Prospective Student Expectations

Policies and background for future UW School of Medicine students

The UW School of Medicine is looking for individuals who have:

  • The academic ability to complete medical training and pass licensure examinations
  • Sufficient knowledge of the practice of medicine to demonstrate that they are making an informed career decision
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Awareness of current problems facing medicine and society in the U.S.
  • Problem-solving and analytic abilities
  • Familiarity with ethical issues in medicine
  • Broad interests and diverse life experiences

Candidates for admission are considered comparatively on the basis of motivation, maturity, personal integrity and demonstrated humanitarian qualities. All applicants are expected to have seriously investigated the challenges involved with a career as a physician in the U.S., including observation and/or gaining insight into one or more aspects of direct clinical care, before they submit their applications.

The UW School of Medicine participates in the AAMC-facilitated Criminal Background Check Service. Applicants are required to complete a national criminal background check and Washington State Patrol check upon an offer of admission into the program. The UW School of Medicine will not automatically or unreasonably deny an applicant’s admission or restrict access to campus residency based on an applicant’s criminal history.

Applicants are expected to read and comply with the following policies:

  • Clerkship Policy: One of the strengths of UWSOM is the depth and breadth of clinical experiences available to our students. All UWSOM students will travel for some of their rotations providing experience in academic medical centers as well as more rural medical environments. While UWSOM offers several special longitudinal clinical programs (such as tracks/WRITE/TRUST), travel is a part of these programs as well. The travel away from the foundation campus may be for extended periods and are part of the rich education UWSOM provides. Once enrolled, students will be further reminded of this policy when they are planning and submitting requests for their required clerkship schedules. Exceptions to this policy are granted rarely.
  • Technical Standards Policy: The M.D. degree is recognized as a broad, undifferentiated degree requiring the acquisition of general knowledge and basic skills in all fields of medicine. The education of a physician requires assimilation of knowledge, acquisition of skills and development of judgment through patient care experience in preparation for independent and appropriate decisions required in practice. The current practice of medicine emphasizes collaboration among physicians, allied health-care professionals and the patient. There are numerous components to the to the Technical Standards Policy: Standards for Admission, Retention, Promotion, and Graduation.
  • Prerequisite Course Requirements: The University of Washington School of Medicine Office of Admissions expects applicants to have completed the prerequisite coursework no later than May 15. By submitting this secondary application, you are confirming that you have reviewed our course requirements website and that you will have met the requirements for coursework and demonstrated competencies by the deadline above. Applicants are not informed of any deficit in the requirements until after acceptance or placement on the alternate list.
  • Immunizations Policy: By accepting enrollment into the University of Washington School of Medicine, students agree to meet immunization and TB screening requirements in accordance with CDC guidelines for healthcare personnel and as outlined by the Health Sciences Immunization Program (HSIP). Due to the nature of health professions training programs, exemptions are rarely granted and only in alignment with CDC recommendations, HSIP policy, and University policy and practice.
  • UW Medicine Policy on Professional Conduct: UW Medicine is committed to high standards of professionalism in patient care, research and education among our faculty, staff, residents, fellows and students. Professionalism is integral to our mission of improving health, and includes demonstrating excellence, respect, integrity, compassion, altruism and accountability in all endeavors and creating an environment supportive of diversity in ideas, perspectives and experiences. Read the UW Medicine Policy on Professional Conduct.
  • Attendance Policy: As part of professional development as physicians-in-training, students are expected to make the medical school schedule their highest priority. All students are expected to contribute to group learning and participate in problem solving. Preparation prior to class and active participation during class are critical not only to each individual’s success, but to the success of one’s fellow students. Ultimately, active participation in groups will better prepare all students for their work in clinical settings. Read the complete attendance policy.
  • Drug Testing Policy: The School of Medicine does not require "routine" drug testing of medical students. However, some facilities where students may rotate for various clinical experiences do require drug testing before they will accept a student for a rotation. The School generally contracts with these facilities so that the testing can be done through the School rather than through the facility in order to protect students' privacy. Read the School of Medicine Drug Testing Policy and the UW Policy on Marijuana Use.
  • Application Information Sharing: In the course of medical education, it may be necessary for designated school officials (e.g. Financial Aid, Career Counselors) to have access to information from your application. Application information will be shared with relevant members of the UWSOM community as deemed appropriate by the Office of Admissions. Information will never be sold or shared with outside parties.

The UW School of Medicine, as part of the University of Washington, is committed to the principle of equal opportunity. The school does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, or status as a protected veteran. When requested, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to otherwise qualified students with disabilities.