How to Get Into Cornell Medical School

September 5, 2023


Reviewed by:

Luke Hartstein

Former Admissions Committee Member, NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Reviewed: 5/13/22

Is Weill Cornell your dream medical school? Follow along for admissions stats, acceptance rates, and a step-by-step guide on how to get into Cornell medical school.

Cornell is among the most prestigious schools in the U.S. As an Ivy League school, Cornell is known for leading discovery, producing creative work, and promoting a culture of broad inquiry. It’s also known for its highly regarded medical school, Weill Cornell. 

We’ll break down everything you need to know about how to get into Cornell medical school in this guide. From how to write the WCMC secondary essays to acing your Cornell interview, we’ve got you covered. Let’s get started!

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Weill Cornell Medicine Programs

Because Cornell has many schools and plentiful resources, there are several individualized program options. Weill Cornell offers the following medical programs:

Within each program are many options for students interested in joint-degree or master's programs. For a full list of every medical education option available at Cornell, refer to the links above.

Cornell Medical School Requirements

Below are the Weill Cornell Medicine requirements you must fulfill to apply. 

Pre-Medical Curriculum 

Like most med schools, you must complete a bachelor’s degree to apply to Weill Cornell. During your bachelor’s, WCMC requires a “thorough preparation in the basic sciences, a broad liberal arts education,” and “demonstrated accomplishment in the humanities and social sciences.”

Pursuing a pre-medical curriculum is highly recommended to fulfill all prerequisite requirements. WCMC requires the following prerequisite courses to be completed by late January of the year you intend to matriculate:

  • Basic Sciences (biology, chemistry, and physics): Two semesters or equivalent biology, chemistry, and physics.
  • Organic Chemistry: Two semesters of organic chemistry with lab is recommended. One semester of organic chemistry with lab and one semester of other advanced biology or chemistry coursework is also acceptable.
  • Writing-Intensive Courses: Two semesters, one in the humanities or social sciences and one focusing on English literature.
  • Laboratory Coursework 
  • Integrated Science Courses: Biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematical aspects of life sciences may be substituted for other basic science coursework. 

The minimum grade acceptable in any above course is a "C.” All prerequisite courses must have been completed less than ten years before submitting your application. 

Cornell strongly recommends studying a “broad range of disciplines, including the humanities and social sciences, beyond the minimal requirements for admission.” They also note that “statistics, ethics, psychology, anthropology, sociology and management skills” are particularly valuable. 

Primary Application

Your primary application must be submitted through AMCAS by mid-October to attend medical school in 2024. Your school transcripts must be submitted with your primary application. 

Supplemental Application

Once Weill Cornell receives your AMCAS application, an email will be sent with details on accessing and completing the Supplemental Application Form (SAF). The fee for the SAF is $100. The SAF deadline is typically in mid-November.

Letters of Recommendation 

Weill Cornell requires letters of evaluation. They must follow these guidelines:

If your college has a preprofessional advisory committee, you must either submit a letter from this committee or inform us in writing why you cannot obtain a committee letter.
If your college does not have such a committee, we require two letters of evaluation from those who know you well and can discuss your capabilities, accomplishments and character. A teacher, whether at the undergraduate or graduate level, should be one who has worked with you personally.
If you have had substantial research, work, clinical or service experience, you should submit a letter from your supervisor in that experience.”

For more information on Weill Cornell's LoR guidelines, refer to their website


As mentioned above, there is no minimum requirement for the MCAT at Weill Cornell Medicine. However, students should aim high, as the current class median is 519. The MCAT scores you submit cannot be older than three years. 

Extracurricular Activities

Like most Ivy League schools, Cornell is interested in the balance of an applicant's life and interests. Participating in at least a few extracurricular activities that are meaningful and genuinely interesting to you can help you improve the quality of your application.

Investigation in the Field of Medicine

Volunteerism, internships, research; the more ways you can get involved in medicine before applying to Cornell, the better! 

Weill sees plenty of competitive applications. To take your application to the next level, try to gain some experience in a medical setting before applying. That said, research and volunteerism are always valuable, even if they aren’t related to medicine.


Cornell recognizes that becoming a doctor takes a certain kind of person. You must display a passion for the healthcare field, ethical and moral integrity, emotional maturity, and personal depth. Focus on crafting excellent essays, preparing for your interview, and participating in various extracurriculars to demonstrate your character.

Cornell Medical School Admissions Statistics

As a highly regarded Ivy League school, Cornell is not the easiest school to get into. Here are recent Weill Cornell Medicine admissions statistics:

Cornell Medical School admissions stats
Source: Weill Cornell 

Cornell Medical School Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate at Weill Cornell is 3.4%, according to its 2025 accepted class data. Of 7,926 applicants, only 782 were offered interviews. From those applicants, the number of students that matriculated into Cornell was 106. 

To give your application a competitive edge, consider seeking advice from an experienced Ivy League admissions counselor. Admissions counselors can help with every application part, from crafting perfect essays to preparing for interviews.

Cornell Medical School GPA

Cornell doesn’t have a minimum GPA requirement listed on its website; however, the minimum acceptable grade in any prerequisite course is a “C.” That said, Weill Cornell is a highly selective school; you should aim for a GPA close to the median of the incoming class (3.9) to be a more competitive applicant.

Cornell Medical School MCAT

Weill Cornell doesn’t have a minimum MCAT requirement. The school states that your MCAT score isn’t weighed more or less than other application materials. However, the median MCAT for the entering class at Weill Cornell is 519.

