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Frequently Asked Questions

COUNSELING/ADVISING SERVICES

APPLICATION PROCESS

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ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS

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LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION

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THE SELECTION PROCESS

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INTERNATIONAL/FOREIGN STUDENTS

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INTERVIEW PROCESS

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CURRICULUM

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COMBINED PROGRAMS

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OTHER IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

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COUNSELING/ADVISING SERVICES

Will the Office of Admissions provide counseling services to me if I am a prospective applicant? If I am a non-traditional applicant?  If I am an unsuccessful applicant?
We do not have the available staff in our office to provide this service.  If you are an undergraduate student interested in attending medical school you should meet with the designated pre-medical advisor, or appropriate career center counselor, at your school to discuss your preparation for the application process.  If you are a non-traditional student, and even if you have been out of school for several years, you are also urged to meet with the pre-medical advisor at your former undergraduate school to discuss your interest in medical school.  If this approach is not practical (e.g., distance is a problem) you are urged to meet with the advisor at the college or university where you plan to complete the pre-requisite coursework.  This approach is advantageous because it will also allow you to obtain a composite letter of recommendation from the advisor, a requirement in the application process for most medical schools.  Finally, if you were an unsuccessful applicant in the past we strongly urge that you return to your undergraduate advisor to discuss strategies for improving your chances of acceptance in the future.  This approach will also allow you to update your letter (s) of recommendation, a crucial component of the re-application process.  Please be advised as well that regardless of your particular situation we cannot tell you if you are a competitive applicant or if you are likely to be accepted to medical school.  Only the Committee on Admissions can make that determination when they review your completed application.  

We are always more than happy to answer your specific question(s) about the application process, or any question about our medical school.  You can contact us at admissions@som.umaryland.edu.

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What should I do about obtaining a pre-medical advisor if I am a non-traditional candidate?
We  are always willing to answer your specific question about the School of Medicine, or about our application process, but we do not have the available staff to provide you with a pre-medical advisor.  You have two possible options for obtaining an advisor.  You should first try to meet with the pre-medical advisor at your former college or university (where you attained your baccalaureate degree).  Your undergraduate school may provide this service for you even if you graduated some time ago.  If this approach does not work you should consider the second option.  In all likelihood you will need to take additional coursework to satisfy the academic requirements for admission.  If so, we suggest that you select a four-year college in your area which has a dedicated pre-medical advisory system.  If you need help with this decision you can visit the National Association of Advisors  for the Health Professions website at www.naahp.org.  

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Can I visit the school or speak with an admissions staff member?
The Office of Admissions cannot entertain a visit, other than during the official interview day, from any individual who has an active application on file with the School of Medicine.  You may call or email the office if there is significant concern about your application.  We ask though that inquires be kept to a minimum to allow our staff the time to complete the daunting task of processing the thousands of applications that will be submitted this year.  We urge all prospective students to check the status of their application on-line.

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How do I strengthen my application?
If you have a question about strengthening your application at any point in the application cycle we urge strongly that you confer with your pre-medical advisor.  We do not have a pre-medical advisor in our office or the available staff to provide this type of service to all applicants.  If you have a specific question about the School of Medicine or our requirements you are welcomed to call or email the office.  

If you have previously applied unsuccessfully to medical school we strongly urge that you confer with your pre-medical advisor about ways that you can strengthen your application.  Again, we do not have a pre-medical advisor in our office or the staff to handle these inquires.

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APPLICATION PROCESS

How many applications does the University of Maryland School of Medicine receive?
At the end of 2011 cycle, 4,808 applications had been received for the 2011 entering class. There are a 160 spots in the new first year class. 

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How do I obtain an application?
University of Maryland School of Medicine participates in the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS).  You must complete the AMCAS application via the AMCAS website www.aamc.org (then click on AMCAS for Students) and indicate an interest in the University of Maryland School of Medicine.  Once they have received all required materials from you, they will verify your application and send it to the schools for which you have indicated an interest.

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What is the completion deadline?
The AMCAS primary application must be submitted by November 1st.  Transcripts must be sent to AMCAS by November 15th.  The secondary application is due by December 15, and all required letters of recommendation must be received no later than January 15.
Please Note: If you are applying to the MD/PhD program, the deadline for the secondary application and the letters of recommendation is November 15, 2012. 

