Admissions FAQs

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

What makes a competitive applicant?

In recent years accepted MD-PhD students have had an average GPA of 3.897 (standard deviation of 0.106) and an average MCAT score in the 96th percentile (standard deviation of 4.41). The range of GPA for accepted students has been 3.43-4.00 and the range of MCAT percentiles has been 81-100. We recommend an MCAT score in the 90th percentile or higher.  However, there are no GPA or MCAT requirements. 

For a more detailed look at the MCAT scores and GPAs of our applicants, invterviewees, and accepted students, please visit this page

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 your research experience and potential are critical. All of the letters, taken together, should give a clear representation of your potential as a future physician-scientist.

Publications are not required.

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

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.

What are my chances of getting accepted into the program?

Each year, we receive over 600 applications and interview about 80 applicants. Approximately half of all of those who are interviewed receive an offer of acceptance.

What is the application process?

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.

The Tri-I MD-PhD Program Does Not Participate in the NIH-GPP?

That is true; the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program does not participate in the NIH-GPP (Graduate Partnership Program).

Are publications required for admission?

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. 


How many letters of recommendation are required?

We require four letters: at least two should address your potential for a career in medicine, and at least two should address your potential for a career in science; individual letters can address both of these potentials. 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.

There is no maximum number of letters we will accept, though we offer a word of caution against including too many. While you do want to give the admissions committee a complete picture, you do not want to burden them with an overabundance of letters to read. I would encourage you to try to include only those letters that will add something substantial to your application, addressing your accomplishments and potential. Increasing the number of letters does not necessarily always improve an application.

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

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.

What are the oldest MCAT scores you accept?

For 2024 matriculation, we will consider MCAT scores from January 1, 2020. Your application is not complete until we receive MCAT scores, To find more information about WCMC Admissions, please see WCMC Admission FAQs

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

As per Weill Cornell Medical College policy, you are expected to have completed a minimum of one year of full-time coursework at a college or university in the U.S. If you have not completed the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree abroad, you should work toward doing so in the U.S. This provides us, and yourself, with a perspective regarding how well you could do in our Program.

Is the GRE required for admissions into the MD-PhD Program?

No, it is not. 

Some of my grades in prerequisite courses will be Pass/Fail due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Will those grades be accepted or will I need to retake the course(s) for a letter grade?.

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program will accept Pass/Fail grades to fulfill prerequisites for courses taken in the spring and summer terms of 2020 and during the academinc year 2020-2021.

Is taking a gap year to do research required or recommended for applicants?

While a meaningful research experience is a requirement for admission, taking a gap year(s) is not required. We do not value research done after earning a baccalaureate any more than that done while an undergraduate. National surveys (and our own experience) have demonstrated that doing post-bacc research does not reduce the time taken to earn a PhD. Further, applicants who have taken a gap year(s) have fared no better than their peers at being offered an interview or being accepted into our program (at least since 2016).