Admissions Policy Summary

Policy Statement

In compliance with LCME Element 10.2, the Admissions Committee has full and “final responsibility for accepting students” into the medical school. The authority and composition of the committee and the rules for its operation are specified in the College of Medicine bylaws and the Admissions Committee charter. Faculty members constitute the majority of voting members at all meetings. The Admissions Committee is charged with evaluating the qualifications of applicants, and selecting for admission to the MD degree program, students who possess the intelligence, integrity, personal and emotional characteristics and attributes necessary to become competent and compassionate physicians. The selection of individual medical students for admission is not influenced by any political or financial factors.  

Policy for Admission to the First Year Class

This policy outlines the process and criteria approved by the Admissions Committee for application to the MD degree program and review and acceptance into the MD degree program. 


Applications for regular admission to the first-year class must be received between June 15 and November 1 of the year preceding entrance into medical school. Applications are accepted through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) only. Emails are automatically generated as AMCAS data is received acknowledging receipt of verified AMCAS applications and the invitation to complete MUSC Secondary application is shared.  When interview dates have been established, follow-up emails are sent with a schedule of the interview day.

Letters of Recommendation

Each applicant is required to supply one premedical advisory committee packet, or three letters from individual faculty members. Recommendations from two science professors and one non-science professor are preferred; however, this may vary depending on a student’s background. If the student has been working for a number of years since graduation, at least one letter from a science professor is required, but additional letters may come from related work experience.

Residency Status

MUSC is a public institution of higher learning. Strong preference is given to applicants who are South Carolina residents. Out of state applicants are generally considered only if they can demonstrate “close ties” to South Carolina on their secondary application. Examples include, but are not limited to, close relatives living within the state, a history of previous residency in the state, close academic ties to South Carolina institutions. 

General Requirements and Prerequisites for Admission

The general requirements for admission are published in the catalog of the Medical University of South Carolina and on the College of Medicine website. The requirements are Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) score(s); a minimum of three years of college work (90 semester hours); additionally applicants must have (1) a Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree or the equivalent from an accredited institution at the time of matriculation, or (2) be accepted into a joint baccalaureate-MD program at the time of matriculation. For the joint degree programs, specific standardized testing and grade point requirements are standardized across all BS-MD programs and are outlined in the joint degree program information.  The MCAT should be taken no later than the fall of the calendar year in which application will be made. 

Maximum Applications

An applicant may apply for admission to the Medical University of South Carolina a maximum of three times (effective beginning with the 2020-21 application cycle)

The Interview Process

Qualified applicants are assigned an interview date and scheduled with three interviewers.

Interviewers rate an applicant on non-cognitive traits desirable in good physicians. Traits evaluated include principles, critical thinking, ego, motivation, personality, and cultural competency.  

Interviewers also assess accomplishments. Accomplishments evaluated include letters of recommendation, leadership experience, volunteerism/charitable work, and shadowing/clinical exposure valuable to understanding medicine as a career.  

Interviewers are required to list any criteria for “added value” they identify based on the Added Value Rubric developed and approved by the Admissions Committee as well as any other significant attributes not quantified by the previously described scoring systems.

Calculation of Indices

For all applicants an overall index is calculated based upon MCAT, undergraduate GPA (adjusted for school competitiveness) and interviewer assessment of the attributes described above.

Admissions Committee Meetings

By October 1, all applicants who have been interviewed for Early Decision will be admitted, put on hold and placed in the regular applicant pool for consideration later in the admissions cycle, or rejected for admission. 

At the conclusion of all subsequent meetings, all applicants discussed at those meetings will be admitted, or put on hold for consideration later in the admissions cycle.

Alternate List and the Alternate List Subcommittee

All applicants remaining on “hold status” are reviewed at the last scheduled Admissions Committee meeting for a decision regarding rejection or placement onto the alternate list. Notification of Committee Decision Following each committee meeting, emails are sent to applicants who have been discussed, advising them of their current status – accepted, rejected, or placed on hold until later in the interview cycle. 


Information sharing and communications regarding an applicant's status will be exclusively with that applicant and with school officials who have a legitimate educational interest, as prescribed by Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). 

