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Qualification for Application

An excellent general source of information for the premedical student is the Medical School Admission Requirements , U.S. and Canada (MSAR) which is published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), 2450 N Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20037-1129, Phone (202)828-0416, FAX (202) 828-1123, (web site: ). This is published in electronic form and the pre-health professions office has a subscription that you may use while in the office.  Contact the pre-health professions office to schedule a time to use the MSAR. You may also access the American Medical Association (AMA) on their homepage at

The student planning to apply to medical school is not limited to any specific major area in pursuing a baccalaureate degree. There are no set requirements for application to medical school, other than residency requirements and certain subject requirements. Most schools insist that the applicant have a year each of organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, biology, and physics with labs. Minimum ISU courses required by most medical schools include, but are not limited to, the following:

MATH 1147


5 credits

MATH 1160

Brief Calculus

4 credits (not all schools require calculus)

CHEM 1111, 1112 (and labs)

General Chemistry & Labs 9 credits 

CHEM 3301, 3303 3302, 3304

Organic Chemistry I & II (with lab)  8 credits 

ENGL 1101, 1102

English Composition

6 credits 

BIOL 1101 and 1102 and Labs  

General Biology I & II and labs

8 credits

BIOL 2206 and 2207

Cell Biology & Lab

4 credits

BIOL 4432


3 credits

PHYS 1111, 1112, 1113, 1114

General Physics with Lab

8 credits 

The prospective applicant would find, in addition to the above, additional biology courses to be advantageous. Highly recommended would be Comparative Embryology and Human Development. Most medical schools stress the importance of the applicant being well-rounded, so a sufficient number of non-science courses should be included also. The applicant should consider this when developing the plan of study for his/her area of major. Consultation with an advisor is especially important.

The premedical student should have a broad background before taking the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) in order to perform to the best of his/her ability. The courses outlined above should provide a good basis of preparation for the exam. The student is highly encouraged to have completed a physiology course (human or animal) before taking the MCAT. There is no minimum grade point average (GPA). However, the student's GPA is very important and medical schools give much consideration to the student's grades. They are concerned with grades received in both science and non-science courses. Idaho residents who are successful at gaining admission to an MD school typically have a GPA between 3.6 and 3.7or higher.

Although most medical schools may potentially accept a student with only three years of undergraduate work completed, the reality is that essentially all those accepted by medical schools will have completed a baccalaureate degree by the time they matriculate into medical school. For example, most medical schools state that between 99% and 100% of accepted students has at least a baccalaureate degree. Almost all (about 3 do not) medical schools require that the MCAT be taken no later than the year previous to the year of entry into medical school. There are no minimum score requirements for acceptance, nor are scores received the sole basis for gaining admittance. However, the scores received are very important. Besides academic accomplishments, medical schools are interested in the student as a person. An applicant will be asked why he/she wants to be a doctor. The school will want to know about any medical experiences the student has had, as well as extracurricular and special activities in which the student has been involved.

Today in the U.S., there are two recognized "schools" of medicine: Allopathic medicine, which grants the Doctor of Medicine (MD), and Osteopathic medicine, which grants the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO). Osteopathic physicians enjoy the same legal rights and privileges as MDs in all fifty states. Osteopathic physicians practice medicine much the same as MDs with a few important differences. Like the MD, the DO utilizes ail of the latest technology, therapies, procedures, and drugs which modern science provides. However, the DO is trained much more extensively in methods of palpation (touching), an important diagnostic method. Also, the DO is trained in manipulative therapy. Osteopathic manipulation is a whole system of diagnosis, appraisal, and therapy designed to preserve health and prevent the spread of disease. Osteopathic physicians are trained to provide holistic health care. Finally, osteopathic medical schools are geared to produce primary care physicians who will enter into family practice. Many DOs also specialize in a wide range of medical specialties.


All 26 colleges of osteopathic medicine require the following pre-osteopathic medical courses. ln general, you may follow a regular premedical curriculum:

Organic Chemistry with lab (1 Year)
Biology with lab (1 year)
Physics with lab (1 year)
English Composition (1 Year)




All applicants to colleges of osteopathic medicine are required to take the Medical College Admissions Test no later than the calendar year prior to entering medical school. The MCAT is offered throughout the year. Application deadline for the MCAT is approximately 7-8 weeks prior to the test date. MCAT registration, plus other resource materials for MCAT preparation can be accessed online at




All osteopathic colleges of medicine utilize a centralized application service, AACOMAS (American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service). The address is the following:


AACOMAS 5550 Friendship Boulevard
Suite 310
Chevy Chase, MD 20815-7231
(301) 968-41e0


AACOM (the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine) is at the same address, Phone (301) 968-4100. AACOMAS applications are available on line at




As a part of the application, many colleges of osteopathic medicine require or strongly suggest that the applicant be interviewed by a practicing osteopathic physician. The osteopathic physician in turn will send a letter of evaluation to the Individual schools. Also, before an applicant can enter an osteopathic medical school, he/she must be interviewed at the Individual college of osteopathic medicine by an admission committee.




