, face the fact that you will be required to complete and do well on many other exams once you are in medical school, including licensing exams.
#3 MCAT cost
Taking the MCAT is not cheap – and we’re not referring to the administrative fees you pay to actually take the exam. MCAT test prep is a significant expense. Whether you do the prep on your own or hire an , it will cost you. If you are studying independently, even if you use the cheap or resources, you will still need to access MCAT prep books, practice tests, and so on. Your expenses will increase if you are looking to work with MCAT teachers or . And while your first reaction may be to avoid this professional prep help, we want to warn you that or reapplying to medical school due to a bad MCAT score is even more expensive. So, do keep this in mind when you plan your prep.
Food for thought: if you have a limited budget and need to save money, it is nevertheless important to remember that medical school involves significant costs throughout the process, in addition to tuition. You can apply to , look for schools without secondary essays, or even apply to the out there, but attending medical school will still be expensive. Most medical school students will need to carefully arrange financing and plan a reasonable budget.
#4 MCAT Gives You More Options
The biggest advantage of taking the MCAT is that if you do get a good score, a lot more metaphorical medical school doors open for you. You will have a lot more choice if you do write the MCAT and get a competitive score. While the MCAT is intimidating, it is possible to prepare and get a high score that will allow you to pick and choose out of hundreds of schools in the US and Canada. This does not mean that you want to apply to an endless number of institutions, but you do want to apply widely. Here’s what Dr. Neel Mistry, MD and our medical school admissions expert had to say about the MCAT:
“I have seen many students over the years with perfect GPAs and MCAT not get in, while those with less impressive statistics get in. All that to say, if getting into medical school is your ultimate goal, it is important to apply to as many schools as possible. Like Gretzky said, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. – Dr. Neel Mistry, MD,
As you can see, a perfect MCAT is not a guarantee of acceptance, but if you get a good MCAT score, your application is more likely to be reviewed in its entirety, so you can impress the admissions committee with your personal statement, activities sections, recommendations, and so on. Remember that many schools use your MCAT score as a benchmark – if you do not meet the requirement, then you are less likely to have the rest of your application reviewed as you'll be weeded our of the applicant pool. A high MCAT score will give you the chance to impress the admissions committee with the rest of your application.
If you are really worried about your MCAT score, here's the truth: it is possible to get into medical school with a low MCAT. All you need is strategy. Our student, Kannan, has written the MCAT twice!
"The first [test] was a 497, so not too hot! But then when I took some time off and I [prepared] for a longer time, I was able to jump 13 points to a 510." - Kannan, BeMo student, current student at Western University of Health Sciences
And while this is a huge improvement, 510 is still not a super competitive score for medical schools in the US and Canada. So here's Kannan's strategy that got him accepted to 4 medical schools!
"So, basically, I used MSAR, which has the stats for every med school, so I used that to classify schools into "reaches", about mid-tier, and also lower-tier [that were good] targets for me. I also applied to about five or six DO schools. The "reaches" would be like anything like 515-516 and the ones that are more targets were closer to 511-512 or anything around that... I read online about how important the personal statement and the work and activities [were], and also writing the secondaries... So that's when I decided to get like some professional help because [I just wanted] to make sure they're like really well written because at a certain point stats can get you so far, but making sure you can present yourself a certain way ultimately helps you land acceptance..." - Kannan, BeMo student, current student at Western University of Health Sciences
1. Are there medical schools that do not require the MCAT?
There are some BS/MD programs, early assurance programs, and medical schools in Canada that do not require the MCAT. If you are an American looking to apply to med school in Canada, make sure to check which .
2. Are there any US MD programs that do not require the MCAT?
Currently, there are no MD programs in the US that do not require the MCAT.
3. Should I avoid taking the MCAT?
It’s up to you, but you should consider the reasons for avoiding it. Is it the difficulty or the length? The MCAT is not going to be your last exam and your licensing exams in medical school may be even more challenging. Is it the cost? Medical school is going to be expensive no matter on how many application aspects you try to save. Is it because you are not strong in physical sciences? Science is going to be your companion in medical school, so it’s going to be hard to avoid.
Additionally, remember that you significantly limit your pool of schools to apply to if you choose to only apply to medical schools that do not require the MCAT.
4. Can I get into medical school without a science background?
It is possible. However, remember that science is a huge part of medicine, so you need to know the basics to do well in medical school.
5. How much does the MCAT cost?
The fee to take the MCAT is USD$325. This includes the fee for taking the test and for distribution of your schools to schools.
6. Can I prepare for the MCAT on my own?
You can. Every student is different. Some may require some personalized help, while others are fine studying on their own.
7. Is the MCAT required in medical schools in the UK or Australia?
8. How important is my MCAT score for admissions?
Your MCAT score is used as one of the indicators of you academic and intellectual prowess, so it is considered an important application component. However, remember that the MCAT is not everything. A high MCAT score will not compensate for poorly written application components or for a bad interview performance.
Please note: although we have made every effort to provide the most accurate information, admissions information changes frequently. Therefore, we encourage you to verify these details with the official university admissions office. You are responsible for your own results. BeMo does not endorse nor affiliate with any official universities, colleges, or test administrators and vice versa. If you see an error here, please notify us with the updated information, and we’ll send you a FREE copy of a BeMo ebook of your choosing! You can receive our Ultimate Guide to Med School Admissions, our Ultimate Guide to MMI Prep, our Ultimate Guide to Medical School Personal Statements & Secondary Essays or our Ultimate Guide to CASPer Prep! Please email us at content [at] bemoacademicconsulting.com with any corrections, and we’ll arrange to send you your free ebook upon confirming the information.
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Your friends at BeMo