Admissions Process and Timeline
Q: How do I apply?
A: All applicants must apply through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). The deadline to submit the application is October 16.
Q: Can I include additional documents with my application?
A: Yes. We will accept most materials that you send in support of your application. However, please limit the documents only to those that will give us extra insight about you as an individual. Do not send us reprints of published articles or copies of your senior thesis and/or research papers.
Q: Should I send my transcripts as part of the application process?
A: No. We receive your official grades through AMCAS and there is no need to send us your transcripts directly. However, be sure that your official transcripts are sent to AMCAS within their deadline. Transcripts are required only if you are accepted to the entering class.
Q: How long does it take to hear a decision?
A: The evaluation process starts soon after an application is complete. All materials must be received before the application is considered, including the supplemental application, application fee or waiver, MCAT scores, and letters of recommendation. Because we screen each applicant individually, the process may take up to several months. We work in order of completion date, and receive a large number of applications.
Q: Does Weill Cornell Medical College have a rolling admissions process?
A: No. Most acceptances are announced in March, after all interviews have been completed. At that time we also establish a wait list. As spring progresses, offers of admission are extended periodically to students on the wait list.
Q: What is the probability of acceptance?
A: Weill Cornell receives over 6,000 applications for 106 positions in the entering class. Each year, we interview 700-750 applicants for the M.D. program, and around 70 for the M.D.-Ph.D. program.
Q: Do you participate in an Early Decision (ED) program?
A: Yes. The Early Decision program allows highly qualified applicants to apply initially only to WCMC. The AMCAS deadline for the ED Program is August 1. If you apply to WCMC under this program, you must adhere to the tenets of the program. ED applicants will be notified of our admissions decision by October 1. If you are accepted, it is expected that you will enroll at WCMC. Under ED program guidelines, you may not apply to another medical school in the United States (AMCAS or non-AMCAS), unless we do not offer you acceptance by October 1 or we release you from the ED commitment.
Q: What should I do while my application is being considered?
A: The review process can take a long time, so please be patient. While your application is in review, remember to:
- Keep your contact information current within your AMCAS application. Email is our primary means of communication, but also be sure to keep your address and phone current in AMCAS.
- Send updates if something significant changes in your application (e.g. major award or publication). We are open to receiving substantive and occasional updates. Check your emails from us for other update instructions.
Q: Can I attend an open house?
A: We do not hold open houses. If you are invited to interview, you will have the opportunity to tour the school and meet with students.
Q: Can I speak with an admissions counselor?
A: Due to the large number of applications we receive, we do not provide individual counseling. However, we will try to answer your questions. For individual counseling, we recommend that you meet with your health professions advisor at your college.
Q: If I am not accepted, can you tell me why?
A: Again, due to the large number of applications we receive, we are not able to provide individual information of this sort.
Q: What courses are required for admission? Is there a lab requirement?
A: We require two semesters or their equivalent in biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry and physics, as well as two semesters of writing-intensive courses. In the sciences, these will typically be comprehensive introductory courses with laboratory components. In biology, coursework will typically include molecular biology, cell biology and genetics. In some instances, actual laboratory work experience may be substituted for laboratory courses. We believe that a rigorous laboratory experience is essential to a thorough basic training in scientific concepts and methods.
Q: Do you have a time limit for prerequisites?
A: All prerequisite courses must have been completed within 10 years of application, and we prefer that prerequisite courses in biology be taken within five years of application.
Q: Do you accept AP credits for prerequisites?
A: We accept AP credits for physics only. Requirements for other courses must be met by taking advanced science coursework.
Q: If I haven't completed my prerequisites, can I still apply?
A: Yes, but all prerequisites must be completed by January 31 of the year for which admission is sought.
Q: Can I take my prerequisite courses at a community college?
A: It is not recommended.
Q: Do you require an undergraduate degree?
A: An undergraduate degree is not a prerequisite for acceptance or matriculation. However, most applicants will have completed, or be completing, a bachelor's or higher degree before they begin the application process.
Q: Do I need to be a science major?
A: No. We place a premium on diversity among fields of study, and many of our students are liberal arts majors. We do recommend that non-science majors take at least two terms of a basic science beyond the introductory level.
Q: Will you allow biochemistry in lieu of the second semester of organic chemistry?
A: Yes. We will allow a variety of chemistry sequences. Examples of acceptable preparation include, but are not limited to:
- an accelerated general chemistry course followed by a three semester sequence including organic chemistry and biochemistry
- two semesters of general chemistry followed by one semester of organic chemistry and one semester of biochemistry
- AP credit in chemistry with two semesters of organic chemistry/biochemistry and two semesters of other upper-level chemistry and/or biology courses
Q: How do I get a supplemental application?
A: When we receive your verified application from AMCAS, we will send you an email with instructions for accessing our Supplementary Application Form (SAF) on the web. The application fee is $100. Access is only given to applicants whose verified application was transmitted to us by AMCAS.
Q: How can I get a waiver of your application fee?
