Application Process

Congratulations for all you've accomplished to reach this stage in your journey towards a career in medicine.

Please review the information in this section carefully before beginning your application to UND's School of Medicine & Health Sciences. If you have questions, please contact the Office of Student Affairs & Admissions.

UND's application and admissions procedures comply with the AAMC Application and Acceptance Protocols for Admissions Officers. We encourage you to consult and follow the AAMC Application and Acceptance Protocols for Applicants. In addition, we expect applicants to assume responsibility for the following:


The Office’s official form of communication is email. Applicants are responsible for monitoring their email accounts and for notifying AMCAS and the Office of any email address changes. Check junk email or the spam folder just in case.


It is the applicant's responsibility to review the Admissions website to determine eligibility and competitiveness for admission into UND SMHS. Please review the Selection Criteria; if you are not a North Dakota resident, we encourage you to pay special attention to the section on Residency.

Letters of Recommendation

It is applicants’ responsibility to ensure that they submit the correct number of letters by the November 1 deadline (see Step 3: Submit Letters of Recommendation below).

If your letters are being forwarded by your university advising office or career center, and you are unaware as to how your university compiles letters of evaluation, please consult your pre-health advising office prior to entering letter information to avoid complications with your application.

Completed Application Deadline

The Office is unable to assume responsibility for notifying applicants of missing credentials. If you have any concerns about the completeness of your application, please contact the Office before the November 1 deadline. If your application is incomplete at the November 1 deadline, it will be withdrawn from consideration. The deadline to receive all application materials is FIRM and NO exceptions will be permitted.

  • May: The AMCAS application can be electronically accessed by prospective applicants.
  • June: Applicants can begin submitting AMCAS applications to UND SMHS.
  • July: The Admissions Office begins sending secondary applications to AMCAS applicants (through October).
  • August: The Admissions Committee begins to review completed applications. Qualified North Dakota residents who are first-time applicants are offered interviews on a rolling basis (through November).
  • September: Completed applications are reviewed and interview invitations are sent to all qualified applicants on a rolling basis (through November).
  • October 15: Deadline for submission of the AMCAS application (by 11:59 p.m., EST).
  • October 29: Last date to submit transcripts to AMCAS (by 11:59 p.m., EST).
  • November 1: Deadline for submission of secondary application, secondary fee payment, and all admissions materials (by 11:59 p.m., EST).
  • December: Review of applications completed and final interviews scheduled. Interviews begin on select weekends. Acceptances sent to select North Dakota first-time applicants (through January).
  • January: Interviews continue on select weekends. Interviews completed in late January, and all applicants notified of admissions decisions.
  • February: Waitlisted applicants updated (through July).
  • April 30: National Reply Date. Accepted M.D. applicants must choose a single medical school to attend. Deposit returned if acceptance is declined by this date.
  • First Monday in August: Orientation and first day of classes.

PLEASE NOTE: Applications are reviewed and interviews scheduled on a rolling basis. In addition, the number of interviews offered is limited. A timely submission of materials, therefore, is important.

Applicants are encouraged to assess their suitability for the School based on the following preference criteria. Those who meet the criteria are strongly encouraged to apply.


All applicants to UND SMHS must be U.S citizens or legal permanent residents of the U.S.


Preference in admission is given to the following residents:

North Dakota Residents

Applicants who are legal residents of North Dakota and have lived in the state for at least 12 months prior to Nov. 1 of the year of application. Strongest preference is given to current legal residents of North Dakota who graduated from a North Dakota high school.

Former Residents of North Dakota

Former residents of North Dakota whose parents are residents of North Dakota, and who graduated from a North Dakota high school, and who were previously residents of North Dakota for ten years or more.

Significant Ties to North Dakota

Applicants who are, or will be at time of matriculation, a graduate of a North Dakota University, excluding on-line degrees.


Applicants who have a first-degree family member (mother, father, sibling, child, or spouse) who is a graduate of a North Dakota University, excluding on-line degrees.

Minnesota Residents

Applicants who are residents of Minnesota. Stronger preference is given to Minnesota residents who graduated from a high school in the Red River Valley.


Applicants who are certified by the WICHE-sending states of Montana and Wyoming.


Applicants who are enrolled members of federally recognized tribes, regardless of state of residency.

PLEASE NOTE: Applicants who do not meet any of the above residency preferences will only be considered for admission if there are not enough qualified applicants who do.

