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MD Program Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about the GW MD Program.


The Committee on Admissions has provided the COVID-19 webpage where you can always find the most up-to-date information on our process.

General Application Information




Letters of Recommendation

Fee Payment


Application Status, Decision Making, and Interviews


Student Opportunities

GW Acceptance Protocols

Special Programs

Financial Aid

Visiting GW SMHS

General Application Information

The Committee on Admissions does have a rolling admissions policy. We encourage you to submit all materials as soon as possible.

The deadline for the online AMCAS application is December 14, 2020. The GW Secondary Application and all supporting materials (including letters of recommendation to AMCAS) are due by February 1, 2021.

Average GPA: approximately 3.70. A cumulative GPA of below a 3.0 is considered non-competitive.

Average MCAT: 512. MCAT scores that include a score of 123 or below are considered non-competitive.

We will continue to take the highest of each subsection across MCAT exams.

The complete file is reviewed and the Committee on Admissions is interested in the academic achievement, personal attributes and experiences of each applicant. We particularly focus on GPA, MCATs, graduate coursework (if over 12 credits), letters of recommendation, essays, medically-related experiences, research, extracurricular activities, life experiences and challenges, work experience, community service, clinical public health experiences, and leadership experiences.

We are a private institution and have no preference for geographical location. Our 2019 entering class came from 26 states, DC, and Canada.



GW accepts only U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents (with a valid U.S. Permanent Residency card) and Canadian citizens to its regular four-year MD program. As of August 2020 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) applicants will be accepted. DACA applicants should research funding sources as traditional options may not be available. If you are an international student, please visit the IMP program website.

We do accept Canadian citizens to the program and the admission requirements and application review process are identical to the rest of the applicant pool. If accepted, you will be directed to submit documentation showing sufficient funds to pay for all your tuition and living expenses as part of your application for a student visa.



With the development of AAMC/HHMI scientific and personal competencies, the George Washington University Committee on Admissions for the MD Program has moved from strict premedical requirements to competency-based recommendations. Mastery of these competencies should be reflected in strong academic performance, MCATs, experiences, and letters of reference. For a full list of our competency-based recommendations, please see our Minimum Eligibility and Recommendations.

No. All of our recommendations must be completed prior to matriculation, not application. However, most highly successful applicants have completed most of the recommended courses prior to application.

Yes. You will need to confirm that you have met our minimum recommendations to be considered competitive.


To meet our Biology recommendation, candidates should take courses that focus on cellular and molecular biology as well as the structure and function of living organisms. Please note that botany and environmental science cannot be used towards fulfilling the recommendation. We will not accept IB or AP credits for Biology.

Courses in sociology, psychology, anthropology, history, philosophy, ethics, political science, public health, economics, and religion satisfy the social or behavioral science course requirement. A minimum of two to three courses is suggested.

No, not unless specifically requested of you by the Committee on Admissions.

Yes, as long as these credits are listed on your official transcript and designated as the appropriate credit. The Committee requires biology coursework during college. We do not accept AP or IB credits for Biology.

Yes. The Committee on Admissions does accept coursework taken at a community college; however, it is preferable to have the pre-medical coursework taken at a four-year college or university.

Coursework taken in the classroom setting is highly valued. Online coursework can be accepted, if accepted by your degree granting institution. All online coursework, of those interviewed, will be reviewed for approval. Online coursework is unacceptable for our competency-based recommendations. Online degrees are not accepted.

You will need to convert your coursework into semester hours. Please see the AMCAS conversion chart for help.

We are committed to enrolling a diverse student body and each year our class includes students who majored in subjects such as: foreign languages, economics, music, psychology, international relations, and religion, as well as those who have majored in the sciences. 

The Committee factors all experiences – including postbaccalaureate, graduate, and professional coursework – when reviewing your academic background. While there are no expiration dates for past coursework, the Committee on Admissions does recommend that you have completed some recent coursework to help demonstrate recent, rigorous academic engagement. Completion of a graduate-level program (requiring 12+ credits) is highly valued during the holistic review of your academic experience.



Yes, we do require valid MCAT scores that have been taken within three years prior to the matriculation year. We generally will not consider MCATs taken before April 2018; we will accept MCATs taken through September 2021 for the 2022 application cycle. We do not accept scores from the previous version of the MCAT. If you have highly competitive scores that are outside this window, you may petition before applying. Please email if you wish to request an exception.

The 2019 incoming class had an average total score of 512. See the Class Profile for more details. 

