The Wayne State University School of Medicine (WSUSOM) calls Detroit home and because of its location, it is one of the most diverse medical schools in the US. It is also ranked as one of the top schools to graduate students who go on to serve in medically underserved areas. The school is state sponsored and must show preference for Michigan residents, but it does encourage out-of-state and international students to apply. Community engagement is something else the school uses to set itself apart, and students are encouraged to participate in serving their local community. This article will detail other interesting facts about the school’s mission as well as the steps you can take to make your medical school application stand out.

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Article Contents
16 min read

Mission Statement Admissions Statistics Eligibility Selection Factors Sample AMCAS Work and Activities Entry Interview Format(s) Acceptance and Waitlist Information Application Timeline Tuition and Debt Funding Opportunities Residency Match Rates Review of Available Programs Campus and Faculty Affiliated Teaching Hospitals Research Fields Notable Faculty Contact Information FAQs

Mission Statement

“We will educate a diverse student body in an urban setting and within a culture of inclusion, through high quality education, clinical excellence, pioneering research, local investment in our community and innovative technology, to prepare physician and biomedical scientific leaders to achieve health and wellness for our society.”

Diversity and its location play major roles in how the school views itself and its mission, as those two influences trickle down into other aspects of the school’s curriculum and extra curriculum programs. Students who are interested in the urban location and a greater involvement in community service initiatives should consider a school such as the WSUSOM.

Want to learn how to use ChatGPT to get into medical school? Watch this video:

Admissions Statistics

Overall Acceptance Rate: 3.7%

In-State Acceptance Rate: 11%

Out-of-State Acceptance Rate: 1.7%

Average MCAT of Incoming Students: 513

Average GPA of Incoming Students: 3.83

Preference for master’s or PhD: No

Experience of Accepted Medical School Applicants


The WSUSOM has open eligibility requirements, and it is both an out-of-state friendly medical school and a Canadian-friendly US medical school, even though it still shows preferences for Michigan residents. The school encourages applicants from out-of-state, Canada and foreign graduates. Canadian graduates are treated as out-of-state applicants and do not have to have permanent residency or be US citizens. If their bachelor degree is from a Canadian university, it will also be recognized.

The school also accepts international students, but they must apply with certain conditions. International students can apply only if they have either a US or Canadian degree, but if they have a foreign degree, they must complete two years at a US or Canadian school to apply. International students are encouraged to fulfill this requirement by enrolling at Wayne State University.

Selection Factors


There is no minimum MCAT or GPA to apply to the MD program at WSUSOM. The school does not have a cut-off or minimum to apply but all successful candidates had an MCAT score above 504, which is something all applicants should strive for when learning how to study for the MCAT.

The school does not have a minimum medical school GPA requirement but the lowest GPA score of the most recently admitted class was 3.53, which is yet another figure you should strive for, if you want to be a competitive applicant. The WSUSOM also does not make applicants take either the CASPer or AAMC PREview exams and neither does it encourage students to take them.

Coursework and Undergrad

The school requires all applicants have a completed bachelor’s degree to apply. The degree must be from a US or Canadian accredited university and international students who have a bachelor’s degree from a foreign school must complete two years at a US or Canadian undergraduate school to qualify for the WSUSOM.

Prerequisites and Recommended Courses

The WSUSOM has a set list of medical school prerequisites that all applicants must complete to be considered by the Admissions Committee. The prerequisites cover the standard disciplines but there are no grade requirements, although, the school shows a strong preference for course work completed with a letter grade over pass/fail grades. The school is also flexible when it comes to accepting online or community college credit counting toward the prerequisites, but it will determine on case-by-case basis whether to accept them or not.

  • Biology – 2 semesters
  • General or Inorganic Chemistry – 2 semesters
  • Organic Chemistry – 2 semesters
  • Physics – 2 semesters
  • Writing – 1 semester
  • Lab work in biology, chemistry and physics is not required, but recommended

The school also provides applicants a list of recommended courses for them to consider:

  • Biochemistry
  • Statistics
  •  Medical ethics
  • Mathematics
  • Social science

AMCAS Work and Activities

The school does place an emphasis on service and community so students should be aware of this when completing their AMCAS application. Almost 88% of all incoming students reported having performed non-medical volunteer work, while 90% reported the same for medicine-based volunteer work.

The WSUSOM participates in the AMCAS online application service and it requires all interested students to complete the online application to apply. The application itself has various elements, including two special sections – AMCAS Work and Activities; AMCAS Most Meaningful Experiences - where students can relate their past experiences as they relate to their preparedness for medical school. 

