FAQs for Current Applicant
This section of the Admissions website is intended to assist current applicants: individuals who are in the process of submitting an application for entry in the fall of 2014 to the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM).
General Questions on Requirements
What is your minimum required GPA and/or MCAT score?
Boston University School of Medicine does not have a minimum requirement for either GPA or MCAT score. All applicants will receive a supplemental application from the Office of Admissions once AMCAS notifies us of your interest.
Can I use _________ course for your Humanities requirement?
Humanities covers a broad spectrum of courses for Boston University School of Medicine. Acceptable courses to fulfill our Humanities requirement include, but are not limited to: History, Sociology, Psychology, Philosophy, Art, Religious Studies and Foreign Language.
Can I use _________ course for your English requirement?
We can accept any course at any level under your school’s English department for our English requirement. We can also accept any English language writing intensive course as a substitute, so long as you explain the substitution in your BUSM secondary application. Acceptable courses include, but are not limited to: History, Sociology, Psychology, and Philosophy. Please note that any course used to fulfill the English requirement cannot also be used to fulfill the Humanities prerequisite.
Can I use upper level courses for your Biology requirement?
We can accept any level course that your school defines as Biology so long as you have one year of lecture and one year of lab.
I am not certain if I meet your Chemistry requirements. What, if any, courses are acceptable as a substitute for General/Organic Chemistry?
Any one of the following sequences is perfectly acceptable to meet our chemistry sequence requirement:
i. 2 semesters of general chemistry with lab and 2 semesters of organic chemistry with lab. We recommend 1 semester of biochemistry in addition to these required courses.
ii. 2 semesters of general chemistry with lab, 1 semester of organic chemistry with lab, and 1 semester of biochemistry.
iii. 1 semester of general chemistry with lab, 2 semesters of organic chemistry with lab, and 1 semester of biochemistry.
I do not have all of your prerequisites, but am planning to take them during the application cycle. Can I still apply?
Yes. We do not require that our prerequisites be met by the time an applicant applies to our school, but by the time they would matriculate. If you are planning on taking any courses during the application cycle, please note those courses in your supplemental application and keep us apprised of your grades. Please note that we do not accept online courses at all for any prerequisite.
Are Canadian students considered International students? How many slots are there for Canadian students?
Residency is not a requirement for Boston University School of Medicine. BUSM has no limitation on consideration of out-of-state or international students. All applicants must meet our stated requirements and we expect that prerequisites will be fulfilled through course work completed at any accredited 4 year US or Canadian College. Please note that Canadian applicants, should they be accepted, would be considered international applicants in terms of financial aid. For questions regarding financial aid, please contact the Office of Student Financial Services.
What are the letter of recommendation requirements?
One (1) Committee Letter or three (3) individual letters, two (2) of which must be from science professors who have taught you in any level Biology, Chemistry or Physics. We can accept letters from research professors only if you have received course credit for that research and it appears on your transcript. If you did not, the letter would be considered an additional letter rather than a science letter. The third required letter can be from a person of your choice and need not be academic in nature.
Applicants in a graduate degree program must submit either: one (1) graduate thesis advisor letter and one (1) undergraduate committee letter or one (1) graduate thesis advisor letter, one (1) undergraduate science professor letter and one (1) letter of your choice. Applicants who are in a non-thesis graduate program may substitute a letter from any graduate professor for the advisor letter.
For the MD/PhD program, applicants must meet the MD letter requirements as stated above and must submit one additional letter. This letter must be from a member of the academic profession who has personal knowledge of the applicant’s qualifications for graduate study and research ability.
Note: All letters must be on official institutional letterhead and signed by the author. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure these two elements are on their letters. Applications will be placed on hold if letters do not meet these requirements.
May I submit additional letters of recommendation? Is there a maximum number of letters I can submit?
You may submit more than the minimum number of recommendations (as stated above). While we have no official maximum, the Committee on Admissions generally prefers no more than about five or six letter listings. Please note that it is our policy not to pass an application on to review until all listed letters are received unless we are told otherwise by the applicant.
I do not have access to a committee letter and will be submitting individual letters. Do all individual letters need to come from science professors?
No. For those applicants who are submitting individual letters, we only require that two (2) be from professors who have taught you in any level Biology, Chemistry or Physics course. The third required letter can be from anyone of your choice and does not necessarily have to be academic in nature.
Can I have my professor/advisor send a letter directly to the Office of Admissions?