If you already have valid MCAT scores upon application, there will be a review of your completed application. It is possible that an interview will be offered at this time. Otherwise, the Committee will hold your application for receipt of your additional MCAT scores. Please remember that you should submit your application as soon as possible due to our rolling admissions process. It is best to submit all other materials to AMCAS, so that your application is in order and ready as soon as we receive your additional MCAT scores.


Letters of Recommendation

GW participates in the AMCAS letter service. All letters of recommendation are submitted to AMCAS, which then electronically forwards the letters to the participating medical schools. For full information, please see the AMCAS application site at www.amcas.orgAll letters of recommendation MUST be sent directly to AMCAS and therefore arrive via the AMCAS letters system to our office. Please DO NOT send your letters of recommendation directly to our office. Letters may be verified for authenticity.

To complete their file, applicants are required to submit either:

  • A Pre-Health or Pre-Medical Committee Letter (required if available to you)  OR
  • Minimum of three letters from individuals, at least one of which must be from science faculty familiar with your academic work.

Please note: In addition to the required letter(s) listed above, applicants who are currently enrolled in a graduate program(s) or who have previously graduated or withdrawn from one, should provide an official letter of good standing from the institution. If you have previously attended any professional school (medical, dental, pharmacy, etc.), please submit a letter of good standing from the program. This letter SHOULD NOT be sent to AMCAS as part of the primary application, but rather should be sent directly to GW after being invited for an interview. This letter should be sent directly from your registrar or program director. 

Once we have received all letters listed on AMCAS, your file will be considered complete. If you submit additional letters after your file is complete, they will be included in the review of your file ONLY if your file has not been reviewed or upon the re-review of your file. We do not have a limit on the number of letters of recommendation we will accept.


Fee Payment

We utilize an online payment gateway and only accept online credit card payments. Please do not send a check with your secondary application. After you make the payment, you will receive your Fee Payment Authorization Code. This number must be provided with your secondary application for processing.

Yes, we will waive our secondary application fee if you have been accepted to the AMCAS Fee Assistance Program (FAP). On your secondary application, you will need to select the option for AMCAS fee waiver and this will waive the $130 fee. Please note that we will verify your eligibility with AMCAS.



Detailed information about our curriculum can be found at MD Program Curriculum Website.

Clinical skills and professional development are major curricular focuses that span all four years, providing early patient exposure and the means to develop outstanding clinical thinking, technical skills, and a sense of professionalism. In the pre-clinical Fundamentals of Medicine phase and the Fundamentals of Clinical Practice phase, substantial curricular time is devoted to Clinical Skills and Reasoning (CSR) and Professional Development (PD) activities. In the Fundamentals of Medicine phase, CSR and PD are integrated into the existing blocks. Students meet at least weekly in CSR small groups as they work with clinical faculty to apply interview and examinations skills to diagnosis and treatment. In addition, each month, students meet in PD small groups to focus on the personal and professional aspects of becoming a physician. These activities provide focused opportunities to learn through cooperation and collaboration, which helps students develop their abilities to work with groups of colleagues and co-workers in a professional environment.

Each class is divided into four learning communities that are meant to provide a more individualized experience and supportive environment for our students to engage with the material and one another. These communities provide longitudinal mentoring relationships with faculty members – including not only physicians, but also basic science and librarian mentors – to assist students in their growth.

To prepare future clinicians to assume their role in 21st century health systems, GW SMHS established its Clinical Public Health curriculum in 2014 to integrate public health and population health throughout students’ four-year medical education. Upon graduation, GW-trained physicians will not only be excellent clinicians for individual patients’ health needs, but they will also be able to identify, understand, and address community health issues both within and beyond the walls of the clinic.

Find more details about the Clinical Public Health Curriculum.

Our MD students have the ability to work clinically at a variety of locations, gaining exposure and experience working with a diverse patient population. See the list of our Affiliated Hospitals for more details.

Throughout the Fundamentals of Clinical Practice phase, students will also participate in a Longitudinal Primary Care Clinic that complements the Primary Care Clerkship. Students will work one half-day every other week in a primary care setting (general internal medicine, general pediatrics, family medicine, or geriatrics) regardless of their current rotation.

There are a variety of ways that students take advantage of our location in the heart of the nation’s capital, including meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to learn about health care policy or visiting the U.S. Holocaust Museum to learn more about medical ethics. Students participate in GW Clinical Public Health Summits, which are unique, multi-day, real-world field projects that build on the medical curriculum and are the hallmark of the Clinical Public Health curriculum. Students also work and learn at a variety of clinical settings, including our affiliated hospitals and the area’s large military hospitals and facilities.


