Specific academic requirements to enter the Saint Louis University School of Medicine include a minimum of 90 semester hours (135 quarter hours) in undergraduate arts and science courses.
Virtually all accepted applicants complete a baccalaureate degree of at least 120 semester hours (180 quarter hours) from an accredited college or university. In all cases, our Committee on Admissions is more concerned with the quality of your education than with the number of hours or years of pre-medical training.
If you have received your education abroad, you must complete at least one academic year of science course work in an accredited North American college or university before applying to SLU.
Course Requirements for Admission
|General biology or zoology||8 credit hours*|
|General chemistry||8 credit hours*|
|Organic chemistry||8 credit hours*|
|Physics||8 credit hours*|
|English||6 credit hours|
|Other humanities and behavioral sciences||12 credit hours|
The Committee on Admissions usually recognizes undergraduate credit given for advanced placement courses when it is indicated on a transcript. However, for the specific minimum requirements above, advanced placement credits are not generally acceptable. Upper level coursework may be used to fulfill the course requirements.
Many universities are modifying grading systems in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are modifying our criteria regarding lecture and laboratory courses for the 2020 spring semester. Prerequisite courses must be completed in a degree-granting university; it is up to the course directors to determine the balance between online and classroom instruction. If your school does not allow an option to receive a letter grade please include that fact in your secondary application. However, we do recommend students planning to apply to medical school to request a letter grade if possible.
Since contemporary medical studies include the study of health and disease at the subcellular and molecular level, the study of biochemistry or cellular biology is highly recommended, though not required. Biochemistry may be taken in place of one semester of organic chemistry.
Humanities based writing-intensive coursework may be used as a substitute for the english requirement. Humanities is a broad category, including fine arts, history, philosophy, etc. Business, health or science-based courses can not be used to fulfill the humanities or english requirements. Applicants must have at least 18 credit hours total of english and/or humanities courses and one course cannot satisfy two requirements. When using a writing-intensive substitution, please include a course description with the secondary application.
Applicants are expected to have pursued one area of knowledge or discipline in depth. The Committee on Admissions does not favor any specific major. Suitable major areas include the behavioral sciences and humanities, as well as the natural sciences. Those majoring in the behavioral sciences and humanities must demonstrate good performance in the natural sciences and those majoring in the natural sciences must, in turn, demonstrate a broad exposure to the humanities. Courses intended to satisfy basic requirements or completed online will not be considered.
Admission is possible only at the beginning of the academic year.
Average Academic Profile
Candidates accepted for entry in August 2019 had the following average academic credentials:
- Science-Math GPA 3.81
- Overall GPA 3.84
- CPBS 128.32
- CARS: 127.31
- BBFL: 128.55
- PSBB: 128.99
- Total Mean Score: 513.16
Apart from these academic characteristics, the Committee on Admissions recognizes a responsibility to consider applicants as individuals, particularly in the evaluation of the breadth of their educational experience, their personality traits, maturity level, and appropriate motivation and commitment to a career in medicine.
We seriously consider applicants enrolled in master’s or doctoral degree programs only if they are scheduled to be completed during the year of application and prior to enrollment in medical school, or if recommended by a graduate faculty mentor. Other graduate students must withdraw from their graduate program before applying.
Excellence in character, motivation and ideals cannot substitute for intellectual ability demonstrated through scholastic achievement. However, academic achievement alone is not a sufficient foundation for success in the medical profession.
The Committee on Admissions should have no reservations about the moral integrity of an applicant or the applicant's ability to use medical knowledge and skills in a manner ultimately beneficial to individual patients and society. Applicants whose personality characteristics or behavior indicate they may have problems relating appropriately to other human beings will not be accepted.
The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) stipulates that the school develop standards for both objective and subjective criteria used for screening, selection, and admission of applications to the medical education program.
LCME Standard 10.3 Policies Regarding Student Selection/Progress and Their Dissemination:
The faculty of a medical school establish criteria for student selection and develop and implement effective policies and procedures regarding, and make decisions about, medical student application, selection, admission, assessment, promotion, graduation, and any disciplinary action. The medical school makes available to all interested parties its criteria, standards, policies, and procedures regarding these matters.
LCME Standard 10.4 Characteristics of Accepted Applicants:
A medical school selects applicants for admission who possess the intelligence, integrity, and personal and emotional characteristics necessary for them to become competent physicians.
LCME Standard 10.5 Technical Standards:
A medical school develops and publishes technical standards for the admission, retention, and graduation of applicants or medical students in accordance with legal requirements.
The goal of the admissions, retention, and graduation policy is to establish admissions requirements for the selection of students to the Saint Louis University School of Medicine.
The Saint Louis University School of Medicine (SLUSOM) utilizes a variety of strategies to consider and evaluate potential applicants to medical school for admissions, academic and professional progress, and graduation.
