On the list of medical schools in Oregon, you will find but one name: the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine (OHSU). So, if you are interested in attending medical school in the Beaver State, while you won’t need to spend a lot of time deciding which school to apply to, you will need to know a lot of information about the lone medical school they do have. More than that, you will need to analyze and understand these data to give your application the best chance.

OHSU is just one of many medical schools in the US, and to make an informed decision, you will need to know medical school acceptance rates, what kind of doctor you can become, and more. Is OHSU one of the cheapest medical schools? Can you afford it? This article goes into depth on OHSU, the data, and all the analysis, tips, and strategies you will need. Read on to put your best foot forward in Oregon!

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. 

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Article Contents
8 min read

Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine Statistics and Data Requirements Preferred Applicants Preferred Premed Experiences and Extracurriculars Programs Interviews Match Rates Conclusion FAQs

Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine Statistics and Data

Recent Admissions Statistics for OHSU

Percentage of female enrollment

A Note on Trends

The above information is based on the most up-to-date data available. However, it is important to note how these datasets trend over time so we can see patterns. Specifically, we can see a change in proportion over time for both in-state vs out-of-state admissions statistics and for the sex breakdown. In other recent years, the in-state and out-of-state admissions numbers were more even. One recent year saw the same number of out-of-state matriculants as Oregon residents. Three out of five recent years have had in-state students admitted in greater numbers than out-of-state. This is important to note for realistic expectations when applying as an out-of-state student. In terms of the female to male ratio of accepted students, there is also a notable trend. In recent years, the ratio has increased from 56% female to 66%.

Interested in a step-by-step guide for how to make a medical school list? Watch this video:

How to Analyze These Data

Most of these data are clear and simply give you hard facts. However, in looking more closely at the numbers, we can conclude that there are certain aspects of OHSU’s class profile and information that reveal the school to be welcoming of women and out-of-state applicants.

You will need fairly robust test scores, of course, but Oregon’s medical school is receptive to diversity; they have strategic action plans specifically to increase representation at their institution. Make sure you highlight this in your application. Use of secondary essays is usually the place to do this. Although prompts can change from year to year, most secondary essays include at least one prompt specific to diversity. In the case of OHSU, in a recent year this prompt was, “Please discuss the diversity that you would bring to the OHSU School of Medicine and the profession of medicine.”


Prerequisite Coursework

Prerequisite course requirements might change from year, but most medical schools demand that students have a grounding in the sciences to qualify for entry. Certainly, you will need scientific knowledge in your medical studies. OHSU has several prerequisite courses.

Recommended Courses

Along with their prerequisites, OHSU recommends other courses applicable to health care workers (epidemiology, medical terminology, etc.), Spanish language courses, and 300-400 level biology and chemistry – in addition to filling your standard biology and/or chemistry prerequisites.

Bachelor’s Degree

OHSU requires matriculating students to possess a bachelor’s degree but states specifically that they do not require, nor do they prefer, any specific major. However, as you can see by the prerequisites and the recommended courses, you will need science courses to be admitted. Plan your degree accordingly.

Preferred Applicants

Early Admissions

OHSU offers rolling admissions, which means you have the best chance of success if you apply early. Do this. If OHSU is the school for you, your application needs to be submitted by early July. While they will not fill all spaces with this early deadline, some spaces will be taken, and you have the best opportunity for acceptance if you are in that first wave.

Spanish Speakers

One of OHSU’s recommendations for coursework is that applicants take Spanish language courses. Obviously, it follows that if you have Spanish as a first or second language, you should make sure to highlight this on your OHSU application. It is not every medical school that specifies a preference for polyglots, so when the medical school in Oregon specifies Spanish as desirable, you should understand this to be a significant, notable recommendation.

With modern technology available, you could learn, or brush up on, your Spanish before applying to add an extra dimension to your application.

Underrepresented Communities

Diversity is a big part of most universities, colleges, and medical training institutions. OHSU is no exception, offering preference to applicants who belong to groups that are underrepresented in medicine. OHSU does not specify precisely which groups but is likely referring to race, sexuality, and gender expression.

What if you are not a member of one of those groups? OHSU also recognizes applicants who have “...overcome adversity and contribute to diversity in health care.” So, if you feel you do not directly qualify as a member of an underrepresented population, but, for example, you have been a strong advocate for underrepresented persons, you come from an economically disadvantaged background or a poor educational district, or have had to overcome tremendous and unusual hardship to apply to medical school, let the admissions committee know about it. You will have an opportunity to do this in a secondary essay, for instance, with the prompt “Please discuss the diversity that you would bring to the OHSU School of Medicine and the profession of medicine.” You also might augment this by highlighting advocacy on your resume.

Want to know how to make your medical school application stand out? Check this infographic:

Dual-Degree Students

Applicants are given preference if they are applying to OHSU’s combined degree programs. If you are seeking an MD-PhD or an MD/MPH, OHSU will prefer your application to other, equally qualified applications to the MD program alone.

Out-of-State Friendly

OHSU is a very out-of-state friendly medical school, with roughly half of their incoming class – varying from year to year – consisting of out-of-state matriculants. It is worth noting that many of those out-of-state applicants still come from other northwestern states – in close proximity to Oregon. Be that as it may, this could simply mean that OHSU appeals to people nearby, rather than belying any favoritism on OHSU’s part toward certain geographic regions. In fact, the data suggest that OHSU treats in-state and out-of-state applicants fairly evenly, particularly when compared to other medical schools.

Note that OHSU does state on their website that they give preference to Oregon residents, but don’t let that slow you down; their numbers indicate that although they might give preference to an Oregon resident, they still have plenty of room for people from away.

