MD Students wearing their white coat for the first time

Admissions Requirements

All information presented on the MD Program admissions web pages is for the entering year 2025.

For our next MD class, which will matriculate in August 2025, we will enroll 80 students from Washington at the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. They will share a passion for giving back to their communities. They will approach challenges with sound judgment and a spirit of benevolence. They will intuitively strive to collaborate. They will have a passion and understanding for serving rural, underserved, historically marginalized, and/or vulnerable communities.

These students will relentlessly seek answers to questions that beset Washington’s most challenging health care environments. When faced with limited resources, they will innovate. They will lead teams of professionals with expertise across the health care spectrum. Together they will bring health care and compassion to communities across the state.

Here’s What It Takes to Join the MD Class of 2029

We encourage you to view our mini webinars that outline our process.

The college evaluates applications for admission using a holistic review process. This process considers a range of characteristics and experiences that are aligned with our mission.

Scholastic aptitude is very important; however, academic metrics such as grades and test scores cannot entirely capture an applicant’s character or personal journey, nor their alignment with our mission. Personal characteristics, reflection, and life experiences reveal what academic metrics cannot. They explain a person’s drive for pursuing a medical career, their genuine care for others, and tell us about how well they align with our mission – the commitment we have in Washington to rural communities, Tribal Nations, and people who have been historically marginalized.

The college seeks individuals who want to leave a legacy of improving the health of Washington communities throughout the state. In particular, we seek individuals who want to help us fulfill our mission “to serve Washington and beyond through collaboration and problem-solving in education, research, and health care with a focus on rural communities, Tribal Nations, and people who have been historically marginalized. .

In a holistic process, an individual’s academic metrics are considered in the broader context of  their life experiences and who they are.

  • What communities have you served? What did you learn about them? What did you learn about yourself?
  • What opportunities have you pursued? How did they help broaden your worldview? What did you learn about yourself?
  • What adversities have you overcome and how have they shaped who you are?
  • What leadership roles have you taken on to challenge yourself? What did you learn?
  • What values and principles guide your decisions and choices in life?

Before reaching a decision, the Admissions Committee examines the complete picture of an applicant’s qualifications as it aligns with the college’s mission, vision, and goals. They do so without access to the applicant’s MCAT scores and GPAs.

Definition of Holistic Review in Medical School Admissions

“Holistic review refers to mission-aligned admissions or selection processes that take into consideration applicants’ experiences, attributes, and academic metrics as well as the value an applicant would contribute to learning, practice, and teaching. Holistic review allows admissions committees to consider the “whole” applicant, rather than disproportionately focusing on any one factor.” — Association of American Medical Colleges

Experiences and Attributes Sought in Applicants

No matter your area of academic study, if you are passionate about pursuing a career in medicine, about serving Washington communities, especially those which are rural, Tribal Nations, and/or people who have been historically marginalized, and you meet the eligibility requirements to receive a secondary application, we encourage you to apply. We are looking for the following experiences and attributes in our applicants:

Life Experiences
  • Experience with Rural and/or Underserved Communities and Populations: Experience to understand the unique challenges and opportunities in rural environments and/or underserved communities and populations
  • Connection and Commitment to Washington: Length of time in Washington, experiences in Washington (childhood, college, volunteering, work), and a reflection of commitment to serving Washington as a physician
  • Service: Engages in non-healthcare activities that serve others beyond oneself
  • Experience Beyond the Classroom: Cultural experiences, arts, work, new language, hobbies, passion outside of academics, entrepreneurship
Personal Attributes
  • Leadership: Demonstrated leadership which has inspired others; capacity to mobilize people toward a goal; potential to excel as a leader through actions and activities; inclusive of diverse voices
  • Communication/Interpersonal Skills: Social skills, active listening, emotional intelligence, professionalism; ability to address conflict in a positive, productive manner; verbal and nonverbal skills
  • Intellectual Excellence: Uses creative and critical thinking to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, and/or approaches to problems; ability to succeed academically; capacity for improvement
  • Ethical Responsibility to Self and Others: Sound ethical judgement; integrity; empathy; altruism; recognizes and addresses bias in oneself
  • Teamwork/Collaboration: Demonstrates effective ability to work with others; intergroup collaborations with diverse individuals; puts team goals ahead of individual goals
  • Resilience/Adaptability: Perseveres in the face of internal or external challenges; recovers from setbacks; tolerance of stressful and changing situations; adaptable

Want to Learn More about How Our Admissions Team Uses Holistic Review?

