MSAR: Medical School Admission Requirements – What You Need to Know | MedSchoolCoach

MSAR: Medical School Admission Requirements – What You Need to Know

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Posted in: Applying to Medical School

Are you considering applying to medical school? If so, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the medical school admission requirements (MSAR), which is released by the AAMC. These requirements vary from school to school, but there are some general guidelines that you can follow as you begin the application process. In this blog post, we’ll cover the MSAR in detail, including what you need to know about prerequisites, grades, and other factors that can impact your chances of getting accepted.

What is the MSAR?

The Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) is a comprehensive resource provided by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). It contains detailed information about all of the accredited medical schools in the United States and Canada, including their admission requirements, curriculum, and tuition. The MSAR is an essential tool for anyone who is considering applying to medical school, as it provides a wealth of information about what you need to do to prepare for the application process. As such, it is a valuable resource for anyone who is considering applying to medical school.

What are MSAR alternatives?

It is important to note that the MSAR is not the only resource available for finding medical schools. There are a number of other resources that you can use to research medical schools and find the one that is the best fit for you. These resources include:

  • The AAMC’s Official Guide to Medical School Admissions: This guide, which is produced by the AAMC, contains information about medical schools, including their admission requirements, curriculum, and financial aid options.
  • The AAMC’s Medical School Admissions Requirements website: This website provides detailed information about the admission requirements for each medical school, including prerequisite coursework and GPA requirements.
  • The Association of American Medical Colleges’ Medical School Search: This tool allows you to search for medical schools based on a variety of criteria, including location, program type, and specialty.
  • MedSchool Explorer by MedSchoolCoach: This resource gives the added benefit of “MedSchoolCoach Insights”, which are snippets from physician advisors who are associated with various schools. This allows students to really gain valuable inside knowable about what makes a school great, what they may be looking for and how to stand out.

In addition to these resources, it’s also a good idea to talk to physician advisors, mentors, and other professionals in the healthcare field to get their perspective on which medical schools might be the best fit for you.

What Are the Prerequisites for Medical School:

Before you even begin the application process, you’ll need to make sure that you have completed all of the necessary prerequisites for medical school. These prerequisites vary from school to school, but there are some general guidelines that you should follow. Here are some of the most common prerequisites for medical school:

  • A bachelor’s degree: Most medical schools require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. While there is no specific major that is required for medical school, many students choose to major in a science-related field, such as biology or chemistry.
  • Coursework in the sciences: Medical schools typically require applicants to have completed a certain number of science courses, such as biology, chemistry, physics, and math. These courses are designed to provide you with the foundation you’ll need to succeed in medical school and beyond. It’s important to note that medical schools may have specific course requirements that you’ll need to meet in order to be considered for admission. For example, some schools may require you to have completed a certain number of lab courses or upper-level science courses.
  • Clinical experience: Many medical schools prefer applicants who have had some exposure to the healthcare field, either through volunteering or paid work. This experience can help you gain a better understanding of what it’s like to work in a hospital or clinic setting, and it can also help you stand out from other applicants. Clinical experience can be especially valuable if you’re interested in a particular specialty, as it can give you a taste of what it’s like to work in that field.

Grades and GPA:

Your grades and GPA are also important factors in the medical school admission process. Medical schools typically look for applicants who have strong academic records, as this is an indicator of your ability to succeed in the rigorous medical school curriculum. Most medical schools have a minimum GPA requirement, typically around a 3.0, but the actual GPA that you’ll need to get accepted can vary depending on the school. In addition to your GPA, medical schools will also consider the difficulty of your coursework and the overall trend of your grades.

If you’re concerned about your GPA, there are steps you can take to improve it. One option is to take additional coursework, either during the summer or through a post-baccalaureate program. You can also consider retaking classes in which you did poorly, as this can help boost your GPA. It’s important to note that medical schools typically consider your entire academic record, not just your GPA, so it’s possible to be accepted even if you don’t have a perfect GPA.

Read Next: The Medical School Personal Statement: How to Stand Out

How much does MSAR cost?

The entire medical school application process can be expensive! MSAR is just one part of the process, but a very reasonable one. The MSAR is available for purchase on the AAMC’s website for a fee of $28 for a one-year subscription or $38 for a two-year subscription. Keeping in mind you are paying college tuition, application fees, MCAT course fees and more, the MSAR cost is a small drop in the bucket.

Whether or not the MSAR is worth the cost is a personal decision that depends on your individual needs and circumstances. If you are seriously considering applying to medical school and want to get a detailed overview of the admission requirements and other important information about medical schools, the MSAR may be a worthwhile investment. However, if you are just starting to explore your options and are not yet ready to commit to the medical school application process, the cost of the MSAR may not be justified and you should instead use a free resource, like MedSchool Explorer.

Does MSAR give average GPA and MCAT scores?

Yes, the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) provides information about the average GPA and MCAT scores for each medical school. To find the average GPA and MCAT scores for a specific medical school, you can search for the school in the MSAR and view the “Profile” section for that school. This section includes information about the school’s admissions requirements, including the average GPA and MCAT scores of accepted applicants. It’s important to note that these averages can vary from year to year and may not reflect the current admissions standards of the school.

In addition to the average GPA and MCAT scores, the MSAR also provides information about the range of scores that are accepted by each medical school. This can be helpful in understanding what scores you need to achieve in order to be considered a competitive applicant.

What other information does MSAR give about medical schools?

