Admissions Selection Factors

School of Medicine Policy

The Committee on Admissions chooses applicants who seem best qualified not only by scholastic record, college recommendations, and involvement in college and community activities, but also by less tangible qualities of personality, character, and life experience.

The Committee is guided by a Mission Statement and a Statement of Values and Principles:

Mission Statement

To identify, select, and recruit students who are likely to excel academically, engage vigorously in the life of our campus, enhance the diversity of our school community, and contribute generously to our society in the care of patients, in the conduct of medical research, and in the advancement of the public’s health. Qualities of intellect, character, motivation, preparation, and life experience are all considered as these factors may influence a candidate’s potential to succeed as a physician in a rapidly changing and pluralistic society.

Statement of Values and Principles

The Committee on Admissions conducts a comprehensive, flexible, holistic review of all applicants, striving to bring together a diverse student body constituted by academically gifted, highly motivated, resilient students who share a deep commitment to the values and goals of our profession and our institution. This review focuses on each individual applicant’s talents, accomplishments, experiences, and potential to contribute to the learning community; drawing upon information from the academic record, life history, recommendations, essays, and interview. We select and recruit students who are diverse in numerous ways, including but not limited to their educational, social, cultural, linguistic, economic, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and in their life experience.

In choosing to include race and ethnicity among the multiple factors that contribute to diversity and are therefore considered by the Committee on Admissions, Boston University School of Medicine affirms its longstanding commitment to inclusion of groups which have been subject to discrimination and which, without special commitment, would not be represented among our students in meaningful numbers. A diverse student body is consistent with the history and mission of Boston University School of Medicine and is a core educational imperative of the institution for a number of reasons, including the following:

  • The ability to understand and value a patient’s culture is a key element of physician competence and is best taught by life experience, rather than as an abstract object of study;
  • Diversity promotes understanding in a pluralistic society and contributes to the breakdown of stereotypes and biases;
  • A diverse student body promotes a rich, lively, enlightened discussion and prepares students for a heterogeneous workforce and society;
  • Racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse leadership in medicine is critical to progress in health care and in society as a whole;
  • A diverse student body will contribute to a diverse physician workforce, supporting improvements in access to health care for vulnerable populations and a reduction in racial and ethnic disparities in health status.

A personal interview is an integral part of the admissions process. All interviews are granted at the discretion of the Committee on Admissions. Boston University School of Medicine received over 11,000 applications for the 2011 entering class of 174. Since 54 students entered the class from various combined Boston University College of Arts & Sciences and School of Medicine programs, the 11,000+ applicants were, in effect, applying for 120 places.

Students in the 2011 entering class had the following characteristics:

G.P.A. mean = 3.72 and the mean MCAT quantitative subtest total was 33 compared with a national average of 28.

View the “General Policies and Procedures Governing the Evaluation, Grading, and Promotion of Students at Boston University School of Medicine”