The Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) is a well-renowned medical school that has had almost 20 Nobel Prize winners walk its halls either as alumni or faculty. Perhaps because of its reputation as a center for medical and scientific breakthroughs, the school regularly receives over $838 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health putting it in the third position among medical schools in the US that receive the most research funding. The school continues to increase its research capacity as construction continues on the new Cortex Innovation Community next to the campus and of which the WUSM is a significant partner. This article will detail other important facts about the WUSM, provide sample AMCAS Work and Activities entries and give you more tips on how to make your medical school application stand out.  

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Washington University School of Medicine Mission Statement  

 “In leading the advancement of human health, Washington University School of Medicine will: 

  •   Cultivate excellence and collegiality within an equitable and inclusive community 
  • Attract, develop, advance and support a diverse and talented current and future workforce 
  • Innovate through discoveries and inventions in basic, clinical, translational and population sciences 
  • Build and support an environment that fosters exceptionally creative research, health care, education and the well-being of our workforce 
  • Use our academic excellence and scientific rigor to continually advance and enhance health care in a way that ensures access, compassion, high value, equity and evidence-based care for all people in our community, including those who are underserved and uninsured 
  • Observe the highest standards of ethics, integrity and humanity across all missions 
  • Apply advances in research, education and health care to the betterment of the human condition locally and globally 

The Washington University School of Medicine has an ambitious mission and counts many priorities on its list. Given its history and achievements, the school has a lot to live up to, but it has also created the infrastructure and resources to back up its lofty sentiments. It has completed up to 13 new construction projects in the last five years and has more plans to expand, which shows much the school backs up its students and faculty.  

Washington University School of Medicine Admissions Statistics 

 Overall Acceptance Rate: 2.0% 

In-State Acceptance Rate: 4.7% 

Out-of-State Acceptance Rate: 1.9% 

Average MCAT of Incoming Students: 521 

Average GPA of Incoming Students: 3.94 

Preference for master’s or PhD: No 

 Experience of Accepted Medical School Applicants


The WUSM is a private institution so it has no preference for residents of Missouri and accepts students from a wide range of demographics, so it is both an out-of-state friendly medical school and a Canadian friendly US medical school. Out-of-state applicants are welcome, as are Canadian applicants, other international students, and even Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applicants.  

Canadian and international students do not have to have their degrees verified, if they have obtained their degree from any of the partners in Universities Canada or American College Overseas. However, Canadian, international and DACA applicants must prove they have sufficient resources to complete four years of medical school to be eligible to obtain a visa or permanent residency sponsored by the school. 


Washington University School of Medicine Selection Factors 

 MCAT and GPA 

The WUSM has neither a minimum MCAT or minimum medical school GPA requirement but all applicants must submit their most recent MCAT score, as long as it is not older than three years. The school is in the process of extending the date for acceptable MCAT scores to four years, as an accommodation to non-traditional medical school applicants. But the school considers all aspects of a student’s application from their extracurriculars for medical school to how many shadowing hours for medical school they have.  

Want to know how to create the best MCAT study schedule? Check out this video:

Coursework and Undergrad 

The school requires all applicants to have at least 90 credits of a completed bachelor’s degree, preferably from a four-year university. Canadian and international students who have received their undergraduate degree from any of the partner schools and universities listed on the Universities Canada website or American College Overseas in the AMCAS online application do not have to have their degrees certified or verified. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree do not have to have their degree in STEM subjects, and any major is accepted.  

Prerequisites and Recommended Courses 

The school has a short list of medical school prerequisites and has no other academic requirements. The WUSM has tried to make its medical school requirements more open so it accepts Advanced Placement courses applied to the prerequisites and also accept courses taken at community college. Lab work is recommended for all applicable courses, such as chemistry and biology, but not required. To fulfill the requirements, the school asks students to have completed at least two semesters in the following subjects:  

  • Biological science 
  • General or inorganic chemistry 
  • Organic chemistry  
  • Physics 
  • Calculus 

Some of the recommended courses the school lists include:  

  • Biochemistry 
  • Statistics  
  • Biostatistics  

AMCAS Work and Activities 

The WUSM participates in the AMCAS application service and all medical school applications must be sent through the online portal. The AMCAS online application is how all allopathic medical school in the US, except for medical schools in Texas, receive and review applications. The AMCAS application consists of two specific sections intended for applicants to list both their most important Work and Activities or their most meaningful experience in the AMCAS Most Meaningful Experience section. But aside from these two sections, applicants must also upload their official documents such as transcripts, letters of recommendation, MCAT scores and a 5300-character Personal Comments essay.  