Student Opportunities

The Scholarly Concentration is an educational program designed to enrich students' experiences and opportunities, and expose them to various concentrations of study. GW SMHS believes this program will further students' medical careers by providing a broader healthcare perspective and exposure to leadership opportunities. Students have the opportunity to choose an area of scholarly concentration in one of several areas of healthcare outside of the standard clinical curriculum.

For full information, visit the website for The Office of Student Professional Enrichment. Approximately 75% of students select a scholarly concentration. As a Concentration student, you will attend a series of lunch lectures and events, engage in a required 8-week experiential opportunity during the first summer, and complete a related Scholarly Project (required of all MD students) and fourth-year elective. Scholarships are available to assist with the costs of your summer travel and living expenses.

Find more Information about research opportunities at GW SMHS.

The GW Healing Clinic is a volunteer clinic that provides primary care services to underserved patients regardless of ability to pay. The current clinic locations are in conjunction with Bread for the City in the Shaw neighborhood of DC and with Bridge to Care Clinic in Cheverly, MD. Services provided include: well exams; evaluation of non-emergent medical conditions; long term management of chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity; and routine laboratory tests. Patients are seen by a team of student volunteers, supervised by volunteer attendings who act as mentors for the students.


The clinics also run a variety of outreach programs – that include HIV testing and counseling, wellness partners, and patient navigators – to assist and improve the health of the community through education and support services. Patient navigators help patients to navigate the healthcare system and bridge them to the care that they need, to include: linking patients to insurance; identifying medical and non-medical resources patients need; managing specialty referrals to outside institutions; and building relationships with community partners to continually expand the GW Healing Clinic's referral network.


There are a variety of student organizations here at GW working directly to serve the community. A few include:

  • Team KiPOW! is a student-run organization which works to use medical student health mentors to encourage school-aged children to engage in and benefit from healthful opportunities available to them through the DC Healthy Schools Act. This is a mentor-type role where medical students eat lunch with students, engage in fun and physical activities and educate them on health topics.
  • ACOG Teen Promise Project is a collaborative effort between OB/GYN residents, medical students, and a DCPS school (Columbia Heights Education Campus) to create and institute a sexual health curriculum geared towards high-risk middle school students in Washington, DC.
  • The GW Asylum Clinic Group provides students with opportunities to shadow and participate in evaluating asylum seekers at the Bread for the City Asylum Clinic, including writing the Medical-Legal Affidavit to document the physical and psychological findings of the evaluation. They also host talks, movie events, and other events throughout the year to discuss issues facing refugees or individuals seeking asylum.
  • Prenatal Partners pairs medical students who are interested in getting first-hand experience in OB/GYN with willing expectant mothers, assisting as patient-partners with a variety of tasks throughout their pregnancy, from keeping track of appointments to designing birth plans.

Checking your Status, Decision-Making, and Interviews

We send secondary applications to all applicants who designate the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences on their AMCAS application. Please note that it does take time to transmit your completed AMCAS application to our office. If you have not received a secondary application and it has been more than a week since you submitted your AMCAS application, please email us at

You may visit the Application Portal to check the status of your application throughout the application cycle. Please note that you will need to select the appropriate link if you are a first time user or if you have forgotten your username or password. This is the same login information you use to access and complete the secondary application.

Interviews are offered on a rolling basis, and we interview from August through March. The Committee on Admissions judiciously reviews each application and it may take some time before you hear from us regarding a change in your status. Please keep in mind that many files are put on hold each year and are re-reviewed later in the application cycle.

Due to the nature of our holistic review process, files will be reviewed multiple times before any decision is made. We have a rolling admissions process; therefore, there is no set schedule for the re-review of your file. While on hold, you remain under active consideration, and your file will be re-reviewed several times. You will be sent information as soon as the Committee on Admissions communicates a change in your status. If any additional documentation is needed, we will contact you immediately. We appreciate your patience during this time.

The holistic review process is very thorough and time-consuming. During this time, we encourage you to share your continued interest in our program, new experiences and activities, or anything else you would like to share with the Committee on Admissions through the Application Portal. The Committee does welcome and appreciate these updates, as your file will be re-reviewed several times throughout the "on hold" status period.

Interviews are by invitation only and are sent to the email address you provided on your AMCAS application. You will be offered a specific interview date, with the option of requesting an alternative date, if needed.