Despite this, international students will have a difficult time applying to OHSU. MD program applicants must be US residents. This does, however, include students who are DACA status, or who have a Green Card with permanent residency in the US. Note also that DACA students cannot apply to the MD-PhD program.

Allopathic Health Care Workers

Preference is also given to students who are WICHE-certified in allopathic medicine. If your background is in allopathic medicine, this can give you a leg up in your OHSU application.

Preferred Premed Experiences and Extracurriculars

The most common premed experience for matriculating students into OHSU is in research and laboratory experiences. In recent years, incoming classes had anywhere between 86% and 90% experience in laboratories.

Volunteer experiences were also shared by almost all matriculating students. Volunteer experiences were usually obtained in medical or clinical environments (83–87%); however, community service in a more general sense was also common among incoming students. Physician shadowing was also in the high 70s to high 80s, in terms of percentage of students who engaged in it. Military service was the least common experience of matriculating students.


In addition to the MD program, students at OHSU can also enter the MD-PhD and MD/MPH (Master of Public Health) programs. As noted above, students entering these programs will receive a preferential boost over straight MD applicants. If you are looking to dive in to the more scientific and academic aspects of medicine, focusing ultimately on research or teaching, you might benefit tremendously from the MD-PhD and MD/MPH programs.


Innovation is strongly touted by OHSU when it comes to their curriculum. The school stresses the scientific basis of medicine – presented in an interdisciplinary fashion – and integrates clinical experiences early in their education process.

Interdisciplinary scientific bases for medicine are exemplified in OHSU’s “threads,” which are “woven” throughout a student’s education.

The 18 Threads:

Program Objectives

OHSU has six Domains of Competence (DOC) they use to determine competency through 43 sub-categories. The six DOCs are:

Individualized educational programs are allowed for students to develop independent learning. This approach is taken with the aim of boosting students’ confidence levels, critical thinking, and self-assessment skills.

Students start with a Foundational Medicine Phase, followed by a Clinical Experience Phase.

OHSU also uses Narrative Medicine, which they say is about “the ability to listen, absorb, and be moved to action by the stories of illness.” Narrative Medicine is a concept first coined in the year 2000 by Rita Charon and is in use by a handful of schools throughout the world: ten schools in the US and Canada and another three international schools. This is to encourage a great connection between physicians and patients.


OHSU uses the MMI (multiple mini-interview) as well as a one-on-one interview. Each will require its own preparation. An MMI consists of several stations which test different aspects of your readiness for medical school. These stations might be practical, academic, or personal, so for MMI prep you will need to study interview answers as well as keep your academic knowledge sharp.

For the personal interview, which is scheduled separately from the MMI, you will want to figure out how to prepare for your medical school interview. This will mean going over as many common medical school interview questions as you can. You shouldn’t memorize answers, but know what you would say if those questions come up.

Practice makes perfect, and a mock medical school interview is the perfect way to ace both the MMI and the one-on-one interview. Mock interviews are conducted by professionals and perfectly mimic the experience of the real interview.

Match Rates

OHSU boasts high match rates. In a recent year, this rate was 97% of students who applied. A previous year had that number at 100%.

The most common specialties matched by percentage were Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and Pediatrics.

The next most common specialties were Anesthesiology, General Surgery, ObGyn, Orthopedic Surgery, Psychiatry, Radiology-Diagnostic, and Surgery-Preliminary.

Finally, the least common specialties matched were Dermatology, Interventional Radiology, Medicine Prelim, Neurology, Ophthalmology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Otolaryngology, Pathology, Phys Medicine & Rehab, Plastic Surgery, Preventative Medicine, Psychiatry – Family Med, and Radiation Oncology.

It is perhaps notable that, if all surgery categories were combined, they would account for the second-highest match by percentage.

While only 22% matched specifically with OHSU, 66% matched in the western region, so OHSU had good match rates with more local residencies.


Armed with these statistics, data, and expert tips, your application to the Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine should go a lot smoother. Of course, this is only the first step on a long path to matriculating to your school of choice. So, continue in your studies, aim high, and avail yourself of every possible resource. Your future is worth fighting for, so fight hard.


1. How many medical schools should I apply to?

We encourage you to apply to anywhere from 6 to 8 medical schools. Cast a wide net, but don’t overextend yourself.

2. Does OHSU allow deferred entry?

No, it does not.

3. Will a gap year before medical school hurt my chances of acceptance?

Taking a gap year before medical school only hurts your chances if you use your time poorly. Taking a year off to lounge around or relax does not look good. However, if you spend your time gaining new, relevant experiences or building up funds for tuition, you can use those efforts to stand out in your application when you do submit it.

4. Are the interviews conducted online or in person?

OHSU has been conducting interviews fully online in recent years.

5. Do I pay fees in my application process?

Yes, there are small fees associated with applying to medical school. Sitting for tests, like MCATs, have fees, as do secondary applications. These fees are usually small; however, they can add up, so be sure to set a budget for them.

6. Do medical schools in Oregon accept late applications?

OHSU has rolling deadlines for application, meaning the earlier your application hits their desks, the better. Don’t be late.

7. How many times can I take the MCAT?

Up to three times in one year, four times in two years, and seven times in your life. Less is more with the MCAT; if you find yourself asking, “Should I retake the MCAT,” you will have to consider your score, OHSU’s requirements, and your chances of boosting your score significantly.

8. How important is my GPA?

Every aspect of your application process is important, and your GPA is no different. The higher, the better. Your cutoff with OHSU is 3.0, so you must get higher than that, but the average GPA of matriculating students – while varying from year to year – is usually around 3.50, so you’ll almost certainly need at least that to stay competitive.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting


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