Oregon Health and Science University is one of few medical schools in Oregon but has programs that fall within the top 10 in the nation. With a competitive overall medical school acceptance rate of 2.28%, many students are curious about the program, its requirements, and related statistics.
Oregon Health and Science University is Portland’s largest employer, with state-of-the-art research facilities and an impressive 320,000 square foot Knight Cancer Research Building. This blog will help you learn everything you need to know about getting into Oregon Health and Science University and increase your chances for success.
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Offering a wide range of programs to applicants, Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine provides options at the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels, including professional and research.
The Undergraduate Medical Education Program is built upon the balance of early clinical experience and medicine’s scientific basis. Through this program, students begin developing an understanding of patient care responsibilities while enhancing their problem-solving skills and independent learning. Basic, clinical, and health system sciences are all integrated with the foundational science learning format.
The dual MD-PhD program is designed to be completed in seven or eight years and provides rigorous training in clinical and research medicine. The program is designed for students who show the potential for outstanding performance in both the MD and PhD programs and commit to a career in academic medicine. Applicants are required to have prior research experience before applying for this dual program.
The dual MD/MPH program is designed to be a five-year program offered in conjunction between the Oregon Health and Science University and the PSU School of Public Health. Students who apply for this program should expect to have a career in clinical and public health policy, research, or other related fields. During the program, students are expected to be engaged in general health-related studies, formal or informal.
Graduate Medical Education (GME)
Oregon Health and Science University offers an extensive list of Graduate Medical Education programs, all of which have been approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) or other appropriate accrediting entities. There are 83 different programs to choose from, ranging from an Addiction Medicine Fellowship to an Emergency Medicine Residency to a Sleep Medicine Fellowship, including some of the most competitive residencies in the US.
Physician Assistant (PA)
The Physician Assistant (PA) program is in the top 10 in the nation. It is designed to be 26-months at a full-time master’s level. After the program, students will exhibit competence in medical knowledge, interpersonal and communication skills, patient care, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement, and systems-based practice. Don’t forget to review the PA school requirements before you begin your application.
Radiation Therapy (BS)
The bachelor’s program of radiation therapy preps students to become professional radiation therapists. This program follows the primary components of the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists’ “Equation of Excellence,” which are education, ethics, and examination.
The Oregon Health and Science University offers a wide range of degree programs. These programs are broken up into PhD, master’s, graduate certificate, and other programs. While some of the more popular programs have already been listed in more detail, here is a general overview of all of the programs with which the School of Medicine offers.
YOUR MD is the Oregon Health and Science University’s very own MD curriculum that introduces a new perspective on the century-old model of traditional medical education. This unique program was initially launched in 2014. The goal of YOUR MD is to align physician education with the future of healthcare, to prepare students for a world of knowledge and technology that is ever-changing in the medical field.
YOUR MD’s academic curriculum revolves around 18 threads that are carefully woven throughout your time as an Oregon Health and Science University student. These threads include:
The primary difference of YOUR MD compared to traditional academic curriculums is that students will ultimately enter and exit the School of Medicine at different times. Their time spent will depend entirely on their ability to demonstrate competencies in prioritized sectors of medical learning.
Through YOUR MD, Oregon Health and Science University acknowledges that every student is unique in their medical backgrounds and existing competencies. The curriculum is then customized to meet the demands of each student on an individual basis.
Another distinguishing feature of the YOUR MD curriculum is that it focuses on creating high-performing doctors that will meet their patients’ needs. In developing this, the school reached out to a wide range of medical professionals to see if their anticipation for the hiring pool would be 10 and 20 years out. In return, YOUR MD has been built around this research’s findings, ultimately preparing future generations of physicians.
The Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine Medical Education competencies are in line with local and national medical education views. While there are 43 competencies students must demonstrate before completing the program, here are the primary six that fall under the Domains of Competence (DOC):
- Patient Care and Procedures
- Medical Knowledge (Knowledge for Practice)
- Practice-based Learning and Improvement
- Interpersonal and Communication Skills
- Professionalism and Personal & Professional Development
- System-based Practice and Interprofessional Collaboration
Learn about important medical school requirements important for any applicant:
The general timeline of the Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine application process. While this information is constantly updated, it is best recommended to check the exact dates and timelines as prescribed on the school’s portal.
A quick recap of OHSU acceptance rates, available programs, and interview formats:
Overall acceptance rate: 2.28%
In-state acceptance rate: 20%
Out-of-state acceptance rate: 0.7%
Average total GPA: 3.77
Average science GPA: 3.72
Average new MCAT: 512
Oregon Health and Science University overall acceptance rate:
While minimum academic qualifiers are subject to vary from one admission cycle to another, the latest eligibility requirements include the following:
- Cumulative total GPA of 2.8
- Cumulative score of 497 on the highest eligible MCAT
The MCAT score must be no older than 3 years old. There are also citizenship status requirements that must be met by all applicants, which include one of the following:
It is also important to note that the dual degree programs do not currently admit DACA status applicants.
Check out our guide for how to get a good MCAT score:
As expected, a bachelor’s degree is required for admittance into the Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine. The school does not have a preference between a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or equivalent degrees. In addition to the degree requirements, the Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine recommends a list of medical school prerequisites to all applicants in preparation for the YOUR MD curriculum. Additionally, the admissions office insists that no preferences will be made in terms of major or area of study within these degrees. Alternatively, the school asks that your focus be a determination of passion for intellectual questions. The expectation is that all applicants will have a wide variety of courses in the following areas, including:
- Social sciences
Tuition and Debt & Funding Opportunities
Annual Tuition, Fees, and Insurance
In-state students: $50,891
Out-of-state students: $72,448
There are four types of financial aid students can access while attending Oregon Health and Science University.