Idaho is not presently involved in any reciprocal agreements involving colleges of osteopathic medicine. Some western states support their residents in the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP), at the Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, CA, through the WICHE program.




Admission to a college of osteopathic medicine is competitive. The colleges are able to select the members of an entering class from among large numbers of highly qualified applicants.


ISU students have been admitted in recent years to the following schools:


Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University
Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern
*College University of Osteopathic Medicine, Kansas City, Missouri (University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine
*Des Moines University Osteopathic Medical Center, Des Moines, lowa
*College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA
*Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
Lake Erle College of Osteopathic Medicine
Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
New York College of Osteopathic Medicine
Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Nova Southeastern College of Osteopathic Medicine
Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine
University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine


*Major schools for ISU students. The other schools have also accepted significant numbers of ISU students.


lf you are interested in a career as a primary care practitioner, you should consider Osteopathic medicine. We recommend contacting a practicing osteopathic physician and talk to him/her about Osteopathic medicine. The Osteopathic colleges are actively seeking qualified applicants who are genuinely interested in pursuing an Osteopathic medical career. lf you choose to apply to both Allopathic and Osteopathic medical schools, be very sure that you are able to indicate and express an honest interest in Osteopathic medicine. Even though Osteopathic medical schools recognize that students must consider alternatives in development of a health career, they do want to accept students who have a sincere interest in Osteopathic medicine.




Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)

The MCAT is administered several times throughout the year. You must register for the exam about 5 weeks before the exam administration. For specific test dates, registration deadlines and registration forms, consult the ISU Counseling and Testing Center, your advisor or You may also write to:

MCAT Program
2255 North Dubuque Road
P.O. Box 4056
Iowa City, IA 52243
phone (319)338-1357
email (preferred)

You may also consult the AAMC web site: click on "MCAT". The courses listed under Qualifications for Application will provide the minimum preparation for the examination, and it is recommended that the student spend considerable time preparing for the exam and familiarizing oneself with the testing procedure. Commercial test preparation courses are available. Several full length MCAT exams can be purchased from the AAMC, either in paper form or electronically. Go to for details.

American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS)

AMCAS is a service through which the applicant completes one application form which is sent to each medical school to which the student wishes to apply. The fee for the service increases with the number of schools the applicant requests the application to be sent. Approximately 90% of the US allopathic medical schools participate in AMCAS. In applying to schools which do not participate in AMCAS, the applicant must write to the individual school to request application materials. Consultation of the MSAR or AMCAS application materials will indicate which medical schools do not participate in AMCAS.

The AMCAS application includes a personal comments section, an extracurricular activities and work section, and a transcript section. The application also requires other personal information, such as age, state, residency, and education of parents. More information may be obtained by writing to the following address:

2450 N. STREET, NW
WASHINGTON, DC 20037-1131
PHONE: (202) 828-0600

NOTE: the AMCAS application went online for the 2002 entering class. Access to this online application is through the AMCAS section of the web site.

Application Procedure

The most advantageous sequence for filing applications begins the semester before you plan to apply to medical school. At ISU, this sequence should begin with the student arranging with the Chair of the ISU Health Professions Advisory Committee for an interview by that committee. From this interview and other evaluative materials, the committee will compile an Idaho State University composite letter of evaluation. Interviews for this process will take place in the spring semester prior to beginning the application process. For most applicants, that will be the spring semester of the junior year. Contact the Health Professions Advisory Committee office in November or December of the junior year to begin a file. The student will register to take the MCAT (preparation for the MCAT should begin six to nine months prior to that time, however). The AMCAS application should be completed and mailed to AMCAS for distribution to the schools requested. ALWAYS APPLY EARLY!! The AMCAS application can be sent in as early as June 1 of the calendar year before the anticipated year of entry into medical school. NOTE: submission dates have been somewhat fluid since initiation of the online AMCAS application. Consult that web site for current dates.

It is highly recommended that it be submitted no later than July 15. About one month after submitting your AMCAS application, you will begin to receive "supplemental" or "secondary" applications from medical schools. To maximize your chances for admission, return these forms QUICKLY (we would suggest within one or two weeks of receipt). Once a student's application is complete, invitations for interviews by medical schools can come anytime after August. Ideally, this will be followed by acceptance by one or more medical schools sometime from January until the medical school's classes begin in the fall.

Early Decision Programs

About seventy-five schools participate in the EDP (Early Decision Program). An applicant may apply to such a school from June 1 to August 1 of the year preceding anticipated entry into medical school. The school then makes an early decision about the applicant, and notifies him/her of acceptance or no acceptance by October 1. Only one EDP application may be made by any applicant, and if accepted, the applicant may not apply to any additional medical schools.

Usually Early Decision applicants who are not accepted by the Early Decision program are reconsidered with the general applicant pool at that same school. In addition, the applicant still has time to apply to additional medical schools for the same anticipated year of entry.

