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Admissions FAQs

No. However, it is vital that you excel in your pre-med prerequisite courses. Many applicants select majors in biology, chemistry and biochemistry (~ 50 percent).

If you have had trouble in the science courses, it would be prudent to strengthen your background in this area by taking additional courses. It is also beneficial for you to acquire an adequate background in medically related biology courses prior to entering medical school. Otherwise, take courses that are of interest to you and broaden your general education. Most importantly, if you have doubts about your course load, seek advice from the Office of Admissions or someone qualified to provide sound counsel on such matters.

In general, emphasis is placed on undergraduate performance in science courses rather than graduate courses. Rejected applicants are not encouraged to obtain a graduate degree for the purpose of enhancing their chances of admission unless the program leads toward an alternative career goal.

Applicants are generally advised to take the MCAT in the spring of their junior year or that summer prior to their senior year. Early Decision Program applicants must take the examination no later than June of the year of application to ensure that the score is in before the August 1st deadline. Applicants can take the MCAT up to three times each calendar year.

The Committee on Admissions has established threshold levels for both the undergraduate GPA and the total numerical score on the MCAT exam. The minimal acceptable levels are an undergraduate GPA of 3.0, with a C or better in all prerequisite course work, plus a total numerical score of 22 on the old MCAT examination and a 491 on the MCAT2015 examination. Applicants accepted into medical school for the class beginning in 2017 had an average GPA of about 3.68 and average overall MCAT score of 29 and 504.7.

Participation in extracurricular or community activities while attending school indicates to the committee that you have a sense of community responsibility. This participation and a description of these activities is an essential part of a total application to medical school. A competitive GPA and total MCAT score, as described before, is also necessary.

Participation in clinically related activity is a key aspect of application to medical school. Such exploration can allow an applicant to substantiate that medicine is the area in which the applicant desires to study and work. A competitive GPA and MCAT score is also vital to complete the application.

Each interviewer has his/her own distinctive interviewing style. However, most will be interested in determining your maturity, motivation for the study of medicine, problem-solving skills, ability to relate to people and ability to express your ideas in an organized manner. Most interviewers also expect you to know something about current social, economic, moral and ethical issues in medicine, specifically as they relate to New Mexico.

The UNM School of Medicine is in compliance with federal regulations prohibiting discrimination on the basis of age, ethnic background, or gender.

Financial status is not a consideration in selecting students for admission to medical school. It is expected that you will have considered, in advance, how you intend to finance your medical education.

The earliest an application can be submitted to the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) is June 1 for students applying to enter the following year. The AMCAS web site should be used by all applicants. It is necessary to file an application in the summer or early fall of the year prior to entry. Notification letters are normally sent to Early Decision applicants by October 1 and regular applicants by March 15.

The Early Decision Program permits an applicant to file a single application with the medical school of his/her choice prior to August 1st. The applicant signs an agreement to attend that school, if offered a position. Decisions are announced by October 1st of the year prior to entry.

The Premedical Enrichment Program (PrEP) will no longer be available starting with the 2018 admissions cycle.

Only if you rate UNM as your first choice of schools and have taken the MCAT no later than June 30 of the year in which you intend to apply. If you are a WICHE applicant, you MUST apply through this program to receive consideration.

Approximately 10-20 percent. Applicants not accepted for the Early Decision Program are normally deferred for consideration with the rest of the applicant pool. Upon notification of rejection or deferred status, EDP applicants may apply to other medical schools.

Students with outstanding academic records are considered for admission after the junior year. Very few are actually admitted. In the past several years, all accepted applicants have earned at least a bachelor’s degree prior to matriculation. Applicants are emphatically encouraged to finish any degree programs they initiated prior to possible medical school matriculation. PhD, MS or MPH candidates in the UNM School of Medicine Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program or Pharm D candidates in the College of Pharmacy are not eligible for matriculation into the MD degree program until they have completed the respective degrees. This is also true for students pursuing BS and MS degree programs in The UNM Health Sciences Center.

The Admissions Committee consists of School of Medicine faculty, medical school students and community physicians from around Albuquerque. Each completed application is reviewed individually by committee members and given a numerical ranking from 1 to 4 based on information in the file. Individual rankings are summed and converted into a percent of possible score. Applicants are discussed in groups of 15-20 by the entire committee and ranked.

Fifty percent of the applicant score is based on cognitive factors including the highest composite MCAT score and the GPA score. The other 50 percent is based on non-cognitive factors including the applicant summary, both clinical and community service experiences, interest in medicine, etc.

The School of Medicine is cognizant of the cultural and ethnic diversity of the New Mexico population. The Admissions Committee looks to select applicants who possess the personal backgrounds and attributes that make them likely to be able to meet the health care needs of our diverse population. In addition, the School of Medicine believes that a diverse student body helps to ensure a dynamic, productive and positive learning experience for all students. The School of Medicine has an obligation to help the state meet its health care workforce needs. Thus, the Admissions Committee attempts to select applicants who are likely to return to practice in New Mexico after graduate medical education.

No. However, in the past several years more than 97 percent of accepted applicants have been from New Mexico.

To be considered a resident for purposes of admission to medical school, you must have physically resided in New Mexico for at least one year prior to the date of application to the medical school. Other evidence of residency such as automobile, or voter registration is also required. The university sets residency requirements for tuition purposes. Please note that you may be defined as a non-resident of New Mexico for tuition purposes if you are listed as a dependent on a parental tax return and your parents are residents in another state.

Non-resident applicants MUST meet one of the residency exceptions for example, financially dependent of a New Mexico resident, graduate from a New Mexico high school and attending for at least one year, enrolled member of a U.S. federally recognized tribe or a legal state resident of Montana or Wyoming, (WICHE applicants must apply through the Early Decision Program (EDP) and meet the average MCAT and GPA from the previous entering class) to receive consideration for admission.

The Assistant Dean for Admissions will hold an advisement workshop in early May providing general tips on how to improve your application. You may also call to schedule a Post-Admissions Interview with the Assistant Dean for Admissions to explore how you might improve your own personal application.

Only if you improve those areas of your application previously lacking. Failure to gain admission will not prejudice future consideration of your application by the Committee on Admissions.