Admission to the Medical Curriculum

Admission to UT Southwestern Medical School is determined by the Admissions Committee. The chair of the Admissions Committee is appointed by the Dean of the Medical School. The Admissions Committee is composed of appointed and elected faculty members from both basic science and clinical departments.

Application Procedure

Applications for admission to the first-year class beginning in August of any year must be submitted between May 1 and Oct. 1 preceding the year of desired entrance. Application to UT Southwestern requires submission of both the application to the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service (TMDSAS) and submission of a secondary application through the UT Southwestern MyGateWay site.

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Academic Prerequisites

Obtaining a baccalaureate degree is strongly recommended for applicants to UT Southwestern; however, applicants may be admitted after completing 90 semester hours (exclusive of physical education requirements).

For applicants attending non-U.S. colleges and universities, it is recommended that undergraduate course work be completed at or credited through a regionally accredited U.S. or Canadian college or university. At least 45 semester hours, including all prerequisites, should have a grade assigned by a U.S. college or university.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to complete all prerequisites prior to matriculating into Medical School. Questions regarding prerequisites should be directed initially to the premedical adviser at the applicant’s college or university and secondarily to the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service. If necessary, clarification should be obtained from the Admissions Office, with which final acceptance of courses for prerequisite credit rests.

The required course work is as follows:

English: One year of college English. A minimum of six semester credit hours is required with a grade of C or better. English courses must be approved by the English department for fulfillment of the general education English requirement for the baccalaureate degree. Remedial, developmental, and “English as a Second Language” courses are not accepted.

Biology: Two years as required for science majors. One year must include a formal laboratory experience. A minimum of 14 semester credit hours is required with grades of C or better, eight for year one with lab and six for the remainder, or 12 lecture hours and two lab hours. If two semesters of biochemistry are completed, one semester in biochemistry, as offered for science majors, will be accepted toward fulfilling one-half year of this biology requirement. Courses for non-science majors and courses taught for health-career majors (nursing, pharmacy, or health professions sciences) are not accepted.

Physics: One year including laboratory as offered for science majors. A minimum of eight semester credit hours is required with grades of C or better. Any courses for non-science majors or health-career majors (nursing, pharmacy, or health professions sciences) are not accepted.

Chemistry: One half-year of general (inorganic) chemistry including a corresponding laboratory experience for science majors, one year of organic chemistry for science majors including corresponding laboratory experience in both semesters, and one half year of biochemistry is required. A minimum of 15 semester credit hours is required with grades of C or better (four inorganic, eight organic, and three biochemistry). It should include experience in the laboratory and familiarity with analytic and volumetric techniques. Any courses for non-science majors or health-career majors (nursing, pharmacy, or health professions sciences) are not accepted.

Mathematics: One-half year of college calculus or statistics. A minimum of three semester credit hours is required with a grade of C or better. The calculus course may be taught by the math or physics department. Business calculus and pre-calculus are not accepted. The statistics course must be math-based and preferably taught in the math department. Business statistics and statistics taught in social sciences or education departments are not accepted.

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Evaluation of Applicants

The Admissions Committee considers all of the following in evaluating each applicant’s acceptability:

  1. Academic performance in college as reflected in the undergraduate grade-point average;
  2. The rigor of the undergraduate curriculum;
  3. Scores from the Medical College Admission Test;
  4. Recommendation letters from the college premedical committee or faculty;
  5. Extracurricular activities;
  6. Research experience;
  7. Socioeconomic background;
  8. Any time spent in outside employment;
  9. Personal integrity and compassion for others;
  10. The ability to communicate in English;
  11. Race and/or ethnicity;
  12. Other personal qualities and individual factors, such as leadership, self-appraisal, determination, social/family support, and maturity/coping capabilities;
  13. The applicant’s motivation for a career in medicine, including prior health care exposure.

In addition, applicants are evaluated with regard to the mission of UT Southwestern Medical School, which emphasizes the importance of training primary-care physicians, educating doctors who will practice in medically underserved areas of Texas, and preparing physician-scientists who seek careers in academic medicine and research.

A personal interview is required and is initiated by invitation from the Admissions Committee. The committee invites applicants to interview who have excellent academic qualifications or who demonstrate convincing evidence of commitment to an area of medicine emphasized in the mission of the Medical School and who have academic backgrounds that indicate the potential for success in achieving the M.D. degree.

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Medical College Admission Test

Each applicant must take the Medical College Admission Test prepared by the American College Testing Program, and the test scores must be available before the Admissions Committee will take action on the application. MCAT scores are valid for five application seasons immediately subsequent to the date taken. The MCAT must be taken in or before the year in which application is made. The test is offered multiple times between January and September each year at premedical college centers. The advantage of taking the test in the spring rests in the applicant’s ability to retake it (if necessary) prior to the application deadline.

Registration for the MCAT can be accomplished at the website

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Essential Functions

All individuals, including people with disabilities, who apply for admission to UT Southwestern Medical School must be able to perform specific essential functions. Essential functions are the basic activities that a student must be able to perform to complete the generalist Medical School curriculum. No applicant who can perform the Medical School’s essential functions — either with or without reasonable accommodations — will be denied consideration for admission. A candidate for the M.D. degree at UT Southwestern must be able to perform these essential functions:

Observation: Candidates must be able to accurately observe demonstrations and patients close up and at a distance to learn skills and to gather patient data (e.g., observe a patient’s gait, appearance, posture, etc.). Candidates also must possess functional use of the sense of vision and somatic sensation. Observation is enhanced by the functional use of the sense of smell.

Communication: Candidates must be able to communicate orally and in writing with patients and members of the health care team. Candidates also must be able to read and comprehend written material.

Psychomotor Skills: Candidates must have sufficient motor function to obtain data from patients using tactile, auditory, and visual maneuvers. Candidates must be able to execute motor movements to provide the general care and emergency treatment reasonably required of physicians.

Intellectual and Cognitive Abilities: Candidates must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize, integrate, and apply information. Problem solving, a clinical skill required of physicians, requires all these intellectual abilities. In addition, candidates must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.

Behavioral and Social Attributes: Candidates must possess the emotional health required to use their intellectual abilities fully, such as exercising good judgment, promptly completing all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and developing mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties and ambiguities inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are personal qualities that should be assessed during the admissions and education process.

Ethical Standards: A candidate must demonstrate professional demeanor and behavior and must perform in an ethical manner in all dealings with peers, faculty, staff, and patients. Candidates must treat all patients equally without regard to ethnicity, race, gender, religion, or any other attribute. Questions of breach of ethical conduct will be referred to the Associate Deans for Student Affairs.

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Advanced Standing

UT Southwestern does not have an advanced standing program. Admission can be granted only through the usual process to the first-year class. Upon admission, a student is permitted to petition individual Departments if exemption from that course is desired. There is no formal process for this, and decisions are totally at the discretion of each Department.

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For prospective Medical School students, the “General Information” site of the catalog contains additional onboarding information, including:

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