Check out this podcast featuring Dr. Leila Harrison, Vice Dean for Admissions, Student Affairs, and Alumni Engagement

You can also view her presentation through the AAMC about mitigating structural bias in admissions.

Academic Metrics

For an applicant’s candidacy to be considered, they must achieve one of three threshold combinations of undergraduate cumulative grade point average (UGPA) and Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) score (percentile rank). These threshold combinations are informed by national data that tell us graduated medical students across the country have been successful progressing through medical school with these combinations. Furthermore, research continues to tell us that GPA and MCAT together are better predictors of performance throughout medical school than either alone.

Minimum GPA and MCAT Combinations

Applicants must meet one of the following combinations to be considered for a secondary application (there are no exceptions to these requirements). There are only three options as detailed below with no in-between combinations. We utilize the percentile rank AMCAS provides us upon receipt of the application.

  • If undergraduate cumulative GPA is 3.8 – 4.0, then 27th percentile rank or higher on the MCAT
  • If undergraduate cumulative GPA is 3.4 – 3.79, then 43rd percentile rank or higher on the MCAT
  • If undergraduate cumulative GPA is 2.6 – 3.39, then 61st percentile rank or higher on the MCAT

If the applicant has taken graduate coursework in medical/clinical or basic sciences (note: graduate degrees in the areas of public health, social sciences, or areas other than medical/clinical or basic sciences will not be considered), the graduate cumulative GPA will be considered individually if the above combinations are not met. This will be considered on a case-by-case basis with the consideration of the degree, area of focus, and number of hours/courses completed. The graduate GPA in these select areas will be combined with the MCAT composite score as follows:

  • If graduate cumulative GPA is 3.7 – 4.0, then 27th percentile rank or higher on the MCAT
  • If graduate cumulative GPA is 3.5 – 3.69, then 43rd percentile rank or higher on the MCAT
  • If graduate cumulative GPA is 3.2 – 3.49, then 61st percentile rank or higher on the MCAT

Once one of these threshold combinations have been met along with the other requirements to receive a secondary application, MCAT and all GPAs are masked upon return of the secondary application and will remain masked through the completion of the admissions process.


The MCAT is required for acceptance.

The MCAT assesses problem solving, critical thinking, and knowledge of natural, behavioral, and social science concepts and principles prerequisite to the study of medicine. There is a fee to register for the exam; however, some applicants may qualify for the Fee Assistance Program (FAP).

  • Latest an applicant can take the MCAT: last September test date in the year the application is submitted.
  • Oldest MCAT considered: 4 years prior to the date the applicant expects to matriculate. For students entering in Fall 2025, the oldest acceptable MCAT is anytime in 2021.
  • If an applicant takes the MCAT multiple times: the highest eligible composite percentile rank will be considered.

After an application has met one of the UGPA/MCAT combination threshold requirements and the application goes into review with these metrics masked, the Admissions Committee may look at grade trends as well as an applicant’s performance in prerequisite or other science courses. However, the calculated UGPAs are masked.

Baccalaureate Degree

Applicants must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in the United States or Canada by July 15 of the year they will begin medical school. Their degree may be in the discipline of their choice, as long as they have completed the prerequisite coursework. We do recommend additional science courses beyond the pre-requisites to be prepared for the medical school curriculum.

If the applicant does not have a bachelor’s degree because they enrolled in a doctoral-level (terminal degree) program from a U.S. accredited institution that did not require a bachelor’s degree for entrance, they may apply if they will earn or have earned the doctoral degree by July 15 of the year they will begin medical school.

Premedical Course Requirements

Successful completion of required courses, as well as rigorous upper-level coursework, suggests that an applicant possesses some of the competencies needed to excel in medical school. But fulfilling course requirements is just a starting point. The Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine seeks well-rounded, intellectually curious students who explore a wide range of disciplines.

Applicants will need to complete the following minimum course requirements with a grade of C (any level of C) or better by July 15 of the year they expect to enroll in our medical school. While prerequisites do not need to be completed when they apply, acceptance will be conditional, pending successful completion of the requirements.

