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Selection Process

Selection of Applicants

Fulfillment of the basic requirements does not guarantee admission. The Admissions Committee selects the applicants it considers best qualified for the study and practice of medicine from applicants who meet the basic requirements. Preference is given to outstanding applicants who are residents of Iowa. Consideration is also given to exceptional nonresidents.

Residency is determined by the University's Registrar in accordance with rules adopted by the Iowa Board of Regents. Contact the University of Iowa Office of the Registrar if you have questions about obtaining residency.

Academic promise is measured by past performance (indicated by grade-point-average) and MCAT scores. Each candidate is evaluated on the basis of his/her unique circumstances. Classes admitted in recent years have had average GPAs of 3.7 on a 4.0 scale; 95% were above 3.2. Average MCAT scores have been 10-11 on each of the sections on the pre-2015 MCAT and 127-128 on each section of MCAT 2015. 

Majoring in one of the natural sciences is not necessary since the College recognizes the value of a diverse, broadly educated student body. If you choose not to major in one of the natural sciences, you may wish to include one or two additional science electives in your program of study if your schedule permits.

The faculty recognizes that a commitment to service and an orientation toward lifelong learning, independent thinking and decision making are important attributes of an excellent physician. It is important to participate in activities that will foster those attributes. Computer literacy, the capacity to understand and review scientific literature, and the ability to write well are additional skills the physician needs.

The ability to relate effectively to a wide variety of people is essential in a physician. Potential applicants are advised to participate to the extent possible in activities that will develop these skills. This should not be at the expense of developing a solid academic record, but should supplement knowledge and skills gained in the classroom.

Knowledge of the roles played by various members of the health care team and an understanding of the roles and problems of working with sick people are desirable. Consider gaining firsthand experience in health care through volunteer activities, shadowing or paid employment in a hospital, clinic, nursing home or similar setting. 

Screening Process:

After your verified AMCAS application has been received by the Carver College of Medicine, it will be screened for eligibility. After review, you may be asked to submit a University of Iowa application for admission, letters of recommendation, and a supplemental statement. These materials are referred to as the "secondary" application materials, and require a non-refundable $60 processing fee. You will receive an email directing you to our on-line secondary application website. If you are not chosen to receive a secondary application, you will receive notice of this decision by email.

All secondary application materials must be on file with the Carver College of Medicine by December 15. Applicants are responsible for making sure all secondary materials are received by the deadline. Those whose admission files are not complete by this date will not be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Notification of admission may begin as early as October 15th.  All applicants are notified of final decisions by March 15th.

Letters of Recommendation

We require 3 letters of recommendation.  If you desire, you may provide a fourth letter from a person associated with a particularly significant extracurricular experience.  If your school has a Premedical Advisory Committee, the committee report is required and will satisfy your letter requirement. 

We encourage applicants to provide letters from a variety of individuals qualified to assess personal (as well as academic) qualities, such as work ethic, reliability, communication skills, leadership, altruism, compassion, and motivation for medicine.

You may provide one of the following:

  1. Committee Letter* -  your school submits a committee letter or comprehensive report (which may or may not include individual letters).  If your committee report includes fewer than 3 individual letters, you may submit up to 3 additional individual letters(s); however, your total number of letters cannot exceed 4. 
  2. Packet of Letters* -  your school submits a packet of at least 3 (but no more than 4) individual letters.
  3. Individual Letters - individual letters are submitted to AMCAS directly from the letter writers. This selection requires 3 letters (2 academic and 1 of your choice), but no more than 4. 

 *Please check with your school to determine how many letters it includes in its submission.

The Carver College of Medicine is participating in the AMCAS Letter Service. All letters must be submitted through AMCAS.  Please do not send any letters directly to Carver College of Medicine.

Once letters have been accepted, no substitutions or additions may be made. As a results, please us know if you have any questions before you designate your letters.

A few additional notes:

An academic letter may come from anyone with whom you have shared a meaningful academic experience (classroom, thesis, research, etc.).

Nontraditional applicants who are several years removed from school may be better served with individual letters from more recent experiences.

For MD/PhD applicants ONLY, one letter must come from the research mentor of your most significant research experience.  If you have had several research experiences of equal significance, choose the mentor who best knows your research skills and commitment to a career in biomedical research.  If your research mentor's letter is not included in a packet or committee letter, you may designate an individual letter for the person.

Postbaccalaureate/Special Master's Program:  If you are participating in a program that issues a comprehensive report, please designate this report in place of a Premedical Advisory Committee Report.


On-campus personal interviews are held during September-January and are required. Not all applicants who submit secondary application materials will be invited for an interview. Those who are selected for an interview will be contacted by the Admissions Committee. An applicant's performance in the interview is considered part of the selection process.

Final Decisions

After interviews have taken place, applicants either will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee during "rolling admissions," which takes place from mid-October through mid January, or in the "final pool" in March. These decisions are made by the Admissions Committee based on individual applications and interviews.

Applicants will be notified on the secondary whether they are admitted, placed on an alternate list, or denied admission. Applicants can determine the completeness of their application on their secondary application. 

Delayed Entry

Students admitted to the Carver College of Medicine may request to delay the start of their enrollment for one or two years. Detailed instructions for arranging such a delay will be provided to each admitted student. Limited spaces are available for deferral.

Early Decision Plan (EDP)

The Carver College of Medicine does not consider applicants under the Early Decision Plan.

Criminal Background Check

A criminal background check is performed for all students at the time of admission through AMCAS.

Combined Degree Programs

The Carver College of Medicine offers several combined degree programs in which you can pursue your interests. The Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD) is designed to integrate the scientific approach and clinical medicine. The Medical Doctor/Masters In Public Health degree offers a way for professionals to apply the principles of both medicine and public health for the betterment of mankind. The Medical Doctor/Masters in Business Administration degree allows for a focus on the business side of being a healer. The Medical Doctor/Juris Doctor program offers a way to combine medicine with the study of law.

Inquiries/Requests for Information

Our nation-wide toll-free number is 1-800-493-7415. Please address inquiries regarding admissions by email: medical-admissions@uiowa.edu or:

Medical Student Admissions
University of Iowa
Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine
1213 Medical Education Research Facility
Iowa City, IA 52242-2600
(319) 335-8052 (direct dial)