Med School Admissions Myths Debunked

Post by Amanda Piekutowski
The most frequently asked question in the Admissions office at USC School of Medicine Greenville is: What is the minimum MCAT and GPA scores I can have? Our answer is always the same: “We don’t have one.”

We’re not trying to be cute; it’s just that there’s more to an application than just numbers. We take a holistic approach that considers all aspects of an individual, from grades and scores to experience to your life’s journey.

Our admissions committee takes a very thoughtful and thorough approach to each application. We review every one of the experiences you list on your AMCAS application, read every word of your personal statement and consider all of your letters of recommendation. We believe that students much have more than good grades to be successful in medical school and the information on your application gives us a glimpse into your work ethic, interpersonal skills, interests, and uniqueness.

Here are seven criteria we use to evaluate applicants:

1. MCAT score
2. GPA – We look at the average as well as at trends throughout college.
3. Clinical Experience and Insight – We’re here to train students to be physicians and want to make sure you know what you are getting yourself into! Don’t simply check this box; make it count. Be sure you have meaningful patient encounters and are getting the most out of the experience that you can!
4. Extracurricular Activities – These are the activities that you do when you are not studying or gaining clinical experience. These can be employment, volunteer work, athletics, hobbies, or anything that interests you!
5. Letters of Recommendation – Make sure you get letters from people who know you well!
6. Your Story – Tell us about yourself and how you got to this point in your life. Everyone has a path that led them to applying to medical school, and we want to know about yours!
7. The Interview – This is our chance to evaluate your clinical insight, your thought processes, your interpersonal skills, and your potential success in medical school!

The AMCAS application and our Supplemental Application can seem challenging and time-consuming. Just know the application process is not a numbers game; we read everything you submit to us and evaluate you as a whole picture, not just a couple of numbers.