Personal Statement 

The medical school personal statement is a standard feature of most medical school applications in the US, regardless of whether it is a DO vs. MD school. Apart from the official academic information every school receives about an applicant, the personal statement is a space for applicants to articulate their reasons for wanting to become a doctor, whatever they may be, in their own words.  

Many applicants write about their personal reasons for wanting to become a doctor, which do not always involve a direct medical experience with a doctor or healthcare professional. Applicants can write about anything that relates to them wanting to choose this profession and why, so they should not think there is one correct answer that Admissions Committee wants to hear, because they would rather much here your unique story than a rote, repetitive answer.  

Secondary Essays 

All candidates are sent a secondary application, as long as they submit a completed and verified AMCAS primary application. The school sends a link to all applicants after they have submitted their primary application, which can take up to three days to process. Applicants have up to two weeks to complete the secondary application and they are advised to submit it well before the official December 7 deadline.  

Washington University School of Medicine Medical School Secondary Essay Prompts  

1. Have you already completed your undergraduate education, have you had your college or graduate education interrupted, or do you plan not to be a full-time student during your application year? If yes, describe in chronological order your activities during the time(s) when you were not enrolled as a full-time student. (2000 characters) 

2. Describe a time or situation where you have been unsuccessful or failed. (3000 characters) 

3. Is there anything else you would like to share with the Committee on Admissions? (optional) 

Some applicants use this space to describe unique experiences and obstacles such as significant challenges in access to education, unusual socioeconomic factors, and/or identification with a particular culture, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity and/or possibly challenges related to COVID or other issues in preparation for medical school. (3000 characters) 

Recommendation Letters 

The WUSM has typical medical school recommendation letter requirements and asks all applicants to submit up to three letters. However, students who are able to obtain a pre-medical advisory committee letter from their undergraduate institution are encouraged to do so; submitting only one committee letter will fulfill the three-letter requirement, but students can submit more letters, if they wish.  

If they are unable to obtain a committee letter, applicants must submit three letters from former faculty, with at least one being a science faculty member. Letters from other academic sources such as research supervisors, or directors of any post-bac programs for medical school an applicant has taken are also acceptable (friends and family members are excluded). Whoever the letter writers are, the school advises they talk about a candidate’s personal qualities, rather than academic aptitudes, in accordance with the AAMC’s Core Competencies for Entering Medical Students 

Interview Format 

The WUSM is not a medical school that uses MMI, and neither does it use any popular situational judgement tests such as the Altus Suite or the AAMC PREview. However, applicants who are invited to interview at the school will have to perform an asynchronous, one-way interview before the actual interview day. The Standardized Video Interview (SVI) is unique to WUSM and its function is similar to other situational-judgement tests, in that it aims to understand your thinking and reactions in various situations.  

The school says that you can prepare for the SVI by reading over typical AAMC PREview questions and answers, as it is similar in spirit to that exam. Students will be notified if they have been invited for a virtual interview, but they must schedule their own interview date and time. The SVI must be completed before the actual interview, as your interviewees will have access to your complete application, including your SVI scores.  

The WUSM holds two, one-on-one interviews for each applicant. The first interview is “blind”, so the interviewers do not have any access to your application materials. The second interview is open, so interviewers will have your full application before them. The interviewers also notify interviewees which type of interview it is (open or blind) so interviewees can adjust their responses accordingly.  

Real Washington University School of Medicine Interview Question  

1. “If you saw an attending mistreating a patient with a disability, would you do anything?” 

2. “Tell me about yourself.” 

3. “What is your favorite song?” 

4. “Do you have any reservation about going into medicine?” 


Acceptance and Waitlist Information 

The school sends out final decisions after the interview period between September and February ends. Decisions are sent out until the end of April. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance, denial or if they have been placed on the WUSM medical school waitlist. There are over 200 applicants who end up on the waitlist every year, and the school notifies each waitlisted candidate of their position on the divided between upper and lower ranks.  

According to the school’s data, up to 20 students are admitted to the school from the waitlist every application cycle, so it is possible to be accepted off the waitlist. The Committee on Admissions uses a holistic approach to consider all applications so there are a variety of factors that can contribute to an applicant’s success, or failure. If applicants are waitlisted, the school does accept medical school letters of intent to update the CoA of any important accomplishments (completion of a degree, increase in clinical hours for medical school).  

