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Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine

Private: Applying to the MD Program

Admission requirements


All information presented on the MD Program admissions web pages is for the entering year 2023.

For our next MD class, which will enroll in entering year 2023, 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.

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 2027.
We encourage you to view our mini webinars that outline our process.

Watch webinars

Holistic Review

The college evaluates student applications for admission using a holistic review process. This process considers a range of characteristics that are associated with outstanding physicians.

Scholastic aptitude is very important. However, academic metrics such as grades and test scores cannot entirely capture a student’s character or personal journey, nor their alignment with our mission. Personal stories and aspirations reveal what academic metrics cannot. They explain a person’s drive for pursuing a medical career, their care for others, and tell us about how well they align with our mission – the commitment we have to rural and underserved areas and people of Washington.

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 vision of solving problems in challenging health care environments within the state.

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

  • What opportunities have you pursued? How did they help broaden your worldview? What did you learn about yourself?
  • What adversities have you overcome?
  • 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?
  • What have you learned from others you’ve served?

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 and GPAs.


“Holistic review is a flexible, individualized way of assessing an applicant’s capabilities by which balanced consideration is given to experiences, attributes, and academic metrics and, when considered in combination, how the individual might contribute value as a medical student and future physician.” Association of American Medical Colleges


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 and/or underserved, and you meet the eligibility requirements to receive a secondary application, the college encourages you to apply. We are looking for the following characteristics in applicants:


  • 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
  • Clinical exposure: Quality of experience (including shadowing, scribing, helping care within your family, emergency medical technician) AND amount of exposure
  • 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


  • 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, Senior Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs

You can also view her presentation through AAMC on our holistic review process.


Academic Requirements

Academic metrics

For an applicant’s candidacy to be considered, they must achieve an acceptable combination of undergraduate cumulative grade point average (GPA) 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. Furthermore, research continues to tell us that GPA and MCAT together are better predictors of performance through medical school than either alone.


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 at the time of 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 toward or completed a degree 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 GPA are blinded upon return of the secondary application through the remainder of the 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 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 2023, the oldest acceptable MCAT is anytime in 2018.
  • If an applicant takes the MCAT multiple times: the highest eligible composite percentile rank will be considered.


For the EY 2023, we will accept MCAT scores from calendar year 2018.

We still require the MCAT to be considered for a secondary. This is because we only utilize the MCAT to meet one of three combination thresholds and then completely blind it thereafter through our entire process once the secondary is returned. We do not fill our interview spots until all completed applications (AMCAS, secondary, letters) have been considered for an interview.


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


Successful completion of required courses, as well as rigorous upper-level coursework, suggests that an applicant possess 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 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.

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.


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 is 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


CourseSemester 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.


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 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.


While we normally require that the pre-requisites above be taken with a grade, students who have experienced changes to their curriculum due to COVID-19 such that a pre-requisite (including the lab) they were enrolled in or planned to enroll in was changed 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 and 2021 (term, quarter, semester)
  • Spring 2022 (term, quarter, semester)

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.


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
Psychology1 credit or more
Human or mammalian physiology1 credit or more

Requirements to Receive a Secondary Application

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 GPA/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.
      • Letters should be written on letterhead and signed.

State Residency 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. The College of Medicine will ask an applicant who indicates that s/he/they is a Washington resident on AMCAS but does not have 3 or more ties to Washington to provide official documentation to establish that the applicant meets a “resident student” definition.

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.

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. 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. If you hold a permanent resident card, you must provide appropriate documentation verifying this status.

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. Download our Admissions Criminal Background Policy.

Transfer Students

The college is not accepting transfer students at this time. Admission of Transfer Students policy can be found here.

Admissions resources and policies


  • 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.
  • Institutional fit worksheet
    Fill in the blanks in this worksheet to determine how your personal desires align with a medical school’s offering.
  • Tool for developing a well-rounded medical application
    Complete the worksheet to identify information to include in your medical school application.
  • 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 and Student Affairs for advising.
  • 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.
  • Indicators used to evaluate medical school applicants
    For instance, the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine seeks specific attributes in applicants. Get to know the specifics.
  • Updated resume
    You will need a chronicle of your professional and service experience, as well as your education to complete the AMCAS application. Keep this updated throughout your journey!
  • 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 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.