To How Many Schools Should I Apply?
We recommend that all applicants apply to at least 20 schools.
Medical schools have approximately 80-100 spots in an incoming class each year, for which several thousand applicants apply. Of the thousands of applicants that apply, schools will interview hundreds of applicants. Therefore in order to give you the best chance of interviewing and being accepted by several schools we recommend applying to a diverse selection of 20 medical schools.
Please contact any member of the PreMed Committee to discuss school selection.
How many letters of recommendation should I have?
In addition to the House Committee letter that the Pre-Med Committee prepares, you will need a minimum of 3 letters of recommendation. Most students will have to 3-4 letters. You may send a maximum of 6 letters with your application.
While you only need 3 letters to send to schools, you may request letters of recommendation from as many people as you wish. Then you can select which letters of recommendation you want included in your application. We suggest that you request more than 3 letters in case there are any issues (i.e. the letter is received late) with a single letter you will still have others from which to choose.
Additional information on requesting letters of recommendation can be found here.
Do I have to do research?
Research is one experience that many medical schools look for as part of your application. Research experiences can be valuable because they teach valuable skills such as hypothesis development and testing, how to critically analyze data, and how to present your findings. However it is not required. What is most important is to be involved in an activity that you find genuinely interesting so that you can discuss your experience with enthusiasm. Also remember that there are many types of research. A basic science experience is not the only option.