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If I request one, will I be granted an extension of the November 1st AMCAS application deadline?
An extension of the November 1st deadline WILL NOT be granted under any circumstances.

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When and how do I receive the secondary application?
Once we receive your certified application through AMCAS, we will email you a secondary application to be completed and returned  along with your $80.00 payment.

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What internet browser should I have to navigate through the secondary application?
Internet Explorer Version and above.

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Where can I obtain the In-state Classification Form?
Download the form.  

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Where do I mail the Supplemental Application for In-state Classification Form?
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Office of Admissions
HSF I, Suite 190
685 W. Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD  21201

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Will I be notified once my file is complete?
You are encouraged to check on line for the status of your application.  You will use the same procedure that you used to complete your secondary application.

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If I have questions about the application process what should I do?
Please email the Office of Admissions at admissions@som.umaryland.edu or contact us by telephone at 410-706-7478.  We prefer email and will respond to you as quickly as possible.

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ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS

What are the average MCAT score and GPA of accepted students?
Accepted students in the 2011 entering freshmen class had an average GPA 3.71 and an average MCAT score of 31.   

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Are there MCAT or GPA “cut-offs” in the screening process?
There are no “cut-offs”. Incoming students may have a wide range of scores.

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If I have attained my degree(s) abroad will I be eligible to apply to the medical school?
If you  have studied abroad you must complete at least one year of study in an approved college or university in the United States or Canada before applying to the School of Medicine.  We strongly recommend that you complete at least the prerequisite coursework prior to making an application.  Please keep in mind, though, that we do give preference in the selection process to applicants who have earned a bachelor’s degree. Students without a baccalaureate or advanced degree in the hard sciences from an institution in the United States or Canada are rarely accepted for admission.

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Can I request a waiver of any of the required premedical courses?
In general, the answer is “no”.  The Committee on Admissions expects all applicants to complete the prerequisite courses as listed in the School of Medicine catalog, including those courses with a required laboratory component.  Advance Placement credits are accepted but must be reflected on your official transcript(s).  Occasionally, a substitution with a similar course may be allowed (e.g. an intensive writing course) if the applicant’s advisor sends the Committee on Admissions a letter stating that the course meets the college’s English requirement.  However, such a substitution can be granted only at the discretion of the Committee on Admissions.  Students are strongly advised to stick to the list of required courses as closely as is possible.

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Will the University of Maryland School of Medicine accept pre-medical coursework completed at a community college?
Courses taken at the community college level will satisfy our pre-requisites.  However, the Committee does prefer that the bulk of courses be taken at a four year college or university.Applicants who have taken the required courses in the classroom and have done well will be deemed more competitive in the selection process.

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Are on-line courses acceptable?
On-line courses from an accredited college or university may be accepted.  However, the Committee on Admissions values much more highly those courses taken in the classroom setting.Applicants who have taken the required courses in the classroom and have done well will be deemed to be more competitive in the selection process.

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What are the oldest MCAT scores accepted?
The MCAT can be taken no later than the fall of the year preceding the desired year of entrance and must be taken within four years of the anticipated date of matriculation.

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Will you grant me a waiver of four year MCAT requirement?
No.

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How will my application be viewed if I have taken the MCAT more than one time?
We expect that many  students will take the MCAT on at least two occasions. In that scenario we will look at the best set of scores, which is usually the second set. If those scores are competitive the fact that you have taken the test twice will not matter at all. This may change if you take the test more than two times.  Even with improving scores, your application, in terms of the MCAT exam, will be deemed to be a bit less competitive overall if you have taken the test three, four or more times.

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LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION

How many letters do I need to submit with my application if my school does not have a Premedical Advisory Committee?
If your school does not have a Premedical Advisory Committee, your letters of recommendation must come from three of your undergraduate and/or graduate school faculty. At least two letters must come from science faculty and one from non-science faculty.

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Do I send letters of recommendation to AMCAS or directly to the University of Maryland School of Medicine?
Letters of recommendation should be sent directly to AMCAS. AMCAS will forward your letters to the School of Medicine.

