Need to know

University of Michigan Medical School student in lecture hall

Below you'll find information on applying to the University of Michigan Medical School. Our position is that there is more than one path to medical school, and our expanded prerequisites reflect this beginning with the 2016 entering class.

All applicants are expected to demonstrate a strong foundation of knowledge across core scientific subjects, as well as the inter/intrapersonal skills needed by to thrive in an ever-changing healthcare landscape. 

Please review a few frequently asked questions, and then let us know if we can answer any remaining ones by phone or email, or during one of our #GoBlueMed TweetChats.

Admissions Requirements

Each University of Michigan Medical School applicant must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States,
  • Have completed at least a four-year high school education or equivalent,
  • Have completed at least 90 hours of college course work, of which 60 must be from an accredited U.S. based institution, and
  • Have taken the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

Prerequisites for 2015 Entering Class

These are the premedical coursework requirements for matriculation into the University of Michigan Medical School. Grades below "C" will not be accepted in any of the following required courses:

    • 1 year of Inorganic Chemistry with any laboratory experience
    • 1 year of Organic Chemistry with any laboratory experience
    • 1 semester (or quarter) of Biochemistry
    • 1 year of Biology with any laboratory experience
    • 1 year of Physics with any laboratory experience
    • 2 semesters (3 quarters) of intensive writing courses
    • 6 semesters (9 quarters) of additional non-science courses

*1 year is typically defined as 2 semesters or 3 quarters

In addition to appropriate science preparation, the University of Michigan Medical School encourages students to select from among the following courses during their undergraduate years:

  • Comparative Health Care System
  • Epidemiology
  • Gender and Health
  • Genetics and Cell Biology
  • Health Policy
  • Health Services Research and Evaluation
  • Human Physiology
  • Introduction to the American Health Care System
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Medical Ethics
  • Medical Economics or Finance
  • Medical History
  • Medical Sociology
  • Psychology and Sociology of Aging
  • Statistics

The above list indicates minimum requirements, but it should not be inferred that admission is probable for any applicant who meets them.

Since many fields of medicine offer opportunities for those talented in both the humanities and the sciences, students should allow personal interests to dictate their choice of undergraduate major. In general, the study of a few subjects in depth is recommended. We also recommend courses in genetics and cell biology, as these topics contribute to preparation for the Medical School curriculum.

Prerequisites for 2016 Entering Class

For the 2016 entering class, eligibility for admission into the University of Michigan Medical School can be accomplished EITHER by completing the:

  • Prerequisites for the 2015 Entering Class found above 

OR by completing the:

  • Prerequisites and Core Competencies for the 2017 Entering Class and Beyond found below. 

Prerequisites and Core Competencies for 2017 Entering Class and Beyond

The University of Michigan Medical School holistically evaluates candidates for admission across a range of attributes necessary for successful development into a compassionate, skilled physician who is capable of serving the needs of a diverse and changing population.

UMMS will look positively upon individuals that have discovered personal areas of academic interest through their curricular and extracurricular activities and have worked to independently develop, refine and distinguish their experiences to improve and advance healthcare.

Since the many fields of medicine offer opportunities for those talented in both humanities and the sciences, students should allow personal interests and their passion to dictate their choice of an undergraduate major. 

UMMS Admissions Prerequisites:

  • A rigorous experience and involvement in the humanities that emphasize the written and verbal communication of ideas and concepts with an understanding and competency in ethical and analytical decision-making that includes its historical and societal background and relevance.
    • Courses offering a social science or philosophical context can provide future doctors with insights that are crucial to the discharge of their professional responsibilities.
  • Academic strength and rigor in the field of biology that encompasses the core concepts of cell biology, developmental biology and molecular biology and genetics. We will look for emphasis in human biology, but not to the exclusion of other life systems.
  • Academic strength and rigor in the field of chemistry that encompasses core concepts of biochemistry and biologically applicable elements of inorganic and organic chemistry such as enzymatic reactions and principles of protein structure and function.
  • Clear evidence of the ability to demonstrate knowledge of basic physical principles and their applications to the study and understanding of living systems such as thermodynamics and fluid dynamics is required; however, the University of Michigan will not require a dedicated course in physics.
  • Academic strength and rigor in statistical methods and analysis.
  • A clear and distinct experience in intellectual inquiry and active participation in the independent discovery of new knowledge. 

UMMS Admissions Core Competencies:

All candidates will present evidence of academic strength and rigor in the following areas:

  1. Analytical Thought and Problem-Solving Skills
  2. Written and Verbal Communication
  3. Mathematical/Statistical Analysis
  4. Application of the Hypothesis-Driven Methods of Research

Our applicants will be evaluated on the characteristics that distinguish them in the following parameters:

  • Academic excellence
  • Altruism
  • Communication
  • Desire to learn
  • Integrity and Ethics
  • Leadership
  • Reliability and Dependability
  • Resilience and Adaptability
  • Social/interpersonal skills and Teamwork

These attributes will be assessed as part of our overall evaluation of students not only at the time of application with self-assessments and other documentation, but also throughout their medical school careers.

Find more information on AAMC Core Competencies for entering medical students.  

Other resources: Coursera Pre-Med Courses

Letters of Recommendation

We require a minimum of 3 letters of recommendation with a maximum of 6. Your recommenders can be any individuals who can objectively assess your personal qualities such as integrity and ethics; reliability and dependability; social, interpersonal and teamwork skills; resilience and adaptability; altruism; and a desire to learn. 

We have no specific requirements regarding how you select these individuals.  However, if you choose to include someone from your academic experiences, we strongly recommend an experienced faculty member (Associate Professor or Professor) rather than a graduate student instructor (GSI).  ALL letters of recommendation must be submitted via the AMCAS Letter Service. During the application process, there will be a section asking for your Letter of Evaluation information. Please consult the AMCAS instructions for additional details and be sure to review the AAMC’s new Letters of Evaluation Guidelines.

At the University of Michigan, we will not accept any letters of recommendation sent directly to the medical school. Any letters we receive will not be accepted, will not be placed in your application file nor will they be retained in any other form.

To summarize:

  • We require a minimum of 3 letters of recommendation with a maximum of 6.
  • Letters of recommendation may come from any individuals you believe can objectively assess your personal qualities.
  • ALL letters need to be submitted using the AMCAS letter service.
  • Do NOT send any letters directly to the University of Michigan Medical School.
  • Any letters sent directly to Michigan will not be accepted nor retained.

Secondary Applications

All applicants will receive a Secondary Application upon receipt of their verified AMCAS application.

Technical Standards

State of Michigan Residency Classification for Tuition Assessment Purposes

The University of Michigan’s tuition structure is two-tiered, reflecting resident and non-resident rates.  Residency status is determined at the University level by U-M’s Office of the Registrar.

You can find the specific guidelines here.

International Applicants

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Permanent residents and U.S. citizens who did not attend U.S. or Canadian schools should complete at least one year, preferably two, in residence at an accredited college in North America. All previous academic credits must be validated by the accredited college.

Students who have been previously enrolled in a medical school program leading to the M.D. degree must be in good standing at that institution in order to receive any consideration for admission to the University of Michigan Medical School as a first-year student.

Advanced Standing & Transfers

Because of the integration of clinical content with basic sciences in our curriculum, there is no provision for advanced placement. The University of Michigan Medical School does not consider any transfer requests.