In addition to GPA and MCAT requirements, the MSAR provides information about a wide range of topics related to medical schools, including:

  • Prerequisite coursework: The MSAR includes information about the coursework that is required for admission to each medical school, including the number of courses in specific subjects, such as biology and chemistry.
  • Application process: The MSAR provides details about the application process for each medical school, including the materials that are required, the deadline for submitting applications, and the selection criteria that are used.
  • Curriculum: The MSAR includes information about the curriculum for each medical school, including the length of the program, the number of clinical rotations, and the types of courses that are required.
  • Tuition and financial aid: The MSAR provides information about the tuition and fees for each medical school, as well as the types of financial aid that are available.
  • Residency placement: The MSAR includes data about the residency placement rates for each medical school, including the specialties and locations of the residency programs that students have matched with.
  • Student body: The MSAR provides information about the demographics of the student body at each medical school, including the percentage of students who are male, female, and from underrepresented minority groups.

How can I use MSAR to make a medical school list?

Here are a few steps you can take to use the MSAR to find the right medical schools to apply to:

  1. Determine your goals: Before you start searching for medical schools, it’s important to think about what you want to achieve with your education and career. Consider factors such as your location preferences, the type of program you are interested in (e.g., MD or DO), and the types of specialties you are interested in pursuing. This will help you narrow down your search and focus on the medical schools that are the best fit for you.
  2. Search for medical schools: The MSAR allows you to search for medical schools based on a variety of criteria, including location, program type, and specialties offered. Use the search function to find medical schools that meet your criteria and fit your goals.
  3. Review the admission requirements: Once you have identified a list of potential medical schools, review the admission requirements for each school in the MSAR. This will give you an idea of the GPA and MCAT scores you’ll need to be considered a competitive applicant, as well as any other requirements that the school has, such as prerequisite coursework or clinical experience.
  4. Consider other factors: In addition to the admission requirements, there are other factors that you should consider when deciding which medical schools to apply to. These may include the tuition and fees, the curriculum and course offerings, and the location and size of the school.
  5. Create a list of schools: Based on your research and consideration of these factors, create a list of medical schools that you are interested in applying to. Be sure to include a mix of schools that align with your goals and preferences, as well as schools that you believe you have a good chance of getting accepted to.

Read Next: The Only 3 Medical School Personal Statement Examples You Need to Read

Does MSAR list BS/MD and BA/MD programs?

Yes, the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) includes information about BS/MD and BA/MD programs. These programs, also known as combined undergraduate/medical school programs or direct medical programs, allow students to complete their undergraduate education and medical school education in an accelerated timeline.

To find information about BS/MD or BA/MD programs in the MSAR, you can use the search function to search for “combined” or “direct” programs. This will bring up a list of medical schools that offer these types of programs, along with information about the program requirements and application process.

The MSAR includes detailed information about each program, including the requirements for admission, the curriculum, and the length of the program. It’s a valuable resource for anyone who is interested in pursuing a combined undergraduate/medical school program.

It’s important to note that combined undergraduate/medical school programs are highly competitive, and admission is typically limited to a small number of students. In addition to meeting the academic and clinical requirements for the program, you may also need to complete an interview or other assessments as part of the application process.

How many medical schools should I apply to?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the number of medical schools that you should apply to depends on a variety of factors, including your academic and clinical experience, your goals and preferences, and your budget.

Here are a few things to consider when deciding how many medical schools to apply to:

  • Your chances of getting accepted: Applying to more medical schools can increase your chances of getting accepted. More schools will evaluate you, so you’ll have more opportunities to get your essays and extracurriculars looked at. However, it’s important to keep in mind that each application requires time and resources, so it’s important to balance the number of schools you apply to with the amount of time and energy you have available.
  • Your personal preferences: Consider the types of medical schools that you are interested in, such as their location, program type, and specialties offered. Applying to a mix of schools that align with your preferences can increase your chances of finding a program that is the right fit for you.
  • Your budget: Applying to medical school can be expensive, as each application requires a fee and other costs, such as transcripts and letters of recommendation. Consider your financial resources when deciding how many schools to apply to, and be sure to factor in the cost of travel and interviews if you are accepted to multiple schools.

Overall, it’s a good idea to apply to at least a 10 medical schools, but the exact number will depend on your individual circumstances. It may be helpful to consult with an advisor, mentor, or other professionals in the healthcare field to get their perspective on how many schools you should apply to, such as a MedSchoolCoach physician advisor.

Is there an MSAR for residency applications and the match?

Yes, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) provides a resource called the Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database (FREIDA) that is similar to the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) for residency applications. FREIDA is a comprehensive database that contains information about more than 10,000 residency and fellowship programs in the United States and Canada, including their admission requirements, curriculum, and funding. The information within FREIDA is incredibly helpful for the residency match process.

FREIDA is an essential resource for medical students and graduates who are seeking information about residency and fellowship programs. It allows users to search for programs based on a variety of criteria, including specialty, location, and program type. The database also includes information about the number of positions available in each program, the length of the program, and the types of funding that are available.

In addition to FREIDA, there are a number of other resources available for finding information about residency and fellowship programs, including the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) and individual program websites. It’s a good idea to explore all of your options and use a variety of resources to find the program that is the best fit for you.

FREIDA is an incredibly valuable resource for finding information about residency and fellowship programs and is an important tool for anyone who is considering applying to these programs.


Need more personal advice? Let MedSchoolCoach help with Your medical school application. It is what their physician advisors do best, and they can help you at every step of the application process – all the way until you get accepted into medical school.

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