**Response to COVID-19 – Information for 2021 Admissions Cycle**
The Boston University School of Medicine understands that the COVID-19 public health crisis has impacted different facets of each applicant’s file. The Admissions Committee will be flexible in evaluating the timing of MCAT tests, the number of P/F grades in Spring 2020, the abrupt discontinuation of some activities in Spring 2020 and other elements impacted by the current pandemic. The Admissions Committee evaluates each application holistically and will continue to maintain rigorous holistic review. We will base our interview decisions on a holistic review of the entire application; however a final admissions decision will not be made without an MCAT score on file. The BUSM supplemental application will be sent to all applicants who express interest after completing the AMCAS application, and should be submitted as early as possible, even if an MCAT test or score is not currently available. Using holistic review, we will continue to evaluate each application individually for core competencies desired in medicine and that align with the mission of BUSM.
Applicants are expected to earn a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university that is located in and accredited in the U.S. or Canada. Applicants who have not graduated from an accredited U.S. or Canadian institution, but who completed a minimum of two (2) years in such an institution, including all of the prerequisites, may be considered to be eligible and should bring the details of their record to the attention of the Committee on Admissions.
Applicants currently enrolled in a professional or graduate school program must be in the terminal year of the degree program to be considered for admission to the first year class and all applicants are expected to complete any academic program in which they are enrolled at any time during the application process. Individuals who have previously matriculated at another medical school are not eligible to apply to BUSM.
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 classes.
We encourage all applicants to follow their own interests whether in the arts or in the sciences, and acquire a broad range of experience through their education. In addition, BUSM asks applicants to demonstrate competency by completing college-level coursework in the following subject areas:
• English Composition or Literature (or other writing intensive course(s) )
• Biological Sciences including Lab work
• Chemistry including Lab work
In addition, course work in Mathematics (particularly statistics), Biochemistry, Social and Behavioral Sciences (Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology), Genetics, and Molecular Biology is important. As a guideline, students typically take two semesters each of English, biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, mathematics, and social sciences. Because schools and applicants differ from one another, our “requirements” are flexible.
All prerequisites must be completed before a student can matriculate at BUSM. We generally prefer that applicants take these courses at a 4-year undergraduate institution rather than utilize advanced placement credits. While generally we discourage online courses, P/F courses, and courses taken at community or junior college, we understand that COVID-19 has dramatically reshaped higher education. If you have used these course options for that or any reason, please explain the circumstances on the “educational history” section of your secondary application. The Committee on Admissions will then consider the matter as a part of its comprehensive review of the application. If an applicant has placed out of a required college level course, we will also accept another course in that discipline at the same or higher level.
Applicants are urged to acquire a broad experience in the humanities, as well as in the behavioral and social sciences during their college years. In particular, we believe that course work in Mathematics (particularly statistics), Biochemistry, Social and Behavioral Sciences (Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology), Genetics, and Molecular Biology is important. We encourage all applicants to follow their own interests whether in the arts or in the sciences, and applicants are generally well advised to refrain from modifying their undergraduate course selections in an effort to anticipate subject matter that will be studied in medical school.
Example of How Applicants Demonstrate Competency:
1 year English Composition or other writing intensive course
1 year Humanities
1 year Biological Science with lab
1 year Physics
2 years Chemistry such as:
2 Semesters Chemistry with Lab + 2 Semesters Organic Chemistry with Lab + 1 Semester Biochemistry
2 Semesters Chemistry with Lab + 1 Semester Organic Chemistry with Lab + 1 Semester Biochemistry
1 Semester Chemistry with Lab + 2 Semesters Organic Chemistry with Lab + 1 Semester Biochemistry
Letters of Recommendation
Please submit either one committee letter/packet letter (prepared by your pre-health advisor or committee) or three (3) individual letters. We suggest that individual letters be submitted by persons who know you well “as a person” and who are able to describe the unique qualities you possess that will help you to be successful in navigating our curriculum and the medical profession. Letters may be written by faculty members, supervisors for work or volunteer experiences, coaches, etc. MD-PhD applicants should provide at least one letter from a research mentor. BUSM prefers to receive three (3) individual letters, but will accept a maximum of five (5) in cases where an applicant feels that additional letters are necessary (for example, applicants who have been working for several years, who have completed a graduate program, etc.).
All letters of recommendation must contain official letterhead (or contact information if letterhead not available) and handwritten signatures.
Please note: All letters should be submitted through AMCAS with each individual letter or letter packet having its own unique AMCAS letter request ID number Reusing a letter request for multiple letter writers, will result in letter delivery errors.
Institutional Action Letters
An Institutional Action results from unacceptable academic performance or a conduct violation, even if such action did not interrupt your enrollment, require you to withdraw, or does not appear on your official transcripts or record due to institutional policy or person.
If you are not certain whether or not you have been the subject of an institutional action, contact the registrar, student affairs officer, or other appropriate party at the relevant institution for confirmation of your record. Applicants who become the subject of an institutional action after certifying and submitting the AMCAS application must notify Boston University School of Medicine (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Institutional Actions (IA):
If you have an IA on record, verification is required by an:
Individual letter from your university stating nature of incident and that you are currently in good standing at your university or
Clearly identifiable comment in Health Professions Advisory Committee letter
IAs not on record with your university:
Individual letter from university official stating that no record exists.
All institutional action letters must contain official letterhead (or contact information if letterhead not available) and handwritten signatures.
