Betty McDonald Pre-Med Institute

Medical School Requirements

Though all medical schools in the U.S. have rigorous entry requirements, each school evaluates prospective students differently. This is an overview of what you will need to have accomplished in order to be accepted into medical school.

For an overview of how the Betty McDonald Pre-Med institute works with you to help you fulfill each of these requirements, take a look at our Monthly, Semester and Yearly checklists.


The Medical College Admission Test is required by almost all medical schools. Each school has a minimum required score on the MCAT, usually somewhere between 29 and 35.


While you may complete your degree in any major you desire, you are required to have taken specific classes including eight credits of biology, eight credits of physics, eight credits of English, eight credits of general chemistry and 8 credits of organic or biochemistry. We recommend that students major in Biology or Chemistry in order to best prepare themselves for what they will be expected to know in medical school.


A score of 3.3 (B+ average) is generally considered the lowest Grade Point Average a medical school will accept. Most medical schools are looking for students with a score of 3.5 (A average) or above on a 4 point scale.


Applicants to medical school will have to pass an interview with the prospective school. This interview may last up to two hours and will test your ability to communicate well with others as well as your problem solving, observational, analytical and behavioral attributes. In short, you will need to convince the interviewer that you are the kind of person who will become a successful medical professional.


Medical schools expect you to have had experience both in physician shadowing and patient exposure. The programs of MPI will help you to arrange local opportunities for both of these. There are many other aspects that, though not formally listed as admission requirements, are highly sought after in medical school applicants. Possessing these skills and experiences will make you much more likely to be accepted by a medical school.


Future medical professionals need to be leaders in their professional and everyday communities. These experiences can be accomplished through participation in clubs, religious organizations and campus entities.


A doctor must be a researcher, able to gather information and draw conclusions. You will need to have experience writing research papers and participating in research conferences. All students of MPI are guided through the process of obtaining sufficient research experience.


As a medical professional, you will need not only to know the people you will serve, you must also demonstrate an interest in making their lives better. There is no better way to gain experience and show you care about others than through volunteer work. There are unlimited opportunities to serve others in the community of SUU.


Expressing yourself in English can be difficult enough without having to worry about medically specific vocabulary, and yet, this is something all international medical students will have to deal with. To succeed, you will need to develop the ability to convey ideas clearly and to understand others, including patients who may come from extremely different backgrounds from your own. Language is only one piece of this puzzle. You will need a working knowledge of cultures, symbols and non-verbal communication as well. Through practice and specialized education, you will obtain all the skills necessary to communicate with those around you.

Letters of Recommendation

Many schools ask for three separate letters of recommendation from a professor, supervisor or someone else you have worked for. These letters should attest to your good moral character and work ethic. MPI's mentors and instructors are good sources of these letters, as they will have worked closely with you, as well as people and groups you have served through volunteer work.

Personal Statement Essay

With your application for medical school, you will likely need to include an essay describing the personal attributes that will make you a valued member of the student body of the school and an asset to the medical community. It should describe your experiences that have helped develop you as a person and that have led you to apply to medical school. It can include your thoughts, goals and strengths, as well as areas you feel you need to improve.