Application Process

How Competitive are UConn students in gaining admittance to medical school?

During the past seven years there have been a decrease in the number of students applying for 15,500 medical school seats in the United States from a peak of 46,000 in 1995. In 2005, it is estimated that between 32,000-35,000 students will apply. The percentage of students accepted into medical school is between 40 percent and 50 percent nationally. The number of University of Connecticut students applying also peaked in 1996 (about 120) to an average of about 45-55 applicants each year . The percentage of University of Connecticut students accepted into medical school has surpassed the national average in the past several years. The academic credentials of the national applicant pool and the University of Connecticut pool are below:

National Averages

Total: GPA 3.55    |    MCAT: 502.4
Matriculants:  GPA:  3.70    |    MCAT: 508.8

University of Connecticut Averages

Total: GPA: 3.58    |    MCAT: 505.5
Matriculants: GPA: 3.71    |    MCAT: 509.2

(Data from the 2016 Cycle)

What is the Personal Statement and why is it important?

It is a compelling personal statement  that is a key part of the application to medical school. This statement is crucial in linking a student with an academic program.  The personal statement is the only place to identify oneself uniquely prior to the interview. Since students have only one or two written pages to make a connection with their viewer in the academic program of their choice, the personal story is an exceptionally powerful technique.

Begin by selecting a real event in your life and build on it. Comment on your abilities of creativity, initiative, cooperation, and diplomacy. Tell the story in your own unique voice. Discuss the significant elements or people in the story and give a glimpse into their lives away from medicine to show balance.

Questions to answer in your personal statement

Why did you choose medicine as a career?
What was the turning point in your life that let you know that medicine was your career of choice?
Give a big challenge you’ve faced and how you resolved it.
What people most influenced your life and why?
What are your future goals and why?

Advice for Drafting Your Letter

Organization

  • Background information
  • Your values
  • Your interest in medicine
  • Any personal events
  • Other work experiences
  • Any influential incidents that have shaped your life
  • Any challenges you have overcome

Tips

  • Keep it simple (only the strongest most appropriate story)
  • Use first-person voice (“I”, “my”, “me”); Include thoughts and feelings; Show versus tell (show what’s happening with strong verbs and images)
  • Reinforce your words with common elements or images (use an element as an symbol to illuminate a major point to unify the story)
  • Develop a strong idea or action and use it throughout (such as an aspect of your core values)

The entire process takes time and effort and gives the student excellent preparation for the interview.

What does the wait list mean?

You will notified by letter is you have been accepted, rejected or placed on a waiting list.  The waiting list exits because schools are never sure how many of the initial offers they send out will result in acceptances.  In some schools there is a great deal of movement on the list, while at others there is almost none.  On average, the top third of the list has a pretty good chance of being offered an acceptance, and the bottom two-thirds have realistically no chance.

If you have been placed on the top third of the waiting list this means that you were very close to being accepted.  If you are not accepted, contact the school ask them why not and reapply the next year.  Make sure that you have addressed the concerns of the medical school before you reapply.

How does a school make its decision about an applicant?

Your application folder will not be reviewed until it is complete. The typical first analysis of your application is done by a computer program which weighs all applicants by GPA, MCAT score and other factors (sex, geographical location, age etc.). There is usually a cut-off value, below which your application material is not reviewed. For those deemed acceptable, a list is generated which changes weekly. Nearly all AMCAS schools require secondary applications. The secondary applicants serve two purposes, 1) to provide additional information from each candidate and 2) to provide additional money from each applicant to defray the costs of handling all of those applicant folders. A typical secondary application requires $75 to $120 from each candidate. Acceptable candidates are then typically sorted into categories of interview, reject or hold.

It is acceptable for an applicant to query a school about the status of his or her application. Students should call the school to make sure that their application folders are complete.