Sample AMCAS Work and Activities Entry

Type: Extracurricular Activities

Name: Jehovah’s Witness Temple 

Hours: 10 hours/per week

Most Meaningful: No


During my undergraduate, I took a World Religions elective that became an eye-opening experience. But I built upon that knowledge by making two new friends. It was around this time, a Jehovah's Witness couple knocked on my front door. They were there to proselytize but I wanted to learn more about their religion and beliefs and we ended up having an hour-long conversation about the existence of God. After that day they would come for regular visits and we would have similar, engrossing conversations about all faiths. I had no intention of converting and I made that clear to them, but they still came back and through them I was able add to my own understanding of faith and belief.

Personal Statement

All students to any medical school in the US, no matter if they are DO vs. MD, must submit a medical school personal statement (or the equivalent for schools in Texas, which uses another, state-based applications service, the TMDSAS). A good medical school personal statement should reveal an applicant’s intrinsic motivation to enter the medical profession (i.e., a memorable doctor or nurse who helped you or a loved one; an illness or setback you experienced; a passion for science or research).

The statement can do this by answering questions such as “why do you want to become a doctor”, while also including personal details (hometown, family, hobbies, etc.) that humanize you. The Personal Comments essay, as the AMCAS personal statement is called, has a limit of 5300 characters, so you need to pick and choose what details about your history are the most important as they relate to your desire to become a doctor.

Secondary Essays

The WSUSOM screens all primary applications to determine whether to send an applicant a secondary application that goes directly to the school. Medical school secondary essays are a large part of the secondary application, along with other elements such as letters of recommendation or indicating whether you want to participate in a specific track or program (although the latter does not apply to the WSUSOM).

The school will send every screened applicant a set of medical school secondary essay prompts that are formulated to gauge whether a candidate exemplifies that qualities that the Admissions Committee is looking for in its medical students. Students must submit their completed secondary by February 1, almost one month after the deadline for the primary AMCAS application.

  1. What characteristics and qualities are necessary for successful leadership? Do you think all physicians should be leaders? Please discuss your reasons.
  2. How would you address discordance between medical information vs disinformation? Discuss any impact on patients and society.
  3. What healthcare issues are faced by marginalized communities? Include the impact of at least one social determinant of health.
  4. Which of your experiences or activities align with WSU SOM’s mission? Please discuss how.
  5. Please answer if you have had a gap (career change, re-applicant, additional education, etc.). A “gap” is defined as a period of time between the end of your undergraduate education and the start of medical school. What activities have you participated in or plan to participate in during this period? How does this relate to your future career in medicine.

Sample Secondary Essay for Prompt #2

The gap between legitimate medical information and disinformation is not new but it has been intensified by the emergence of new influences, such as social media. For better or worse, social media has democratized the public square, but in doing so has caused a backlash resulting in distrust and suspicion of “official” voices.

It would be easy to simply lay the blame for medical disinformation at the feet of social media or the uneducated, but the history of medicine in the US is rife with examples of the medical establishment perpetrating great harm on vulnerable populations, even though the former believed they were doing good.

Whether it was the eugenics-inspired mass sterilizations of institutionalized patients at the turn of the last century or the Tuskegee experiments, the poor, mentally ill and people of color could not always count on the supposed objectivity and kind-heartedness of medical professionals. I was not surprised when many African-Americans (including my own family members) were hesitant to receive the vaccine, given the history.

I thought that the only way that I could get people to take the vaccine was to meet them at their level. I started a non-profit community group called Cuts and Jabs that organized and recruited willing Black medical professionals to attend community events, but mostly within the barbershops and hair salons or beauty parlors that are typical gathering places for those in the Black community.

This method meant we removed the top-down dynamic of how most medical information is disseminated, which is what I think the medical establishment needs to do more of. We are not a nation that can now accept a singular voice as the authority. But if those traditional hierarchies are no longer relevant, then, it should be viewed as an opportunity to establish new ways of communicating vital health information and gaining the trust of the public.

Recommendation Letters

The school requires at least three medical school letters of recommendation from every applicant, but there are other ways to meet these requirements. Students can submit a single pre-medical advisory committee letter to fulfill the requirements, but, if they are unable to obtain one, they must submit three letters, with at least two of them being from former professors and one of the letters being written within the past 12 months.

If you are enrolled in a post-bac program for medical school while you are applying, you must submit a letter from your program director. If you are applying for the dual MD/PhD, then one of your letters must be from a researcher who knows you well.