Application Timeline 

Primary AMCAS Application Deadline: November 30 

Secondary Application Deadline: December 7 

Date all Applicants are Notified of Their Status: April 14 

The WUSM does not use a rolling admissions policy and it has a set schedule for when applicants are notified. But even though it does not have a rolling admissions policy, the school still advises applicants to submit their AMCAS application in the summer (around July). The school also recommends applicants attend any one of its various virtual admission information sessions before applying so they can more advice about how to apply before submitting. 

Tuition and Debt 

Tuition: $67,295 

Average Yearly Cost-of-Living Expenses: $21,858 

Average Debt of Graduating Students: $107,412 

Funding Opportunities 

The school makes medical school scholarships available to all applicants, regardless of their citizenship status, so DACA and international students are eligible to receive merit-based internal scholarships given out by the school. There are no additional applications or forms that need to completed, as the school screens eligible applicants based on their medical school applications. However, needs-based scholarships are only for US citizens and permanent residents, as that type of financial aid is provided by public sources. 

Residency Match Rates  

The WUSM and its most recent class of graduates scored a perfect 100% match rate making it one of the medical schools with the best match rates. Graduates were split between staying in Missouri and deciding to practice elsewhere, as many graduates chose to perform their residencies at medical schools in California, medical schools in Pennsylvania, and medical schools in Ohio.  

Graduates gravitated to surgery and all its sub-specialties as the most popular specialty with 27 students choosing it over other residencies such as a family medicine residency. Following surgery, 22 graduates chose to enter an internal medicine residency at schools and institutions such as the UCLA Medical School, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and Boston Medical School.  

Review of Available Programs  

1. Four-Year MD Program  

 The WUSM recently instituted a new medical school curriculum called the Gateway Curriculum, which was introduced for several reasons. The new curriculum aims to integrate clinical skills, basic science and social sciences into the various modules, and longitudinal courses that populate the curriculum. It also aims to create a more transparent assessment process for students, while also increasing the chances for collaboration and communication between students, teachers and other collaborators.   

The first year begins with orientation, and then students are introduced on the seven unique medical science modules, Foundational Science Modules, which take up to 46 weeks to complete and cover subjects such as Circulation and Breathing, Metabolism and Reproduction, and Brain & Behavior. There are also three Clinical Immersion phases in the first year that students participate alongside their classroom instruction, which are preliminary clinical rotations that aim to show students how to prepare for clinical rotations.  

First year students will also have time to take the EXPLORE module, which is designed to help show them how to choose a medical specialty before they begin their clinical rotations in the third year. When reaching the Gateway to Clinical Medicine phase, students begin with Internal Medicine and then take another five rotations in specialties such as Pediatrics, Surgery and Psychiatry. These rotations make up the majority of the third year, as the fourth year is where students take two Advanced Clinical Rotations in the final year, complete any relevant research work for their Capstone project or take up to 10 different medical school electives to complete their degree requirements.   

Why is research important for medical school?

2. MD/PhD  

The Medical Scientist in Training Program at WUSM is the largest combined MD/PhD programs in the US and has over 14 different specializations ranging from standard advanced science such as Biomedical Engineering, Molecular Cell Biology, and Immunology to Anthropology and Cancer Biology. Applicants must indicate on their primary AMCAS application their interest in the program, and must interview separately for both the MD and PhD program. 

The entire program is designed to last between 7 to 8 years. Accepted students will complete the first two years of the MD program and then take up to four years off to complete their PhD training and degree. Afterward, they will re-enter the medical school curriculum and complete the remainder of their medical school rotations. Admission into the program is very competitive and along with meeting or exceeding the medical school requirements, MD/PhD applicants are also expected to have at least two years of research experience.  

3. MD/MSCI (Master of Science in Clinical Investigation)  

This dual-degree program combines a medical degree and a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation that can take up to five years to complete. The MSCI degree is supposed to give medical students a more specialized education in medical research. They will learn the basics of how to design studies, gather and analyze data, and how to summarize findings or write grant applications. The 33-credit program also contains four unique concentrations that accepted students can choose, which cover areas such as Clinical Investigation, Translational Medicine, and Genetics.  

4. MD/MPHS (Master of Population Health Sciences)  

This dual-degree program focuses on population health and teaches students fundamental skills in epidemiology, biostatistics and the creation of evidence-based public health policies. Accepted students will learn through doing, as their curriculum involves completing a research project while taking required courses in clinical epidemiology, biostatistics, and research ethics. Students can apply after they have been accepted into the MD program, and even medical students from other schools are allowed to apply. 

