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Frequently Asked Questions
Medical School Application Process
When should I submit my application?
The best time to submit your application is when you have taken the time to complete the best application within the specified deadlines.
Typically, early June is the earliest date for submission of an application to the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). The UND SMHS deadline for AMCAS application submission is October 15 (or next business day if this falls on a weekend). The remainder of the application (secondary application, secondary application fee, final MCAT scores, letters of recommendation) must be submitted by November 1. Applications that are incomplete at the November 1 deadline will not be considered. For more information about the application process and deadlines, visit www.med.und.edu/student -affairs-admissions/application-process.cfm.
My letters of recommendation and/or my MCAT results aren't ready. Can I submit my application without them?
Yes. You can submit your AMCAS application and we will send you a secondary application without all or some of your letters and without your final MCAT score. The AMCAS application deadline is October 15 (or next business day if this falls on a weekend), and the rest of the application materials--secondary application and fee, letters of recommendation, and final MCAT results--must be received in our office by close of business on November 1. Incomplete applications cannot be considered or additional materials accepted after that date.
I left out some information on my AMCAS application. What can I do?
Once you have submitted your AMCAS application, you cannot add information or change it, and we are unable to accept additional information from applicants. You do, however, have an opportunity in the secondary application to update the information in your AMCAS application.
I made a mistake on my secondary application. What can I do?
No further changes can be made to the secondary application once you submit it. To have a fair and equitable process for all applicants, we are unable to accept additional information from any applicant. You may correct the information at the time of the interview if you are offered that opportunity.
Will my answer be cut short if I go over the limit of 1600 characters per numbered section on the secondary application?
The 1600 characters per numbered section is a guide for you to prepare an answer that will be complete yet succinct. We reserve the right to cut off answers that go significantly over that limit. Spaces are not included in the character count.
Does the fact that I received a secondary application mean that I will get an interview?
Everyone who applies to UND SMHS will receive a secondary application. In order to assess whether or not an applicant meets the residency requirements, we must have the information on both the primary AMCAS and the secondary applications.
When does UND SMHS begin reviewing applications? When can I expect to hear something?
Beginning in early July, we will send secondary applications via email to all applicants from whom we have received an AMCAS application. The first step in the process is to review an applicant's primary and secondary applications to determine if our residency requirement is met (for more information, visit www.med.und.edu/student-affairs-admissions/application-process.cfm and click on "Selection Criteria"). Next, Admissions Committee members complete a thorough review of all completed applications that meet residency requirements on a rolling basis beginning in early October. Applicants will be notified during that time if they will be invited for an on-campus interview or not. Interviews are held on specific Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays in the months of December and January.
What is the Medical School's reapplication policy?
Unsuccessful applicants may reapply by repeating the application process described on the website: www.med.und.edu/student-affairs-admissions/application-process.cfm. We encourage applicants who applied to UND SMHS and were not admitted to request feedback from the Office of Student Affairs and Admissions and to identify ways they can significantly improve their applications before reapplying. There is no limit to the number of times an applicant can reapply.
Is it possible for me to transfer to your medical school?
We only accept transfers from students at the start of their third year of medical school and who are in good standing at an LCME-accredited school. If you wish to be considered for a transfer, you must contact the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions no later than February 15 of the year in which you wish to transfer. Opportunities to transfer are rare.
Letters of Recommendation
How do I submit my letters of recommendation?
You must utilize the AMCAS letter service to submit all letters; we will not accept any letters of recommendation sent directly to our office. For complete information about our letter of recommendation requirements, visit www.med.und.edu/student-affairs-admissions/application-process.cfm.
What if I have more than four letters of recommendation?
Our admissions committee members require a minimum of three letters and will read a maximum of four letters. Additional letters will not be reviewed by the admissions committee. We count a Committee Letter as two (2) letters, regardless of the number of letters that may be attached. If your undergraduate institution submits a Committee Letter on your behalf, you must include at least one more individual letter that is not part of the Committee Letter upload. Some institutions compile a Letter Packet of several letters. If your Letter Packet includes more than four letters, you must identify which three or four you would like us to consider. If you do not, only the first four will be forwarded to the Admissions Committee. If you do not know what letters are in your packet, contact your advisor; we cannot provide you with any information regarding your letters. For complete information about our letter of recommendation requirements, visit www.med.und.edu/student-affairs-admissions/application-process.cfm.