Applicant Characteristics

Successful applicants will demonstrate through the AMCAS application, letters of recommendation, secondary application and the interview:

  • Skills and Experience
    • Communication skills
    • Problem-solving skills
    • Group/team participation skills
    • Organizational skills
    • Self-care skills
    • Interpersonal skills
  • General fit for a career in medicine
    • Commitment to improving the human condition
    • Work/service/achievement
    • Health care exposure
    • Dedication to life long learning
  • Fit for the School's mission
    • Firsthand knowledge of rural health care in ND and/or underserved area
    • Life experience in a rural/small town setting and/or a Native American community
    • Genuine fit of applicant goals with the mission of the school
  • Personal Characteristics
    • Integrity
    • Self-awareness
    • Empathy
    • Relationship building
    • Commitment
  • Educational accomplishments and appropriateness for PCL Curriculum
    • GPA
    • MCAT
    • Course Variety
    • Participation in non-academic activities.

Prerequisite Course Work

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.

The following list of courses and credits indicates the minimal prerequisites that all applicants must take prior to admission to medical school. A minimum cumulative and BCPM (Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Math) grade point average of 3.0 or above is expected.

  • Chemistry (with lab): 16 total
    • Inorganic and qualitative: 8
    • Organic: 8*
  • Biology (with lab): 8
  • Physics (with lab): 8
  • Psychology/Sociology: 3
  • Language Arts (English, Speech, etc.): 6
  • College Algebra (or higher math or statistics): 3

* A student may substitute a semester/quarter of biochemistry for the final semester/quarter of organic chemistry.


MCAT results are a required part of the application. Scores may not be older than three years at the time of application.

Step 1: Complete the AMCAS Application

UND SMHS uses the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS), the centralized, web-based, application service that allows applicants to complete and submit one primary application to multiple schools. Applicants are asked to meet the following AMCAS deadlines in order to be considered for admission into UND SMHS:

  • Submission of AMCAS Application: October 15 (by 11:59 p.m., EST)
  • Submission of transcripts to AMCAS: October 29 (by 11:59 p.m., EST)
  • Submission of MCAT scores and all Letters of Evaluation: November 1 (by 11:59 p.m., EST)

Applicants who do not meet the above deadlines will not be considered for admissions into UND SMHS. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible due to the rolling admissions process.

PLEASE NOTE: AMCAS can take six to eight weeks to process and verify your application before we receive it. If you wait until the deadline to submit, we may not receive a processed/verified application by the time our interview slots are full.

Step 2: Submit the Secondary Application and Fee

Beginning July 1, secondary applications are sent via e-mail to all applicants who submit an AMCAS application to UND SMHS. We do not pre-screen for secondary invitations; applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Eligibility and Selection Criteria before applying.

Applicants are asked to meet the following Secondary Application deadlines in order to be considered for admission into UND SMHS:

  • Submission of Secondary Application: November 1
  • Submission of a $50 non-refundable secondary application fee: November 1. (The fee will be waived for those individuals who participate in the AAMC fee assistance program.)

Applicants who do not meet the above deadlines will not be considered for admissions into UND SMHS. Applicants are encouraged to submit their Secondary Application and fee within two weeks to ensure timely consideration.

PLEASE NOTE: Once you have submitted the Secondary Application, you will not be able to make any changes to it.

Step 3: Submit Letters of Recommendation

Letters must be submitted by November 1 through the AMCAS Letter Service. UND SMHS cannot accept letters not submitted through AMCAS.

UND SMHS requires a minimum of three and a maximum of four letters of evaluation. Two of the letters are required from college instructors or faculty who know you well and can address the personal characteristics noted in the section on Selection Criteria. The final letter should be from a supervisor (paid or volunteer) whom you have worked with and knows you well enough to speak to the characteristics. Non-traditional applicants who have been out of school for a number of years may choose to include more letters from supervisors than faculty.

Choose one of the following options to satisfy the letters of recommendation requirement:

  • Option 1: Submit three or four Individual Letters of recommendation. NOTE: If you submit more than four letters, only the first four will be forwarded to the Admissions Committee. OR
  • Option 2: Submit a Letter Packet of individual letters assembled by your undergraduate institution. NOTE: If your letter packet contains more than four letters, you must let us know 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 how many letters are in your letter packet, contact your pre-health advising office. OR
  • Option 3: A Committee Letter (which we count as equivalent to two letters of evaluation) and one or two Individual Letters of recommendation, which are not part of your Committee Letter. NOTE: A Committee Letter, regardless of how many additional letters of support of your application it contains, counts as two letters of recommendation. In order to meet the minimum requirement of three letters of recommendation, you must submit at least one more individual letter. For many applicants, this final letter is from a supervisor.

Types of letters as defined by AMCAS:

  • A Committee Letter is a letter authored by a pre-health committee or pre-health advisor and intended to represent your institution’s evaluation of you. A Committee Letter may or may not include additional letters written in support of your application
  • A Letter Packet is a packet or set of letters assembled and distributed by your institution, often by the institution’s career center. A Letter Packet may include a cover sheet from your pre-health committee or advisor; however, in contrast to a Committee Letter, a Letter Packet does not include an evaluative letter from your pre-health committee or advisor.
  • An Individual Letter refers to a letter authored by, and representing, a single letter writer.