5. MD/MPH 

Only students in their third year are eligible to apply for this dual-degree program that delves into public and population health. Students accepted into the program will look at health care from various angles to determine how external factors affect health on larger, collective scales. The entire 41-credit course takes up to one year to complete, which will be added onto the medical school curriculum after their third year and before completing their medical degree.  

6. MD/MBA  

This dual-degree option also adds another year to the four-year MD program, as students complete their MBA requirements in a single year between the third and fourth year of medical school. This program looks at the business and financial aspects of medicine and health care and prepares accepted students for roles in various fields from private and public spheres of health care. Students can apply at any time during their studies.  

7. MD/MS-BMI (Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics)  

This dual-degree program is another addition to the school’s academic offerings based on the numerous advances in information technology, data analysis and medical information gathering in recent years. The program aims to give medical students an advanced education in computer and data sciences so they can manage and navigate biomedical information in their career.  

Campus and Faculty 

The medical school is part of the larger Washington University Medical Campus located in downtown St. Louis, so this school is ideal for someone who prefers urban environments. The WUMC has six separate teaching hospitals that consist of the Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children’s Hospital, which are some of the oldest hospitals in the state. The two main medical school buildings are the North and South Buildings with the Bernand Becker Medical Library situated in between. The school’s location is also perfect for those who want to explore more about St. Louis, as it is situated next to the famed Forest Park and is steps away from the historic Danforth campus of Washington University.  

Affiliated Teaching Hospitals 

  • Barnes-Jewish Hospital 
  • St. Louis Children’s Hospital 
  • Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center 
  • Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital 
  • The Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis 
  • Shriners Hospital for Children — St. Louis 
  • Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital 
  • Christian Hospital 
  • Missouri Baptist Medical Center 
  • Parkland Health Centers (Bonne Terre, MO, and Farmington, MO) 
  • Phelps County Regional Medical Center (Rolla, MO) 
  • Progress West Healthcare Center 
  • Veterans Administration Medical Center 

Research Fields 

The WUSM is one of the top recipients for research funding from the National Institutes of Health and its reputation as a center for innovative medical and science research is well-earned. There are close to 20 Nobel Prize winners associated with the school through their research and WUSM continues this tradition through its continuous improvement and investment in the research facilities and infrastructure of the school. The school’s various research interests and areas range from cancer development and regeneration, the Zika virus, the short and long-term consequences of brain injuries in soldiers and athletes, cardiovascular disease, researching drug-resistant bacteria, preventing infant mortality, and researching potential Alzheimer’s treatments.  

Notable Faculty/Alumni  

 Nobel Laureates  


 Current Faculty  


Contact Information  

Washington University School of Medicine 

 660 South Euclid Avenue 

Saint Louis, MO   

63110-1010 USA 

(314) 362-6858 


Office of Medical Student Admission  


660 South Euclid Avenue 

Saint Louis, MO   

63110-1010 USA 

Bernard Becker Medical Library, 3rd Floor 

(314) 273-6673 


mailto:[email protected] 


1. What is the mission of the Washington University School of Medicine?

 The multi-faceted of the mission of the Washington University School of Medicine is to uphold its tradition of excellence in medical research and scientific breakthroughs, while also living up to the medical tenets of collaboration, professionalism and service.  

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

Yes, the WUSM requires all applicants to submit their most recent MCAT scores, but it has no minimum score to apply.  

3. What is the minimum GPA requirement?

 The school does not have an official minimum GPA.  

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

 The school prefers all students have a full bachelor’s degree from a US or Canadian school by the time they apply or when they matriculate, but, if not, it will also accept candidates with 90 credits completed toward a bachelor’s degree.  

5. Are there prerequisite courses I have to take?

 The school has only a few prerequisites and requires students to have completed two semesters in biological science, general or inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, calculus.  

6. How can I apply to WUSM?

 The school participates in the AMCAS application service, but all applicants are sent a secondary application, as long as they send a complete AMCAS application.   

7. How much does one year at WUSM cost?

 WUSM is a private institution so it does not have different tuition for in-state and out-of-state students. A full-year of medical school including tuition and all other expenses costs an estimated $93,402 for all first-year students.  

8. Is it hard to get into WUSM?

The WUSM is a very competitive school. Its incoming class has some of the highest stats of any new medical school class, but it also uses a holistic admission process following the EAM (Experiences-Attributes-Metrics) model offered by the AAMC, so other factors are as important as MCAT scores and GPA. But the school has no residency requirements, and even foreign students are allowed to apply, which would be a benefit to them, as the school is top-rated.  

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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