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Do I have to get a letter from the Pre-Medical Committee at my school?  Should I get such a letter if I have been out of school for a couple of years?
A composite letter of recommendation is required if such a committee or advisor exists at your school.  It is STRONGLY recommended that you make every effort to obtain this letter.  It is to your distinct advantage to do so.  If you cannot submit a committee  letter you should write to us and tell us why (e.g., there is no advisor or committee at my school; the advisor or committee  would not write a letter on my behalf; etc.)  If you have already graduated from college, and have made a recent decision to apply to medical school, you should make every effort to return to your former school for this service.  You will find, in most cases, that schools will assist you with the application process even if you graduated several years ago.

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If I have a significant employment history should I submit a letter of recommendation from my employer or supervisor?
Yes.  It is strongly encouraged that you submit a letter of recommendation from each important component of your previous academic or work experience.

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If I am reapplying do I need to submit a new application and letters of recommendation?
If you are re-applying to medical school you must submit a new application through AMCAS.  It is strongly suggested also that you submit new or updated letters of recommendation. It is especially beneficial for you to update your pre-medical committee letter, if applicable.

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THE SELECTION PROCESS

When is my file being reviewed?
Once your file is complete it is forwarded to the Committee on Admissions for further consideration.  The process of reviewing files begins in August and continues through March.  Every completed application is reviewed by the Committee.  Files are reviewed in no particular order.  However, since admissions is a rolling process it is to your clear advantage to complete the application as early in the cycle as is possible.  You can check on-line to see if your letters have been received and your application is complete.

Please be advised that it is entirely possible that your application may be reviewed early but then held over for further consideration later in the year.  The very competitive nature of the application process, and the limited number of interview spots, often makes it difficult for the Committee to render a final decision for some applicants until all applications have been reviewed.  The Office of Admission sincerely appreciates the patience that is often required during this highly uncertain and sometimes difficult process.

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What is the profile of your student body?
Refer to Our Students/Class Statistics.

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What qualities does the Committee on Admissions look for in a competitive medical school applicant?
Please refer to The Selection Process. Here you will find a discussion of our selection process and the qualities that we feel are important for the study and practice of medicine.

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Do any of the following preclude me from applying to medical school – a criminal conviction of any kind? a student record of academic or disciplinary misconduct?
The answer in general here is “no”.  It is important to note though that in some states a criminal record might eventually lead to denial of your application for a license to practice medicine. This obviously depends on the nature (severity) of the criminal offense. If you have a history of arrest or of academic or campus misconduct, you MUST explain the circumstances of the situation and their consequences in both your AMCAS and secondary applications. The Committee on Admissions will very carefully consider this information in conjunction with all of the other materials submitted with your application. This will allow them to make an informed decision regarding your suitability as a medical student and, eventually, as a practicing physician.

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Do you give preference to in-state applicants in the selection process?
Yes, we do give preference to Maryland residents. However, non-residents are strongly encouraged to apply. A significant number of non-resident applicants are invited to interview and are accepted each year. The average ratio for our freshmen class is 80% Maryland residents and 20% non-residents.

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Is there anyway I can know my position on the Waiting List more precisely than upper or lower half?
No. We have found in the past that being more precise has created problems for both the medical school and the applicant.

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INTERNATIONAL/FOREIGN STUDENTS

Do you consider Canadian citizens eligible for admission to the University of Maryland School of Medicine?
Yes.

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Do you consider international/foreign students eligible for admission to the University of Maryland School of Medicine?
University of Maryland School of Medicine can only consider applications from students who are permanent residents or citizens of the United States and citizens of Canada.  At the time of the interview you must provide a copy of your permanent residency visa, if applicable.

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INTERVIEW PROCESS

How will I be notified of an invitation to interview?
You will be contacted via email regarding an invitation to interview.  Interviews are conducted beginning the first of October and continuing through the end of March.

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I use Hotmail, Yahoo mail, Gmail, etc.  Will my interview invitation be caught in the spam filter?
YES.  All interview invitations are sent via email.  Interview requests are notoriously caught by the spam mail filters of major free email addresses.  It is important that you check your spam email and make appropriate changes in your email settings to enable emails from som.umaryland.edu to pass through the filter.  Please be proactive and make these changes in your spam filter settings.  You may lose your chance to interview otherwise.

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When and how are interviews conducted?
Interviews are required for acceptance and are conducted by invitation only.  We interview two days a week (Monday and Wednesday) beginning in September and concluding at the end of March. You will have two interviews with either two faculty members or one faculty member and one medical student. Interviews may be scheduled either in the morning or afternoon. This depends on the availability of our interviewers. The interview format is not standard in design, and interviewers will have full access to all materials in your file. For a more detailed discussion of the interview process please visit The Interview.