Here are some additional details about coursework in general:

  • Coursework does not expire
  • Any courses taken at an accredited US or Canadian institution are accepted
  • Online courses are accepted
  • Courses including prerequisite courses completed at accredited community colleges are accepted

Required College Prerequisites

Course Semester Credit Hours*
Biology with lab
Preferred focus: Genetics, molecular biology
4 (3 hours of lecture, 1 hour of lab)
Organic chemistry with lab4 (3 hours of lecture, 1 hour of lab)
Physics with lab4 (3 hours of lecture, 1 hour of lab)
*4 semester credit hours is equivalent to 6 quarter hours.

The science courses should be specified for science majors.

Advanced Placement (AP), CLEP, and International Baccalaureate (IB) Credits

AP, CLEP, and IB credits that were acceptable to an applicant’s undergraduate institution may be used to satisfy prerequisite courses. These credits must be documented on the official transcript.

Courses That Do Not Count toward the Requirement
  • Courses taken pass/fail or credit/no credit*
    Prerequisite courses must be graded with a range of numbers or letters that indicate the comparative level of performance.
  • Remedial/developmental or “English as a Second Language” courses

The science courses should be specified for science majors. Genetics, anatomy or comparative anatomy, and human or mammalian physiology all could meet the biology requirement as long as they have a lab. These are specified below as they would be helpful in the medical curriculum, however, other biology courses could meet the pre-requisite.

*Course Considerations Due To COVID-19

While we normally require that the pre-requisites above be taken with a grade, individuals who experienced changes to their curriculum due to COVID-19 such as a pre-requisite (including the lab) changing from a graded course to a Pass/Fail course, this will be accepted for the pre-requisite courses for the following timeframes:

  • Calendar years 2020, 2021, and 2022 (term, quarter, semester)
  • The graded requirement for pre-requisites begins again in calendar year 2023

If a pre-requisite course was changed from an in-person course to an online course, we already accept online coursework (if taken at an accredited institution) to meet our pre-requisites.

Recommended College Coursework

Please keep in mind that while our prerequisite courses listed above are the only ones we require for enrollment, to successfully complete the medical school curriculum, taking additional science courses and others listed below are highly recommended to be best prepared for our curriculum.

CourseSemester Credit Hours
Literature, art, music, or history
College English3
College Mathematics3
Human Development/Embryology3
Anatomy or comparative anatomy3
Foreign language
Preferred focus: Spanish, intermediate verbal proficiency
Research courses or data management3
Psychologycredit or more
Human or mammalian physiologycredit or more

To be considered for a secondary application and be eligible for admission, the following must be met (there are no exceptions to these requirements):

  • U.S. Citizen or U.S. Permanent Resident
  • Meet 3 of 4 “from Washington” ties (defined below) or a definition of “resident student” of Washington
  • Meet one of the three UGPA/MCAT combination thresholds found in the Academic Requirements section
  • All required letters of recommendation have been received from AMCAS (3 individual letters or Health Professions Advisory Committee packet). We would prefer to receive only the number of letters we specify. Letter details:
    • Your letter writers submit all letters of evaluation through the AMCAS Letters of Evaluation/Recommendation Service
    • If your premedical advising office provides a committee letter compiling feedback from multiple sources, this committee letter will meet the required letters of evaluation. If you do not have access to a premedical advising office, three individual letters will meet the letter requirement.
      • Select writers who know you well and can speak to your experiences and attributes, particularly relative to those we have identified.
      • If recently in school, try to include at least one faculty member who has gotten to know you during the course of your studies. If you have been out of school for some years, consider an employment supervisor.
      • The College will not consider letters from family members and/or friends.
      • Letters should be dated from the current application year. If an applicant is reapplying, they should seek to have existing letters updated including a new date rather than forwarding old letters.
      • Letters should be written on letterhead and signed.

Connections to Washington Requirements

The Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine is seeking applicants who are resident students of Washington or whom have strong ties to Washington. Upon receipt of the AMCAS application, we will consider both the indicated state of residence on the application as well as meeting the ties to Washington described below. We will ask applicants who indicate they are a Washington resident on AMCAS but do not have 3 or more ties to Washington to provide official documentation to establish that the applicant meets a “resident student” definition by state law.