No. All letters of recommendation must come through AMCAS, regardless of what part of the cycle we are in. The letters of recommendation section should always be available to applicants. Further information can be found at the AMCAS website here.
Does Boston University School of Medicine require a particular major in order to apply?
No. We require a bachelors degree minimum from an accredited 4-year US or Canadian college and all of our stated prerequisites completed by the time an applicant would matriculate. Your choice of major is entirely up to you.
I have more than one MCAT score. How does the Committee view multiple MCAT scores?
AMCAS will supply us with all MCAT scores you have taken. The Committee on Admissions will take into account all reported tests as a part of your application as a whole.
I do not see _________ course listed as a requirement. Is ___________ course really not required?
All of our requirements are listed on our Requirements page. Any course not listed there would not be required for admission to our school.
Does Boston University School of Medicine accept applications for advanced standing to the second or third year classes?
Due to the retention of the current student body, Boston University School of Medicine does not have any slots available for advanced standing in the second or third year classes.
How do you calculate GPA?
We do not calculate GPA in our office. AMCAS will supply us with GPA and class information as a part of your initial application with them. Please direct questions about GPA calculation to them, as they are best placed to answer those inquiries.
I received an email from the Office of Admissions asking for an official transcript. I submitted an official transcript to AMCAS. Do I still need to send one in to BUSM?
Yes. AMCAS does not send any transcripts to us. They send us a grade report that they generate from your official transcript(s). If we ask for an official transcript at any time during the application cycle, you will need to have it submitted to us directly from your school by mail only. We cannot accept any official transcripts electronically. This also applies to applicants who attended any Boston University program or course. We have no access to your official transcripts so they must be sent in hard copy to our office.
Logging Into the Supplemental Application
When can I expect to hear from Boston University School of Medicine after I indicate on my AMCAS application that I intend to apply?
After AMCAS notifies us that you intend to apply to BUSM, you will receive an email from our Admissions Office providing you with a web address and instructions for establishing user ID and password to access our supplemental application. Generally this takes place starting in early to mid-June each year but it can be later. Please note: It is not required that you be verified by AMCAS in order to receive a secondary application from BUSM but you must be verified in order to submit your BUSM application.
What do I use to login to the supplemental application?
After AMCAS notifies us that you intend to apply to BUSM, you will receive three(3) emails from our school: two from BU IT to confirm your identity and create your login and one from the Office of Admissions containing the link to our secondary application. Please be sure to add the domain @bu.edu to your Safe Senders or Contacts list to ensure you receive all communications from us. If you do not receive any emails, first check your SPAM filter and then contact the Office of Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org with a description of your issue. Please be sure to include your full name and AMCAS ID. Please note: BUSM does not send out initial contact emails until our cycle starts in June or July each year.
I listed Boston University School of Medicine on my AMCAS application but have not received an initial pre-registration email, or any other response from BUSM. Have I been prescreened?
No. All applicants interested in applying to BUSM will receive a secondary application from our school but it may take time to process your initial AMCAS application. If you did not get the pre-registration email, there are a couple of possible reasons:
A. The email was sent to you, but your SPAM filter diverted it to your junk email folder. Please check your SPAM/junk mail folder. If still do not have the email, and have waited at least 3 hours after getting the first email, contact email@example.com with your full name and AMCAS ID.
B. You previously applied to BUSM and already have a BU web account. If you recall the email address you previously used, you can use it again with MyApplication. If you want to change your email address/login or password, please go to: https://weblogin.bu.edu/buweb/resetpw to change your login data. If you have further questions about your web account, please contact the BU Web Account Support Group at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them at 617/358-4020.
If you have not previously applied, have checked your SPAM filter and it has been more than 3 hours since the first email arrived, please send an email to email@example.com be sure and include your full name and AMCAS ID number in the body with “No Initial Contact” as the subject line.
What is my BUSM login name?
Your email address as you provided it to AMCAS is your login name. (See next question if you already have an @bu.edu email address)
What if I already have a BU account?
If you have an @bu.edu account, you should login with your username (without the @bu.edu) and your Kerberos password.
I have forgotten my password to the BUSM Supplemental Application. What should I do?
You may reset your password at: https://weblogin.bu.edu/buweb/resetpw.
I have been locked out of my pre-registration screen. What should I do?
Contact the Office of Admissions by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 617/638-4630. Provide your name and AMCAS ID number. We will unlock your form for you. Please note: the information that is asked for in that form should match exactly what you put on your AMCAS application and the city of birth field is case sensitive and must contain only the city (not the city and state or the city, county and state).