In addition to your interviews, the interview day will include a financial aid presentation, an orientation session with the Associate Dean for Admissions, lunch with students, and a tour of campus.

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When should I expect a decision on my application? I just interviewed.
We will make every effort to notify you of a decision on your application within four to six weeks from the time of your interview.  Some applicants may hear sooner, some a bit later.  A heavy workload in the Office of Admissions may extend the time frame a bit, as will the major holidays. You will receive notification of your application status after your interview by both email and regular mail (USPS).

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What does it mean when my application has been placed on the “Wait List” after my interview?
The Committee on Admissions will invite approximately 550 outstanding and highly qualified applicants to interview in any given year. The Class size will be 155-160 in number. Obviously, not everyone who interviews can be immediately accepted. The highly competitive nature of our applicant pool makes it necessary to wait-list a large number of interviewed candidates until all interviews have been completed, generally in late March. In early April, the Committee on Admissions again reviews the files of all wait-list candidates, ranks their official list, and applicants are notified by regular mail of their position on the list.

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CURRICULUM

How is the curriculum structured?
See our Curriculum page.

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Where do students receive clinical exposure?
Most clinical instruction is carried out at University of Maryland Medical Center, VA Medical Center and other affiliated area hospitals.

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What is your policy regarding Visiting Students interested in Elective Rotations?
If you are interested in doing a clinical elective at the University of Maryland Medical System please  contact the Office of Student Affairs of the School of Medicine, 410-706-7476, for further information.

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Will I need a car during medical school?
Students may be assigned to off-campus sites for several components of their clinical training, including the Introduction to Clinical Medicine course in both the first and second years. Third year clerkships that may have some component of off-site training include Medicine, OB/GYN, Surgery and Family Medicine. Students will be responsible during medical school for their own transportation. A "Ride Share" site on MedScope (the School of Medicine website) has been developed which will hopefully allow everyone here the opportunity to share the burden of driving off campus.

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COMBINED PROGRAMS

How do I apply for the combined MD/PhD program?
The application process is the same as if you are applying to the MD only program. You apply through the AAMC/AMCAS System and note on your application that you are interested in the MD/PhD program. Additional questions will then be asked of you.

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How do I apply for the combined MD/Master's program?
The application process is the same as if you are applying to the MD only program.  You apply through the AAMC/AMCAS System and note on your application that you are interested in the MD/Master's program. Additional questions will then be asked of you. The secondary application that is sent to you will ask that you outline your academic objectives pertaining to the Master's and the concentration in which you plan to study.

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OTHER IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

What is your Transfer/Advanced Standing policy?
University of Maryland School of Medicine will accept transfer students into the third year class only. The number of transfer spots available in a given year will depend on attrition.

You will be eligible to transfer into third year class if you have, or will have, completed two years at an LCME-accredited medical school in the United States or Canada.  You must also be in good standing and eligible for promotion at your medical school.  If you are granted advanced standing you must pass Step I of the USMLE examination prior to matriculation at Maryland.  Your acceptance will be conditional pending USMLE results.

Please note that the School of Medicine will not grant advanced standing to you if your  field of study has been in osteopathic, dental, veterinary or podiatric medicine

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Can I defer my entrance into medical school?
Yes, you may request a deferment of your matriculation for up to two years. The usual deferment though is for one year. Your request for a deferment must be received in writing by June 1st and you must tell us how you plan to use your time off. There is no guarantee that your request will be approved. The Committee on Admissions will grant you a deferment only if they feel that your year(s) off will lead to substantial personal or professional growth. In recent years deferments have been granted to individuals who were planning to complete research projects, engage in extended volunteer or service activities (e.g., AmeriCorps, Teach for America, Peace Corps) or pursue other academic opportunities (e.g., an M.P.H., a second baccalaureate degree). You cannot request a deferment if you are accepted from the Wait List.

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Is there financial aid available to medical students?
Yes, you  should contact the Office of Financial Aid, www.umaryland.edu/fin or 410-706-7347.

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Is housing available to students?
Yes.  Refer to website www.housing.umaryland.edu  

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Last updated 6/13/11