All decisions made by the Committee on Admissions are final. Unfortunately, we do not accept appeals.

All Committee on Admissions proceedings are confidential and final. We cannot provide individual counseling or feedback regarding your application or competitiveness. We urge you to utilize your pre-medical advisor or a trusted faculty member, as they can most likely speak to your situation on an individual basis.

If you do not have a pre-medical advisor, we recommend you reach out to the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions which will be able to connect you with members who have volunteered to be available to those individuals without access otherwise.

Although we cannot provide any individual counseling or feedback regarding your application or competitiveness, we sincerely appreciate your interest in reapplying to GW. We urge you to utilize your pre-medical advisor or a trusted faculty member, as they can most likely speak to your situation on an individual basis.

As a reapplicant, please be aware that the Committee on Admissions can revisit your past cycle application(s), and they will be looking for increased work on any perceived areas of weakness. We also suggest having at least one letter of recommendation that is new for the reapplication cycle.

Please note that we cannot share past application materials (includinga copy of your past GW Secondary Application) with reapplicants, per the Committee on Admissions confidentiality policy.


GW Acceptance Protocols

Get more details for Accepted applicants.

Upon receiving notice of acceptance, applicants must return a signed contract in order to hold their seat in the class. The Office of Admissions does not require a security deposit.

GW requests that all accepted applicants adhere to the AAMC Application and Acceptance Protocols, to include the following:

  • April 15: Accepted applicants narrow offers to a minimum of three medical schools.
  • April 30: By this date, accepted applicants hold only one seat.

Accepted applicants must also complete all requirements prior to matriculating, including but not limited to: all official school transcripts sent directly to the Office of Admissions; complete SMHS-specific and GW immunization forms; and satisfactory completion of the criminal background check.

Any deferral requests must be submitted no later than May 30 to the Associate Dean of Admissions. Requests should be emailed directly and include a detailed plan of action for the year, as well as any supporting documentation. Deferrals are granted on a case-by-case basis, and accepted applicants are limited to a one-year deferral.


Special Programs

Yes. It is an accelerated application process for outstanding applicants. Applications are due by August 15, and decisions are made by October 1. For more information, please visit the Early Decision Program page.

More information about the program can be found on our BA/MD dual degree page. Applications are submitted directly to the GW Undergraduate Admissions Office. Please visit their undergraduate admissions website to apply.

Please visit the St. Bonaventure University website for more information.

You can complete your post-baccalaureate pre-medical coursework either in a formal post-baccalaureate program or as a non-degree student at any accredited U.S. or Canadian college or university. The GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences does have several linkage programs with formal post-bacc programs that can help you fulfill medical school entrance course requirements/recommendations. For a full list of participating linkage schools, please visit our Linkage Programs website. Please note that there is a defined process to apply to a GW linkage program.

You may apply to GW's International Medicine Program. This program prepares non-U.S. and non-Canadian citizens for medical practice in their home countries. Students are in the four-year MD program and receive mentoring and added support from the International Medicine Programs office. Applicants MUST be sponsored by their government or a medical institution in their home country as well as have an undergraduate degree from an accredited U.S. or Canadian college or university. For more information on this program, please visit The Office of International Medicine Programs

We only open our transfer application process to applicants from accredited U.S. or Canadian allopathic medical schools for third year standing. Please see our Transfer with Advanced Standing website for more details. Please note that we have had no transfer availability for years.


Financial Aid

For the most up-to-date information, please visit The Office of Financial Aid website or contact them directly at or (202) 994-2960.

Yes. If you are accepted from the alternate pool, your financial aid packaging can be completed quickly if you already have your FAFSA and other documentation prepared.

Merit-based scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis by the Committee on Admissions. These vary in amount and can cover up to the full cost of tuition. There is no application process for these scholarships; if one is awarded to you, you will be notified directly by email.

Please note that any merit-based award you accept may impact the amount of need-based aid you are eligible to receive.



There will be no tours of Ross Hall until further notice. For more information, see our Visiting and Contacting Us page.

The Office of Admissions engages with students from across the country at fairs and college visits, and hosts information sessions, open houses, and webinars. For more information about these opportunities, please follow our Facebook page.

Our mailing address is:

Office of Admissions – MD Program
School of Medicine and Health Sciences
The George Washington University
2300 Eye Street NW, Ross Hall Suite 106
Washington, DC 20037

Our contact information is:

Phone: (202) 994-3506
Fax: (202) 994-1753