Interview Format(s)

The WSUSOM holds three types of interviews for applicants who are invited to after submitting their primary and secondary applications. All interviews are currently held virtually and students will have to attend a Zoom session via the WSUSOM Applicant Portal on their chosen interview day. WSUSOM is a medical school that uses MMI, but it also holds panel interviews. Students will first sit with two faculty members, alumni or practicing physicians (any combination of the three) for a 30-minute interview followed by the MMI portion, which sees students pass through five distinct stations lasting six minutes each.

Afterward, the final part of the interview day is another panel interview but this time with two current medical students. This final interview also lasts 30 minutes. But one interesting thing about the interview process at WSUSOM is that interviewees can request to be re-interviewed if they feel their first performance was lackluster. The request must be made within seven days after the first interview and the applicant will have to pass through all three stages again, faculty, MMI and student interview. 

Student Medical School Interview Questions

  1. “Describe a time when your principles were challenged.”
  2. “What is a food desert? What's so bad about it?”

Faculty Interview Questions

  1. What is implicit bias? How has it affected your interactions or that of someone else?

Sample Answer Student Interview Question #2

Food deserts are geographic areas where residents are unable to buy healthy food in the form of fruits, vegetables, whole grains or legumes and I think their existence is a tragic consequence of how little we think about public health in this country. Their emergence is due to several factors but their persistence even after they have been uncovered points to an indifference for the health and well-being of the poor and racial minorities who live in these deserts that allows them to flourish. 

There is food available in these deserts but of the overly-processed variety manufactured by multinational food conglomerates and fast-food restaurants, which then leads to poor health outcomes for the communities that sustain themselves on this unhealthy food. Food deserts also emerge because giant, big-box retailers eliminate the competition in small areas, so local, independent grocers who would normally provide fresh fruits and vegetables go out of business. Food deserts grow in cities and small towns, even rural ones where fruits and vegetables are grown. 

The obvious reason they’re bad is because of how external, commercial interests and a myriad of other factors can dictate the health of entire populations who, through no fault of their own, lose access to the kinds of foods that will promote healthier, longer lives. But there are ways to solve the problem, such as local governments paying vendors to set up fruit and vegetable stands in urban centers or prohibiting the construction of new fast-food outlets and promoting local farmer’s markets instead.

Acceptance and Waitlist Information

After the interview is complete, your interviewers add their assessments to your complete application package and send it to the Admissions Committee who makes the final decision on every application. Final decisions are sent out in the middle of October and continue until the class is full.

Applicants will either receive an acceptance, rejection or notification that they have been placed on an alternates list. The alternates list takes almost 600 applicants each cycle, with nearly half being admitted from the medical school waitlist. But these figures vary from year to year. The Admissions Committee continues to hold applicants on the waitlist until the class is full or classes begin.

Application Timeline

Primary AMCAS Application Deadline: December 31

Secondary Application Deadline: February 1

The school practices a rolling admission policy so students are sent application notifications based on when they applied. Meaning, the earlier an applicant applies the earlier they will be notified of a decision. The AMCAS application window opens in the spring so applicants have ample opportunity to submit their completed primary and secondary applications well before the official deadlines.

Tuition and Debt

In-State Tuition: $40,092

Out-of-State Tuition: $68,204

Average Yearly Cost-of-Living Expenses (in-state and out-of-state): $18,548

Average Debt of Graduating Students: $194,729

Funding Opportunities

The WSUSOM has several funding opportunities for students to take advantage of, including internal medical school scholarships. The school requires all students interested in receiving a scholarship to complete a FAFSA application and submit it as part of the acceptance process. All incoming students are screened for eligibility through various factors from financial need, disadvantaged status, academic excellence or commitment to service and diversity. Students do not need to apply to the scholarships, but they can apply to external scholarships to receive additional funding to cover medical school tuition or medical school housing.

  1. Doris J. Giddey Scholarship Fund
  2. August and Bertha May Stockmeyer Endowed Scholarship
  3. Arthur J. Roberts, M.D. Memorial Endowed Scholarship
  4. Beverly and Dr. Adger Butler, Jr. Annual Scholarship
  5. Carol E. Pearson, M.D. Endowed Scholarship
  6. Charles C. Vincent, M.D., Memorial Annual Scholarship

Residency Match Rates

The most recent graduating class from WSUSOM matched 100% with their preferred residency program on their rank order list, which is a historic first for the medical school. The record-setting day also saw half of all graduates opt to stay in Michigan to perform their residency with primary care specialties, such as a family medicine residency, taking up only 35% of specialties that graduates matched. The most popular specialty among primary care was internal medicine with 53 students entering an internal medicine residency. The next most popular was general surgery and emergency medicine, both receiving 23 students.