The university strongly recommends that students apply for outside medical school scholarships to help reduce their student loan debt. Thankfully, they provide resources to anyone looking for scholarships, including information about the following websites:
Federal and State Grants
Besides outside scholarships, federal and state grants are also available to all except for graduate and undergraduate students who are pursuing their second Bachelor’s degree. Some of these federal and state grants available include:
- Federal Pell Grants
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
- Oregon Opportunity Grant
A federal employment program is available to students who plan to work on campus while enrolled in school. To access the Federal Work-Study program, you must follow these steps:
- Complete the Federal Work-Study request form
- Report your work hours through the automated Time and Attendance Collection System
- Receive bi-weekly payments through the University Payroll Office
- Report Federal Work-Study earnings to the IRS with your taxes via W2
Lastly, the university offers student loans as a financial aid option. Oregon Health and Science University accepts tuition payments from both federal student loans and alternative student loans.
Federal Student Loans
There is a variety of Federal Student Loans offered by Oregon Health and Science University. The eligibility for these loans depends on several different factors, including the availability of funding, awarding criteria, enrollment, and program. Some of the more frequently accessed Federal Student Loans include:
- Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford
- Federal Parent PLUS
- Federal Graduate PLUS
- Federal Nursing Loan for Undergraduate Students
Alternative Student Loans
The school recommends that students maximize all other financial aid options before turning to private education loans. It is also suggested that students also file for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if there are any other forms of student aid for which they are eligible.
Candidates applying to the MD Program from the Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine are comparatively considered based on the following selection factors:
Taking all of these aspects of an applicant into consideration, the School of Medicine tends to prefer applicants who meet the following qualifications strongly:
1. Oregon resident
2. Non-resident with Oregon Heritage
- One or both parents residing in Oregon at the time of application
- A student who graduated from high school in Oregon (who attended for a minimum of two years)
- A student who graduated from any regionally accredited college or university in Oregon (minimum of two years attendance and no more than seven years before applying)
3. WICHE-certified in Allopathic Medicine
4. Applying to MD/PhD Combined Degree Program
5. Applying to the MD/MPH Combined Degree Program
6. Non-residents with superior achievements in academics and other related experiences
- Extracurricular activities
- Community service activities
7. Personal experience that demonstrates the ability to overcome adversity and contribute to diversity in healthcare
The Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine conducts a series of interviews known as Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) virtually. The MMI consists of an approximately eight-minute-long mini-interview sessions. Before each session, the applicant will have a moment to review the prompt, prepare as needed, and take notes if they please. The next step of the process is done as a one-on-one interview held by a representative of the Admissions Committee. This interview will be longer and more formal than the MMIs.
Applicants will receive their interview schedule when they check in on the morning of their scheduled date. Following the interviews, there is a student orientation and an information session, during which they have the opportunity to meet with current students over lunch.
Acceptance and Waitlist Information
The Oregon Health and Science School of Medicine requires all applicants to commit to enrollment through AMCAS at least 21 days before orientation, typically in mid-July. Some applicants will be put a waitlist until late April, during which time they can be accepted from the pool at any point during this time. Initial offers will come in early May. During this time, the alternative list will be created and ranked at that time. The alternative list will consist of the top 120-200 applicants, ranked appropriately in order to help with tie-breaking. From this point until orientation, applicants can be selected from the alternate list as spots become available.
Oregon Health and Science University admissions website
Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine homepage
Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine MD Program admissions website
1. What are Oregon Health and Science University’s eligibility requirements for the MD program?
The eligibility requirements as set out by the School of Medicine include:
- Minimum cumulative Total GPA (as reported by AMCAS) of 2.80
- Minimum cumulative score of 497 on the highest eligible MCAT
- United States citizenship, DACA status, or permanent resident status with a green card indicating permanent residency in the U.S.
Remember that the averages of successful matriculants are significantly higher. These are just bare minimums to qualify. If you are applying for a dual degree program, DACA status is not accepted at this time.
2. Why did I receive a notification to complete the secondary application if I do not meet the eligibility requirements?
It is the responsibility of the applicant to read through the eligibility requirements before applying carefully. If, for whatever reason, you have neglected to meet these requirements and applied, you might receive a notification to complete your secondary application. AMCAS applications are not prescreened to expedite the process.
3. What happens if I submit my secondary application despite not meeting the eligibility requirements?
If you choose to continue through the application process without meeting the eligibility requirements, your secondary application will be reviewed by the office, at which point it will be deemed invalid. You will not be refunded any processing fees should you pursue this course of action.
4. What are the requirements for letters of recommendation?
The requirements for letters of recommendation for all applicants include:
- Letters from three college or university teaching faculty from any department. At least one referee should be from a science department. A letter packet containing at least three individual teaching faculty letters or a Committee Letter may be submitted instead of the three separate recommendations.
- Applicants who have been out of college for five years or more may submit two letters from employers and one from a teaching faculty member.
- It is highly recommended of all applicants that they provide additional non-academic recommendations as well
Applicants should carefully select a well-chosen group of letters that speak to significant experiences in health care/physician shadowing and extracurricular accomplishments.
5. How should letters of recommendation be formatted?
All letters of recommendation provided by applications must be written on official letterhead or company stationery and signed by the writer.
6. What is the overall acceptance rate at OHSU?
The overall acceptance rate is 2.28%.
7. What is the average GPA?
The average total GPA is 3.77 and the average science GPA is 3.72.
8. What is the average MCAT?
The average MCAT is 512
9. What is the interview format?
OHSU uses the MMI format to conduct interviews. After the MMIs, students have one-on-one interviews held by a representative of the Admissions Committee. This interview will be longer and more formal than the MMIs. Applicants will receive their interview schedule when they check in on the morning of their scheduled date.
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