Applicants who do not meet the definition of a Washington resident student or do not have 3 or more ties to Washington are not eligible for admission and will not receive a secondary application.

Ties to Washington

Regardless of the identified state of residency on AMCAS, if you demonstrate that you are “from Washington” by meeting at least 3 of these 4 ties to Washington, you meet this requirement:

  1. Born in Washington
  2. Childhood address in Washington as indicated on AMCAS
  3. Graduated from a Washington high school
  4. Parent/guardian currently lives in Washington
Resident Student

If you do not meet the ties above, you must meet a definition of resident student by state law. The College of Medicine uses the definition of “resident student” in RCW 28B.15.012(2) to determine state residency. Please note, in consultation with the Attorney General’s office, we established a date different than what is reflected in the RCW. Residency must be met by January 1 of the enrollment year. You will be required to provide documentation proving one of the definitions below.

  1. Applicants who are financially independent and have maintained a bona fide domicile in the state of Washington primarily for purposes other than educational for at least one year by and immediately leading into January 1 of the enrollment year.
  2. Applicants who are financially dependent with at least one parent or legal guardian who has maintained a bona fide domicile in the state of Washington for at least one year by and immediately leading into January 1 of the enrollment year.
  3. Applicants who are on active military duty stationed in the state of Washington or are members of the Washington National Guard.
  4. Applicants who (i) are members of a federally recognized tribe whose traditional and customary tribal boundaries include portions of the state of Washington, or whose tribe was granted reserved lands within the state of Washington, and (ii) have maintained a bona fide domicile in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, or Washington or a combination of these states, for one year by and immediately leading into January 1 of the enrollment year. This includes the tribes WSU has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with, which can be found on the Office of the Tribal Liaison website.

There are other, less common, ways of establishing yourself as a “resident student”. Please review RCW 28B.15.012(2) for additional considerations, especially if you are a veteran or are a relative of a veteran or active duty service member.

For more information, please visit our FAQ “Eligibility for Admissions” section.

The Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine does not differentiate in the admissions process between those applicants who meet the definition of “resident student” and those who have met the ties to Washington only.

All of our admitted students pay the same tuition and fees. Learn more about Financial Aid and Estimated Cost of Attendance.

International Students

For your application to be considered, you must be a U.S. citizen or hold a valid U.S. permanent resident card (green card) in addition to having the connection to Washington described above.

Criminal Background

In compliance with the Fair Chance Act of Washington State, the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine does not automatically or unreasonably deny an applicant’s admission based on an applicant’s criminal history. Read our Admissions Criminal Background Policy.

Transfer Students

The college is not currently accepting transfer students. View the Admission of Transfer Students policy.

Admissions Resources and Policies

Resources to Prepare You for Medical School Applications

  • Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine Application Planning Worksheet
    Complete our Application Planning Worksheet to make sure you are on track to complete all of our admissions requirements and are gaining exposure to the life experiences and attributes we are seeking at the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine.
  • Mission-Aligned Worksheet
    Complete this worksheet to determine how you align with our mission. You can engage in this activity for other medical schools you’re considering.
  • Preprofessional Advisors at Your College or University
    Ask for course selection guidance and resources that will help prepare you to apply to medical school. Your best contact is the advisor at your undergraduate institution. You can also find an advisor through the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions. You may also contact the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine Office of Admissions, Student Affairs, and Alumni Engagement for advising where you can schedule an appointment with one of our admissions team members.
  • Lists of Prerequisite Courses
    Identify required courses for admission to schools that interest you. For the College of Medicine MD program, be sure you’re on track to complete the required courses by July 15 of the year you would start medical school.
  • Association of American Medical Colleges website
    It provides information for premedical students about the MCAT, applying to medical schools, fee assistance, and more.
  • Extracurricular activities and community engagement
    Pursue your interests with passion! Play an active role in serving your community.

Policies and Resources

The process of selecting medical school students to our college conforms to Washington state law (RCW 49.60.400), which prohibits discrimination against or preferential treatment for any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin. Here are some resources to assist in understanding the US Supreme Court decision on race-conscious admissions as well as other applicable resources:

You Can Review All College of Medicine Policies Pertaining to Admissions: