Selection Process


The Carver College of Medicine receives many applications each year for a limited number of seats in the entering class. The Admissions Committee selects individuals who are considered the best qualified for the study and practice of medicine from those who meet our requirements. We seek applicants from a variety of backgrounds who have unique experiences and interests. Please review the information below to learn about the qualities that our Admissions Committee seeks in applicants.

Iowa Residency

Throughout the application process, applicants are considered in two separate applicant pools based on their residency status. Iowa residents are considered separately from nonresidents. Residency is determined by the University of Iowa Office of the Registrar in accordance with rules adopted by the Iowa Board of Regents. For residency questions, contact the Registrar's Office (319-335-0223 or

Academic Preparedness

Academic promise is measured by past performance including but not limited to the following: overall GPA, science GPA, grade trend, rigor of coursework, recency of coursework, MCAT overall score, MCAT individual section scores, and number of MCATs taken. If you are not satisfied with your MCAT score, you may re-take the test; however, we discourage applicants from taking the MCAT three times in the same calendar year. Candidates are evaluated on the basis of their unique circumstances.

Non-academic Factors

There are many attributes of an excellent physician that are not exhibited by academic performance. As a result, it is important to participate in activities that will foster those attributes to supplement the knowledge and skills gained in the classroom. These are some of the many qualities that our committee seeks in applicants:

  • Commitment to service
  • Orientation toward lifelong learning
  • Moral character
  • Maturity
  • Leadership
  • Ability to communicate effectively
  • Ability to work under stress
  • Ability to work as a team member
  • Previous healthcare experience, including physician shadowing
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Independent thinking
  • Empathy and compassion
  • Sound decision-making
  • Passion and commitment

Secondary Application

Following the initial review of AMCAS applications, select applicants are invited to complete our secondary application. Additional information required includes answering supplemental questions, providing letters of recommendation, and paying our application fee ($60). All secondary application materials must be submitted by December 15. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit application materials by October 15.


We are unable to offer interviews to all applicants. The Admissions Committee will contact those who are selected for an interview via email. More interview information and FAQ can be found here.

Final Decisions

The Admissions Committee reviews applicants during the “rolling admission” phase from October to January. Applicants who are not reviewed in this phase are reviewed in the “final pool” phase in February. Notification of admission may begin as early as October 15, and final decisions will be made on all applications by March 15. NOTE: Our committee does not review applications in the order they are submitted OR chronologically by interview date.

Applicants are notified on their secondary applications when final decisions are made:

  • Accepted - If you are offered admission, congratulations! Keep in mind that we do not charge a fee to save your spot in our class.

  • Final Pool - If you are notified that you have been placed in the final pool, this means your application will be reviewed in February and a decision will be made by mid-March.

  • Alternate List - If you are placed on an alternate list, you will be notified of your exact position and you may follow your progress on your secondary application. There are two rank-ordered wait lists (resident and nonresident), and they are created after final pool decisions are made.

  • Not Admitted - If you are not admitted and you plan to reapply to Carver College of Medicine, you may schedule an appointment with a member of our staff to discuss your application and get recommendations for areas of improvement.

Delayed Entry

Students admitted to the Carver College of Medicine may request to delay the start of their enrollment up to two years. If admitted, you may read more information about the delayed entry policy on your secondary application. Limited space is available for deferral.