Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program

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Admissions FAQs

Find out more about the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program application process.

Q: What makes a competitive applicant?

A: In recent years accepted MD-PhD students have had an average GPA of 3.87 and an average MCAT of 520. The range of GPA for accepted students has been 3.3-4.00 and the range of MCAT has been 510-527. We recommend an MCAT score in the 90th percentile or higher.  However, there are no GPA or MCAT requirements. We look for applicants who take more than just the required science courses. We want students who consistently challenge themselves.

The research experience and potential to become a future physician-scientist, as described in your personal statement, is the most important part of your MD-PhD application. Students should have a significant amount of research experience. This includes, but is not limited to, at least one year undergraduate research, post-undergraduate research, senior thesis research, and/or multiple summer projects – prior to applying to the MD-PhD Program.  

Strong letters of recommendation from faculty who know the student's research experience and potential are critical. 

Publications are not required.

Q: Do I have a better chance of getting accepted if I go to an Ivy League School?

A: The Weill Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan Kettering Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program takes students from all universities and colleges as long as they meet our qualifications. See the graphic at the bottom of Our Students page showing where our students went to college.

Q: What are my chances of getting accepted into the program?

A: Each year, we receive over 500 applications and interview about 90 applicants. Approximately half of all of those who are interviewed receive an offer of acceptance.

Q: What is the application process?

A: Applicants should:

  • Complete an AMCAS application by our deadline posted here

  • Complete the Medical College's Secondary Application (on-line instructions are sent to the applicant once his/her AMCAS application is verified).

  • Anticipate an interview on one of our interview days (check our Admissions Page for the dates). You are encouraged to hold all of these dates on your calendar until you hear back from us with a final decision. Early applications are STRONGLY encouraged.

Q: Do you participate in the NIH-GPP?

A: The Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program does not participate in the NIH-GPP (Graduate Partnership Program).

Q: Can non-US citizens apply?

A: Yes, and they would get full funding if admitted. 

Q: Are publications required for admission?

A: No. Publications are not required, but strong research experience is. This includes, but is not limited to, at least one year undergraduate research, post-undergraduate research, senior thesis research, and/or multiple summer projects – prior to applying to the MD-PhD Program. 

 

Q: How many letters of recommendation are required?

A: We require four letters: two addressing your potential for a career in medicine and two addressing your potential for a career in science. Your letters should be submitted via AMCAS. We do not require that they be submitted as a packet, and we do not require a committee letter. A combination of individual letters and committee letter is also acceptable.

Q: If rejected from the MD-Phd Program, can an application be considered for Weill Cornell Medicine’s MD-only program?

A: An applicant not admitted to the MD-PhD Program can still be considered for MD only. The notice of final decision from the MD-PhD Program, delivered via AMCAS, provides instructions for how to have an application considered for MD only.

Q: What are the oldest MCAT scores you accept?

A: Scores should not be older than three years at time of application. For 2019 matriculation, we will consider MCAT scores from September 1, 2015 through September 19, 2018. Your application is not complete until we receive MCAT scores. The latest date you can take the test and still be considered for admission is September of the calendar year in which you are applying, as per Weill Cornell Medical College Admissions Policy. To find more information about WCMC Admissions, please see WCMC Admission FAQs

Q: Do you consider students who have completed their undergraduate degrees abroad?

A: As per Weill Cornell Medical College policy, you are strongly encouraged to complete a minimum of one year of full-time coursework at an American college, and to take courses in chemistry (organic and general), physics, biology and/or English before applying to medical school. If you have not completed the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree abroad, you should work towards doing so in the U.S. This provides us, and yourself, with a perspective regarding how well you could do at an American medical college, and thus a basis of comparison with other applicants. We suggest this even if you have completed all or part of a medical school curriculum abroad, and even if you have obtained your permanent resident status.