Frequently Asked Questions
The following are frequently asked questions on a range of topics from supplemental applications to student life.
Q. Are there pre-established cut-off scores or points used in the consideration of MCAT scores and GPAs?
A. No. All applications that have been verified by AMCAS will be reviewed and given full consideration by the admissions committee.
Q. How does the admissions committee view multiple MCAT scores?
A. Although a single strong MCAT score is always the best strategy, we consider all MCAT scores in making decisions regarding candidacy. A sequence of scores tells us about timing and judgment as well as mastery of the material. Scores are not the sole determinants of an applicant’s acceptability. They are considered in relation to all of the other components of an application.
Q. Does the admissions office offer individualized advice or counseling to prospective applicants?
A. No. The admissions office cannot offer individualized advice or counseling. We strongly urge prospective applicants to consult with pre-health advisors at their undergraduate and/or current schools. Members of the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP) provide pre-health advising on a volunteer basis. Please visit the NAAHP website.
Q. Does the admissions office provide feedback to applicants who were not accepted to the MD program or who were not invited to interview?
A. The admissions office cannot offer feedback on admissions decisions. We suggest that applicants consult with pre-health advisors at their undergraduate and/or current schools about ways in which they might improve their applications.
Q. How does the admissions committee view applicants enrolled in or who have completed a post-baccalaureate program?
A. All components of an applicant’s application material are considered using a holistic evaluation model. We cannot determine in advance how post-baccalaureate work will affect an applicant’s likelihood of being accepted. We strongly urge prospective applicants to consult with pre-health advisors at their undergraduate and/or current schools for feedback on preparation.
Q. When should I send my transcript?
A. Please do not send transcripts unless we ask you specifically for them. Transcripts will not be added to your file. We will only consider transcripts included in your AMCAS application.
Q. I will be in the Los Angeles area soon. Is it possible to have my file reviewed before that time so that I can schedule my interview during my upcoming trip?
A. Unfortunately, we cannot extend an applicant any special or priority treatment due to travel plans.
Q. Will applications from applicants with DACA status be accepted?
Q. Are there pre-requisite science courses needed for applicants to be eligible to apply the MD program?
A. No. The path to becoming a physician is as variable and unique as the applicants themselves. Successful applicants have distinguished themselves in their chosen field of study and show evidence of competency in the physical, biological and social sciences. We require that applicants take the MCAT and that they obtain a baccalaureate degree by the time they intend to matriculate into the program.
Q. Are there recommended courses applicants can take to prepare for the MD program?
A. Yes, we recommend Spanish and statistics courses.
Q. Are campus tours available to prospective applicants?
A. Tours are provided only to those applicants whom have been invited to interview for admission.
Q. Can I update or revise my secondary application once I have submitted it?
A. We do not accept updates or revisions to application materials once the supplemental application is submitted.
Letters of Recommendation
A. Committee letters or letter packets containing more than three letters will meet but not exceed the requirement. Our reviewers will use their discretion in deciding which (3) letters to include in the evaluation.
Q. Which course professors should submit Letters of Recommendation (LORs)?
A. The applicant can choose whomever they believe can best speak to their personal and academic strengths. Letters from faculty who know the applicant well are especially valuable to the committee. A committee letter is sufficient. Alternatively, 2 or 3 letters from professors, PI’s or work experience are acceptable. Do not send more than 3 letters!
Q. If I apply to the MD/PhD program and I am not accepted, will I automatically be considered for the MD program?
A. Yes. Applicants who are not accepted into the MD/PhD program are automatically considered for admission into the MD program.
Q. How are vacancies on the waitlist filled?
A. The admissions committee fills vacancies based on the needs of the incoming class.
Q. How will I receive notification of my application status?
A. All interview invitations and admission decisions will be sent via email. Applicants may check the status of their application on the Admissions Portal at keck-medadmit.usc.edu.
Q. How many times may I apply?
A. A single reapplication will be considered. Please do not submit a third application.