MD Program Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about the GW MD Program

General Application Information

Does GW have a rolling admissions policy?

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

When are the deadlines for applying?

The deadline for the online AMCAS application is November 15. The GW Secondary Application and all supporting materials (including letters of recommendation to AMCAS) are due by December 12.

What are the average GPA and MCAT scores of entering students? What is considered competitive?

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.

What factors does the Committee on Admissions consider?

The complete file is reviewed and the Committee on Admissions is interested in the academic achievement, personal attributes and experiences of each applicant. All applicants to the M.D. program regardless of path (Regular MD or International MD), must have an undergraduate degree from a U.S. or Canadian institution before matriculation. 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.

Do you accept out-of-state or out-of-area applicants?

Yes. GW reviews all applicants in the same capacity regardless of state residency.



What are the citizenship requirements for entry into the GW MD program?

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. All applicants to the MD program regardless of path (Regular MD or International MD), must have an undergraduate degree from a U.S. or Canadian institution before matriculation.

Are there additional requirements for Canadian Citizens?

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.



What are the minimum course recommendations (not requirements) for admission to the GW MD Program?

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.

Do I have to complete the recommended coursework before applying to GW?

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. All applicants to the MD program regardless of path (Regular MD or International MD), must have an undergraduate degree from a US or Canadian institution prior to matriculation.

I followed my university's prescribed pre-medical science sequence. Does that fulfill GW's recommendations?

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

I took some of the required courses at an advanced level. Will these still count toward the recommendations?


What kinds of Biology courses count toward the Biology recommendation?

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.

What courses count toward the Social or Behavioral Science recommendation?

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.

Do you require specific information regarding my research skills if I use research experience for the Statistics/Biostatistics/Probability/Math recommendation?

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

Will my Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate credit count toward the pre-medical coursework recommendations?

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.

Do you accept community college credits?

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.

Do you accept online coursework?

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.

I went to a school on a quarter system. What do I need to do?

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

Do you only accept applicants who majored in the sciences as an undergraduate?

We are committed to enrolling a well-rounded 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. 

How does the Committee factor in graduate-level coursework or advanced degrees when considering your academic experience?

The Committee considers 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.



Do you require the MCAT? Is there a time limit in which it needs to be completed?

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 2021; we will accept MCATs taken through September 2024 for the 2025 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.

What is the average MCAT score?

The average total score is 512. See the Class Profile for more details. 

What should I do if I am scheduled to take the MCAT this summer?

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 most current MCAT scores.



What is AAMC PREview?

To further enhance our holistic review process during the 2024 application cycle, we recommend applicants complete the Association of American Medical Colleges Professional Readiness Exam (AAMC PREview) to assess the pre-professional competencies that our admissions committee believes are essential. This is not a requirement, as we are currently piloting PREview.

The AAMC PREview exam will be available March-October 2023. For the 2024 application cycle, the AAMC PREview exam will be administered online using remote proctoring. There will be a $100 fee for examinees to take the AAMC PREview exam and release their AAMC PREview scores to all schools to which they apply. Students who qualify for the Fee Assistance Program will receive a full fee waiver (no cost). Free preparation materials, including a full-length practice exam, are available through the AAMC.

Information about the AAMC PREview exam, including preparation materials, test registrations, requests for accommodations, and important dates and deadlines, is available at the AAMC Students & Residents website.

Why is GWSMHS participating in the AAMC PREview program?

We are committed to educating aspiring physicians and scientists to serve society using a community-based, patient-centered, interprofessional, and evidence-based model of education committed to inclusion, promoting discovery, and utilizing innovative techniques. Our students have a solid academic foundation, strong interpersonal and communication skills, and demonstrate empathy, ethics, and cultural humility. We believe the AAMC PREview exam provides an opportunity to assess these critical pre-professional competencies.

How will GW use my AAMC PREview score?

We will consider AAMC PREview scores as one part of our admissions process for those interviewed.

Will it negatively affect my application/admissions evaluation if I don’t take the AAMC PREview exam?

No, applicants are not required to take the AAMC PREview exam. If you do not have an AAMC PREview score, your application will be considered complete. While the admissions committee may see that you did not take the AAMC PREview exam, they will be instructed to absolutely disregard missing AAMC PREview scores.

I already got invited to complete a secondary application or an interview. Should I still take the AAMC PREview exam?

Yes, you can. Doing so will give you an opportunity to display your knowledge of effective and ineffective behaviors across eight core competencies for entering medical students, which include service orientation, social skills, cultural competence, teamwork, ethical responsibility to self and others, reliability and dependability, resilience and adaptability, and capacity for improvement.