Advantages of applying for Early Decision include the possibility of receiving early word of acceptance, saving the money of applying to additional schools and sometimes an increased chance of acceptance. Disadvantages include being limited to only one early application, being committed to the EDP school if accepted there, and the fact that your "first choice" school may not have an EDP.

Be aware that EDP deadlines require that ALL required materials be received by the medical school admissions office by September 1 of the year of application. Therefore, the MCAT must be taken no later than April of the year the student plans an EDP application.

Schools that Admit Idaho Residents to Medical School

Since state taxpayers support state medical schools, out of state residents generally have a lower probability of being admitted to these schools. A highly qualified Idaho applicant may have a chance of admission to certain state medical school. Medical School Admission Requirements lists the number of in-state and out-of-state applicants accepted for each US medical school. The number of applicants to medical school is presently increasing dramatically, so there will probably be decreasing opportunities for nonresident applications to state medical schools.

The Idaho applicant to medical school relies primarily on two avenues of admission - Idaho's agreements with other states that have medical schools, and entrance into private medical schools that admit large numbers of out-of-state residents. These two avenues are discussed below.

Agreements With Other States

These agreements involve allocation of large sums of money by the Idaho State Legislature to neighboring states in return for acceptance of a given number of Idaho applicants into that state's medical school. The residency requirements for applications to these programs are very strict. During the process of application, you must complete a Certificate of Residency which you obtain from the following addresses for each of the two programs:

WWAMI Program (U. Of Washington)

(U. Of Utah)

Director of Admissions

Office of Admissions, Box 8270

University of Idaho

Idaho State University

Moscow, Idaho 83843

Pocatello, ID 83209

Phone: (208) 885-6325

Phone: (208) 236-2475

Idaho currently has agreements with two neighboring states, Washington and Utah, for admitting Idaho residents into their medical institutions. These programs are called the WWAMI and the University of Utah programs, respectively.

Through the WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho) Program 40 seats are reserved for Idaho residents in the University of Washington School of Medicine first-year class, with 5 allocated for TRUST. The first year of medical school is spent at the University of Idaho in Moscow and Washington State University in Pullman, and subsequent years are at the University of Washington in Seattle. Medical students admitted to the WWAMI Program from Montana, Alaska, and Washington spend their first year in Laramie, Bozeman, Anchorage, and Pullman respectively.

According to developers of the WWAMI program, "The WWAMI program is an experiment in decentralized medical education which proposes to avoid prohibitive construction costs by utilizing already existing facilities at state universities, and by using community physicians as medical faculty for varying periods of time." Preceptorships with area physicians are available for first-year medical students, and clinical rotations in clerkships in later years are offered to outlying areas in four states. Through capitalizing on the resources of neighboring state universities and the clinical expertise of community practitioners and the medical center, the WWAMI program is expanding medical school admission for students from all four states, increasing clinical training opportunities in the primary care disciplines and broadening continuing medical education programs offered to health professionals in the local communities.

For more information on WWAMI, write to the following:

Office of Admission, SM-22
University of Washington School of Medicine
Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: (206) 543-7321

Idaho WWAMI Medical Education Program
University of Idaho
Moscow, Idaho 83843
Phone: (208) 885-6696

Under the Utah Contract, ten seats are reserved yearly in the University of Utah School of Medicine first year class for Idaho residents. All four years of MD training take place at the University Of Utah School Of Medicine in Salt Lake City.

Tuition at the University of Utah School of Medicine for Idaho residents is the same as that for Utah residents. Tuition at the University of Washington School of Medicine for Idaho residents is the same tuition as a Washington resident. NOTE: Even though the State of Idaho has no formal agreement with the University of Nevada School of Medicine, that medical school has recently begun accepting significant numbers of Idaho residents. Accepted students are allowed to become Nevada residents during the first year of medical school at that institution. Thus, the total 4 year cost of that program is only slightly more than either the WWAMI program or the Utah contract.

Private Medical Schools

Private medical schools (as opposed to public, state-supported schools) usually accept more out-of-state than in state residents. Medical School Admission Requirements lists for each US medical school the number of out-of state residents and instate residents who applied and the number accepted from each group for the previous academic year.

Private medical schools which have, within the last decade, accepted Idaho residents include Creighton University in Omaha, George Washington University in Washington, DC, Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, St. Louis University, University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Others include University of New England, University of Nebraska, University of Nevada, University of Washington, University of Utah, Cornell, Toledo, Temple and Virginia Commonwealth. An ISU student was also accepted at Yale University School of Medicine in 1997. The Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences (USUHS) has also been a consistent acceptor of ISU students.

In 2002, 59 residents of Idaho were accepted by MD medical schools. Eighteen of these were to the WWAMI program, eight to the University of Utah, and thirty-three to other schools.

Tuition at private medical schools ranges from about $28,000 to over $35,000 per year.