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School of Medicine M.D. Admissions
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Prerequisites and Requirements

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Medical school studies build on a strong foundation in the sciences and mathematics at the premedical level. Beyond the successful fulfillment of these basic prerequisites, the Committee on Admission considers the overall quality and scope of an applicant’s undergraduate educational experience. The field of concentration for undergraduate studies and the selection of additional science and mathematics courses are the student’s personal choice and will not affect the admission process.

In addition to the academic requirements detailed below, we seek candidates who evidence the following characteristics:

  • Academic Excellence
  • Leadership
  • Service, compassion and humanism
  • Diversity
  • Ability to work in a team (or as part of a team)

Requirements for Admission

The following general requirements must be met by all applicants:

1. Standardized testing. The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is required for acceptance. The MCAT must be taken no later than September in the year the application is submitted. The oldest MCAT considered will be four years prior to date of expected matriculation. For students entering in Fall 2015, the oldest acceptable MCAT is 2011.

Note for graduates of foreign institutions: Successful passage of the TOEFL examination is additionally required for all students whose undergraduate instruction was conducted primarily in a language other than English.

2. Required academic work from an accredited institution (as listed on “Accredited Institutions of Postsecondary Education,’’ authorized and published by the American Council on Education, One DuPont Circle NW, Washington, D.C. 20036).

Beginning with the 2015 admissions cycle, the School of Medicine will accept prerequisites completed at the community college level. The change in policy acknowledges that as part of the holistic review process used to select applicants to interview at Hopkins, many factors are considered. These factors include the rigor of the applicant’s course of studies, grades, MCAT scores, clinical and research exposure, letters of recommendation, personal statement and the applicant’s understanding of medicine. In addition, we consider the path the applicants have taken which led to their desire to apply to medical school and become a physician.

In order to be competitive in the selection process, we encourage prospective applicants with community college prerequisites to supplement these courses by taking advanced courses in related subjects at their four year institution.

Please note:

  • Extension or evening courses taken in fulfillment of premedical course requirements are not acceptable unless they are identical to courses offered in the college’s regular academic program
  • Online courses courses are not acceptable
  • Preparation in foreign universities, in most cases, must be supplemented by a year or more of work at an approved university in the United States
  • Prerequisites do not need to be completed to apply but must be completed by August 1, just prior to matriculating at Johns Hopkins. Until successful completion of the requirements, acceptance is considered conditional
  • All coursework submitted in fulfillment of admission requirements must be evaluated on the basis of a traditional grading system. Such a system must employ a range of numbers or letters to indicate the comparative level of performance
  • CLEP and International Baccalaureate (IB) credits may not be substituted for any course requirement

Specific premedical course requirements are: 


College biology with laboratory, one year (8 semester hours).
The student should have an appreciation for the diversity of life, such as prokaryotes, plants and animals and a familiarity with the life cycles and metabolic activities of these organisms.  The student should attain a basic understanding of the structure and function of the mammalian cell and mammalian genetics. The laboratory portion of this requirement is expected to equip the student with practical understanding of the process of scientific inquiry, discovery and application, especially as related to cell and molecular biology.
Please note:

  • The study of the principles of genetics either in a separate course or as a significant part of another integrated curricular offering is recommended
  • Credit for advanced placement is not acceptable as a substitute 
  • Individuals who have completed their studies in biology more than four years prior to their application are strongly advised to take a one semester advanced mammalian (molecular) biology course


1. General college chemistry with laboratory, one year (8 semester hours).
The laboratory portion of this requirement is expected to equip the student with practical understanding of the process of scientific inquiry and with insight into how scientific knowledge is discovered and validated.

Please note: Applicants with advanced placement in general chemistry can receive 4 semester hours of credit toward this requirement.  An additional 4 semester hours in advanced chemistry will be necessary.

2. Organic chemistry with laboratory, one semester (4 semester hours) are required.

3. Biochemistry. Three or 4 semester hours are required. Lab is not required.
The student should have knowledge of chemical equilibrium and thermodynamics, acid/base chemistry, the nature of ions in solution and redox reactions, the structure of molecules with special emphasis on bio-organic compounds, reaction rates, binding coefficients, reaction mechanisms involved in enzyme kinetics and other applications to the understanding of living systems. Also important is a basic understanding of the structure of nucleic acids, including how they store and transfer information.


The study of the humanities and social and behavioral sciences is an essential foundation for the study and practice of medicine. A total of 24 semester hours is required. AP credit acceptable to the student's undergraduate college is allowed for a maximum of twelve (12) credits.  Please see Communication Skills under Additional Requirements below. 

These disciplines foster a broad understanding of humankind and the increasingly diverse cultural and social environment of our world.


Calculus and/or statistics, one year (6-8 semester hours).
Mathematics courses should enable the student to develop equations, to interpret graphical representations of function and to evaluate probability involved in testing hypotheses in the study of natural phenomena. Advanced placement credit for calculus, if acceptable to the student’s undergraduate college, may be used in the fulfillment of the math requirement. Regardless of such credit, it is strongly recommended that applicants take at least one semester of statistics or epidemiology.


General college physics with laboratory, one year (8 semester hours).
The student should have an understanding of the constants and units of physical measurement, Newtonian mechanics, the physical properties of various states of matter, such as liquids, solids and gasses, and the basic aspects of electricity, magnetism and optics, and their applications to living systems.  Advanced Placement credit for physics, if acceptable to the student’s undergraduate college, may be used in fulfillment of the physics requirement.

The laboratory portion of this requirement is expected to equip the student with practical understanding of the process of scientific inquiry and to gain insight into how scientific knowledge is discovered and validated.

3. A Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree from an accredited institution.

Additional Requirements

1.  Computer literacy. The student must have a working knowledge of computers, including the use of computers to retrieve information and to communicate with others. This knowledge is essential to today’s practice of medicine.

2. Communication skills. Required course work will include at least two writing-intensive courses, which can be in the humanities or the social/behavioral sciences and may be counted as part of the 24-semester hour requirement for the humanities and social sciences. It is expected that the student will have demonstrated precise and fluent communication in spoken and written English. It is strongly recommended that the student achieve basic conversational skills in a foreign language.

3. Teamwork skills. Medicine is a strongly collaborative endeavor. The applicant must demonstrate the ability to work successfully with others toward a common goal. A significant experience requiring teamwork is therefore expected in the course of the applicant’s academic and/or extracurricular activities and should be documented in the application.

4.  Conditions of admission. Students admitted to the School of Medicine on a conditional basis (i.e., requirement(s) yet to be completed) must fulfill those conditions prior to matriculation in the School of Medicine.

5.  Letters of recommendation. Two (2) letters from faculty members in science departments who  taught you are required if the college/university you have attended does not have a Committee/Advisor.  In addition to the letters, applicants with advanced degrees or significant postgraduate work experience of one year or more, are required to send recommendations from each component of their education and major work experience.

6.  Non-U.S. citizen applicants. Official transcripts are required from all colleges attended outside the United States and Canada for matriculating students.

7.  Application Review. Following receipt of all required credentials, the Committee on Admission will review applications and make interview decisions. Applicants selected for interview will be notified by the committee. It may be possible to arrange an interview with a regional representative of the committee when the applicant lives at some distance from Baltimore.  SKYPE interviews will be considered on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by the Assistant Dean for Admissions. Notification of acceptances are made between late fall and mid spring.

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