University of Missouri School of Medicine MU Health School of Medicine

Nontraditional Students

While all students must meet the same admissions requirements, the School of Medicine encourages applications from rural, minority and nontraditional candidates. Individuals from rural underserved areas of the state, members of underrepresented minority groups, and those seeking a change after a successful career in a health-related field or other profession are encouraged to apply.

Please refer to the links above and select the category that applies to you in order to view the application process and requirements.



This page is intended for individuals who were not accepted to the MU School of Medicine and who are thinking about reapplying. The first thing applicants should do when faced with the reality of reapplying is to objectively evaluate all parts of their application, including the interview experience. This should be done in comparison to the credentials of students admitted to the MU School of Medicine. Additionally, your undergraduate premedical advisor is a good resource during this process. Our admissions staff is available to provide additional suggestions and insight.

Admissions Committees will look at a second application for significant change. If none, the committee will probably not consider the candidate further.

There are particular areas that you may need to improve to strengthen your application:


Remember that the Admissions Committee will look at your application as a whole. Stellar academics alone will not ensure admission to medical school the other aspects of your application are just as important.

  • It is very important to remember that GPAs and MCAT scores do not offset one another; a solid candidate for medical school needs to have strong numbers in both areas.
  • To strengthen the academic (GPA) portion of your numbers, you can take additional rigorous science courses. The courses you select and your performance in them will be significant. Be reminded also that admissions committees are looking for a "track record", and it's impossible to compensate for a 2.9 GPA earned over a four-year period simply by taking one 3-hour course in microbiology and earning an "A".
  • Knowing that 28-29 is the MCAT composite average for all students accepted to medical school, it's easy to see that lower scores are not going to distinguish you to a committee. Remember that all portions of the exam are important, particularly the Verbal Reasoning score. High scores in one section of the MCAT do not offset low scores in another. If retaking the MCAT is a challenge you face, first analyze your original preparation and determine what you might do differently to optimize your chances for improving your scores.


Your personal statements should be grammatically correct and present a unified and genuine portrait of you as a person, what your goals are, why you want to study medicine, and what personal experiences your decision is based on.

Your essay should NOT contain:

  • Attempted humor. Becoming a physician is serious stuff.
  • Long or involved quotes from famous or anonymous authors. This is not an application for an English course, so use the space more wisely.
  • A detailed description of your latest hi-tech research project. It probably will have little bearing on your ability to treat or relate to patients and you can use the space more wisely.

School and Community, Job and Volunteer Experiences

Remember that these life experiences are important to your application for reasons other than academic and thus do not substitute for less than stellar GPAs and/or MCAT scores. One of any Admissions Committee's expectations is that your decision to study medicine is founded on meaningful personal experiences, particularly in the area of physician contact and direct patient care. Without these experiences, your application to any medical school is not likely to be competitive, no matter how high your numbers.

Letters of Recommendation

The best letters are those from people who know you well and can put your accomplishments into perspective. While most medical schools require a certain number of letters from professors who taught you and gave you grades, you should select writers who can go beyond a statement of your grade in a course. They should tell us about you, your work habits, your goals and your personal qualities that will make you an outstanding medical student and physician. If you have extensive volunteer, shadowing, or clinical experience, a letter from your sponsor or supervisor will be expected.


Admissions offices find it very difficult to tell an applicant that the reason for their denial was a poor interview. If you believe, or someone tells you, that you don't interview well, then try to improve your interviewing skills. Interviewers want to discover both what you know and how you think as well as how you handle yourself in a stressful situation. Mock interviews are sometimes helpful, but honest feedback from the mock interviewer is essential. Go to the library and check out a couple of books on interviews, their structure, purpose and content. Visit your campus's career information or job placement center and ask for assistance. Do your homework and anticipate questions you might be asked; consider how you would frame your responses. Learn something about the school's program you are visiting and be prepared to ask the interviewer questions. There are also several premed web sites such as you may find useful.

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