Application Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q. How do I apply?

A. MSTP applicants apply to the CWRU School of Medicine through the AMCAS application service. After you've submitted your AMCAS application, you'll receive an e-mail from the School of Medicine Admissions office telling you how to set up an iApply account and complete your secondary application.

Case Western Reserve University is committed to Equal Opportunity and Diversity. Women, veterans, members of underrepresented minority groups, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

The CWRU MSTP encourages applications from candidates with disabilities. Accommodations for students with disabilities and limitations posed by required technical standards and specific standards are governed by policies of the School of Medicine.

Q. I've completed the AMCAS online application and checked the box for combined medical degree/PhD. Am I done?

A. No. You need to complete the CWRU secondary application (submitted through iApply) and submit your letters of recommendation. You must indicate on the secondary application that you are applying to the MSTP.

Q. After I completed the AMCAS online application, I changed my mind about applying for the combined medical degree/PhD. Do I need to go back to AMCAS to check the MD/PhD box?

A. No. When you receive your secondary application, you will have a chance to indicate that you are applying to the MSTP.

Q:  I want to apply to the dual degree program in medical anthropology. Should I apply for that program through the MSTP?

A. No. Although CWRU does offer that dual degree, it's not through the MSTP. Refer to the Department of Anthropology's Joint Programs page for more information.

Q. It's been more than three weeks since I submitted my primary application, but I haven't received email notification that I can access my CWRU secondary application. What should I do?

A: Check your spam/trash filter. If the email notification isn't there, let us know. We'll send the notification again.

Q. There are two MD/PhD essays (the Research Essay and the MD-PhD Motivation Essay) on the AMCAS application. The same questions appear on the secondary application from iApply. How should I handle the duplication?

A. If you indicated MD/PhD on the AMCAS application, and answered those questions on the AMCAS application, you do NOT need to answer the same questions on the secondary application from iApply. Type "Please see AMCAS MD/PhD essays", and we will review your answers to the AMCAS MD/PhD questions. 

If you did not indicate MD/PhD on the AMCAS application but would like to answer those questions on the secondary essays in iApply, or if you wish to provide a modified answer to one or both of the MD/PhD questions, provide your answers on the secondary essays.

Q. Where should I send my letters of recommendation?

A. All letters of recommendation must be submitted to the AMCAS letters service.

Q. Do I need to take the GRE?

A. For BME applicants, we prefer but do not require the GRE. The GRE is optional for students interested in any other graduate program.

Q. What does your admissions committee look for in an applicant?

A. The most important thing is substantive research experience during the summers and during the school year as an undergraduate, or during post-baccalaureate research time. Applicants must also seriously consider and explain why they want to pursue both the MD and the PhD degrees.

Q. What is the average GPA and MCAT of students in the program?

A. The 10-year average is 3.7 and 35.

Q. Have you ever admitted anyone with an MCAT below 30?

A. Yes, but they had outstanding research experience.

Q. Can a high school AP Calculus class fulfill the MSTP's Calculus requirement?

A. Yes.

Q. Is one semester of Calculus and one semester of Statistics acceptable?

A. Yes.

Q. Can a high school AP Biology class fulfill the MSTP's Biology requirement?

A. AP Biology alone does not satisfy the MSTP Biology requirement.  We require one semester of college biology courses.  However, it is fine if you used AP credits to place out of introductory biology courses as long as you took a semester of advanced biology courses.

Q. How do I know whether all of my materials are complete?

A. You can check on the status of your application any time by logging in to your CWRU iApply account.

Q. What is the deadline for submitting my application to the MSTP?

A. The deadlines are November 1 for the AMCAS application and December 15 for the CWRU secondary application. You may request an extension beyond these deadlines by contacting the MSTP office.

Q. How many students do you admit each year?

A. About 12-15.

Q. How many do you interview?

A. Around 70-80 each year.

Q. If I am not admitted to the MSTP, will I be considered for the MD program?

A. Yes, if you indicate on your secondary application that you are applying to both the MSTP and the University program.

Q. What kinds of work are the alumni of your program doing?

A. Approximately 70% of our graduates achieve a faculty position at a medical school, and 20% do research at the NIH, research foundations, biotech companies or pharmaceutical companies. Our alumni are engaged in cutting-edge basic, translational and clinical research.

Q. Is the MSTP open to international students?

A. Sorry, no. The CWRU MSTP is funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health. Because the grants are a type of National Research Service Award, trainees must be citizens or noncitizen nationals of the United States, or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., possess an alien registration receipt card I-151 or I-551).

See also the School of Medicine's Admissions FAQ page

A very helpful article for students considering MD-PhD training can be found here in Science Careers magazine.



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