Consistently ranked within the top 10 medical schools in the US for graduating primary care doctors, the University of Nebraska College of Medicine (UNMC) is the second of the only two medical schools in Nebraska. Notwithstanding, the UNMC is also an important health care provider in the state, and it has over 3000 beds within its teaching hospital system for students to learn. The school is public and does show preference for Nebraska residents, but out-of-state, Canadian and international applicants are welcome to apply with certain conditions. This article will lay out those details, tell you more admission information and provide writing samples so you can make your medical school application stand out.

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Article Contents
12 min read

University of Nebraska College of Medicine Mission Statement University of Nebraska College of Medicine Admissions Statistics Eligibility University of Nebraska College of Medicine Selection Factors Interview Format Acceptance and Waitlist Information Application Timeline Tuition and Debt Funding Opportunities Residency Match Rates Review of Available Programs University of Nebraska College of Medicine Campus and Faculty Affiliated Teaching Hospitals Research Fields Notable Faculty/Alumni Contact Information FAQs

University of Nebraska College of Medicine Mission Statement

“The mission of the College of Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center is to lead the world in transforming lives to create a healthy future for all individuals and communities through premier educational programs, innovative research, and extraordinary patient care.”

The UNMC mission is a transformative one and is not limited to the state. Even though it is a state school, the UNMC regularly receives more out-of-state applications than in-state applications, and its medical school acceptance rates for both residents and non-residents are some of the highest in the country.

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University of Nebraska College of Medicine Admissions Statistics

Overall Acceptance Rate: 6.9%

In-State Acceptance Rate: 39%

Out-of-State Acceptance Rate: 2.3%

Average MCAT of Incoming Students: 511

Average GPA of Incoming Students: 3.82

Preference for master’s or PhD: No

 Experience of Accepted Medical School Applicants


The UNMC is a publicly-funded school so it has an obligation to accept Nebraska residents, which it does regularly. However, many out-of-state applicants also apply and while the acceptance rate is low for out-of-state applicants, they are still regularly admitted, making UNMC an out-of-state-friendly medical school. The school also accepts applications from Canadian and international students, if they have obtained a bachelor’s degree from a school within the University of Nebraska system (Lincoln, Omaha, or Kearney) or a Nebraska state college (Wayne, Chadron, Peru). Canadian and international applicants without a degree from these schools must obtain a permanent resident visa on their own to be able to apply to UNMC.

University of Nebraska College of Medicine Selection Factors


The UNMC does not have an official MCAT score for all applicants, but they must submit their most recent MCAT score, as long as it is no older than three years. The school will also look at your entire MCAT history, but only consider the highest score. While there is no official cut-off to apply, the school does screen applicants based on the MCAT and recommends that applicants have an MCAT of at least 500 to be given any serious consideration. There is also no medical school GPA requirement and the school does not screen applicants based on their GPA, but the most recent incoming class had an average GPA of 3.82.

Coursework and Undergrad

The school does not require all applicants to have a full bachelor’s degree to apply, but it “strongly recommends” that all applicants have one. If not, the school will accept 90 credits of a full degree from an accredited college or university, although it does not specify whether the school must be American or if degrees from Canadian schools are accepted as well, as UNMC rarely accepts international and Canadian students, so it is not the most Canadian-friendly US medical school.

Prerequisites and Recommended Courses

The UNMC has a very traditional set of medical school prerequisites mostly based in the sciences, although there are humanities and English requirements as well. The school does not show a preference for candidates with graduate degrees, but those who are in the process of completing one must receive the degree before entering the school. It also has very specific number of credits, course substitutions, subject matter to be covered that applicants should have in these subjects, but it will also accept pass/fail grades for course work completed during the pandemic.

  • Biology (with lab) 8-10 semester hours
  • General Chemistry (with lab) 8-10 semester hours
  • Organic Chemistry (with lab) 8-10 semester hours
  • Physics (with lab) 8-10 semester hours
  • Humanities and/or Social Sciences 12-16 semester hours
  • Calculus or Statistics 3 semester hours
  • English Composition minimum of 3 semester hours
  • Biochemistry 3 semester hours
  • Genetics 3 semester hours

Recommended Courses

  • Molecular biology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology

AMCAS Work and Activities

UNMC, like almost all allopathic medical schools in the US, except for medical schools in Texas, use the AMCAS application service to gather and review all medical school applications. All applicants to the school must first submit their online application via AMCAS, which requires submitting official transcripts, uploading the most recent MCAT score, and completing two distinct sections that aim to demonstrate your personal qualities and attributes called the AMCAS Work and Activities section and the AMCAS Most Meaningful Experience section.