Weill Cornell Application Timeline

Let’s discuss how to apply to Weill Cornell and the important dates you must know. Like most med schools, you should begin preparing to apply two years in advance. This gives you enough time to take necessary prerequisite courses, build your resume, get an excellent MCAT score, and secure recommendation letters. 

Here is the Cornell application timeline:

Cornell medical school application timeline
Cornell medical school application timeline

To ensure you’re keeping up to date with deadlines and what’s required by AMCAS and Cornell, check their websites frequently.

Cornell Medical School Secondary Essays

Here are the Cornell Medical School secondary essay prompts and how to answer them. 

Weill Cornell Essay #1 

“Please write a brief statement giving your reasons for applying to Weill Cornell Medical College.”

How to Answer: This essay prompt asks you to explain what about Weill Cornell interests you. It’s an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your (thorough!) school research and align your future goals with the university’s mission.

When we say align your goals, we don’t mean adjust your goals. Everything you write in your essays should be authentic and genuinely express something about you. Your answer should be unique to your interests. 

For example, do you have a link to a specific program or club at the school? Is there something specific about the program that will help you succeed? Your school research should be thorough to make your answer as unique, thoughtful, and genuine as possible. Find Cornell opportunities that suit your interests and aspirations.

Weill Cornell Essay #2 

“Please describe a challenge you faced and how you addressed it.”

How to Answer: This essay is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your strengths. Med schools don’t want you to simply list your skills – they want substantial answers. You can choose any challenge you’ve faced and take the reader through how you overcame it.

This type of essay is commonly called an “adversity essay.” The school wants to know what you’ve learned from your experiences. Showing the ability to pause, reflect, and grow when faced with a challenge is the best thing you can demonstrate to admissions committees. It shows your readiness for med school and a medical career. 

When selecting a challenge to write about, don’t worry about having the toughest life. Your essay’s main purpose isn’t the difficulty of your challenge; it’s how you overcame it. Your topic could be anything from a health issue to a work conflict as long as you show what you learned from your experience. 

Weill Cornell Essay #3 (Optional) 

“If applicable, please tell us about any special circumstances related to COVID-19 that could help us understand you better.”

How to Answer: Many students have gaps in their resumes due to COVID-19. Only write this essay if you’ve faced a particular challenge related to the pandemic that has significantly impaired your application. 

Weill Cornell Essay #4 (Optional) 

“If you are not attending college during the upcoming (2022-2023) academic year, what are your plans?”

How to Answer: Again, you should only write this optional essay if the prompt applies to you. If you’re taking a gap year before med school, gaining meaningful experiences is the best thing you can do. Internships, medical shadowing, and other activities are excellent things to do (and write about) during your gap year.

Cornell Medical School Interview

Only some applicants will be asked to interview at Weill Cornell, usually about 10-12%. Weill Cornell interviews begin in September and continue until early spring. If you’re selected for an interview, you’ll be notified via email and be given a schedule to select a date and time.

Most students report the Weill Cornell interview as not overly stressful, and a pleasant experience. You may be asked questions relating to: 

  • Why you want to study at Weill Cornell
  • Your background
  • Your strengths/achievements
  • Your passion for medicine

You may also be asked about research/clinical experiences and other questions about your experience and goals. 

Cornell Medical School Tuition

Annual tuition at Weill Cornell is $64,500. However, there are several other fees to consider. Here’s a list of some of Cornell’s additional med school fees:

Cornell medical school tuition and fees
Source: Weill Cornell 

Beyond these costs, students can expect to pay additional fees listed on the WCMC website. Things like health insurance, travel expenses, dental, and vision are all fees students pay to access those services. 

FAQs: Getting Into Cornell Medical School

Here are our answers to some FAQs about how to get into Cornell medical school. 

1. What GPA Do You Need to Get Into Cornell Medical School?

Weill Cornell does not have a minimum GPA requirement. However, the median GPA of their current class is 3.9.

2. What Percentage of Cornell Students Get Into Medical School?

The Weill Cornell Medical College acceptance rate is a competitive 3.4%. Each year, the school chooses 106 applicants to matriculate into the school from a pool of over 7000.

3. How Hard Is It to Get Into Cornell Medical School?

As an Ivy League institution, Weill Cornell is a highly competitive medical school to get into. Only 3.4% of applicants are accepted to the school each year. 

4. Is Cornell a Good Medical School?

Weill Cornell is an excellent medical school and ranks 14th in the U.S. News “Best Medical Schools: Research.” 

5. What Is Special About Cornell Medical School? 

There are many things about Weill Cornell that make it special. For instance, the school emphasizes work in small groups as opposed to lectures, five institutions for research opportunities located on campus, and “early exposure to one of the most diverse patient populations in the world.”

6. Is Cornell Med Tuition-Free? 

Cornell isn’t a tuition-free school, although it does offer generous financial aid packages to students. For example, Weill Cornell Medicine offers “debt-free need-based financial aid for students in [the] MD program who have demonstrated financial need.”

Getting into Cornell Medical School With Inspira Advantage

If Weill Cornell is your dream medical school, you’ll have to go into application season well-prepared. Although acceptance rates are low, you can stand out with a polished, well-rounded application. 

Our experienced admissions counselors hail from admissions committees of top universities across the country and are dedicated to helping you get into medical school. From essays to interviews, we’ve got you covered – we’d love to help you boost your med school application!

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