Via email email@example.com – IA emails accepted only from university official, not directly from applicant or AMCAS letter service identified as an individual letter of recommendation
Please note: All letters should be submitted through AMCAS with each individual letter or letter packet having its own unique AMCAS letter request ID number Reusing a letter request for multiple letter writers, will result in letter delivery errors
MCAT & CASPer Tests
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT):
- Communicate directly with the Association of American Medical Colleges for information concerning these examinations
- Latest MCAT test date for 2022 cycle: September 2021
- Oldest test accepted is September 2018
CASPer an online test which assesses non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics is REQUIRED for the 2021-2022 cycle. (SNAPSHOT & DUET sections are not required.)
- Go to TakeAltus.com to register for a test date.
- Step 1: Select United States of America
- Step 2: Select Medicine (Allopathic), CSP-10111-US test
- Step 3: Select Boston University School of Medicine
- Latest CASPer accepted test date for 2022 cycle: October 2021
- You must retake the CASPER test for each application cycle.
Note: It is not required to have test scores available to submit the BUSM Supplemental Application.
This season because of COVID-19, all interviews will be held virtually.
- By invitation only, sent to select applicants via email
- Mid-September – Mid January
- Remote interviews only for the 2020-2021 cycle
- Boston University School of Medicine affiliated MD and MD PhD faculty and/or clinicians.
What Else: Remote sessions with Dr. Goodell and students.
Final Official Transcripts
Submit Final Official transcript from all degree granting universities, as soon as they become available. Transcripts must be sent directly from the college or university to BUSM at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Final Official Transcript requirements:
- College seal
- Course listing with final grade
- Degree earned
- Date earned
Accepted students only:
It is essential that all M.D. graduates of the Boston University School of Medicine have a predictable level of competence across the range of knowledge and skills generally expected of physicians. This allows patients, residency program directors, licensing and credentialing authorities, specialty boards, and other interested parties to rely on these competencies when interacting with our graduates. In addition, it is a primary educational objective of BUSM that all students will have a broad-based educational foundation that will prepare them to pursue post-graduate training in any current discipline or specialty of medicine.
The faculty, therefore, expect that all students will demonstrate proficiency, with or without reasonable accommodation, in all degree requirements. All BUSM students are expected to carry out the tasks, both intellectual and physical, of the foundational science and clinical curricula, either without accommodations or with those accommodations that are reasonable and appropriate in the range of settings and circumstances in which our educational program is based. Reasonable accommodations enable students with disabilities to meet BUSM’s standards. Reasonable accommodations do not provide cognitive support or medical knowledge, substitute for essential clinical skills, or supplement clinical or ethical judgement. Reasonable accommodations will never eliminate essential curricular elements or requirements that have been established as part of the medical school curriculum.
All students must have the capacity to communicate effectively to patients, families and members of the health care team in urgent, potentially unpredictable and chaotic situations, as such events occur in clinical settings where students participate in clinical teams. Students must have the ability to respond without assistance to alarms and other warning signals in patient care areas.
The following technical standards have been formally adopted by the Boston University School of Medicine. A candidate for the MD degree must have abilities and skills in the areas of observation, communication, sensory and motor coordination and function, intellectual-conceptual, integrative, and quantitative abilities; and behavioral and social attributes as described below. It is a breach of professional conduct for a provisionally accepted student or BUSM student to knowingly misrepresent abilities or provide false information.
Students must be able to observe and fully participate in all aspects of the foundational science curriculum. They must also be able to accurately observe a patient and the surrounding environment, both at a distance and close at hand, noting nonverbal, as well as verbal signals.
Students must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and their families, as well as with all members of the health care team in a variety of different settings. Communication includes speaking, reading, writing, and perceiving nonverbal communication and interpretation of patient monitoring devices. Students must communicate effectively and efficiently in both oral and written English. They must be able to accurately elicit, comprehend, interpret, transmit and record information regarding all features of a patient’s physical and emotional status. They must possess reading skills at a level sufficient to accomplish, in a timely manner, all administrative requirements, as well as to meet the performance expectations of the faculty in all areas of the curriculum. As members of the health care team, students must be able to provide audible and intelligible verbal information in urgent and semi-urgent situations, and respond immediately and appropriately to verbal communication, even in unpredictable and chaotic clinical settings.
Sensory and Motor Coordination and Function
Students must possess motor and sensory capacity to perform activities necessary for the completion of the foundational science curriculum, as well as for the provision of routine and emergent patient care. Such actions require coordination of gross and fine movements, equilibrium, strength and endurance, and functional use of the senses. Students may be called upon to perform such actions rapidly and under challenging circumstances.
Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities
Students must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize. It is also essential that student have the ability to absorb and process new information from patients, peers, teachers, supervisors, and from scientific literature, in the support of critical thinking, clinical reasoning, and problem solving.
Behavioral and Social Attributes
Students must have the capacity to develop empathic, respectful, and effective relationships with peers, patients and all members of the health care team. They must be able to use their intellectual capacity to exercise sound judgment and to complete all academic and clinical responsibilities in a timely and professional manner, even under stressful circumstances. They must be able to demonstrate resilience and adapt to changing environments and to learn in the face of the uncertainties inherent in the practice of medicine. Compassion, integrity, high ethical standards, cultural sensitivity, as well as strong interpersonal skills and motivation are vital to the successful completion of the M.D. program. Students must be able to identify their own needs for support and care, and proactively access available resources.
Still have questions? Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or contact us at email@example.com or 617-358-9540.