COVID-19 (coronavirus) Information

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UW School of Medicine Admissions Response to COVID-19

Updated 5/10/2020

UW School of Medicine Admissions is closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the admissions process for the Fall 2021 entering class. The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) will delay application delivery to medical schools by two weeks. Any additional changes will be shared with applicants on our Admissions website and Facebook. Below are some common concerns we have received from applicants.

Online courses & P/F grading

Many colleges and universities have switched to online instruction. Our prerequisite policy has always accommodated online coursework and P/F courses. This means that:

  • Online coursework from regionally accredited institutions will be accepted towards fulfilling prerequisites.
  • Pass/Fail courses will also be accepted towards fulfilling prerequisites.

MCAT Test in 2020

The AAMC added three additional MCAT test dates. The test has also been shortened to 5.75 hours to accommodate additional administrations each day. The number of questions will remain the same as the standard test. For more details, please visit the MCAT website

The UW School of Medicine does not have a preference for scores from the longer test or the shorter test. Our current deadline to take the MCAT is September 30, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will accept 2017 MCAT scores in addition to 2018, 2019, and 2020 MCAT scores for admissions consideration to the entering class of 2021.

The UW School of Medicine Admissions Committee is aware of the effect of the pandemic on all our applicants. We continue to be committed to holistic review. Rest assured that the Committee will consider the activities/metrics from this year within the context of this unprecedented world event.

Additional Frequently Asked Questions

UWSOM does not require labs. If you want to take online labs, that is fine by us.

We recognize this has impacted folks’ shadowing and volunteering opportunities this year. The Admissions Committee has always valued the insight and reflection that applicants gain from their experiences rather than the number of hours.

We will accept a minimum of 3 individual letters of recommendation and a maximum of 6 letters. Please see our letters of recommendation policy for more details:

We encourage to use the existing secondary application essays to reflect on your experience with COVID-19. Which essay(s) you should use will depend on your experience and the narrative you are sharing in your application. See our secondary application page for the available secondary essay prompts.

The Admissions Committee is generally looking for patterns and trajectories when it comes to grades. Ultimately, how you perform in one class will not make or break your application. If you know that there is room for you to demonstrate improvement in your grades, it may be worth choosing to have the course graded so that the Committee can see evidence of your improvement. It’s important to make your decision based on your individual needs and responsibilities.

AAMC is working to expand Fee Assistance Program (FAP) to help applicants financially impacted by COVID-19. Please see the FAP webpage for more information about applying. If you are not eligible for FAP but still need financial assistance, please contact the UWSOM Admissions Office. We will work with you on a potential fee waiver for our secondary application.

There are still a number of ways you can stay active during this time:

  • Follow credible news sources.
    • Learn more about our health care system, patient delivery, and health related policies.
    • Read/watch interviews with health care providers on the front lines.
  • Find ways to serve in your community while staying safe and maintaining social distance. Including, but not limited to:
    • Pick up/drop off groceries for your elderly and/or vulnerable neighbors.
    • Volunteer at food banks or local schools to provide meals for individuals in need.
    • Provide childcare to essential workers who continue to work during the pandemic while schools are closed.