A: Fee waivers are automatically granted to applicants who have an AMCAS waiver (now obtained through the AAMC Fee Assistance Program). This information is forwarded to us by AMCAS. If you were not granted a fee waiver by AMCAS, you may send us a written request for a Weill Cornell fee waiver. Fee assistance waivers from WCMC are reserved for U.S. citizens, permanent residents and those with asylum. In your written request, you should explain in detail the reasons for the request, and attach relevant documentation as follows: a letter of support from your college's financial aid office, a copy of a current financial aid package, and a copy of your parents' and your last federal income tax return (if you filed). Each request will be considered on its individual merits.
Letters of Recommendation
Q: How many letters of recommendation do I need to submit?
A: We require either a composite letter of recommendation from your university pre-health careers advising office (preferred), or two letters from others such as teachers and supervisors in work, service or research. Applicants should request letters from persons who know them well and can discuss their capabilities, accomplishments and character. A teacher, whether at the undergraduate or graduate level, should be one who has worked with the applicant personally. If the applicant has had a substantial research, work, clinical or service experience, WCMC requests a letter from the supervisor in that experience. Letters should be submitted through AMCAS.
Q: Can I send letters from employers, doctors, current students, etc.?
A: You may submit letters from other persons who know you and can appraise your qualifications for the practice of medicine, but these do not obviate the required letters of recommendation. We prefer letters from people who know you well.
Q: What are the oldest MCAT scores you accept?
A: Scores should not be older than three years at time of application. For 2018 matriculation, we will consider MCAT scores from September 1, 2014 through September 9, 2017. 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.
Q: If I took an MCAT more than three years ago, will you still consider my application?
A: If your scores are over three years old, please send us a letter or email explaining why you waited to apply to medical school, and why you have not retaken the test.
Q: Will you change your MCAT acceptance policy after MCAT2015? Do you have a preference for one MCAT over the other?
A: We will continue to accept scores within three years of application. We do not have a preference regarding which MCAT you take.
Residency and Citizenship
Q: Do you give preference to New York State residents?
A: We do not give admissions preference to residents of any state. Furthermore, tuition and fees are equal for all students.
Q: Do you consider foreign students or graduates from a foreign university?
A: We welcome applications to the first year class from international students. There are, however, two separate issues that international students need to consider:
- Cost: Financial aid is offered only to those applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. Persons who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents must either pay for four years of tuition in advance (current figures can be found in the Student Services Cost of Attendance breakdown), or deposit this sum in an escrow account.
- Prior educational experience: We strongly encourage you 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.
Q: Do you consider Canadian applicants for admission?
A: Yes, we welcome applications from Canadian citizens. Citizenship and/or residency are not factors considered in the admission process. However, if accepted, Canadian citizens who are not permanent residents of the U.S. are not eligible for any financial aid. Financial aid is offered only to those applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
Those who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents must either pay for four years of tuition (current figures can be found in the Student Services Cost of Attendance breakdown) in advance, or deposit this sum in an escrow account.
Q: How do I apply to the M.D.-Ph.D. (MSTP) Program?
Q: If I am not accepted to the M.D.-Ph.D. (MSTP) Program, will I still be considered for the M.D. Program?
A: If you are not accepted to the M.D.-Ph.D. program, the program will forward your application and supplemental materials to the Medical College Office of Admissions. Applicants who remain seriously interested in the regular M.D. program should confirm their interest by notifying the Office of Admissions.
Q: If I am applying to the M.D.-Ph.D. program, should I have my letters of recommendation sent to both the regular M.D. office as well as the M.D.-Ph.D. office?
A: Letters must be submitted through AMCAS. AMCAS then transmits them electronically to us (both M.D. and M.D.-Ph.D. offices).
Q: Do you have a joint B.A.-M.D. program?
A: No, we don't.
Special Features of Weill Cornell
Q: Does Weill Cornell have an international electives program?
A: Yes. Weill Cornell is a leader in international study opportunities. Such programs typically involve clinical care and/or research in developing nations. Each year, between a third and a half of our students participate in clinical care and research in South America, the Caribbean, Africa, South Asia and East Asia. Increasing numbers of students have also received funding for international electives during the summer between their first and second year of medical school. For further information, please refer to Global Health.
Q: What is PBL?
A: PBL is a teaching method in which students learn by actively seeking out information to solve problems. In contrast to lectures, in which the teacher delivers information to the student, PBL emphasizes active learning.
Q: Do you accept transfer students?
A: We do not accept applications for transfer.
Tuition and Housing
Q: How much is your tuition?
A: First-year tuition and fee information can be found in the Student Services Cost of Attendance breakdown.
Q: Are students guaranteed housing?
A: All students are guaranteed housing. First-year students who are not married typically live in individual dormitory type rooms. Students in subsequent years, as well as first-year students who qualify for family housing (married students, domestic partners), are eligible for housing in studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments in two WCMC-owned buildings in the neighborhood. To learn more about our housing, please visit the Housing Department.