Review of Available Programs

1. Four-Year MD Program

WSUSOM recently updated its curriculum to give students more time-off from school, but also to improve the ways students are assessed. The new Highways to Excellence curriculum retains other elements of the previous curriculum such as the systems-based approach that introduces students to the normal and abnormal states of various functions of the body. What’s new in the curriculum is the option to take some classes online, or through hybrid models of synchronous and asynchronous learning.

The first two years or pre-clerkship phase divided between three 12-week blocks that cover various systems from the Musculoskeletal and Peripheral Nervous system to the Cardiopulmonary and Reproductive. There are also three longitudinal courses students will take throughout their four years – one thread, the Clinical Experiential Clerkship is limited to the second year only – which will instruct students on expanding their knowledge beyond medical science.

They will learn practical skills, such as performing patient examinations in the Critical Skills thread, while also learning about the role of physicians in society through the Population, Patient, Physician and Professionalism thread. There is a Service-Learning thread that encourages students to participate in community service initiatives and volunteer work while in school, as over first and second-year students perform up to 34,000 hours of community service.

Following their first year, students are invited to apply to one of seven different tracks, or Scholarly Concentrations, which are also longitudinal and are similar to the specializations in a specific aspect of medicine offered at other medical schools. The SCs are intended to boost the training and learning gleaned from the regular curriculum in a specific area, which are:

  • Basic Biomedical Research
  • Clinical Research
  • Public Health, Advocacy and Community Engagement
  • Global Health
  • Medical Education
  • Women's Health
  • Urban and Environmental Health (CURES)

Students will take special courses based on their SC, receive mentorship and identify a faculty mentor as a research advisor for a research project they must complete, the latter being a mandatory component of every SC, regardless of the subject. After the first two years, students enter the clinical phase of the curriculum, but only after taking a 3-week Clerkship Preparation course to learn how to prepare to clinical rotations.

The Clerkship phase begins with a 12 months of core clerkships that students perform at various public and private hospitals throughout Detroit and Michigan, which span the following specialties:

  • Internal Medicine - 12 weeks
  • Surgery - 12 weeks
  • Pediatrics - 6 weeks
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology/Women's Health - 6 weeks
  • Family Medicine - 4 weeks
  • Psychiatry - 4 weeks
  • Neurology - 4 weeks
  • CRISP – longitudinal

Following their completion of all their required and elective rotations, students then begin their post-clerkships phase. Here they must also complete a set of core rotations in Emergency Medicine, and also participate in a sub-internship, prepare to study for and take the USMLE Step 2 CK, and also learn how to choose a medical specialty

2. Three-year MD Program

The WSUSOM is the only medical school in Michigan that offers an accelerated, three-year pathway to a medical degree. This program is open to all students who have already been accepted into the traditional four-year program. Applicants must apply and interview separately for the three-year path, and, if accepted, will benefit from the shorter length to obtain a medical degree, but also a guaranteed spot in one of six WSUSOM-sponsored residency programs.

3. Post Baccalaureate Program

The Post Baccalaureate Program at WSUSOM is an initiative to train low-income Michigan residents in pre-medical aptitudes to improve their chances of getting into medical school. The program runs for one year and admits 16 students annually to receive training in upper-level science courses along with participating in MCAT prep courses. Applicants must meet a few admission requirements to enter the program.

Applicants must be:

  • Michigan residents
  • First in the family to attend college
  • Have a minimum MCAT score of 491
  • Complete a set of prerequisite courses

If accepted into the program, there is no guaranteed admission into the medical school, even if you successfully earn your certificate (it is a non-degree program). But accepted students do have all their fees and costs associated with the program covered by the university. 

4. MD/PhD

This seven-to-eight-year program is offered in collaboration with the Wayne University Graduate School and accepts students who meet the requirements of the MD program, as well as demonstrate excellence in research. Only six students are accepted into the program and students indicate on their primary AMCAS application whether they wish to apply or not.

The program requires students to take the MCAT, but not the GRE, and students will begin the graduate portion of their education in the third year, and continue for up to three or five years. Afterward they will resume their medical school education and receive both degrees – MD/PhD - at the same time. Students accepted into the program can choose from several areas of specializations to do with biomedical science. 


