University of Pittsburgh

Admissions and Requirements

General Requirements

We consider for admission currently enrolled students and graduates of accredited colleges. Only under exceptional circumstances will you be considered with fewer than 120 hours of undergraduate work. All applicants, regardless of citizenship status, must have completed at least one full year of higher education in the United States or Canada.

In examining your candidacy, the admissions committee will consider your:

  • Undergraduate, post baccalaureate, and graduate records;
  • MCAT scores. (Valid for only three years.) Only MCAT scores received prior to the supplemental application deadline will be considered.  For more information, visit:;
  • Exposure to the practice of medicine;
  • Research;
  • Work experience;
  • Extracurricular activities, volunteer activities, community service, student government, hobbies, clubs, and athletics;
  • Academic and personal recommendations;
  • Personal character, including integrity, communication skills, leadership, motivation, and creativity;
  • Supplemental essays; and
  • Personal interviews.


Academic Requirements

All of those who matriculate at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine must have an undergraduate degree which includes at least one year of post secondary education in the United States or Canada. 

A strong background in mathematics is recommended.  The School of Medicine prefers candidates who have a variety of course work typical of a liberal arts education, but this is not mandatory.  Course work in the humanities and social sciences is desirable.  Many applicants have majors outside the sciences; the School of Medicine looks favorably on such applicants as long as the science requirements are met.    

Acceptance of courses taken at foreign universities is determined individually at the discretion of the Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid. You should have completed most premedical requirements to receive serious consideration. All requirements must be met before matriculation.

In examining your candidacy, the admissions committee will consider whether you have completed one year each of:

  • Biology, exclusive of botany and Ecology, with one full year lab or a single two credit lab;
  • General or inorganic chemistry with one full year lab or a single two credit lab;
  • Organic chemistry with one full year lab or a single two credit lab;
  • Physics with one full year lab or a single two credit lab; and
  • English (We will accept courses taken outside of the English department that are deemed writing intensive by your college/university and Philosophy courses to fulfill this requirement.)

We will accept AP credit if that credit was awarded by your college/university and the course credit granted appears on your transcript. CLEP credits are not accepted.

Personal Competencies

The UPSOM considers the following personal competencies important to success of a physician and therefore are assessed during the admissions process:

  • Integrity and ethics
  • Reliability and dependability
  • Service orientation
  • Social and interpersonal skills
  • Capacity for improvement
  • Resilience and adaptability
  • Cultural competence
  • Oral communication
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Creativity

The above are evaluated though the essays, activities, the interview day and the letters of recommendation as referenced below.

Letters of Recommendation

The letters of recommendation are extremely important for assessing the personal competencies that are importantly considered by the UPSOM Admissions Committee.  We require three recommendations at a minimum or a committee letter.  The committee letter should be buttressed with individual letters of recommendation. We prefer three letters of recommendation from professors or important mentors (such as research mentors).  The best are letters from those who know the applicant well and can comment on the above competencies.  Supplemental recommendations from the supervisors or peers of extracurricular activities or work positions are encouraged as well.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine participates with the letter system provided by AMCAS.  All letters of recommendation should be sent directly to AMCAS.  For additional assistance please visit AMCAS Letters or call AMCAS directly at 202-828-0600.

If your letters are being transmitted by your undergraduate advising office, it is possible that the advising office is using VirtualEvals. Once your letters are posted to VirtualEvals, they will be downloaded by AMCAS and made available to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. If you have a question about whether or not your advising office uses VirtualEvals, please contact your undergraduate advising office.

Technical Standards

To review the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Technical Standards for the Doctor of Medicine Degree click here

Professionalism & Criminal Background Checks

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (UPSOM) has a commitment to train competent and caring physicians who behave in a professional and ethical manner. Therefore, UPSOM has developed a policy regarding behavior that impacts on professionalism of the candidates being considered and accepted for admission. Full and prompt disclosure of all information about the applicant that may have bearing on the ability to become a caring and compassionate professional is expected.

UPSOM Professionalism and Criminal Background Check Policy

Terms and Conditions for Matriculation

All accepted applicants must meet the following terms and conditions for matriculation into the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. 

UPSOM Terms and Conditions for Matriculation

Our Mission

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Mission Statement

The mission of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is to improve the health and well-being of individuals and populations through cutting-edge biomedical research, innovative educational programs in medicine and biomedical science, and leadership in academic medicine.