In these two sections, students are given the space to detail specific instances in their journey to medical school where they exemplified important characteristics and competencies. They have 700 characters to write about the work or activity, but they are given more characters if they deem it their most meaningful experience. Many medical schools look closely at the W & A and Most Meaningful Experiences as it is one area where they can read something personal about applicant’s attributes and characteristics.

Personal Statement

The medical school personal statement, or the Personal Comments essay, as the AMCAS personal statement is known, is a fixture of most professional school applications and it is one of the most important parts. The personal statement is an applicant’s chance to show themselves in their own voice and words and explain why do you want to be a doctor. Applicants have 5300-characters to elucidate why they are applying to medical school, what experiences led them to make the decision, what steps they have taken to succeed and what plans they have for the future.

Secondary Essays

The school sends all applicants a secondary application, if they have submitted a completed AMCAS application; there are no other stated requirements to receive a secondary application. The secondary application is where schools try to determine whether an applicant has the personal qualities it is looking for, and whether their values align with its own. Applicants are emailed a link to create an account on the proprietary UNMC online applicant portal, where they will see the medical school secondary essay prompts for the current application cycle.

University of Nebraska College of Medicine Secondary Essay Prompts

  1. Are you the first person in your immediate family to pursue a career in healthcare? If not, what medical professions are your immediate family members a part of? (N/A if not applicable) (100 characters)
  2. If you have been away from full-time academics for more than two years, please explain. (N/A if not applicable) (750 characters)
  3. If you are a re-applicant to the UNMC College of Medicine, how is your application different this year? (N/A if not applicable) (750 characters)
  4. If this is your first application to UNMC, but not your first application to medical school, what is your rationale for applying to UNMC this cycle? (N/A if not applicable) (750 characters)
  5. What is your personal rationale for applying to the UNMC College of Medicine, especially if you are not from Nebraska? (1,000 characters)
  6. What are you most proud of in your life? (1,500 characters)
  7. Tell us about a time when you have had to overcome adversity. (1,500 characters)
  8. What have been the positive impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on your personal and professional life? (1,000 characters)
  9. Given the potential impact on shadowing opportunities since 2020, how do you know that you want to be a physician and what the career entails? (1,500 characters)

Recommendation Letters

The UNMC requires all applicants to submit at least two medical school recommendation letters, and a maximum of four, but a single pre-medical advisory committee letter will meet the two-letter minimum. If not, the school encourages applicants to obtain letters from former academic instructors (undergraduate and graduate) but non-traditional medical school applicants can submit letters from employers or anyone who has known them for many years, and can attest to their preparedness for medical school and being a physician. However, with that being said, letters from friends, family, or other community members such as clergy or political figures are not encouraged.

Interview Format

The UNMC is not a medical school that uses MMI, but, instead, it uses a more traditional one-on-one interview format. Only applicants invited to interview will have the chance, and applicants are notified after submitting their secondary application. The school will notify selected candidates, but they must schedule their own interview date and time. However, all interviews are held virtually over Zoom, for this, and all foreseeable application cycles.

The interview is one part of a larger event that allows applicants to learn more about the school’s academic offerings, extracurricular activities and campus life. The interview itself is 30 minutes in length, and blind. The school states that one of the main points of the interview is to see whether applicants can “develop rapport and communicate ideas effectively”, so applicants should practice mock interviews and read over common medical school interview questions to prepare.

University of Nebraska College of Medicine Interview Questions

  1. “What would you do if you didn’t get in?”
  2. “Why Nebraska”
  3. “Given that you are an out-of-state applicant, why would you want to attend this school?”
  4. “What is a positive/negative quality that doctors have?”

Acceptance and Waitlist Information

After the interview period, the Admissions Committee uses a holistic approach to review all completed applications to determine who is best suited for the medical school, as only after the interviews are applications considered complete. The notifications are sent out starting in December. Applicants are notified by email whether they have been accepted, denied or placed on a medical school waitlist.