MCAT, GPA, and Prerequisite Coursework
When should I take the MCAT?
The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is given multiple times each year. For most application cycles, the latest test you can take the MCAT and have the test results reach us by the November 1 application deadline is mid September.
For how long are my MCAT scores good?
MCAT scores may not be older than three years at the time of application. During the 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 admissions cycles we will accept both the "old" MCAT and the MCAT 2015. Starting with the 2018/2019 admissions cycle, we will only accept the MCAT 2015.
If I take the MCAT more than once, which scores will UND SMHS use?
All scores will be reported on the AMCAS application. The committee will look most closely at the most recent results, but all MCAT scores may be considered.
What is the minimum GPA and/or MCAT required for applicants?
UND SMHS does not require a minimum MCAT. We consider a range of variables in applicants, not just metrics, but a minimum cumulative and BCPM (biology, chemistry, physics, math) GPA of 3.0 or higher is expected. The average GPA for applicants accepted into the 2016 entering class was 3.7 and the average MCAT was 29 and 506. For additional attributes and experiences we look for in applicants, visit www.med.und.edu/student-affairs-admissions/application-process.cfm.
What should I major in to apply to your medical school?
There is no required major for our medical school. You should choose a major that interests you and you can excel in at college. We urge applicants to take a variety of courses, from humanities, to behavior sciences, to applied sciences.
Do you accept AP, community college, and/or online courses for prerequisites?
We accept those courses on a case-by-case basis, and the decision depends on the context of the overall file. If you have some of these courses on your transcript, we would prefer to see some upper-level courses taken at the four-year university level. The goal of the prerequisites is to ensure that you are ready for the rigors of medical school. Contact the Student Affairs office as soon as possible if you are uncertain if your coursework meets our criteria.
Can I apply if I have not yet completed all of my prerequisite coursework?
You do not need to have completed all the required coursework prior to submitting your application, but acceptance to medical school is dependent upon completion of prerequisites at the time of matriculation.
I took my prerequisite courses a long time ago. Are they still good?
There is no timeline for when prerequisite courses must be taken. The goal of prerequisites is to prepare you for the MCAT and the rigors of medical school. Some applicants find that they need to retake some science courses before launching into a medical school curriculum.
Do I have to graduate before applying?
Prior to admission, a minimum of 90 semester hours of credit from an approved college or university is required. Preference is given to students who will have completed an undergraduate degree and who are broadly educated in the sciences and humanities.
Residency and Citizenship
I am not a North Dakota resident. Can I apply?
Anyone can apply to UND SMHS, but as a state-supported school, we grant admissions preference to North Dakota residents or those who have strong ties to the state. We also admit a small number of applicants from Minnesota, Montana, and Wyoming. INMED (Indians into Medicine) applicants do not have a residency requirement but do have other requirements. For more information on our residency preference, please visit www.med.und.edu/student-affairs-admissions/application-process.cfm and see "Selection Criteria." It is the responsibility of applicants to assess their suitability for UND SMHS before applying.
What percentage of accepted applicants are not North Dakota residents?
No applicant who did not meet one of the residency preferences has been offered acceptance in the past. Approximately 20 percent of UND SMHS matriculants were not residents of North Dakota at the time of application; these applicants fulfilled the School's other residency preference requirements. For more information on our residency preference, please visit www.med.und.edu/student-affairs-admissions/application-process.cfm and see "Selection Criteria." It is the responsibility of applicants to assess their suitability for UND SMHS before applying.
Does your medical school accept International Students?
You must be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident of the U.S. to apply, and preference is given to residents of North Dakota or those with strong ties to the State.
Facts and Figures
How many applications do you receive? How many were invited to interview?
In the 2017 admissions cycle, we received 1352 primary AMCAS applications. Of those, 743 were completed applications that qualified for further review. We interviewed 200 applicants, of which 78 were offered acceptance.
What is the incoming class size?
The Class of 2021 will be composed of 78 students.