My application was rejected before I took the AAMC PREview exam. If I take the exam, will GW reconsider my application?

No, application decisions are final, and there is no appeal.

Will I have access to my AAMC PREview score, and will there be an interpretation of my results?

Yes, AAMC PREview scores will be released to examinees in April-November, depending on the exam date. A confidence band and percentile rank will also be reported with each total score. Refer to the AAMC PREview website for more details.

When will GW receive my AAMC PREview score?

AAMC PREview scores will be released to examinees and GW in April-November, depending on the exam date. Scores will automatically be pulled into the AMCAS application. You do not need to take any additional action to include your PREview score in your AMCAS application. Please refer to the AAMC PREview website for more details.

What does my AAMC PREview score mean?

AAMC PREview results in a total score, reflecting your understanding of pre-professionalism and potential to learn and develop pre-professionalism skills. Higher scores reflect a higher level of understanding. The AAMC collaborated with medical educators, including faculty, admissions officers, and student and diversity affairs officers, to develop the scoring key for the PREview exam (i.e., the key effectiveness rating for each response). Scores are based on the extent to which your effectiveness rating for each response aligns with the medical educators’ ratings for each response. Full credit is awarded for an item if your response matches the medical educators’ rating. Partial credit is awarded if your rating is close to the medical educators’ rating.


Letters of Recommendation

How do I submit 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. All 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.

What type of letters of recommendation are required? How many?

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

  • A Pre-Health or Pre-Medical Committee Letter (required if available to you)  OR
  • A 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.

Can I include additional letters after my file is completed?

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

How do I pay the $142 secondary application fee?

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.

Do you offer a secondary application fee waiver?

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 $142 fee. Please note that we will verify your eligibility with AMCAS.



I would like to learn more about the curriculum for the GW MD Program. Where can I find this information?

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

What is the Practice of Medicine?

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.

What are learning communities?

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.

What is the Clinical Public Health Curriculum?

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.

Where do students have clinical experiences at GW?

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.

What is the Longitudinal Primary Care Clinic opportunity?

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.

What are some only-in-D.C. experiences in the GW Curriculum?

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

What is the Scholarly Concentration Program?

The Scholarly Concentration Program 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. On average, 98% 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.

I am interested in the Scholarly Concentration Program. What are the options for concentration areas?

There are currently eight scholarly concentration areas:

What research opportunities exist at GW?

Find more Information about research opportunities at GW SMHS.

I would like to learn more about the student-run clinics at GW.

The GW Healing Clinic is a volunteer clinic that provides primary care services to underserved patients regardless of ability to pay. 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.

Are there student organizations that allow me to get involved with the community?

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

I have submitted an AMCAS application, but have not yet received the secondary application. What should I do?

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 and we start receiving these transmission in mid-July. If you have not received a secondary application and it is past mid-July or it has been more than a week since you submitted your AMCAS application, please email us at

How can I check the status of my file?

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.

How long after my file is complete will I be notified of a decision?

Interviews are offered on a rolling basis, and we typically interview from August through April. 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.

I have a status that says I am "on hold for re-review at a later date." What does this mean and when will I hear from GW?

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.

What can I do while I am on "hold?"

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.

How will I be offered an interview with GW?

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.

Can I appeal my decision?

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

Will the Admissions Office provide counseling to me if I am an unsuccessful applicant?

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.

Can you offer any advice for reapplicants?

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 (including a copy of your past GW Secondary Application) with reapplicants, per the Committee on Admissions confidentiality policy.


GW Acceptance Protocols

What happens after I am accepted?

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.

Is it possible for Accepted applicants to request a deferred start?

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

Does GW have an Early Decision program?

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.

How do I apply for the MD/MPH program?

See more details about the Milken Institute School of Public Health and our joint MD/MPH and MD/Certificate Programs.

I would like more information on the seven-year BA/MD program at GW.

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.

I completed my bachelor's degree but I have not taken my pre-medical coursework yet. I am searching for a post-baccalaureate pre-medical program with a link to the MD program at GW.

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.

I am NOT a U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident, DACA, or Canadian citizen.

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

Do you accept transfer applicants from other medical schools?

Please note: 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

Where is the best place to find information about average cost, scholarships and 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.

If I am in the alternate pool, should I file a FAFSA and other documents for financial aid?

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.

Does GW offer merit-based scholarships? How do I apply for these?

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.



Can I visit the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences for a tour?

Tours of Ross Hall are unavailable.

What other ways can I find out about the GW SMHS MD Program?

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.

What is the mailing address and contact information for the Admissions Office?

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: