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Requirements for Admission


The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine considers for admission to the M.D. program only applicants who are citizens or documented permanent residents of the United States or have asylum status.

Applications for transfer with advanced standing are not considered.

Applicants must have received a baccalaureate degree or be in a degree program with expectations of receiving the degree prior to enrollment. The University of Iowa  Carver College of Medicine does not offer a Combined BA/MD or an Early Admission Program to medical school. It is to your advantage to major in a specific discipline. 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.


Prospective students must have earned college credit in the following courses:

  • Physics
    A complete introductory course (1 year), including lab and instruction
  • Mathematics
    An advanced college mathematics course or a statistics course.
  • Biochemistry
    Which can be taken to fulfill either as part of the chemistry or the advanced biology requirement.
  • Chemistry
    A minimum of 2 years of chemistry to include general and organic both with labs, and biochemistry. 
  • Biological Sciences
    A complete introductory course in the principles of biology with the appropriate laboratories, and an advanced biology course (1 semester or quarter). Recommended advanced biology courses include biochemistry, molecular & cell biology, human physiology, genetics or microbiology.
  • English
    Two courses (to include composition and literature). This may be waived if your school integrates a writing requirement into courses across the curriculum.
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences, Humanities
    Four courses. As writing skills are important in the study and practice of medicine, candidates are encouraged to fulfill this requirement with courses that include a writing component. Recommended courses include behavioral psychology, sociology, foreign language and other courses that encourage a greater appreciation for diversity and cultural competency.

Online Courses 

  • The College of Medicine will accept off-campus/online courses which are offered through an accredited university to fulfill some of the premedical course requirements; however, a bachelor’s degree in residence is required.


  • Applicants must present at least a 3.0 grade-point average (on a 4-point marking system) for all undergraduate college work undertaken, unless the applicant has completed a minimum of 20 hours of Postbaccalaureate and/or Graduate work totalling 3.0 or greater. Where premedical science courses are offered on either a graded or pass/fail basis, it is to your advantage to take the required courses on a graded basis.

Technical Standards for Admission and Retention

  • The College of Medicine seeks candidates who best will be able to serve the needs of society and strives to graduate skilled and effective physicians. To achieve this goal, the following principles and technical standards will be applied to candidates for admission and continuing students.


  1. Technical Standards refer to criteria that go beyond academic requirements for admission and are essential to meeting the academic requirements of the program.
  2. Students, with or without disabilities, applying to and continuing in the College will be expected to meet the same requirements.
  3. Matriculation and continuation in the College assume a certain level of cognitive and technical skill. Medical students with disabilities will be held to the same fundamental standards as their non-disabled peers. Although not all students should be expected to gain the same level of proficiency with all technical skills, some skills are so essential that mastery must be achieved, with the assistance of reasonable accommodations where necessary.
  4. Reasonable accommodations will be provided to assist in learning, performing and satisfying the technical standards.
  5. Every reasonable attempt will be made to facilitate the progress of students where it does not compromise collegiate standards or interfere with the rights of other students and patients.

Applicants for admission to the College of Medicine and continuing students must possess the capability to complete the entire medical curriculum and achieve the degree. To this end, all courses in the curriculum must be completed successfully. In order to acquire the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care, candidates for the MD degree must have abilities and skills in five areas including Observation; Communication; Motor; Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities; and Behavioral and Social Attributes.

Technological compensation can be made for some disabilities in certain of these areas, but a candidate must meet the essential technical standards in such a way that he or she will be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner. The use of a trained intermediary is not acceptable in many clinical situations as it implies that a candidate’s judgment must be mediated by someone else’s power of selection and observation.

Continuing students in the College are held to the same technical standards.

  1. Observation
    Students must have the functional ability to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences and must have sufficient use of the senses necessary to perform a physical examination.
  2. Communication
    Students must be able to relate reasonably to patients and establish sensitive, professional relationships with patients, colleagues and staff. They are expected to communicate the results of the history and examination to the patient and to their colleagues with accuracy, clarity and efficiency.
  3. Motor
    Students are expected to participate in basic diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers and procedures. Those who cannot perform these activities independently should be able to understand and direct the methodology involved in such activities.
  4. Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities
    Students must be able to learn to analyze, synthesize, solve problems, and reach reasonable diagnostic and therapeutic judgments. Students are expected to be able to display good judgment in the assessment and treatment of patients. They must be able to learn to respond with prompt and appropriate action in emergency situations.
  5. Behavioral and Social Attributes
    Students are expected to be able to accept criticism and respond with appropriate modification of their behavior. Students also are expected to possess the perseverance, diligence, and consistency necessary to complete the medical school curriculum and enter the independent practice of medicine within a reasonable timeframe. They must demonstrate professional and ethical demeanor and behavior in all dealings with peers, faculty, staff and patients.
  6. Cultural Competency
    Medical students must be able to communicate with and care for persons whose culture, sexual orientation or religious beliefs are different from their own. They must be able to perform a complete history and physical exam on any patient regardless of the student's and patient's race, religion, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, age or sexual preference. Similarly, students must be able to interact professionally with colleagues and other healthcare professionals without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, age or sexual preference.

Applicants who may not meet these standards are encouraged to contact the College of Medicine Admissions Office.

Medical College Admission Test

Completion of the MCAT is a requirement for admission.  Applicants for the 2018 application cycle must have taken the MCAT between January 2014 and September 2017.  We will accept the pre-2015 MCAT for 3 years after the last test date (January 1, 2014). The MCAT is offered on various dates between January and September.

American Medical College Application Service

The College participates in the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) and requires its prospective students to file AMCAS applications. AMCAS is a nonprofit, centralized application processing service for applicants to participating medical schools.

The AMCAS application for the 2018 entering class will be available for you to complete on-line May 2017. You may certify & submit your application to AMCAS beginning June 2017. Completed AMCAS applications must be submitted to AMCAS by November 1, 2017.

If you are a reapplicant, you may benefit from a discussion with our admissions staff before submitting your AMCAS.  Allow enough time before you reapply to act on the advice given and develop a plan.