Deliberations of the Admissions Committee are considered to be highly confidential and will not be discussed in any forum nor with any person(s) except as part of committee operations. Members of the Admissions Committee sign annual statements of confidentiality. 

Financial, Political, and Other Factors

The Admissions Committee does not take into consideration and is not influenced by any financial, political or other factors which are irrelevant to an applicant’s potential to perform as a medical student and future physician. These influences have no bearing in determining an applicant’s acceptance, rejection, or placement and position on the alternate list.

Conflict of Interest

All processes and decisions of the Admissions Committee and its subcommittees are made with no conflicts of interest. Full disclosure of any potential conflicts of interest is required of all members.

Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) – MD/PhD Degree Program

The Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) leads to the awarding of both the MD and the PhD degrees, usually after 7-8 years of both clinical and laboratory training. Selection for admission to the combined program is made by the MSTP Admissions Committee as well as the College of Medicine Admissions Committee.

Each applicant to the MSTP must apply in the same manner as all College of Medicine applicants, while also applying simultaneously to the College of Graduate Studies. 

The COM Admissions Committee applies the same admissions standard and utilizes the same interview processes as applicants to the MD program.

Applicants who are not offered positions in the MSTP may be eligible for acceptance into the MD degree program.  If so, they are interviewed in the same manner as the other applicants who apply for the MD-degree program as described above.  

Delayed Matriculation

Students seeking to delay matriculation must do so in writing specifying the reasons for the deferral. 

The Associate Dean of Admissions may grant such deferral to a limited number of accepted candidates based on the validity of the request.

Applicants may not request that matriculation be deferred for more than one academic year. 

Accepted candidates who wish to defer matriculation for more than one academic year must reapply to the MUSC College of Medicine and are subject to all policies and procedures relevant to new applicants including the possibility of non acceptance.

The decision to allow or not allow deferral is considered final. 

Applicants who are denied deferral must matriculate as expected or reapply to the MUSC College of Medicine and are subject to all policies and procedures relevant to new applicants including the possibility of non acceptance. 

Current Students or Graduates of Non-Medical Degree Programs

Students currently enrolled in non-medical doctoral degree programs or graduates of such programs must apply for admission to the first-year class through AMCAS. No transfer with advanced standing is possible.

International Applicants

International Applicants: International applicants to the MD degree program must have a permanent resident visa (green card) in order to be considered for admission.  International applicants may apply to the MSTP (combined MD/PhD degree program) without a permanent resident visa. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Applicants holding DACA status may apply to the MD program and be considered for admission to the College of Medicine under the same policies and procedures as other applicants.

Rescinding Admissions Offers and Background Check Requirement

The Admission Committee reserves the right to rescind any offer of admission should the application for admission contain inaccuracies or misrepresentations of the student’s accomplishments, abilities or prior academic and professionalism standing; or should behaviors or events come to light that cause the committee to judge the student as deficient in professionalism, ethics or moral conduct, or academic standards expected and required for admission. MUSC is a drug-free workplace and may require drug screening; an applicant’s use of illicit substances can constitute grounds for rescinding an admissions offer. All admitted applicants undergo a background check administered through the University Human Resources Department. Any findings related to accepted applicants are reported to the Student Affairs Office in the College of Medicine. That office reports serious concerns to the Associate Dean of Admissions. The case will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee, which may choose to re-evaluate the acceptance of the individual based on the information. A recommendation will be made that could include rescinding of the offer of acceptance. An Admissions Committee decision to rescind an offer of acceptance is considered final.

All applicants who are still enrolled in an educational program at the time of acceptance are required to submit a final transcript from that program prior to matriculation. Accepted applicants demonstrating significant academic performance issues not demonstrated on the academic record at the time of acceptance may be grounds for rescinding admissions offers after review by the admissions committee which  has sole decision- making authority. In addition, applicants who fail to satisfactorily complete an educational program that was utilized to assign added value may have acceptance offers rescinded at the discretion of the admissions committee, or be required to defer matriculation for a year in order to complete the educational program. The decision of the admissions committee is final.

MUSC College of Medicine Policies

COM Technical Standards for Admission, Retention, and Graduation

Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD)

Transfer Admissions Policy for the MD Program

Accreditation vs. Licensure to Practice Medicine

Rev. 9/24/2020