I am having trouble logging into my BUSM secondary application. What should I do?
Email email@example.com with your full name, AMCAS ID number and a description of the problem you are having. Do not contact the BU IT department directly. We have a dedicated IT staff that works directly with us and any ticket you put in yourself may not reach them. If the staff of the Office of Admissions is unable to resolve your problem, the staff will put in a ticket and contact you as soon as a resolution is reached.
Completing the Supplemental Application
I have questions. How do I communicate with the Office of Admissions regarding the supplemental application?
The Message Center located in MyApplication is the preferred method of contact for the Office of Admissions regarding questions during the application process. Your questions will be answered by members of our staff in a timely matter. We are also available by email at firstname.lastname@example.org as well as by phone at 617/638-4630.
I don’t see my letters of recommendation listed in MyApplication, but I have assigned them to BUSM on AMCAS. What should I do?
AMCAS does not release letter information until after your academic record has been verified in their office. Your letters should appear on your BUSM supplemental application within 24-48 hours of AMCAS verifying your initial application. If your initial application has been verified and you still do not see your letters, please go back to your AMCAS application and double check that your letters have been assigned to BUSM in the letters section. If they are assigned to our school, please go back to the AMCAS Main Menu and hit the Submit button again. This will trigger AMCAS to send us your letter information.
I can view my MCAT scores on the AMCAS website, but not in MyApplication. Why are my scores not listed?
AMCAS does not release MCAT scores to individual schools until after the academic record has been verified in their office. As a result, you may see your MCAT scores on the AMCAS site, but not in MyApplication. You need not be concerned about this, as the scores will be added to your database within 24-48 hours of their release from AMCAS.
I plan to retake the MCAT. Can I defer review of my application until after the new scores are released?
Yes, you can. However, you must notify us by selecting the defer option in Section IV. MCAT Status in MyApplication. If you do not use this question, your application will go into review once the new scores are released and we have determined that all other required materials are present. If you do not notify us that you are retaking the MCAT, we will process your application with your current MCAT scores.
I am having difficulty completing the Prerequisite Grid. What is the best way to approach it?
We recommend you use your transcript(s) as a guide for completing the grid. Use your university’s course classifications to fill in the grid as best you can. Do not count courses in more than one category. If you are unsure of where to place a class, choose whichever subject you feel fits best and use the box below the grid to explain. Please note that we are looking for the number of semester long courses you have taken in any of the headings. If you took two Humanities courses in the spring semester, that would be two on the grid. If you have further questions, please contact the Office of Admissions through the Message Center in MyApplication.
What is a Preferred Institution?
A Preferred Institution is any 4-year accredited US or Canadian college or university. Community colleges and junior colleges are not considered preferred institutions, nor are AP credits considered as being taken at a preferred institution even if you received credit at your college. Please note that we are not referring to a 4-years bachelors program specifically but the college at which the course(s) were completed.
According to my prerequisite grid, I have not met all the requirements for BUSM. Will I be automatically rejected?
No, prerequisites must be met by the time you would matriculate not by the time you would apply. Be sure to include an explanation in the box below the grid, as to why you have not met all requirements to date, and how you plan to meet them prior to matriculation. If you have coursework that you feel could substitute as a prerequisite, you may explain this in the box below the grid also and the Committee on Admissions will take this into account.
I have paid my application fee, but my status still says incomplete/not submitted. What happened?
Please note that payment of the application fee does not constitute submission of the secondary application. Please go back to Section IX. Submit Supplemental Application. Please make sure that you have clicked the Submit button on this page.
How will I know if you received my completed supplemental application?
You will receive a confirmation email when you have submitted your secondary application. Once the office verifies that we have received all required application materials including letters of recommendation and MCAT score(s), you will receive another email explaining that your application is complete and under review by the Committee on Admissions. Your status will also automatically update on your Application Status page.
I received my BUSM secondary application before I was verified by AMCAS. Can I submit it?
No. Your AMCAS application must be verified before you can submit your BUSM secondary application. BUSM sends out secondary applications as soon as AMCAS notifies us of interest by an applicant. This means that you may or may not be verified when you receive your invitation to fill out our secondary application.
I have been placed on hold due to _________ reason. How will I know when my application is complete?
When the staff has reviewed your file and made sure that the hold has been satisfied, your application will be marked as complete. Once it is marked complete, you will receive an email notification and your Application Status page will update. Please note: If you have been put on hold due to an issue with your letters, AMCAS will automatically update us with new information within 24-48 hours of confirming receipt of the new letters with you.