Never have you enjoyed writing an essay, so you’re looking for medical schools without secondary essays to make your application process smoother. This is a good way to make sure that your application floats to the top.

There aren’t many options for US medical schools that don’t require medical school secondary essays. Other countries, such as the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, have some options, however.

Here we have a list of MSAR medical schools without secondary essays, as well as other relevant data. If they require other essays, those are listed, as well as the tests that they do require.

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] with any corrections, and we’ll arrange to send you your free ebook upon confirming the information.

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Article Contents
4 min read

List of Medical Schools Canadian MSAR Schools without Secondary Essays Advantages of a Non-essay Application Disadvantages of a Non-essay Application How to Approach a Non-essay Application FAQs

List of Medical Schools

This is a complete list of all medical schools in the US that do not have secondary essays.


There are two medical schools in the United States of America that do not require secondary essays: Indiana University School of Medicine and the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine, one of the medical schools in Texas.

Additional Information About These Schools

In some respects, both Indiana University and University of Texas are similar, other aspects are quite different.

Both schools rate physician shadowing highly, and state that shadowing is required. Statistically, not every student did have shadowing a physician in their premedical experiences, but most – 80% or more from either school – did. These days, virtual shadowing is an acceptable option for most schools, and a good way to acquire that experience.

Around 80% of new students, going to either school, also had community service listed.

Both schools also had similar prerequisite courses and lab requirements, but note that UOT (University of Texas) lets students take these prerequisites pass/fail, while Indiana requires some of its prerequisite courses to be graded.

Texas matriculants had slightly higher rates of entrants with military backgrounds. If you are planning on becoming a military doctor, this might be a good option for you.

Indiana’s new students had slightly higher research/lab experience and medical/clinical paid employment. Notably, Texas’ numbers have been trending down in recent years, indicating that they are less and less concerned with professional research and lab experience.


An overview of these data reveals some interesting facets of applications that you can take advantage of.

If you are more concerned with laboratory science, research, and the scientific aspects of medicine, Indiana University seems to value those experiences more, and might be more your kind of school.

If you have a military background, seek out UOT, which seems to value such a background slightly more.

Overall, most of these numbers are fairly similar across both schools.

What else should you consider when choosing a medical school? Check out the infographic below:

Canadian MSAR Schools without Secondary Essays

There are ten Canadian schools of medicine in the MSAR database without secondary essays:

Less data are available for these schools.

Check out this video for help picking which schools to apply to:

Advantages of a Non-essay Application

The most obvious advantage to writing an application without needing to create a secondary essay is that you will save time. You don’t need to write a secondary essay, so that’s hours of work that you can spend elsewhere.

Depending on your personal preferences, you might consider a non-essay application to have an additional advantage. Maybe you just don’t like writing essays; your strengths lie elsewhere. Fair enough, and finding an application rubric that suits you better will show off your strengths nicely.

If you find essay writing to be stressful, you avoid that stress as well. Keeping low stress levels will help you focus on other aspects of your application and maintain your health.

Disadvantages of a Non-essay Application

Essays allow you to get into more detail about the positive aspects of your history and experiences, so if you are counting on moving beyond “the numbers” on transcripts, extra essays might be a positive for you.

You can get into more detail about yourself and your personal history. Medical school secondary essays will often include essays about your personal background, including any unique elements or hardships you have gone through. An essay that shows your strength of character through a relatable personal history can go a long way towards help you get accepted to your school of choice.

How to Approach a Non-essay Application

In large part, your approach should be much the same as any other application: you are looking to show the school why you will be an asset to their program, why you will get more out of the school than other prospective students, and why they should put you into their accepted pile.


1. Can I avoid writing any secondary essays?

Technically, yes, but you might need to send some applications outside of the US.

Canada, the UK, and Australia don’t use secondary essays – or at least, rarely – and so you can apply to medical school in those countries.

However, if you are looking primarily at schools in the US, you’ll be a bit short of options.

We recommend that you apply to between eight and ten schools. With only two schools available in the US, you’ll find yourself six applications short of that recommendation.

2. Are medical schools better if they ask for secondary essays?


Presence or absence of a secondary application have no bearing on the school-in-question's quality of the education, opportunities available, or fit for you as a student.

3. How do I write a secondary essay? Is it hard?

It doesn’t have to be.

Reading up on medical school secondary essay examples can be very helpful. You’ll quickly see the kinds of stories that work with secondary essays. You’ll also learn about what to highlight in your own strengths, how to structure the essays, and how to do all of that within the required word count.

4. I’m from the US, but interested in studying medicine in Canada. What are my best strategies?

Find out which ones are the medical schools that accept international students.

Many Canadian medical schools will give an edge to local applicants. If at all possible, doing your undergraduate degree at a Canadian university can help. Universities will see that you are taking a Canadian education seriously.

If you have plans to immigrate to Canada, or if you have permanent resident status, that can help as well.

You will need higher grades and scores on tests like the MCAT – and you’ll need to check which tests are accepted, of course.

Finally, remember that a big hurdle comes in the form of finances. Any medical school is expensive, but out-of-province, out-of-state, or international students often face higher fees, not to mention living expenses.

5. If my school-of-choice accepts me, and I can take a deferral, should I do so?

Only you can really answer that, and you need to ask yourself why you want to take a gap year before medical school.

Some students take the gap year to strengthen grades, tests, and applications in-general. If you are already accepted, none of these will be a good reason.

Some students take the gap year to pay down debt or save up money for medical school. If you need the financial boost, this could be a tremendous benefit to your future.

A small break from stress might be beneficial, as well. With one year between your previous studies and your next phase of academic progress, you can relax and take some time to bring yourself to a better mental and emotional place.

Ultimately, of course, it’s your decision, and rests solely with you. Knowing your “why” is paramount.

6. I have a low GPA, or MCAT score. Should I bother applying?

Possibly. There are certainly strategies you can employ here. How to get into medical school with a low GPA can be intimidating, or difficult, but not necessarily impossible. Don't give up yet!

7. What do I need to know about interviews?

Interviews come in many formats. The MMI, or multiple mini-interview, is becoming more and more popular. Other types include panel interviews, one-on-one interviews, and group interviews. How to prepare for your multiple mini-interview and medical school interview prep are very important aspects to your application.

Each one has challenges and hurdles, as well as advantages. For example, the MMI allows you to focus on shorter stations and tests a wide variety of your knowledge, while a panel interview is more likely to have open-ended questions. Both can showcase your abilities extremely well, if you are well-prepared.

We recommend the mock medical school interview as a top-level way to ready yourself for the interviews you will undertake.

8. I’m worried about costs involved with medical school.

Medical school is expensive; there is no question about that. But how to pay for medical school is a problem you can solve.

There are scholarships, grants, and awards that you can apply to which will help. Check to see if you qualify for any particular grants, since some will be open to people with specific backgrounds or interests.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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