The UNMC does not use a ranked waitlist but the school continues admitting applicants from the waitlist until the class is full. Applicants who are reapplying after being rejected must identify their weak areas to be able to apply in the future, although the school does not provide any post-application counselling.

Application Timeline

Primary AMCAS Application Deadline: November 1

Secondary Application Deadline: November 15

The school does not use a rolling admissions policy to notify students of important steps in the application process, but instead notifies students on a set schedule. UNMC starts sending out final decision in the beginning of December and continues until the summer, when the final acceptances are sent and the class is full.

Tuition and Debt

In-State Tuition: $35,360

Out-of-State Tuition: $48,000

Average Yearly Cost-of-Living Expenses: $23,100

Average Debt of Graduating Students: $191,238

Funding Opportunities

The UNMC offers all accepted students several ways for how to pay for medical school. Around 90% of all current medical students is on some form of financial assistance, whether it be federal student loans, private loans, work-study programs, or medical school scholarships. To receive financial assistance, all accepted students must complete and submit their UNMC Scholarship Application 30 days after accepting their offer. The school will review all scholarship applications and award prizes based on merit, need, and residency. Students do not have to apply to all individual internal scholarships (there are exceptions), but they must apply separately for any external scholarships.

University of Nebraska College of Medicine Internal Scholarships

1. The Davis-Chambers Scholarship

The only internal application that students must apply for separately, the Davis-Chambers Scholarship is aimed at giving economically disadvantaged students from diverse backgrounds a chance to obtain a medical degree.

2. Nebraska Legacy Scholarship

This scholarship is open to students whose parent(s) are graduates of any of the schools in the University of Nebraska system. Students must identify they are legacy students on their primary application to receive the application form to apply.

3. Non-Resident Tuition Scholarship

Students from out-of-state are eligible for this reward if they meet the eligibility requirements, but they are asked to contact the Division of Student Success for more details about how and where to apply.

4. Regent Scholarship

This prize is merit-based (academic) but only open to Nebraska residents. Students do not have to apply for the scholarship, but the school determines whether they are eligible or not.

Residency Match Rates

The most recent class of UNMC graduates celebrated a momentous 100% match rate, making UNMC one of the medical schools with the best match rates. But even more astounding is that close to 40% of the class decided to stay in Nebraska at the UNMC to complete their residency training. The most popular specialties were in primary care, as half the class chose primary care specialties with the most popular being an internal medicine residency (23) and 15 students choosing a family medicine residency.

Review of Available Programs

1. Four-Year MD Program

The curriculum at UNMC is divided into three phases, which is typical of most medical school curricula. The first phase, or Foundational Phase, is centered around introducing students to the different systems of the body (ten different systems), while also presenting them with the various symptoms and markers of disease when these systems act abnormally. The very first course of the first semester, Fundamentals, gives students the grounding they need in medical science to proceed further within the curriculum.

Then, students move through the various systems of the body starting with Blood, Defenses, & Invaders and ending with Reproductive and Developmental. The entire Foundational Phase lasts for 18 months and ends with an Acute Care and Clinical Transitions course that shows students how to prepare for clinical rotations in the following two phases of the curriculum. The Clinical Applications phase is when students begin applying their knowledge in real-world clinical settings.

Clinical Applications covers six core clerkships, which are the standard six specialties that most medical school education covers:

  • Family medicine
  • Internal medicine
  • Psychiatry
  • Pediatrics
  • Surgery
  • OB/GYN

Following completing of their core clerkships after 6-12 weeks, students enter the final phase of their education, the Career Preparation phase. Here, students will complete their remaining core clerkships, as well as take 10 medical school electives in various internships or sub-internships, including performing rotations around Omaha, with the military or completing course work for any of the specialty tracks they chose to take.

The school offers 19 approved Enhanced Medical Education Tracks (EMET) to all medical students who want further training and education on a specific aspect of medicine. There are currently 19 on offer, but the school allows students to propose new tracks based on their research interests. A few of the EMET available to current medical students include:

  • Aging and Integrative Medicine
  • Auto-Immune Diseases
  • Biocontainment and Bio preparedness
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Climate Change and Health
  • Clinical Educator
  • Clinical Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Comprehensive HIV Medicine
  • Engineering and Technology in Medicine
  • Health Care Policy

2. MD/PhD

This dual-degree program is open to prospective students, but also enrolled students who wish to apply after they matriculate into the MD program. Interested applicants can choose the regular pathway (applying with AMCAS), which requires separate interviews and personal essays about why they want to join the program. Successful candidates should have a GPA of at least 3.5, a 515 MCAT, and up to 3000 hours of research experience. Once accepted, students can choose from six distinct research areas to perform their graduate studies ranging from Cancer Research to Molecular Genetics and Cellular Biology. The entire program takes between seven to eight years and students accepted from the regular pathway begin research rotations before medical school begins, and then re-enter their graduate studies in their third year of medical school.