Technical standards for the admission, retention, and graduation of applicants or medical students: This policy represents a statement by the medical school of the: 1) essential academic and non-academic abilities, attributes, and characteristics in the areas of intellectual-conceptual, integrative, and quantitative abilities; 2) observational skills; 3) physical abilities; 4) motor functioning; 5) emotional stability; 6) behavioral and social skills; and 7) ethics and professionalism that a medical school applicant or enrolled medical student must possess or be able to acquire, with or without reasonable accommodation, in order to be admitted to, be retained in, and graduate from that school’s medical educational program. (Element 10.5)
5.0 Protocol and Procedure
Academically successful students considered for matriculation are expected to possess:
Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities
These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis and synthesis. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of physicians, requires all of these intellectual abilities and often must be performed quickly, especially in emergency situations. A student must be able to identify significant findings from history, physical examination and laboratory data, provide a reasoned explanation for likely diagnoses, prescribe appropriate medications and therapy and retain and recall information in an efficient and timely manner. The ability to incorporate new information from peers, teachers, and the medical literature in formulating diagnoses and plans is essential. Good judgment in patient assessment and in diagnostic and therapeutic planning is essential; a student must be able to identify and communicate their knowledge to others when appropriate.
The student must be able to observe demonstrations and participate in those experiments in the basic and clinical sciences determined essential by the respective faculties. A student must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and at close hand, noting non-verbal as well as verbal signals. Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and other sensory modalities.
A student must be able to speak intelligibly, to hear adequately, and to observe closely patients to elicit and transmit information, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and perceive non-verbal communications. A student must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients, and all members of the health care team. Communication includes not only speech, but also reading and writing. In addition, the student must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written English with all members of the health care team. A student must possess reading skills at a level sufficient to accomplish curricular requirements and provide clinical care for patients. The student must be capable of completing appropriate medical records and documents and plans according to protocol and in a complete and timely manner.
Motor Functioning Skills
Medical students are required to possess motor skills sufficient to elicit independently information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other manually-based diagnostic procedures. Students should be able to conduct laboratory tests (urinalysis, CBC, etc.), carry out diagnostic procedures (paracentesis, etc.), and provide basic medical care (clearing the airway, placing catheters, controlling bleeding, simple obstetrical maneuvers, etc.) in the general care environment, and coordinate fine and gross muscular movements to treat patients in emergency situations. Emergency situations include any circumstance in which a patient requires immediate medical attention.
Behavioral and Social Attributes
The student must possess the emotional health required for full use of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment and the prompt completion of all responsibilities for the diagnosis and care of patients. The student must exhibit the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients, colleagues, clinical and administrative staff, and all others with whom the student interacts in the professional or academic setting, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age or other attributes or affiliations that may differ from those of the student. The student must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively when stressed. The student must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. A student is expected to accept appropriate suggestions and criticism and, if necessary, respond by modification of behavior. A student is expected to self-regulate emotions and behaviors and to seek assistance when the ability to do so is compromised. Empathy, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the admission and educational processes.
Ethics and Professionalism
Students must interact with all individuals in a respectful and effective manner regardless of gender, age, race, sexual orientation, religion, or any other protected status. They must maintain ethical and moral behavior consistent with professional standards for interactions with students, faculty, staff, patients, and the public. They must understand the legal and ethical aspects of the practice of medicine and function within both the law and ethical standards of the medical profession. Professionalism, compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are all qualities that are expected throughout the educational processes.
The Office of Admissions will confirm that the members of the Admissions Committee are apprised of the policy, and ensure that the criteria will be applied equitably during the screening, interview, and selection processes.
LCME Standard 10.3: Policies Regarding Student Selection/Progress and Their Dissemination Applicants
LCME Standard 10.4: Characteristics of Accepted Applicants
LCME Standard 10.5: Technical Standards
LCME Functions and Structure of a Medical School:
The policy will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee and approved by the Curriculum Committee.
There are no regional preferences and applications from well-qualified students are seriously considered regardless of their state of origin or citizenship. The qualifications of applicants are evaluated without discrimination in regard to financial status, age, race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or veteran status. Some additional consideration is given to qualified students from Saint Louis University and the qualified sons and daughters of our School of Medicine alumni.
Students who have failed or have been terminated for any reason at another medical school, or who have previously earned a medical degree, whether in this country or abroad, are not eligible to apply.
All completed applications are evaluated by the Committee on Admissions. It’s not possible to provide places for all qualified applicants, but failure to be accepted is not necessarily an indication that you are unsuited for a medical career.
If you have unsuccessfully applied to the Saint Louis University School of Medicine more than three times, we recommend you not apply again unless significant changes have been made that would merit the Committee on Admissions’ review.