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Requirements and Standards

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)

*A laboratory course is required.

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.

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:

Undergraduate Grade Point Average

  • Science-Math GPA 3.81
  • Overall GPA 3.84

MCAT2015 Scores

  • 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.

Personal Qualifications

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.

Technical Standards

Saint Louis University School of Medicine is committed to full compliance with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Qualified applicants to the School of Medicine must be able to complete all requirements leading to the M.D. degree.

Because an M.D. degree signifies that the holder is a physician prepared for entry into the practice of medicine within a graduate training program, the recipient must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care as required by the curriculum.

Our mission statement, goals and objectives are supported by the 1979 recommendations of the Association of American Medical Colleges Special Advisory Panel on Technical Standards for medical school admission that state, in part, that the M.D. degree is, and must remain, a broad, undifferentiated degree attesting to the acquisition of general knowledge in all fields of medicine and the basic skills requisite for the practice of medicine.

The following technical standards may be applied to the selection of medical students, as well as to accepted students and medical students enrolled in the M.D. program.

In addition to proven academic ability and other relevant personal characteristics, Saint Louis University School of Medicine expects its students to possess and be able to demonstrate the skills, attributes and qualities listed below, without undue dependence on technology or intermediaries to a degree that compromises independent judgment. The use of a trained intermediary is not acceptable in many clinical situations in that it implies that a student's judgment must be mediated by someone else's power of selection and observation.

Academically successful students are expected to:

  • Communicate effectively and sensitively with patients, health professionals, teachers, staff and peers in settings where communication is typically oral or written, or when the time span available for communication is limited.
  • Accurately observe a patient from a distance and at close range, obtain a medical history directly from the patient and directly observe a patient's medical condition.
  • Acquire, assimilate, interpret, integrate and apply information from direct observation and oral communication, written messages, films, slides, microscope, imaging science, ECG readouts and other media.
  • Perform diagnostic and emergency maneuvers and procedures, such as palpation, percussion and auscultation, airway management, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and suturing, as well as assisting in surgery.
  • Perform problem-solving tasks quickly and efficiently in an environment that may change rapidly, without warning or in unpredictable ways.
  • Comprehend three-dimensional and spatial relationships.
  • Carry out procedures involved in learning the sciences fundamental to medicine, including the ability to participate fully in activities dealing with curriculum requirements in the classroom, laboratory and clinical setting.

Evaluation of Applications

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.

Failure to be Admitted

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.