Any applications that do not have the required minimum of three letters submitted through the AMCAS letter service by the November 1 deadline will be considered incomplete and withdrawn from consideration.

PLEASE NOTE: Any applications that include only a Committee Letter upload, regardless of the contents of the Committee Letter, at the deadline will be considered incomplete at two letters and withdrawn from consideration. It is your responsibility as the applicant to ensure that you have the right number and types of letters submitted; we will not contact you about missing letters.

Step 4: Complete Your Application

Your application will be forwarded to the Committee for review only after it is fully completed. The Committee receives completed applications, and interviews are scheduled on a rolling basis. There are a limited number of interviews available.

The FIRM deadline for completed applications is November 1. The absence of any required material will lead the Committee to consider the application as incomplete and will prevent consideration of the application. An application is complete after the following credentials have been submitted:

  • Verified AMCAS application and transcripts
  • MCAT Scores that are no older than 3 years at the time of application
  • Secondary Application and Fee
  • Letters of Recommendation

IMPORTANT: When we have received all required application materials, you will receive an email notifying you that your application is complete. If you do not receive this email, it means that your application is incomplete. The Office is unable to assume responsibility for notifying applicants of missing credentials. If you have any concerns about the completeness of your application, contact the Office before the deadline. If you contact us after the deadline to inquire about an incomplete application, it will be too late to change the status of your application.

PLEASE NOTE: To have a fair and equitable process for all applicants, we are unable to accept additional information from any applicant. If you have updates or corrections to your submitted materials, you may address that in the Secondary Application or at the time of the interview if you are offered that opportunity.

Scheduling Interviews

The Admissions Committee reviews applications and offers interviews on a rolling basis. Interviews are held on specific Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in November, December and January, and the number of interview slots is limited. When all interview slots are filled, we will begin an interview waitlist. A timely submission of application materials, therefore, is important.

  • Applicants will be notified of the invitation to interview via email with instructions on how to return to the Secondary Application page to schedule an interview. It is expected that applicants will schedule an interview within two to three business days to assure a timely scheduling of interviews.
  • The interview team consists of three admissions committee members: a basic scientist, a physician and a medical student. One team member will be the lead interviewer; all members, however, will ask questions in turn. The interview is expected to last 30 to 45 minutes.

Interview Day

Applicants are asked to arrive at least one-half hour early on the day of interview. Refreshments are available for applicants, and medical students and admissions staff will be on hand to provide information and answer questions (this is not part of the interview process). Following the interview, applicants may stay and talk further with the medical students and, if they desire, take a tour of the school. Applicants should allow for two to four hours on the day of their interview.

Acceptances will be offered via email. Applicants who meet certain selection criteria will be offered acceptance on a rolling basis throughout the interview process; all other applicants will be notified soon after all interviews are completed.

Accepted students are expected to respond within four weeks of initial admissions offer to accept or reject the offer. Acceptance of the position at the School must be accompanied by a $100 deposit (to be applied to the first semester tuition).

  • A $100 check must be mailed to the Office of Student Affairs & Admissions.
  • The deposit may be refundable if the accepted student notifies the Office of Student Affairs & Admissions by April 30.

Early Decision Program is now available for applicants who are residents of North Dakota and who are applying to UND medical school for the first-time.

We encourage competitive applicants who are interested only in the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences and who are a strong fit for the School's mission to apply through the Early Decision Program (EDP). To qualify for EDP, you must:

  • Be a current legal resident of North Dakota for at least one year prior to application.
  • Be a first-time applicant to UND SMHS.
  • Be available for interview on September 15, 2018.
  • Apply only to UND SMHS. If accepted, you must matriculate to UND. If you are not accepted through EDP, you automatically will be placed in the Regular Decision applicant pool for UND SMHS and may then apply to additional schools as well.
  • It is assumed that applicants who apply through EDP meet or exceed the average metrics for accepted applicants (see Frequently Asked Questions).

EDP applicants will follow all the application steps detailed above but in a shorter timeframe:

  • August 1: Deadline for submission of AMCAS EDP application, transcripts, and MCAT score (by 11:59 pm, EST)
  • August 15: Deadline for submission of secondary application, secondary fee payment, and all letters (by 11:59 pm, EST)
  • September 15: Interviews
  • Oct 1: Acceptance notification
  • October 16: Deadline to reply if offered acceptance

PLEASE NOTE: Your EDP application must be complete by the August 15 deadline and no updates can be made to your application after August 15, even if you are rolled into the Regular Decision pool. If your EDP application is incomplete by the deadline, you will be considered a passive withdrawal.