Interested students also have two pathways to apply for this dual-degree program offered with the College of Public Health. They can apply via their AMCAS application or submit one after they have enrolled in the medical school. This dual-degree program has six unique concentrations within public health that accepted students can choose to follow:

  • Biostatistics
  • Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Health Promotion
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Public Health Administration and Policy

The program adds another year onto the four-years of medical school and helps prepare students for positions in various fields and organizations. Another feature of the program is that it has the option to completed entirely online, although students can also attend in-person classes if they wish.


Offered in collaboration with the University of Nebraska at Omaha, College of Business Administration, this dual-degree program aims to give medical students a foundational knowledge in business and business administration. However, unlike the other dual-degree programs, students can only apply for the MBA after they have matriculated. They must apply directly to the MBA program and meets it requirements such as submitting a resume and be in the top half of their medical class, academically.

University of Nebraska College of Medicine Campus and Faculty 

The sprawling University of Nebraska College of Medicine campus stretches across several blocks in central Omaha and has over twenty different research, scientific and academic buildings within its borders. The main medical school building is the College of Medicine building, but it is surrounded on three sides by the school's main teaching hospitals, the Nebraska Medical Center, and the Nebraska Medical Center Durham Outpatient Clinic.

Affiliated Teaching Hospitals

  • Nebraska Medicine
  • Omaha VA Medical Center
  • Children's Hospital & Medical Center

Research Fields

The entire UNMC network has a long-established reputation for excellence and researchers at the university received almost $250 million in research funding in the previous year. Researchers at the UNMC played a pivotal role in identifying COVID-19 as an airborne virus and have also explored its genetic make-up by interviewing former COVID patients about how the disease affected them and their health.

Aside from the focus on COVID, the school also almost 1400 separate research initiatives underway on its campus or at any of its 20 different research centers and institutes. Many of those research projects are focused on the school’s specific areas of interest, which include:

  • Biotechnology
  • Biotechnology and Device Development
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Heart and Vascular Disease
  • Drug Development and Nanomedicine
  • Drug Discovery and Development
  • Infectious Disease, Bioterrorism and Health Security
  • Neuroscience

Notable Faculty/Alumni

Contact Information

University of Nebraska College of Medicine


42nd and Emile

Omaha, Nebraska 68198



The Office of Admissions and Student Affairs


Room: MSC 4046


mailto:[email protected]


1. What is the mission of the University of Nebraska College of Medicine?

The mission of the UNMC is a transformative one, as it seeks to change people’s lives through excellence in medical education, research and patient care. 

2. Do I need to take the MCAT and submit my scores?

The UNMC requires all students to submit MCAT scores no older than three years old. There is no official cut-off, but the school asks students to apply with at least a 500 MCAT score. 

3. What is the minimum GPA requirement?

The school has no minimum GPA requirement. 

4. What kind of degree do I need to get into UNMC?

The school does not require a full bachelor’s degree (although it is recommended). Applicants with 90 credits of a full degree can apply. 

5. Are there prerequisite courses I have to take?

Yes, the school has quite a long list of prerequisite courses that span biochemistry, physics, social science and humanities. Exact course requirements are above. 

6. How can I apply to UNMC?

The school participates in the AMCAS application service, and all applicants who submit a completed and verified AMCAS application will receive a secondary application. 

7. How much does one year at UNMC cost?

UNMC is a public school so it has different tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students. A full-year of medical school including tuition and all other expenses costs an estimated $65,425 for residents, and $78,605 for non-residents. 

8. Is it hard to get into UNMC?

The UNMC is a public state school, but still regularly accepts applications from out-of-state students. The acceptance rates for all students (in-state; out-of-state) are high and the school does not have any minimum metrics to meet, but it has a long list of prerequisites that students must take before applying, but still, it is one of the easiest medical schools to get into


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