The dual-degree MD/MBA program at WSUSOM is an opportunity for interested students to learn about the business and financial aspects of medicine and health care, while also completing their MD studies. The program is offered in collaboration with the Mike Ilitch School of Business and has a unique feature that sets it apart from most other MD/MBA programs. Enrolled students can complete both degree requirements within four years, so they do not have to add another year to their four-year program.


Students who have an interest in public health and receiving specialized education in public health issues can take this dual-degree program to better prepare themselves to take positions in public health systems. They can also learn how larger, systemic issues affect both public health and population health. Unlike the MBA program, this dual-degree does add an extra year to the four-year MD, as accepted students must take a year off to complete their graduate studies and then re-enter the MD program.

Campus and Faculty

The original Detroit Medical College (now the WSUSOM) dates back to the Civil War and the school’s campus blends aspects of those origins with elements of the diverse, urban environment that define modern Detroit. The school is in the center of the city’s main medical campus, consisting of the John G. Dingell VA Hospital, Detroit Medical Center, and the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

All the school’s administrative and student affairs offices are located on the medical campus, and are divided between several buildings. The Mazurek Medical Education Commons is the centerpiece of the medical campus, where students can either visit with faculty members and administrators, or attend classes in one of the many research facilities located in the building.

Affiliated Teaching Hospitals

  • Ascension St. John Hospital
  • Beaumont Dearborn
  • Detroit Medical Center
  • Henry Ford Hospital
  • Karmanos Cancer Institute
  • Michigan Healthcare Professionals
  • St. Joseph Oakland
  • St. Mary’s Livonia
  • Veterans Administration Hospital

Research Fields

  • Addiction Research Institute
  • Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
  • Center for Emerging and Infectious Diseases
  • Center for Human Growth and Development – C.S. Mott Center
  • Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics
  • EHS Center in Molecular and Cellular Toxicology with Human Applications
  • Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
  • Ligon Research Center of Vision
  • Michigan Poison and Drug Information Center

Notable Faculty

M. Safwan Badr, MD., MBA

  • Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine
  • Professor of Internal Medicine, Physiology and Biomedical Engineering
  • Member of the Michigan Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee

Nardhy Gomez-Lopez, PhD

  • Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • President’s Achievement Award

Jeffrey Withey, PhD

  • Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology
  • Fulbright Scholar

Margo Panush Cohen MS, MD (ret.)

  • Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Bhanu Pratap Jena, BSc, MSc, PhD

  • George E. Palade University Professor and Distinguished Professor of Physiology

Contact Information

Wayne State University SOM

Richard J. Mazurek M.D. Medical Education Commons

540 E. Canfield Ave.

Detroit, MI 48201

(313) 577-1466

Office of Admissions

Mazurek Education Commons

320 E. Canfield St., Suite 322

Detroit, MI 48201



1. What is the mission of the Wayne State University School of Medicine?

The mission of the WSUSOM is to train and educate medical students to be compassionate and embrace service and volunteerism as integral aspects of being a physician. The school follows through on this mission by allowing students to participate in volunteer and community service work during medical school.

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

Yes, all applicants must submit their most recent MCAT, but scores no older than three years will be accepted. There is no minimum MCAT to apply and the school will consider only your highest score.

3. What is the minimum GPA requirement?

The school does not have an official minimum GPA for applicants to meet.

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

The school requires all applicants to have a full bachelor’s degree. Applicants with a degree from outside of the US or Canada must complete two years of at an accredited university, or earn a degree from WSU to be eligible.

5. Are there prerequisite courses I have to take?

The school requires students to complete prerequisites in biology, chemistry, physics and English writing. 

6. How can I apply to WSUSOM?

The school participates in the AMCAS application service, so all primary applications are submitted online. Only applicants who meet the school’s requirements are sent a secondary application.

7. How much does one year at WSUSOM cost?

The WSUSOM is a state-sponsored school so it has two tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students. One full year of medical school for Michigan residents is $67,690, and one full year of medical school for non-Michigan residents is $98,802.

8. Is it hard to get into OUWB?

As with all state schools, the WSUSOM is easier to get into for Michigan residents than non-residents. But, even with those residency preferences, the school encourages all applicants to apply regardless of their origin. The school even accepts Canadian applicants and does not have any other requirements for them to meet, which is similar to the requirements for out-of-state applicants. But the school has many different selection criteria and anyone with a demonstrated commitment to service or volunteer work has a good chance of getting in.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

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Disclaimer: BeMo does not endorse or affiliate with any universities, colleges, or official test administrators. The content has been developed based on the most recent publicly available data provided from the official university website. However, you should always check the statistics/requirements with the official school website for the most up to date information. You are responsible for your own results. 

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